Posts Tagged ‘Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’

New Accessible Customer Service Standards come into force July 1st. Are you ready?

June 22nd, 2016 by Katie Douglas

On July 1, 2016, the Accessible Customer Service Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the AODA) are changing. The changes apply to all organizations in Ontario with one or more employees that provide goods or services to the public.

The AODA is organized into five ‘standards’: customer service, information and communications, transportation, employment, and the design of public spaces. These standards are being phased in gradually and will be fully implemented in 2025. We’ve previously written about the new employment standards coming into force under the AODA in 2017. Those changes apply to all organizations with fewer than 50 employees. Read up on them here.

Below is a brief summary of the changes coming July 1st under the Customer Service Standard. Organizations with questions or which are unsure if they are meeting their obligations under the AODA are encouraged to contact us. Read the rest of this entry

Small organizations: new accessibility standards apply to you starting 2017

May 31st, 2016 by Katie Douglas

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the AODA) removes barriers to participation in society for people with disabilities by requiring organizations to follow various “Accessibility Standards.” Currently, small organizations –organizations with 1 to 49 employees – must meet two Accessibility Standards. The first, Information and Communications Standards, require that, if requested, organizations provide or arrange for communication supports (e.g.. sign language interpreters) and information in accessible formats (e.g. large type brochures) for people with disabilities. Further, small organizations that provide goods or services to members of the public (e.g. a food co‑operative) must meet the Customer Service Standards which require that they provide their goods and services in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities, including accommodating service animals. Read the rest of this entry

Service animals for mental health: An emerging issue in disability law

January 28th, 2016 by Katie Douglas

What to do with Peaches? In 2014, a woman moved in with her common‑law partner in Barrie, Ontario and, while aware that the condominium’s bylaws restricted owners from having dogs over 25 pounds, proceeded to move in with her 40‑pound retriever cross, Peaches. The property manager demanded that she remove the dog and the owner responded with a request for accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, claiming that Peaches was a service dog who supported her with “stress and past abuse issues.” Ultimately, the court evicted Peaches, ruling that the owner had not provided sufficient information about her disability to establish that Peaches was a necessary accommodation.

This case highlights an emerging issue in disability law. Read the rest of this entry

AODA updates 2015 – will you comply?

October 14th, 2014 by Lauren Blumas

Summer is over and 2015 is around the corner. As the calendar flips over into the New Year, most organizations will be subject to additional requirement under Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the AODA) via the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (the Regulation).

The Regulation applies to “every organization that provides goods, services or facilities to the public or other third parties and that has at least one employee”. The application is intended to be broad and indeed captures most of our clients.

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Public Comment Period Regarding Proposed Changes to the Customer Service Standard

March 13th, 2014 by Shelina Ali

The provincial government is currently seeking comments from the public on the proposed changes to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, a regulation made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The period for public comment is open until April 16, 2014 and details can be found on the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment website.

Here are some of the highlights of the proposed amendments to the regulation: Read the rest of this entry

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.

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