Accessibility for Manitobans Act ~ Accessibility Standard for Customer Service

The Accessible Customer Service Standard is the first of five standards which will require businesses and non-profit organizations to introduce new policies and practices to ensure barrier-free access to goods and services by November 1, 2018.

Introduction to the Accessibility for Manitobans Act
Manitoba's Accessibility Standard for Customer Service

FAQ's about the Customer Service Standards
Employers' Handbook on Accessible Customer Service
Tips for Employees on Accessible Customer Service


NEW! Accessibility for Manitobans: Everyone Benefits Free Online Training
http://www.accessibilitymb.ca/online-training.html


RMT-Specific FAQs 

Q. Does the Accessibility for Manitobans Act apply to my practice as a massage therapist?
A. Yes. The standard applies to public, private and non-profit organizations in all work settings (i.e., massage therapy clinics, home-based or mobile practices, solo practictioners).

Q. How does this affect me (as an RMT)?
A. Businesses will need to have an Accessible Customer Service plan/policy created and all staff trained by November 1, 2018. A sample policy can be found in the Member Portal under Handy Clinic Tools. Creating your own policy can be as easy as inserting your business name into the sample policy. Use this Compliance Checklist to see what areas of your practice/clinic need improvement.

Q. Is there a sample plan my business can use?
A. The MTAM has created a sample plan/policy available exclusively to MTAM members and available in the members-only web space.

Q. Will we need to ensure we have all 5 standards implemented by November 1, 2018?
A. No. The Accessible Customer Service Standard is the first standard that requires compliance. Advance notice will be given regarding the deadline dates for the other 4 standards. To keep up to date, you can sign up for the Accessibility newsletter and check the MTAM website for updates.

Q. What is Accessible Customer Service?
A. Accessible customer service means that organizations and businesses provide products or services in an efficient, fair and respectful manner to people of all abilities. Examples of accessible customer service can include, having your history form available in a large print format, advising your clients if your business is wheelchair accessible or not, and simply by asking your clients, "How can I help you? We can adapt our treatment/service in different ways".

Q. What do businesses and organizations need to do to meet the standard?
A. A good resource to understand what to do is the Customer Service Standard brochure.

Q. Are there resources to help create an accessibility plan?
A. The Disability Issues Office has created an Employer Handbook and an Employee Tips sheet to aide organizations in creating the necessary policies and documents for their business

Q. I operate a mobile massage business. How does this apply to my situation?
A. The Customer Service Standard still applies to your business, and you can outline in your plan for accessible and open communication, a willingness to work with clients in their home with service animals present, a willingness to learn more about accessibility devices, and adapt your treatment to your clients needs.

Q. My clinic is not wheelchair accessible. Do I need to build a ramp?
A. No. The AMA does not set requirements for construction or renovation. Accessibility standards under the AMA will not affect, contradict or duplicate the Manitoba Building Code in regulating new construction and major renovations.  

If your building isn’t accessible, you can still provide accessible customer service by looking into ways to take service to your client (mobile massage therapy) or have someone in your referral netword who does have wheelchair access.

Q. Who do I contact if I have more questions?
A. For more information, please read the Government of Manitoba FAQ document or contact the Disability Issues Office directly at (204) 945-7613. For more free on-line resources and information about Manitoba’s accessibility legislation, visit Accessibility Manitoba.