Under the Customer Service Standards of the AODA, service providers must make their goods, services, and facilities accessible to customers with disabilities. This article will outline accessible features in offices where clients come to do business. Office accessibility ensures that clients of all abilities can access the services they need.
- Accessible Parking
- Ramped or level entrances
- Automatic doors and wide doorways
- Lifts or elevators whenever there are stairs
- Accessible public washrooms
- Wide aisles and paths of travel
- Service counters that accommodate clients using mobility devices
Other features can also help offices become more accessible. For instance, good lighting will help clients who are Deaf communicate visually. Lighting is also important for clients who are visually impaired. Likewise, clients with invisible physical disabilities who cannot stand during discussions with front-desk staff may need seating near counters. Staff may need to direct clients to this seating and alert them when it is their turn to be served.
Moreover, signage is also important, especially in large office buildings where different companies share space. Signs should:
- Include detailed information for clients with hearing disabilities
- Use clear language or pictures for clients with intellectual disabilities
- Be at eye level for clients at wheelchair and standing heights
- Have large print and good colour contrast for clients with visual impairments
- Include Braille for clients who are blind
In addition, room names or numbers in Braille and large print will allow more clients to navigate buildings independently.
Finally, offices should provide multiple contact methods for clients to get in touch with them, including:
- Phone and teletypewriter (TTY) numbers
- Email addresses
- Accessible websites, including contact forms and ways to book appointments online
Office accessibility includes providing information in ways that are inclusive for all clients. In our next article, we will cover accessible information in offices.