Accessible Canada by law

Thursday, 5 November 2015 14:50pm

Canadian province Manitoba has introduced a customer service standard as part of its accessibility legislation. This recognises that disabled customers may not be able to access communications and may be using assistive devices. The standard also applies to public events.

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Many countries have moved towards disability inclusion through strategies, equity and diversity plans. Generally the only area that has been enshrined in law has been around building codes, but Manitoba’s new standard is an example of it reaching into digital accessibility and customer service.

The guide to the new standard published by the Manitoba government clarifies that customer service includes the need for accessible websites and digital communications.

The standard came into law on 1 November 2015 and the provincial government has to comply within one year, the public sector (including schools and hospitals) within two years and all other organisations, both private and not-for-profit, by 2018.

Another Canadian province, Ontario, has long-standing similar legislation.

The full Customer Service Accessibility Standard can be read via The Accessibility for Manitobans Act website.

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