The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was brought into legislation in 2005, with the goal of achieving a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. There are five standards under the AODA.
1. The Accessible Customer Service Standard
The first Standard to be implemented was the Accessible Customer Service Standard, established to provide accessible service to persons with disabilities.
In order to meet the legislative requirements for the Accessible Customer Service Standard you must comply with the following:
- Have policies and procedures in place
- Provide training for all staff on the AODA Customer Service Standard
- Offer alternative formats
- Have a feedback mechanisms
- Provide notice of service disruption
- Allow for service animals and support persons.
Public sector organizations had to comply with the customer service standards by January 1, 2010.
Private business, non-profit organizations, or any other service provider had to comply by January 1, 2012.
2-5. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
The four other standards under the AODA are included together under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. These standards are:
2. The Information and Communication Standard – which details how we should provide information and communicate in accessible formats;
3. The Employment Standard – formed so that everyone has equal opportunities for employment;
4. The Transportation Standard – describing how we can make transit accessible; and
5. The Design of Public Spaces Standard – which encourages us to create public environments like outdoor trails, pathways and parking spaces that are accessible to everyone!
The IASR standards were released in June 2011 and they have various deliverables and compliance dates. In order to meet the legislative requirements you will need to do the following four things:
- Create policies and procedures;
- Create a multi-year accessibility plan;
- Acquire goods and services, ensuring accessibility criteria and features; and
- Provide staff training.
What are the compliance dates for staff training on the IASR?
Why do I need to comply?
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance is the law!
Under the AODA you must comply to the new standards. Organizations can be penalized if they are found guilty of an offence under this act. A fine of up to $100,000 per day to your organization plus $50,000 for each Director if he or she is found liable on conviction. The AODA enforces a number of standards through inspections, compliance orders and administrative penalties.
We can help!
If you’ve not yet completed your Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation training, then we can help you. By enrolling in our IASR Training Course, you can ensure that all of your staff are trained on the new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and simply and easily provide compliance reports to the Government.
Do you need help completing the other legislative requirements, like developing multi-year accessibility plans? Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get started!