Employers in Ontario must be aware of the changes that are happening and the requirements that will be placed on them in the very near future by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
The AODA requires the public and private sectors to work together to make Ontario accessible for persons with disabilities. The main purpose of the Act is to identify and remove the barriers that prevent a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society. These might include a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.
The Act allows for accessibility standards to be created by regulation. These standards constitute the rules that businesses and organizations have to follow to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. At this stage, accessibility standards have been created or are being created in the following areas: customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation and built environment. Accessibility standards require provincially regulated employers to address accessibility issues in ways not expressly required by the Human Rights Code.
Each standard contains (or will contain) both specific and general requirements involving:
- Developing accessibility policies and plans
- Training employees and volunteers; and
- Considering accessibility when purchasing goods or services
Private sector employers have less than six months to get ready for the standards under this new legislation. Jeff Murray’s presentation at the 12th Annual Ontario Employment Law Conference will cover:
- The new accessibility standards and preparing your organization to meet them;
- The content of compliant policies;
- How to prepare key workplace parties for their new roles; and
- Lessons from public sector employers covered since 2010.
We invite business owners and managers who are interested in finding out how to comply with the new standards to attend. Register—and Learn the latest. (Registrations now closed)
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Editor