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Gov. Departmental AMA Compliance Deadlines Right Around the Corner

Oct 24, 2016

The Long Road to the First Compliance Deadlines 

The first deadlines for acton to prevent and remove barriers under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) have been a long time coming. It took five years (2008 to 2013) of tireless effort to secure passage of this landmark legislation. Then it took another 2 years of work (2013 to 2015) before the government established the Customer Service Standard, the first of five initial accessibility standards to be established under the AMA.

After all this time and work, we are both excited and pleased that we have finally reached the point when actions are required under the AMA to remove and prevent barriers faced by 175,000 Manitobans with disabilities.

The Customer Service Standard Deadline (November 1, 2016)

The first accessibility standard under the Act, The Customer Service Standard Regulation, came into force on November 1, 2015. The standard sets out basic requirements designed to remove (and stop the creation of new) barriers that prevent Manitobans with disabilities from having the same opportunity as other Manitobans in obtaining, using and benefiting from public services. The standard was developed over a period of 18 months and was based on extensive consultations with Manitobans with disabilities, representatives of the public, private and non-profit sectors, and the general public.

The Customer Service Standard Regulation (Word / PDF) also sets out deadlines for compliance by obligated organizations. Provincial government departments are the first grouping of organizations required to comply. The deadline for the departments is November 1, 2016, one week from today.

Departmental requirements under the standard fit into three broad categories:

  • The development and implementation of policies, practices and measures respecting barrier-free access to goods or services.
  • The development and implementation of plans to ensure that training on accessible customer service is or has been provided to all employees and volunteers who provide goods or services to the public or to another organization, or who participate in the development of the organization’s accessibility policies.
  • The development and implementation of policies and practices to ensure that public meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities.

We have prepared a brief summary of these compliance requirements (Word / PDF). 

By way of a letter to the Honourable Scott Fielding, the Minister responsible for the AMA, Barrier-Free Manitoba has requested that the government provide documents from each of the 14 departments to provide evidence of their compliance (Word / PDF). We asked for this documentation to be provided to us by November 14th, 2016,

We will report on what we receive. We may even post this material for convenient public and community access.

The Multi-Year Accessibilty Plan Deadline (December 31, 2016)

The second deadline, December 31, 2016, relates to the multi-year accessibility plans.

The plans must be comprehensive and identify what measures they have taken and will take in the coming years to identify, prevent and remove barriers that disable people. And these plans must have been developed in consultation with Manitobans with disabilities.

The December 31, 2016 deadline applies to:

  • All provincial government departments
  • Crown corps,
  • Health authorities,
  • Colleges and universities
  • School divisions
  • Large municipalities

We have prepared a brief summary of compliance requirements and a list of the names of the organizations that are required to have multi-year plans by the end of 2016 (Word / PDF).

Barrier-Free Manitoba will be developing and announcing plans for monitoring compliance these requirements in the next short while.

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