News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

October 11, 2018

ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE COMES INTO EFFECT NOV. 1 FOR BUSINESSES, NON-PROFITS



The Disabilities Issues Office of Manitoba Families advises the customer service accessibility standard comes into effect for businesses, non-profits and smaller municipalities Nov. 1.

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) became law in Manitoba in December 2013 and is intended to create a more inclusive society by removing barriers to everyday living while promoting dignity and respect for Manitobans with disabilities.  It is being implemented by establishing accessibility standards, beginning with the accessibility standard for customer service.  The goal is for this standard to guide and support organizations to create an accessible and welcoming environment for everyone.  After it was established in 2015, the Manitoba government had one year to comply and public-sector organizations, such as universities, had two years.  

One in six Manitobans face barriers related to accessibility.  The customer service standard identifies how small adjustments can help ensure goods and services are accessible by addressing areas like communication, assistive devices and the presence of service animals.  The standard does not require organizations to make renovations, but to ensure accessibility features already in place are used as intended.  It can be as easy as asking, “How can I help?”

The Manitoba government has worked with business leaders, associations, non-profit agencies and other stakeholders in advance of the Nov. 1 implementation date.  Over the next several months, government staff will continue to help these groups learn more about how to offer goods and services in an accessible way.  There are many simple, user-friendly tools at www.accessibilitymb.ca to help organizations comply with the customer service standard, including a handbook, sample policies, tips for employees, frequently asked questions, self-assessment checklist and information about training sessions.  The website also lists workshops to support policy development and staff training.  

Improving accessibility is good for all Manitobans including Manitobans with disabilities, seniors and the business community.  For more information, including alternate formats, contact the Disabilities Issues Office at 204-945-7613, toll-free at 1-800-282-8069, ext. 7613 or dio@gov.mb.ca.

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