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The Accessibility for Manitobans Act: Beat the deadline on November 1, 2018

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Since becoming law in 2013, The Accessibility for Manitobans Act has been applied in stages. November 1, 2018 is an important date for private business. For now, the changes do not require you to invest in building renovations to add wheelchair ramps and other accessibility features, but there are important steps to follow to make sure your business is compliance.

 

The first stage is all about customer service. You must ensure the service provided by your employees removes all barriers for people with physical, vision, hearing, mental health, developmental and learning disabilities, so they have equal opportunity to participate in everyday life.

Steps for businesses with 1-19 employees

November 1, 2018 is your deadline to:

1. Create a company Customer Service Standard. Your plan should address barriers that prevent all customers from receiving service, to:

  • Meet the communication needs of customers
  • Allow assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers
  • Welcome service animals and support persons
  • Ensure accessibility is maintained as intended, such as keeping wheelchair ramp clear
  • Let customers know when accessible services are not available, such as temporary shutdown of an elevator
  • Invite customer feedback

2. Train your employees about your company’s Customer Service Standard. Discuss how they are to serve customers of all abilities, including reasonable accommodations under The Human Rights Code.
 

Steps for businesses with 20+ employees

November 1, 2018 is your deadline to:

1. Create a company Customer Service Standard. Your plan should address barriers that prevent all customers from receiving service, to:

  • Meet the communication needs of customers
  • Allow assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers
  • Welcome service animals and support persons
  • Ensure accessibility is maintained as intended, such as keeping wheelchair ramp clear
  • Let customers know when accessible services are not available, such as temporary shutdown of an elevator
  • Invite customer feedback

2. Train your employees about your company’s Customer Service Standard. Discuss how they are to serve customers of all abilities, including reasonable accommodations under The Human Rights Code.

3. Create a public notice to be displayed prominently in the business and on your website. The notice outlines that upon request, people can receive information about your company’s:

  • measures, policies and practices
  • training policy, including a summary of the content of the training and when the training is to be provided.
Accessibility Toolkit

Resources linked below can make the task easier. The sample company policy is a great place to start. Here are a few other key resources:

Setting a plan and training your staff will help you be in compliance. Providing respectful, barrier-free customer service can help grow your business.

Contact CFIB’s Business Resources team at 1-888-234-2232 or [email protected] for more information.