Monday, November 24, 2014

Information provided by Proposed Customer Service Standard from Manitoba Accessibility Advisory Council (MAAC)

Proposed Customer Service Standard  
By Doug Momotiuk, MAAC Representative
November 19, 2014

You remembered that the Accessibility for Manitobans Act became law on December 5, 2013. This purpose of the legislation is to provide a process for the identification, preventation and removal of barriers that prevent people disabled by barriers from full participation.

It will accomplish this procession to develop standards on customer service, information and communication, transportation, employment and the built environment.

As customer service is the first standard to be developed, the Minister agreed that the Council should be on the role of the Customer Service Standard Development Committee to work leading to application of the legislation.

This Committee has been meeting regularly since February 2014. We provided to the public on the government’s website. The ideas, questions and concerns were collected and considered in the preparation of this Proposed Customer Service Standard.

In April 2014, the Committee released the Discussion Paper on an Initial Proposed Customer Service Standard. They also collected feedbacks and concerns from the stakeholders and the public consultations on June 17-18, 2014 that more than 150 people attended the two day event and also webcast.

The Customer Service Standard Recommendation now has the purpose and application, effective dates, establishment of policies, practices and procedures, use of support persons, use of service animals, notice of temporary disruption, training for staff, feedback process for providers of goods or services, notice of availability of documents, format of documents and compliance.  

The example is that the organizations with 20 or more employees must have the policies/practices/procedures and trainings on how to communicate with Deaf people at customer services at the Government of Manitoba, every government agency and all private and non-profit organizations. The other example is that colleges and universities’ support services or customer services make sure if there are qualified sign language interpreters at Deaf students’ classes or meetings. The other example is to have full accessibility of communication between doctors and Deaf patients/families with qualified sign language interpreters in person or by video interpreters at hospitals.  

We forwarded the Committee’s recommendations on a Proposed Customer Service Standard to the Minister.