On July 1, 2016, the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service officially joins force with the Integrated Accessibility Standards, O. Reg 191/11 (“IASR”)  under the Accessibility for Ontarians Act (“AODA”).

This amendment, encapsulated by O. Reg. 165/16 does bring a few minor changes:

  • The training for accessible customer service has been expanded to all employees and volunteers (even those who do not deal with members of the public or who are not involved in developing policy);
  • More types of health professionals can provide documentation of a need for a service animal,
  • A more specific test has been established to require someone to be accompanied by a support person, and
  • Private sector and non-profit organizations with 20-49 employees no longer need to document policies (though may still be required to comply with reporting requirements)

In effect, this amendment combines the IASR with the previous Customer Service Regulation and revokes minor administrative matters, and provides additional clarity in the administration of the AODA.

While these changes do not create significant new obligations on employers, this amendment should enable employers to have a better overview of their obligations to comply with all accessibility standards.

Written with the assistance of Lucas Rivet-Crothers, summer student.

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