Issue 2 February 2018

Accessibility Tip

If you have customers with multiple disabilities, do not assume what they can or cannot do. Treat everyone with the same respect and consideration.

Countdown begins for businesses, small municipalities and non-profit organizations affected by the November 2018 The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) deadline

Many organizations are recognizing that accessible customer service is a matter of common sense. It starts with the basic principles of independence, dignity and equal opportunity.

The first standard, or regulation, under AMA is now law. The Customer Service Standard requires that all organizations with at least one employee, whether public, private or non-profit, introduce policies and practices to create accessibility in eight different ways.

For more information, visit This website has a wealth of resources, including tips for employees and information for employers.

Accessibility Standard Updates

Accessibility Standard for Employment

Thank you to everyone who made a submission in response to the Proposed Accessible Employment Standard Regulation. The Accessibility Advisory Council is reviewing your feedback before advising the minister responsible for The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

Change Makers Making Change for Accessibility

Theatre offers ASL interpreted performances

Jordan Sangalang as Billy in TRIBES. Photo by Keith Levit

Jordan Sangalang as Billy in TRIBES. Photo by Keith Levit

When the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre (WJT) debuted TRIBES and cast local Deaf actor Jordan Sangalang, in the role of Billy, it also launched WJT’s American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted subscription season. The theatre offered two ASL-interpreted performances during the run of TRIBES.

The ASL subscription is currently the only one of its kind in Winnipeg.

Ari Weinberg of the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre (WJT) had never before offered American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation as part of his shows. But that changed with a play called TRIBES, the opening production of the theatre's 30th anniversary season.

TRIBES is a play about a young man’s experience of being born deaf in a hearing family, and the barriers he faces to fit into his own family and society.

Weinberg, the theatre’s Artistic and Managing Director, said it was important to him to find a local Deaf actor to play the central role of Billy. He found Winnipeg actor Jordan Sangalang.

"It was an exciting and educational rehearsal process that included having two interpreters in the rehearsal hall at all times,” said Weinberg. “So it made a lot of sense to make sure the Deaf community was included in the audience for TRIBES."

Eventually, Weinberg decided the theatre should offer ASL interpretation for the entire season, made possible by financial support from The Winnipeg Foundation. This also enabled WJT to offer an ASL interpreted season subscriptions.

Although some theatres in the city offer ASL interpreted performances, the WJT may be the first theatre company in Winnipeg to offer ASL-Interpreted performances to all of its shows. Weinberg said he hopes to secure more funding, so he can keep this initiative going for future seasons.

Challenge: Are there ways you can make your services more inclusive?

Upcoming Events

How Accessibility Legislation Affects You

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Register for our free, two-hour workshops in Winnipeg and in other regions of the province by request. At these workshops, you will learn how to develop policies and actions to ensure your organization complies with the Customer Service Standard.

Where: Main Floor, United Way, 580 Main Street, Winnipeg

When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Frequently Asked Question

How will the private sector comply with the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service?

The standard includes several legal requirements. Organizations and businesses with at least one employee must introduce policies and practices in the following areas:

  • communication
  • assistive devices
  • support persons
  • service animals
  • access to goods and services
  • temporary barriers to accessibility features

There must also be an accessibility feedback system in place, as well as training for all employees and volunteers.

For more information, refer to Introducing Manitoba’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service (Word).

Accessibility Tool Kit

Employers' Handbook on Accessible Customer Service (Word)

This handbook will help you:

  • recognize what barriers prevent accessible customer service
  • identify areas that require accessibility policies and practices
  • understand the requirements for providing accessible customer service
  • learn more about The Human Rights Code
  • get to know sample policies

This newsletter is available in alternate formats upon request.

You subscribed to this newsletter on the website.

Disabilities Issues Office
630 - 240 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0J7
Phone: 204-945-7613
Toll free: 1-800-282-8069, ext. 7613
TTY: 204-948-2901

Follow and join the #AccessibleMB conversation on social media.

Disabilities Issues Office footer