Ontario's Targeted Accessibility Compliance Initiative
Ontario is conducting targeted audits of large retail organizations with 500 or more employees to determine compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
There are resources to help businesses and organizations comply with the AODA including:
- Guide to help create multi-year accessibility plans.
- Free online training on accessibility.
- Guide to help develop a plan to help an employee with disabilities with an emergency.
- Free online sessions to help organizations comply.
- New website to make it easier to understand the requirements.
Organizations selected for an audit during this three-month initiative will be asked to provide evidence that they have in place, or are prepared to put in place, individualized emergency response plans for their employees with disabilities. They will also be asked to provide a copy of the multi-year accessibility plan and to confirm that the plan is:
- Posted on their website, if they have one.
- Available in an accessible format upon request.
- Reviewed and updated every five years.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
There are five standards under the AODA to make it easier for people with disabilities to participate in their communities and ensure accessibility for everyone.
- Customer Service
- Information and Communications
- Design of Public Spaces
The requirements under these standards are staggered to give organizations time to comply.
January 1, 2012: all employers in Ontario (public sector and private sector) with one or more employees began complying with the requirement to provide individualized workplace emergency response information under the following conditions:
- When the employee's disability is such that the information is necessary.
- The employer is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee's disability.
January 31, 2014: all public sector organizations and private organizations with 50 or more employees were required to have in place a multi-year accessibility plan. It outlines how the organization will meet its accessibility requirements while identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility.
December 31, 2014: Private sector organizations with 50 or more employees were required to submit an accessibility report to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.