Ontario Moving Forward with Accessibility Certification Program
Province Encouraging Businesses to Be Leaders in Accessibility
Ontario is continuing its work towards an accessible province by 2025 by exploring options for a new accessibility certification program.
The province will consult with industry, disability advocates, certification experts, municipalities, and not-for-profits to develop a voluntary, third-party certification program -- inspired by the success of the LEED designation promoting excellence in green building -- to recognize businesses and organizations that have championed accessibility.
This program would help leaders stand out in their sector or community and promote the economic advantages of accessibility. It would encourage businesses to go beyond the requirements of the law and make accessibility part of daily life.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) would guide the program's requirements. Since 2005, this act has set standards that make it easier for people with disabilities to participate in their workplaces and communities.
Improving accessibility is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- One in seven Ontarians has a disability, a number that will increase to one in five by 2035.
- People with disabilities and their families represent an economic market worth $25 billion in Canada.
- Ontario will host its first Accessibility Innovation Showcase this August.
- With the passage of the AODA, Ontario became an accessibility leader, establishing standards in five key areas of daily life and implementing them within clear timeframes.
“Working towards making Ontario more accessible is an exciting business and community-building opportunity. A new certification program can help make accessibility top of mind for businesses and their customers across the province. It’s another way we’re building an accessible province filled with economic and social opportunity for people of all abilities, and I look forward to working with all of our partners to make this a reality.”