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New ODA Bill 125
ODA Committee Update


Canadian Standards Association Establishes New
Voluntary Standards For Organizations Meeting
Needs Of Customers With Disabilities

July 13, 2002




Canadian Standards Association Establishes New Voluntary Standards For Organizations Meeting Needs Of Customers With Disabilities

July 10, 2002


The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) recently announced that it has
developed voluntary standards for organizations including retail
establishments to be able to meet the needs of customers with disabilities.
Citizenship Minister Carl DeFaria joined in this announcement. See the CSA
news release below.These standards are voluntary, not mandatory.

We have not yet obtained a copy of these guidelines and so we cannot
comment on their contents. The news release states that the voluntary
standards can be purchased from the CSA. Their news release below includes
information on how to contact CSA.

We hope that the Citizenship Ministry will take steps to ensure that these
guidelines are available to Ontarians with disabilities. It would be
helpful if we had the opportunity to comment on them, to the Accessibility
Advisory Council and the Citizenship Ministry as a possible basis for
enacting regulations under the ODA 2001. Those regulations could establish
mandatory standards for removal and prevention of barriers in the retail

In June 2002, the ODA Committee submitted to the Ontario Government our
proposed ODA implementation workplan. It provides suggestions of steps that
the Government could take to implement the ODA 2001. Among other things we
recommended that the Government including the Accessibility Advisory
Council undertake public consultations starting this fall to develop
regulations on removing and preventing barriers in retail chain
establishments. The CSA's activities can help move this forward. Our
proposed workplan includes the following:

"14. Four specific areas should be identified now as the first areas for
attention, with a view to standards being put into effect within one year.
We recommend that these four areas be:

(a) Public Transit

(b) Education at all levels, including post-secondary education

(c) Health Care Services, and

(d) Access to goods, services and facilities offered at retail chain
stores. This includes any chain, that includes more than one outlet,
whether own collectively or operated via franchises, e.g. department
stores, grocery stores, trust companies, restaurant chains, etc.

We recommend these because: all touch on all disabilities and address
fundamental needs of persons with disabilities; the Ontario Human Rights
Commission recently made strong recommendations that the Ontario Government
should establish provincial standards for accessibility in public transit;
health care is a core focus of provincial funding strategies and public
policy review provincially and federally; education is similarly the
subject of major public attention now and will be the focus of concerted
action over the next months by the Ontario Human Rights Commission; retail
chain establishments provide a good start for addressing private sector
barriers in a way that will meet the needs of many and have a direct impact
across Ontario. The Canada Standards Association recently released proposed
standards for serving customers with disabilities that could assist in this

16. By October 2002, the Accessibility Directorate should release two
additional discussion papers on standards and time-lines for removing and
preventing barriers. One Discussion Paper should address health care
services. The other should address access to and benefitting from goods,
services and facilities in chain retail establishments.

It would be helpful if possible if these also addressed removing and
preventing barriers to employment in these organizations. ...

18. Full public consultations on the topics of health care and access to
chain retail establishments should begin by December 2002. Draft
regulations regarding barrier removal and prevention in these sectors
should be proposed and published by May 2003, with a view to final
regulations being enacted four months later."

Send your feedback to the ODA Committee at:



New CSA Standard addresses Customers with Disabilities

Toronto, ON - The Canadian Standards Association (CSA), in cooperation with
the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Citizenship, today released a new
standard, that will help organizations deliver effective customer services
to people with disabilities.

They made the announcement at the People in Motion Exhibition and Trade
Show held this week at the Canadian National Exhibition.

"The Health and Activity Limitations survey by Statistics Canada showed in
1991, that more than 4.5 million Canadians had some level of disability,"
said Pat Keindel, President, Standards, CSA. "This new standard will help
ensure that persons with disabilities receive a level of service equal to
that given to the public at large when they visit organizations such as
banks, department stores, restaurants, theatres and supermarkets," she

CSA Standard B480-02, Customer Service for People with Disabilities,
includes information on the crucial role of management, staff
responsibilities, resources, planning and delivery requirements, and
important considerations in understanding disabilities. The standard helps
organizations monitor and continuously improve their customer service by
adding a new dimension to their existing management systems.

"This partnership project between CSA and the Government of Ontario is an
excellent example of different sectors taking responsibility and showing
leadership in developing solutions that work for everyone," said Carl
DeFaria, Minister of Citizenship.

Persons with disabilities represent an estimated $25 billion in purchasing
power, a significant portion of the consumer market.

"Organizations that serve the needs of people with disabilities have a
definite competitive advantage," said Minister DeFaria. "Not only do they
get the most out of their customer base, but they demonstrate in a very
visible way their capacity to serve an increasingly diverse society on an
equal basis."

B480-02, Customer Service for People with Disabilities, is available for
sale by contacting CSA Standard Sales at sales@csa.ca, by calling toll-free
1-800-463-6727 or by visiting the CSA online standards store at www.csa.ca.

The Government of Ontario's Enabling Change program facilitates strategic
alliances with business, broader public sector and not-for-profit
corporations to improve access for people with disabilities. Projects
include input from people with disabilities and generate experience and
expertise that can be shared across sectors.

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association
serving industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in
Canada and the global marketplace. A leading developer of standards and
codes, CSA aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life, preserve
the environment and facilitate trade. To help people understand and apply
standards, CSA offers information products and training. The Canadian
Standards Association is a division of CSA Group which consists of CSA, CSA
International for product testing and certification, and, QMI for
management systems registration.





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