An Introduction to the AODA
Today, we are going to be looking at accessibility in Ontario workplaces. This subject has gained traction provincewide through a mixture of social awareness and legislative action. To better understand what this means for your organization, we will start with the provincial legislation that drives this initiative.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a key piece of accessibility legislation. The act sets out to achieve a barrier-free Ontario by 2025.
The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) was designed to support the AODA. It consists of the following five key standards:
- the Customer Service Standard, which details standards for meeting the accessibility needs of your customers
- the Information and Communication Standard, which details standards for accessibility in your organization’s communications
- the Employment Standard, which details accommodation standards for new and existing employees
- the Design for Public Spaces Standard, which details accommodation standards for public areas
- the Transportation Standard, which details accommodation standards for transportation service providers
Most Ontario organizations with one or more employees must develop policies in accordance with the AODA. In addition, many organizations must submit compliance reports.
Luckily, there are online resources to help your organization meet the requirements of the AODA. The following are a few examples of such resources.Ontario.ca
The Accessibility Laws page of Ontario’s official website provides a nexus of information on AODA compliance. Information includes
- accessibility requirements by sector
- accessibility compliance report instructions
- free online educational sessions
Access Forward provides online training modules for AODA compliance. The modules come in multiple formats and even provide materials for workplace presentations Ontario Human Rights Council
The Ontario Human Rights Council’s website has an eLearning series that meets the training requirements for section 7 of the IASR. There is an alternative version of the series that provides the learner with a certificate of completion.