March 25, 2011

Excellence Canada invites you and your colleagues to nominate any and all organizations in your community that you believe have taken the initiative to improve customer service for people with disabilities.  Ask your loved-ones and friends, who may have enjoyed exemplary customer service, for their suggestions, whether restaurants, retailers, gas stations, or service providers. Once your nominations are received, Excellence Canada will contact each organization about applying for the award. Perhaps your own organization deserves recognition!

The deadline to apply for the Award is June 30, 2011, so please e-mail your nominations as soon as possible to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. including the organization’s details, location, and the reasons why you think they deserve an award. Presentations will be made in October 2011.

Excellence Canada (formerly the National Quality Institute) is an EnAbling Change partner of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and is undertaking to get the private sector and not-for-profit organizations moving quickly towards awareness and implementation of the Customer Service Standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) before the compliance deadline of January 1, 2012.

Organizations can also apply directly for the award.  However, we believe that we can give the Awards program immediate momentum by approaching the ones that have already been proactive and demonstrated commitment, and elevate awareness throughout the community about the need to comply with the AODA regulation by the end of this year.

As the custodian of the Canada Awards for Excellence Program since 1984, Excellence Canada knows the motivational value of awards recognition in promoting culture change and continuous improvement and is applying the same proven principles to Organizational Accessibility.  This is not a competition with winners and losers.  Every organization that meets the award criteria will receive recognition.

Awards Program Overview

The Excellence Canada Accessibility Awards Program recognizes and congratulates organizations within our community that have shown a commitment to providing excellent customer service for people with disabilities.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the Ontario Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, (Reg. 429/07), achieving an Excellence Canada Accessibility Award is further recognition that the organization is respected within its local community for going above and beyond basic compliance and for providing excellent customer service to people with disabilities.

The Excellence Canada Accessibility Awards Program supports and reinforces the core principles for providing good customer service to people with disabilities, as outlined in the Ontario Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, which are:

Goods or services must be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

The provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities and others must be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services.

Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services.

About the People Access division of Excellence Canada

People Access is a division of Excellence Canada that is dedicated to helping all organizations to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities and to receive recognition in the process. For complete information about the Excellence Canada Accessibility Awards Program, the submission requirements, and the criteria, please visit the People Access website at: