AODA year-end report and upcoming standards

December 21st, 2012 by Celia Chandler

As we reported to you earlier in the year, in 2012 many of our clients became subject to requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005). Employers with at least 20 employees are obliged to report on compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service by December 31, 2012.

Reporting is easy on the website of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

The Ministry also has an on line “AODA Compliance Wizard” that allows you to input information related to your organization (number of employees, whether you’re part of the broader public sector, etc.) and it provides you with a summary of obligations under the AODA.

So some of you have asked what other AODA requirements are coming down the pipe.

We can report that to date, there have been two accessibility standards regulations introduced: The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service1 and the Integrated Accessibility Standards2. The deadlines for implementing Information, Communication, Employment and Transportation Standards contained in the second regulation are pending and there may be some requirements related to those that apply to your organization

Those of you who are housing providers are particularly interested in the AODA accessibility standards for the built environment; these have not yet been introduced. It is our understanding that the standards, once released, will apply only to new construction, not existing units. We will keep you posted on developments through this blog, as they arise.

Remember, though, that housing providers have an ongoing obligation under the Human Rights Code to accommodate disabilities to the point of undue hardship and this includes modifications to units for prospective and existing tenants and members.

The Human Rights Commission has published a policy on the duty to accommodate disabilities. This policy can be very helpful in analysing whether you can accommodate a request:

Of course, any accommodation plan is open to challenge at the Human Rights Tribunal and so we recommend that you document your process and your decisions accordingly. As always, we are happy to discuss human rights accommodation issues with you as they arise.

  1. OReg 429/07
  2. OReg 191/11

Filed in: Human Rights

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