Issue 25 | July 2022
Don't Take a Vacation from Offering Accessible Customer Service - Welcome Service Animals
The sunny days and warm nights provide months of long-awaited activities enjoyed by Manitobans. Whether it’s a music festival, patio, or vacation, making sure your business or event offers accessible customer service is good for everyone and is the law in Manitoba. Accessible customer service includes welcoming people with disabilities who use service animals.
As stated by The Manitoba Human Rights Commission, a service animal is trained to assist a person with a disability. The work or task(s) performed by a service animal must be directly related to a person’s physical or mental disability. Animals that provide comfort and companionship and that are not trained to assist with a person’s disability, are not service animals.
A person with a service animal has the right to enter a restaurant, store or other place where the public, customers or guests are generally allowed, including transportation such as buses and taxis.
- Users of service animals may have a visible or an invisible disability.
- A service dog usually has an identifying harness. If you are not sure if an animal is a service animal or a pet, you may ask if the animal is required due to a disability.
- No one should interact with or feed a service animal unless they are given permission by the service animal owner to do so.
- “No pet” policies must not be applied to service animals. Hotel/motel operators/landlords should not require a deposit or charge a cleaning fee for a service animal, even where such deposits or fees are required for pets.
- The preference of other customers is not a valid reason to restrict service to a customer with a service animal.
- A person with a service animal has responsibilities including controlling the animal
Let the public know you welcome service animals. The Manitoba Accessibility Office offers free service animal signs available for download & print:
- Service Animals Are Welcome Sign (PDF)
For more information about accessible customer service and service animals, please visit: https://accessibilitymb.ca/customer-service-standard.html
Disability Funding in the News: New program makes 'life-changing' cochlear implants more accessible to Manitoba adults – CBC Manitoba
Manitoba Access Awareness Week 2022 - Resources Available
MAAW 2022 was our most registered and attended event to date!
Thank you to the over 580 people who registered for the MAAW 2022: Accessible Information & Communication – Good for Everyone” webinar. We received great questions before and during the webinar, and were so pleased with your participation throughout the webinar –in the chat, question box, and with our trivia questions.
Thank you to Lisa Snider, Access Changes Everything Inc. for her insightful keynote presentation that gave useful tips and examples for accessible information and communication, and to our co-host, Manitoba Employment Equity Practitioners Association (MEEPA).
The MAAW 2022 Webinar video (YouTube), transcript, and PowerPoint, and question and answer document are available on the MAAW webpage under Past Events: https://accessibilitymb.ca/maaw.html
For those interested in Lisa Snider’s presentation, please contact Lisa directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) for providing items in recognition of Indigenous AccessAbility Week (IAAW) for our MAAW webinar. IAAW is celebrated concurrently with National AccessAbility Week and MAAW.
Congratulations to the MAAW 2022 webinar door prize winners:
Scott Harrison, Lauren Joyce, Emily Sawchuk, Kaylee Klaprat, and Charlene Tweed
Accessible Information and Communication Standard – Available Documents
The Accessibility Standard for Information and Communication came into effect May 1, 2022. The Manitoba Accessibility Office will be developing new sector-specific resources. In the meantime, we encourage you to view the documents below, and to stay-tuned for new developments.
- Accessible Information and Communication Standard Regulation (PDF)
- Introduction to the Accessibility Standard for Information and Communication (PDF) (Word)
- FAQs Accessibility Standard for Information and Communication (PDF) (Word)
Acknowledging Disability Pride Month
Disability Pride Month (July) is being increasingly celebrated worldwide, including in Canada, though not yet officially proclaimed by Canadian governments. Disability Pride Month began in the United States in 1990, marking the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This movement of empowerment and visibility for people with disabilities is supported by communities speaking out against societal barriers and helping each other overcome them. According to the American Disability Community, the month honours each person’s uniqueness as “a natural and beautiful part of human diversity”.
Disability Pride Month celebrates the infinite amount of intersecting identities. Just like disability is a spectrum, so too is identity – where disability and queerness are not mutually exclusive, the connections between them are very real.
These connections are represented in the Disability Pride Month flag, created by Ann Magill, a disabled woman who further redesigned the flag in 2021, based on feedback from the disability community.
For more information on Disability Pride Month, please visit the websites below:
What is Disability Pride? (YouTube)
AmeriDisability – America’s Disability Community
United Way Centreaid Canada – Disability Pride Month: Creativity and Courage in the Face of Societal Barriers
CBC Radio – Now or Never – First Person
Manitoba Accessibility Fund - New Updates
Thank you to all organizations who have submitted an application to the first year of the Manitoba Accessibility Fund for the intake period ending April 15, 2022.
Timeline: We are currently in the Grant Assessment & Selection period.
All primary contacts have been notified on the status of their applications.
We encourage all organizations to read the accessibility checklists that accompanied their decision letters.
Stay tuned for more information about award recipients for 2022-23, and further details about the next MAF intake: https://accessibilitymb.ca/fund.html
Remembering Jim Derksen, Disability Rights Champion
"It's hard to lose your heroes"....
we have all lost one today.
A true disability rights champion, a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities, and a friend of many, Jim Derksen passed-on earlier this month at the age of 75.
Jim was one of the founding members of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities, and also worked at the Manitoba Accessibility Office (former Disabilities Issues Office) from 2003 to 2004.
The Manitoba Accessibility Office remembers Jim Derksen and the selfless contributions he made to advancing disability rights, justice, and inclusivity in Manitoba, Canada, and worldwide.
CBC News Article - A champion throughout his whole life: Manitoba disability rights activist Jim Derksen dies at 7
Winnipeg Free Press – Jim Derksen Obituary
THIS – The People Who Do Good Stuff Issue: Jim Derksen
New Income Support Program - Seeking Public Participation
The Manitoba government is developing a new income support program for persons with severe and prolonged disabilities. Learn more about the program on their website: https://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/eia/disp.html.
The Department of Families is planning a series of engagement sessions this summer that will focus on key areas of program development. Some examples of session topics include:
- Improving accessibility of services and supports
- Naming the new program
- Overall service delivery model
- And many more!
If you would like to participate in these sessions, please visit this website:
Please note you will have to sign in or register with an engageMB account. If you want to sign up for the sessions but don’t have an engageMB account, you can email email@example.com for assistance.
Creating an Accessible Workplace for Your Employees - Flexibility is Key
Stress, anxiety, and work pressures can push employees to “power through” a difficult economic period. Pandemic concerns, rising gas and grocery prices, and the cost of summer vacation plans can multiply the effects of this stressful period on employee health and wellness, even after conditions improve.
For employees with disabilities, including those who are returning to the office who may now have visible or invisible disabilities, reasonable accommodations level the playing field so they can equally access opportunities available to others in the workplace.
The Accessibility Standard for Employment requires employers to have measures, policies, and practices to provide reasonable accommodations for employees and job applicants.
Employers need to consider reasonable accommodation at various stages of employment, such as recruitment, offer of employment, on the job, return to the work, and training.
Events, Funding, Opportunities, & Resources
Adobe Skill Builder Series – Learn a new skill every month – August 25: Join us for these free 30-minute Skill Builder webinars to master new PDF workflows. Each expert-led session will teach you some simple techniques for making your documents accessible — and clearing paperwork off your desk.
First Global Conference on Disability and Islam 2022 – August 20, 2022: The goal is to bring together leaders in the Muslim community, people with disabilities, advocates, researchers, and families to raise awareness, identify the gaps, and offer solutions that promote inclusive leadership. (This event link should be accessed from a non-government computer, as some computers may block access).
5th Annual Global Workplace Wellness Summit September 28 to 29, 2022: Held in Winnipeg at the Canad Inns Destination Centre. This 2-day summit will provide opportunities to explore new ways to work and live, learn about best practices and research by leading professionals, and to introduce new tools such as the Wellness Improvement System aimed to enhance people’s lives and their workplaces.
Funding programs from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are federal government grants and contributions that help support jobs, training, and social development.
- Recording of Generous Futures: Creating Equity & Access in Tech - this webinar features a panel of leaders who unpack discuss how we can close the digital divide: https://youtu.be/db4Xa-516bs
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Manitoba Accessibility Office
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