Integrated Accessibility Regulation
Today, May 9, 2013, is the second year for Global Accessibility Awareness Day! This day is meant to “get people talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) accessibility and users with different disabilities”
Recently, some of our clients received a notice from the government reminding them to file an Accessibility Report. This was an eye opener to employers who have let the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Customer Service compliance deadlines slip through the cracks. Some simply forgot to file. However, others were reminded they have not yet implemented all the Customer Service Standard requirements.
In January, I wrote about how large organizations in Ontario must prepare multi-year accessibility plans to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (by 2014). Well, those organizations (50+ employees) have also got to develop and implement relevant policies by 2014 as well, and that’s going to arrive sooner than you think. Small organizations (1–49 employees) have until 2015 to prepare policies.
The Accessibility Standard for Employment will help Ontario businesses and organizations make accessibility a regular part of finding, hiring and supporting employees with disabilities.
We are repeating this December 21 blog post to ensure employers, human resources professionals, payroll specialists, legal advisors, managers and supervisors among others start 2013 on the right foot.
Several changes to pension, employment standards, payroll and other legal requirements are coming into force January 1, 2013 or later. Below you will find brief summaries, listed by jurisdiction, of some of the important changes employers need to know about and prepare for: (The post is now updated and includes the new AODA Built environment requirements coming into force January 1, 2013).
Ontario’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service came into effect on January 1, 2012 for all businesses and not-for-profits in the province with more than one employee. If an organization has more than 20 employees, an online report must be filed by December 31, 2012 to demonstrate to the government that accessibility has been achieved under the Customer Service Standard. Many organizations are now asking “what comes next?”
After weeks of intense competition and countless appetizing foods, only two remained, Josh Marks and Christine Ha, the show’s first contestant with a disability. She is blind.
September traditionally marks back to school for kids, and many employees are also starting new courses and maintaining in-service training requirements. For most employers vacation schedules are calming down, as managers are revving up production, sales, vision and values kick-offs, quality improvement programs, client-centered programs and increased service delivery. Underpinning the organizational capacity to deliver its desired goals is training.
Assistive technology provided by rehabilitation engineers can play a major role in helping to realize the goals of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which goal is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025.
MasterChef Contestant Christine Ha is legally blind. She navigates the kitchen with the help of a cane and a support person. According to the judges, the dishes she prepares for each challenge are amazing and she is a great cook. It goes to show, despite her disability, Ha is able to compete with contestants with no disabilities, and perform the challenges with above average results.
The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a legally blind woman’s 2010 legal victory over the federal government, ordering the government to make its websites accessible to blind persons. It may not be a case under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, but it does show us how website accessibility matters and has an impact on promoting accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Recently I sent an email in a medium-large font to someone who thought I was shouting. The reply I received was disturbing. The person was offended and read the information as if I was angry…