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Module 1 — Understanding the AODA and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Image of Jeannine SmithThe Four Principles


Providing service with dignity means the customer maintains his or her self-respect and the respect of other people. Dignified service means not treating persons with disabilities as an after thought or forcing them to accept lesser service, quality or convenience.


A student who uses a power wheelchair registers late for a course, and asks his professor for a classroom change because the door leading to the current one is not wide enough to accommodate his power chair. The professor considers several responses to the request:

There are two issues here: first, the student is entitled to accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code; second, all of the professor’s responses disregard the student’s dignity either by disclosing confidential information or by ignoring the student’s right to access.

In providing accessible customer service, the professor, with the student’s consent, should consult with personnel in the Disability Services or Registrar’s Office about how to arrange for a quick change in classrooms.

Did You Know?

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, dignity encompasses individual self-respect and self-worth. It involves physical and psychological integrity and empowerment.

A person’s dignity becomes harmed when he or she is marginalized, stigmatized, ignored or devalued.


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