Understanding the AODA

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) seeks to remove barriers and achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities in a number of key areas. More than 15% of Ontarians have a disability – more than 1 in every 7 people.

Under the AODA, the Province of Ontario requires public sector organizations in Ontario to meet certain standards for customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces.

Customer Service Standard

Organizations that provide goods or services to people in Ontario are required to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. The legal requirements of the standard are set out in Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. 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

Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation

This Regulation establishes the accessibility standards for each of information and communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces. The legal requirements of this standard are set out in the Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

General Requirements:

  • Establishment of accessibility policies
  • Accessibility plans
  • Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Training

Information and Communications

The Information and Communications Standard outlines requirements to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.

  • Feedback
  • 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

Employment

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

Transportation

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.

Design of Public Spaces

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: