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Cobourg Customer-Service Policy Targets Accessibility

December 17, 2009

COBOURG — Cobourg council has adopted the accessible customer-service policy that was endorsed by its accessibility advisory committee.

The five-page document presented to council in its committee-of-the-whole session addresses a number of areas, including communicating with a person with a disability, the provisions of goods and services to such clients, their use of service animals and support persons, customer feedback, and proper means of notification in such cases as temporary disruptions of services and facilities.

“It’s an excellent idea. However, I was looking for any item that may have to be added to our budget. What is the cost implication?” asked Councillor Miriam Mutton.

“We have already done a number of things in the east and west wing as part of the (Victoria Hall) renovations, to enhance the serviceability for people with accessibility issues. I can’t think of any other costs that are expected, other than training time,” Deputy Mayor Gil Brocanier said.

“The training is actually online training, and the staff have really gained great benefit from it,” manager of legislative services Lorraine Brace said.

“The chair of our accessibility advisory committee Don Ubell recommended that training. There’s no cost, and it’s a certified course.”

Cost or no, Councillor Bill MacDonald reminded everyone, the changes are in response to provincial legislation that set out accessibility requirements in such areas as building and service standards.

“I have every confidence the town staff will be proactive,” MacDonald stated.

“These, as well as other standards, apply to the entire province. Eventually, the private sector will have to meet these standards. There are time frames, and they should be working proactively to meet those standards before they become statutory necessities,” he suggested.

“So I would hope other members of the public would familiarize themselves with them to make their facilities as barrier-free as possible.”

Article ID# 2225519

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