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ONTARIO IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

McGuinty Government Helps Remove Barriers

October 6, 2008

The Government of Ontario is partnering with the Retail Council of Canada to help remove barriers that customers with disabilities frequently face, announced York Region MPPs Michael Chan, Reza Moridi, Helena Jaczek and Greg Sorbara.

A new interactive tool, ‘How May I Help You?’ is now available to help businesses attract more customers of all abilities. It uses real-life scenarios to teach people how to interact with customers who have a variety of disabilities, including those who:

  • Use assistive devices, such as canes or wheelchairs
  • Have an invisible disability, such as a learning or mental health disability
  • Are accompanied by a sign language interpreter
  • Have a support person.

Under Ontario’s landmark accessibility legislation, Ontario’s first standard – for customer service – is now law. The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service sets out rules that businesses and organizations must follow to serve customers with disabilities. ‘How May I Help You?’ supports the training requirements in the standard.

“Every business should strive to open their doors to every potential customer. With this tool, more businesses can better serve people with disabilities and, at the same time, increase their customer base,” said Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville.

“By working together, we can build an Ontario where our businesses are open to each and every customer and where our communities are open to everyone who calls them home,” said Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur.

QUICK FACTS

  • Today, 15.5 per cent of Ontarians have a disability. This number will grow as the population ages.
  • People with disabilities have an estimated spending power of about $25 billion annually across Canada.
  • The Retail Council of Canada has 14,000 members in Ontario, including independent, chain and online merchants.

LEARN MORE

Visit www.AccessON.ca to learn more about accessibility.

Find out more about Accessiblity for Ontarians with Disabilities

Find out more about the Retail Council of Canada

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