The Manitoba government is launching a new online engagement to gather feedback from Manitobans about their experiences with customer service and to ensure those with disabilities are protected with the same or similar access provided to others, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“Our government is committed to protection and accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service helps ensure respectful, barrier-free customer service provided by Manitoba organizations including businesses,” said Squires. “We want to hear from Manitobans on whether the standard is making a difference so we can continue to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”
The Accessibility for Manitobans Act became law in December 2013, creating a proactive process for removing barriers affecting people with disabilities by establishing accessibility standards. Such standards are building blocks for real, measurable and effective changes to support accessibility, the minister said.
Each standard outlines specific requirements and timelines for organizations that have a responsibility to eliminate barriers, the minister noted. The standards focus on customer service, employment, information, communications, transportation and the design of public spaces.
The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, which addresses policy, practices and training requirements, became law in 2015. The province is now launching a mandatory five-year review.
The minister added the review is being led by the government-appointed Accessibility Advisory Council, made up of eight members with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
“The council looks forward to hearing from Manitobans about their accessibility experiences, and through this review process identifying opportunities that will further eliminate barriers and enhance accessibility across the province,” said John Graham, chair, Accessibility Advisory Council.
The Five-Year Review of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service survey is available at https://engagemb.ca/ama. Manitobans can also sign up for one of two upcoming webinars hosted by the council to provide feedback at https://engagemb.ca/webinar-sign-up or contact the council directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for public feedback is May 28.
The Manitoba government is committed to making significant progress to ensure accessibility standards are met by 2023, the minister said, noting it is working with representatives of the disability community as well as with public and private-sector organizations.
Compliance with the standard is further supported through free handbooks, policy guides and templates, in addition to training. To access these tools or for more information on accessibility in Manitoba, visit http://accessibilitymb.ca/.
For more information:
- Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
- Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
- Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-794-0732.