The Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) were originally to be enacted in one single regulation under the Act similar to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
However, as we all know, this did not happen as intended.
On December 17, 2012, the Ontario government filed regulation O. Reg. 413/12 to introduce the new Built Environment Standard pertaining to the design of public spaces into the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (O. Reg. 191/11). This new standard covers a variety of public spaces such as exterior sidewalks and walkways, entrances to buildings, outdoor public eating areas and play spaces, accessible parking, waiting areas and service counters, effective January 1, 2013. The built environment standard for public spaces only applies to new construction and planned redevelopments. We previously wrote a Slaw post on the subject here.
In addition, on December 17, 2012, the government filed O. Reg. 419/12, which amends Regulation 581, the Accessible Parking for Persons with Disabilities made under the Highway Traffic Act. This new regulation adds the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards to the specifications for parking spaces designated on Crown land or under municipal bylaw for use of persons with disabilities. This regulation also came into force on January 1, 2013.
So what about buildings (new and old) and inside spaces?
The Ontario government decided that enhancements to accessibility in buildings will happen at a later date through Ontario’s Building Code, which governs new construction and renovations in buildings.
To this end, the government, through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, is holding a two-month public consultation to develop updated accessibility requirements for the Building Code.
For more, read my latest post on Slaw.