Free resources for businesses to comply with new customer service standard

TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is working with local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the province to help Ontario businesses comply with Ontario's new customer service standard.

"Breaking down barriers for people with disabilities, begins by breaking down barriers for organizations that want to serve them better," says Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Compliance requires knowledge and access to the right tools. The OCC and our chamber network are determined to help businesses throughout Ontario get both so that they can better serve the growing population of people with all types of disabilities."

Accessibility Works is a partnership between the OCC and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to help businesses comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (customer service standard). The customer service standard is one of five that will form part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Through a free online training module and facilitated workshops throughout the province, Accessibility Works will make it easier for business owners, their staff, volunteers and contractors to meet the training and other requirements under the new standard.

"We're pleased to be partnering with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to help reach out to their broad network of members across the province. These are the business on the front lines who understand, better than anyone, that improving accessibility for people with disabilities is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. By making their businesses more accessible to customers with disabilities they tap into a broader customer base and foster increased customer loyalty, and it all starts with providing quality customer service to each and every customer who comes in the door," said Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services.

The online training, which will provide participants with proof of certification, will be delivered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and its 160 affiliated chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Ontario. The training will be available later this fall in order to help businesses prepare for the January 1, 2012 compliance date for all private sector organizations.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is a federation of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province. In its mandate to advocate strong policies on issues affecting its members, the OCC is currently focused on economic renewal and business competitiveness. Its over-arching goal is to make Ontario the most competitive jurisdiction in North America.

SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For further information: For further information: Amy Terrill, (416) 482-5222, ext. 241,

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