Currently, no AODA standards require tourism to be accessible. However, the Third Review of the AODA recommends the creation of standards mandating accessibility in tourism. In this article, we will outline the need for accessibility training for staff in tourist venues.
Accessibility Training for Staff in Tourist Venues
Calls for new AODA standards frequently recommend improved training for workers in the industries the standards will govern. For example, recommendations in the pending healthcare standards and education standards include training for:
- Healthcare providers
- Elementary and high school educators, including training on:
- College and university employees
These forms of training will help healthcare and education providers interact with patients and students who have disabilities in situations specific to their sectors.
Similarly, the Third Review of the AODA describes the need for improvements to required customer service training. For instance, improved training would help trainees overcome attitudinal barriers that limit their understanding about what people with disabilities can do or enjoy. Moreover, people with lived experience of disability could lead or oversee training. Furthermore, testing, regular renewal, and certification requirements would help trainees retain what they learn. Finally, training would include examples specific to various industries.
Therefore, AODA standards in tourism could require these training improvements within the customer service sector. In addition, these guidelines could apply first to customer service in venues that tourists might frequent, including:
- Amusement parks
- Sports venues
- Theatres, including:
- Museums and galleries
- Monuments and other historic sites
Accessibility training specific to each of these venues would teach staff to expect that some of the patrons they serve will have disabilities. Furthermore, training would alert staff to some of the accessibility needs or concerns that patrons with various disabilities might have. Finally, accessibility training could help staff recognize and implement ways of improving the accessibility of their premises and services.