York Region recognized for leadership in accessible customer service
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York has won the new Excellence Canada - Ontario Accessibility Award from People Access, a division of Excellence Canada.
The Excellence Canada - Ontario Accessibility Award is the first award presented under People Access, a new division to recognize excellence in making Ontario more accessible. The award recognizes York Region for demonstrating excellence in implementing the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and for going above and beyond basic compliance to serve people with disabilities.
“York Regional Council, the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Region as a whole are committed to creating accessible communities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Providing more accessible programs and services for our residents, their families, friends and visitors, helps to make our communities more attractive for everyone.”
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation was the first regulation under the AODA to become law. Its purpose is to make the customer service operations of organizations accessible for people with disabilities. As required for designated public sector organizations under the AODA, York Region achieved compliance with the regulation by January 1, 2010.
“This award highlights York Region’s many accessibility achievements,” said Town of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chair of the Region’s Community and Health Services Committee. “We can all be proud of our commitment to offering excellent accessible customer service to residents and visitors alike.”
Examples of how York Region went above and beyond basic compliance include:
• An accessible customer service policy written in plain language to enhance the comprehension of all readers and a training video with closed captioned, non-closed captioned and descriptive audio
• An emergency preparedness strategy amended to take into account the needs of people with disabilities
• An internal audit conducted to ensure ongoing compliance with the regulation across the corporation
• An accessible trail developed to make the York Regional Forest more accessible to people with disabilities
“The Accessibility Advisory Committee would like to congratulate and thank York Region leaders and staff for their efforts in making the Region more accessible,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of the Region’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. “The Committee appreciated extra efforts, such as the festivities during National Access Awareness Week, to promote and encourage accessibility.”
Formerly known as the National Quality Institute (NQI), Excellence Canada has presented the Canada Awards for Excellence annually since 1984 to private, public and not-for-profit organizations that demonstrated excellence in the areas of quality and a healthy workplace.
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1238 • Cell: 905-251-6413 • firstname.lastname@example.org