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The Accessibility for Manitobans Act

Customer Service Standard

There are new accessibility laws that affect all Manitoba businesses and organizations with at least one employee. By November 1, 2018, businesses and non-profit organizations must introduce new policies and practices to ensure barrier free access to goods and services. 

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act                        Manitoba's Accessibility Standard for Customer Service

Introducing the Accessibility for Manitobans Act Brochure         Manitoba's Accessibility Standard for Customer Service




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 with one or more employees in all work settings (i.e., clinics, home-based or mobile practices). It also applies to third parties such as consultants and contractors. 


Q. How does this affect me (and please don't make me dig for it!)?

A. Businesses will need to have an Accessible Customer Service plan/policy created and all staff trained by November 1, 2018. A sample plan is below...

Q. Listed in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act there are 5 Standards, what are they?

A. The five standards are:

  1. The Accessible Customer Service standard which addresses business practices and training needed to provide better customer service to people with disabilities.
  2. The Accessible Information and Communications standard which will address the removal of barriers in access to information; which includes information being provided in person, through print, websites or other means.
  3. The Accessible Built Environment standard which will address outdoor spaces including sidewalks, curbs, roadways and parks.  This proposed standard complements the current Mantioba Building Code.
  4. The Employment Accessibility standard will address paid employment practices relating to employee-employer relationships, which could include recruitment, as well as hiring and retention practices.
  5. The Accessible Transportation standard will address aspects of accessible public transportation.

Q. Will we need to ensure we have all 5 standards implemented by November 1, 2018?

A. No. The Customer Service Standard is the first standard that requires compliance. The other standards are under development. 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 newletter.

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. 

Q. What do businesses and organizations need to do to meet the Accessible Customer Service 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 work from home, do I need to build an accessible ramp by November 1st?
A. No.  This accessibility standard refers to customer service and how to create a more inclusive practice/business that is accessible for all Manitobans.  

Q. My practice is located on the second floor of a building with no elevator - what should I do?!

A. This accessibility standard refers to customer service, no one is expecting a small business owner to install elevators! By creating an inclusive customer service plan, training all your staff to follow the policy, and reviewing your current space with an eye on accessibility you will have complied with this act.


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 your willingness to accessible and open communication, willingness to work with clients in their home with service animals present, willingness to learn more about accessibility devices and adapt your treatment to your clients needs. 

Q. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

A. For more information, please contact the Disability Issues Office directly at (204) 945-7613.

The Disabilities Issues Office also invites you to register for workshops held regularly at the United Way, Main Floor, 580 Main Street, Winnipeg, and periodically throughout Manitoba.


For more free on-line resources and information about Manitoba’s accessibility legislation, visit Accessibility Manitoba.

Together, we can create a more accessible and inclusive society for all Manitobans.