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Customer Service Plan makes RM more accessible

Posted: December 13, 2018

Customer Service Plan makes RM more accessible

As part of the ongoing effort  to remove barriers to accessibility, the RM of East St. Paul approved its Customer Service Plan at its October 18 council meeting, as required under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA).
The AMA was passed in the Manitoba Legislature in 2013 and requires all municipalities to have an Accessibility Plan, which East St. Paul approved in April of this year, and a Customer Service Plan in place by November 1, 2018.
The AMA aims to identify, prevent and remove barriers to accessibility in both private and public sector organizations.
Under the Act, a number of standards will be developed in the coming years to identify and remove barriers in key areas.
Customer service is the first standard and will be followed by employment, information/ communication, transportation and the built environment.
The Accessible Customer Service Standard outlines what "public and private organizations must do, and by when, to provide goods and services in a fair and respectful manner to all customers, including people disabled by barriers."
It also identifies the meaning of accessible customer service as when "all persons who are reasonably expected to seek to obtain, to use or benefit from a good or service have the same opportunity to obtain, use or benefit from the good or service ."
East St. Paul's customer service statement in the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service says: "The RM of East St. Paul will provide quality accessible services to residents and all stakeholders by preventing and eliminating barriers; offering equal access for all".
It also outlines action plans for:
  • Meeting communication needs by offering to communicate in a manner that meets that person's needs;

  • Accommodating the use of assistive devices;

  • Welcoming support persons who may accompany our citizens/residents;

  • Welcoming people with service animals;

  • Maintaining barrier-free access of RM physical space;

  • Offering accessible events by holding them in accessible spaces and by actively offering accommodations;

  • Informing the public when and why an accessibility feature is unavailable;

  • Welcoming and responding to feedback regarding accessibility;

  • Providing the required training to staff and management; and

  • Keeping written records of accessibility and training actions.

In December, members of council, along with the CAO, managers and staff will attend a two-hour training session facilitated by the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD).
This training will help to increase the awareness of all participants specific to providing accessible RM services.
"The RM of East St. Paul is proud of its accomplishments in identifying, removing and preventing accessibility barriers for our customers, residents, employees, business associates and visitors," said Mayor Shelley Hart.
"We will continue to strive to make our community as inclusive, barrier-free and welcoming as possible."
To view the Customer Service Plan visit eaststpaul.com.


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