Under the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standards, organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario (“Large Organizations”) are required to comply with a number of new accessibility requirements by January 1, 2014.
Private sector organizations were also to have complied with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (“Customer Service Standards”) by January 1, 2012; and organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario were to have filed a report with the provincial government confirming compliance by December 31, 2012.
To date, approximately 70% of private sector organizations with 20 or more employees have failed to file their compliance report, and the Government of Ontario has now commenced what appears to be an enforcement blitz aimed at the private sector.
Failure to comply with the AODA can result in substantial administrative penalties.
The purpose of this briefing document is to identify the upcoming Integrated Accessibility Standards. If you have any questions regarding the AODA, or would like assistance reaching and/or maintaining compliance, Sherrard Kuzz LLP can help.
January 1, 2014: By this date, Large Organizations must ……
Develop, implement and maintain a policy that addresses how the organization achieves or will achieve accessibility through meeting the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards. The policy must:
Include a statement of the organization’s commitment to meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner; and
Be made available to the public and be provided in an accessible format upon request
2. ACCESSIBILITY PLAN
Establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disability and meet the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards. The accessibility plan must be:
Posted on the organizations website, if any; and
Reviewed and updated at least once every 5 years
January 1, 2014: By this date, Large Organizations must begin to ……
1. SELF-SERVICE KIOSKS
Have regard to accessibility for persons with disabilities when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks.
2. ACCESSIBLE WEBSITES
Ensure new websites (including a significant refresh) and web content on those sites conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A.