What is the AODA?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was enacted in 2005 to address barriers to persons with disabilities. Utilizing the definition of ‘disability’ as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code, the vision of the AODA is to build an accessible Ontario by 2025 through the development and implementation of the following standards:
As the first AODA standard to become law, the Customer Service standard provides a framework for establishing policies, practices, and procedures for the delivery of goods and services to people with disabilities. The Customer Service standard addresses the following specific areas:
- Establishment of policies, practices and procedures
- Use of service animals and support persons
- Notice of temporary disruptions
- Training for staff, etc.
- Feedback process for providers of goods or services
- Notice of availability of documents
- Format of documents
The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation establishes accessibility standards and requirements to remove barriers to accessibility in the following four areas:
- Establishment of accessibility policies
- Accessibility plans
- Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities
- Self-service kiosks
The Information and Communications Standard outlines requirements to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.
- Accessible formats and communication supports
- Emergency procedure, plans or public safety information
- Accessible websites and web content
- Educational and training resources and materials, etc.
- Training to educators
- Producers of educational or training material
- Libraries of educational and training institutions
- Public libraries
The Employment Standard is a framework for integrating accessibility throughout all employment practices.
- Recruitment, general
- Recruitment, assessment or selection process
- Notice to successful applicants
- Informing employees of supports
- Accessible formats and communication supports for employees
- Workplace emergency response information
- Documented individual accommodation plans
- Return to work process
- Performance management
- Career development, advancement, and redeployment
The requirements of the Transportation Standard apply to transportation providers as well as municipalities, universities, colleges, hospitals and school boards, with requirements that vary based on the type of transportation provider.
The Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment focuses on removing barriers in public spaces and buildings. Any new or redeveloped public spaces will need to address the following areas:
- Recreational Trails and Beach Access Routes, General
- Technical Requirements for Recreational Trails
- Technical Requirements for Beach Access Routes
- Technical Requirements Common to Recreational Trails and Beach Access Routes
- Outdoor Public Use Eating Areas and Outdoor Play Spaces
- Exterior Paths of Travel
- Accessible Parking
- Obtaining Services (service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas)
In addition to the Built Environment standards, the Ontario Building Code was updated in 2013 to address a number of additional accessibility requirements.