News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 10, 2021

PROVINCE TO ACT ON NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACCESSIBILITY IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

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Recommendations will Lead to Enhanced Service for Manitobans Facing Barriers: Squires

The Manitoba government will improve accessibility for people across the province after the Accessibility Advisory Council made 22 new recommendations to enhance customer service for individuals with disabilities, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Providing an opportunity for public feedback has been the best way to understand what changes are needed to improve accessibility standards throughout Manitoba,” said Squires. “By engaging with people across the province, the council has received valuable input and we will make changes to improve accessibility for all Manitobans.”

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to every Manitoba organization with employees. The council has completed a mandated five-year review of customer service standards for accessibility and has reviewed findings from public engagement outreach, before making the 22 recommendations for improvement, in the following areas:

  • government accountability and leadership;
  • monitoring compliance;
  • documenting policies, procedures and measures;
  • education, outreach and raising awareness;
  • resources and funding; and
  • the Accessibility Advisory Council.

To gather feedback and advice, the Accessibility Advisory Council undertook a survey on EngageMB, which was posted this past spring in English and French and was available in other formats by request. More than 67,000 registered users who had previously participated in an engagement project with Manitoba’s disability community or indicated an interest in related topics were invited to participate. In addition, the Manitoba Accessibility Office informed more than 3,000 professional associations and organizations about the survey.

“The council is grateful that such a wide range of Manitobans shared their perspectives during this review, and the 22 recommendations within the report are a direct reflection of these insights and conversations,” said John Graham, chair, Accessibility Advisory Council.

The council has also consulted directly with:

  • persons disabled by barriers, including representatives from organizations of persons disabled by barriers;
  • organizations required to comply with the standard, including small and large municipalities, public-sector organizations, the Manitoba government, businesses and non-governmental organizations; and
  • other representatives of the government or government agencies that have responsibilities under the standard.

“I thank the Accessibility Advisory Council for consulting Manitobans and producing this report and recommendations,” said Squires. “Because of the council’s hard work, we can further strengthen access to customer service for those who need it most.”

An implementation plan has been developed and work is already underway to implement many of the recommendations, the minister said, noting that the plan calls for action on all of the recommendations over the next two to three years.

The final report on the consultations can be viewed at https://EngageMB.ca/AMA. The Five-Year Review of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service report can be viewed at https://accessibilitymb.ca/plans-reports-meetings.html.

 

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED




BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Accessibility Advisory Council Recommendations - https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/BACKGROUNDER-Customer_Service_Act-FAM.pdf