The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, or AODA, aims to identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. The AODA became law on June 13, 2005 and applies to all levels of government, nonprofits, and private sector businesses in Ontario that have one or more employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal, or contract).
The AODA includes requirements that all organizations must meet, with deadlines specific to an organization’s type and size. The AODA is made up of five parts, or Standards, and deadlines for compliance began as of January 1, 2010. Visit our Store to download the free At A Glance: AODA Deadlines (PDF).
The AODA is made up of five standards, as well as some general requirements, and they include the:
- Customer Service Standard
- Information and Communication Standard
- Employment Standard
- Transportation Standard
- Design of Public Spaces Standard
The AODA standards are part of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). The IASR includes, in addition to requirements specific to each standard, the following general requirements:
- provide training to staff and volunteers
- develop an accessibility policy
- create a multi-year accessibility plan and update it every five years
- consider accessibility in procurement and when designing or purchasing self-service kiosks
The AODA complements, but doesn’t not supercede, the requirements for accessibility and accommodation described under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Compliance Reporting Requirements
Penalties for non-compliance
The AODA give government authority to set monetary penalties to enforce compliance with accessibility standards. The maximum penalties under the AODA include:
- A corporation/organization that is guilty can be fined up to $100,000 per day
- Directors and officers of a corporation/organization that is guilty can be fined up to $50,000 per day
In 2019, public sector organizations will need to submit their compliance reports. Business and nonprofits with 20+ employees will need to file their next online compliance report with the government in 2020, confirming their continued compliance with the AODA. Sign up for our newsletter to updates on legislative changes, compliance reporting deadlines, accessibility training, and more.
Why Does Ontario Need this Act?
When we think of disabilities, we tend to think of people in wheelchairs and physical disabilities – disabilities that are visible and apparent. But disabilities can also be non-visible. We can’t always tell who has a disability. The broad range of disabilities also includes vision disabilities, deafness or being hard of hearing, intellectual or developmental, learning, and mental health disabilities.
Accessibility is Good for Business
Improving accessibility is the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do. According to the Royal Bank of Canada, people with disabilities have an estimated spending power of about $25 billion annually across Canada. People with disabilities also represent a large pool of untapped employment potential. When we make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities everyone benefits. ONN is committed to keeping your personal information accurate, confidential, secure and private. When you visit our website, contact us, participate in one of our programs or attend an event, or support our activities, we are committed to protecting your privacy rights and your personal information.