Accessible Customer Service Standards

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Policy Title: Accessible Customer Service Standards 
Policy Category: Service 
Effective date: January 1, 2010 


Ontario Regulation 429/07 made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 came into force on January 1, 2008. The regulation established accessibility standards for customer service which applies to every designated public sector organization and to every other person or organization that provides goods or services to members of the public or other third parties that has at least one employee. The accessibility standards for customer service apply to the designated public sector organizations on and after January 1, 2010. 


1. The library staff shall establish policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of its goods and services to persons with disabilities. 

2. The library shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles: 

  1. a) The goods or services must be provided in such a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. 
  2. b) The provision of goods or service to persons with disabilities and others must be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit the goods or services. 
  3. c) Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use, and benefit from the goods or services. 

3. The library will make every reasonable effort to ensure that goods, services and programs are accessible by: 

  1. a) Encouraging the use of personal assistive devices to access our goods, services and programs. 
  2. b) Encouraging the inclusion and access of support persons accompanying people with disabilities, 

“Support person” means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs with access to goods or services. 

  1. c) Waiving fees for support persons assisting users, when fees are required, providing advance notification is given by the user, 
  2. d) Permitting service animals to assist users and providing alternative accommodation when an animal is disallowed under the law. 

“Service animal” means a service animal for a person with a disability if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability or if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability. 

4. The library will make every effort to communicate with users in a manner that enables the use of library goods, services and programs: 

  1. a) By providing reasonable notification of all interruptions especially those that relate to the provision of goods, services and programs for people with disabilities. Notice of the disruption must include  information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available. Notice may be given by posting the information at a conspicuous place in the library premises or by posting it on the library’s website or by such other method as is reasonable under the circumstances. 
  2. b) By making copies of this Accessible Customer Service Standards Policy available and, upon request, making it available in alternative formats within a reasonable timeframe. The library shall notify persons that the documents required by this regulation are available upon request by posting the information at a conspicuous place on the premises, by posting it on the library’s website, or by such other method as is reasonable under the circumstances. 
  3. c) By offering a feedback, response and tasking process that enables increased integration of users and accessibility to goods and services. The feedback process must permit users to provide feedback in person, by telephone, in writing or by delivering an electronic text by email or on a computer disc. The feedback process must also specify the actions that the library is required to take if a complaint is received. 
  4. d) By providing information on the provision of customer service for people with disabilities and accessible services and programs in a format that takes into account the person’s disability in agreement with the person with a disability. 

5. The library will provide training on how to provide customer service to people with disabilities, to: 

  1. a) Those who participate in developing policies and procedures on the provision of service to the public, 
  2. b) Every person who deals with the public on behalf of the library, 
  3. c) New workers who deal with the public on behalf of the library. 

The training must include a review of the purposes of the Act and the requirements of this Regulation and instruction about the following: 

  1. a) How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disability. 
  2. b) How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person. 
  3. c) How to use equipment or devices available on the library’s premises or otherwise provided by the library that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability. 
  4. d) What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the library’s goods or services. 

The training must be assigned to each person as soon as practical after he or she is hired or assigned particular duties. Training must also be provided on an ongoing basis in connection with changes to the policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities. 

Approved: The Cornwall Public Library Board of Directors 

Date: December 22, 2009 

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