Accessibility Experts – Making your business accessible
Below is information regarding the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), including the Accessible Customer Service Standard, Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Employment Standard, Information and Communications Standard, Transportation Standard and the Design of Public Space Standard), the Built Environment Standard as well as a brief overview of the services we provide.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Are you looking for training or consulting so that you can meet the legislative requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)? We offer a variety of workshops and courses (3 hour, 1 hour, workbook, Train the Trainer). Go to “services” for a complete listing of our workshops. Our training assists you in be compliance with the AODA.
Accessibility Experts – Consulting and Training Firm
We provide consulting services and training and are passionate about making Ontario accessible. We can help you to comply with the AODA and to serve your customers with disabilities effectively.
We aim to provide you with the most cost effective, sustainable method that best meets the needs of your organization. Below is a list of 12 types of services we provide.
- Accessibility Consulting Services
- Accessible Customer Service training
- Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation training
- Policy and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan Development
- Accessibility Consulting for PanAm and Paralympics
- Accessibility planning and development
- Train the Trainer
- Web Accessibility Training
- Accessibility Assessment and Audits
- Accessible Document – Creating Accessible documents in Word, Excel, Publisher and PDFs (Portable Document Format)
- Accessible Elections
Should you require information in an alternative format, feel free to email us or call us at 905-718-3342.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) Compliance it’s the law!
Are you providing “accessible service” to persons with disabilities? Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) you must comply to the new standards. Organizations can be penalized if they are found guilty of an offense under this Act. A fine of up to $100,000 per day to your organization plus $50,000 for each Director if he or she is found liable on conviction. The AODA enforces a number of standards through inspections, compliance orders and administrative penalties.
What do I need to do to comply?
There are five standards. The first one is the Accessible Customer Service Standard. In order to meet the legislative requirements for the Accessible Customer Service Standard you must comply with the following 6 items:
- Have policies and procedures in place
- Provide training for all staff (full time, part time, volunteers and contractors) which meet the AODA Customer Service Standard
- Offer alternative formats
- Have a feedback mechanism
- Provide notice of service disruption
- Allow for service animals and support persons
Make sure you are in compliance by being familiar with the act. Click on Ontario Regulation under the AODA, 2005 to see what the legislative requirements are. Every business in Ontario with one or more employees must comply.
When do you have to comply?
Public sector organizations had to comply with the Customer Service Standard by January 1, 2010.
Private business, non profit organizations, or any other service provider had to comply by January 1, 2012.
If you are a Private Sector or Non Profit Agency you were to file a report for compliance by the end of 2012. Click on How to file your report which will bring you to the Government Website with instructions on what you have to do.
Are there other standards?
Yes, there are other standards that the Government of Ontario has developed. We have included links to each of the standards. This Regulation applies to the Government of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly, every designated public sector organization and to every private sector and non profit organization.
The other standards are:
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (released June, 2011 with various deliverables and compliance dates)
They include these 4 standards:
- Information and Communications Standard
- Employment Standard
- Transportation Standard
- Design of Public Spaces
See the copy of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation .
What do I need to do to comply?
Each standard has specific compliance pieces. Below is a list the legislative requirements for each standard.
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation:
In order to meet the legislative requirements you will need to do the following 4 things:
- Create Policies and Procedures
- Create a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
- Acquire Goods and Services Ensuring Accessibility Criteria and Features
- Provide Staff Training
There are also other specific deliverables for each of the standards that you must implement. The timelines vary depending on size and sector, except where noted:
Information and Communications Standard:
In order to meet the legislative requirements for the Information and Communications Standard, you will need to have the following 4 requirements:
- Current Emergency Preparedness Plan – make accessible (2012)
- Provide Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
- Work Towards – having all new content on your website accessible
- Ensure content from 2012 onward is accessible (2021)
In order to meet the legislative requirements for the Employment Standard you will need to have the following eight (8) requirements:
- Workplace Emergency Response is Accessible (2012)
- Provide Accessible Formats & Communication Supports
- Advertise and Promote Accommodation
- Document Individual Accessibility Plans
- Return to Work Process
- Performance Management
- Career Development and Advancement
- Redeployment Process
The Transportation portion of Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation is very detailed and specific. This relates to all conventional and specialized transportation service providers. School Transportation and Public Sector Organizations that provide transit. Link to Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
Municipalities – Transit
In order to meet the Municipal Transit legislative requirements for the Transportation Standard you will need to meet the following 5 requirements:
- Consult with AAC, public and persons with disabilities on Bus Stops and Shelters, the requirements for accessible taxicabs, and the progress on the accessibility plan (2013)
- Municipalities that license taxicabs must:
- Ensure they are not charging a higher fee
- No extra charge for storage
- Ensure operators and owners place vehicle registration and identification on rear bumpers
Design of Public Spaces
A newly released amendment to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation is Ontario Regulation 413/12 has been filed and it is for the design of public spaces. There are minor changes to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation as far as adding the words “design of public spaces”. There is also a reference to the fact that upper-tier municipalities and lower-tier municipalities can prepare a joint accessibility plan or yearly joint status report.
Of major note is the addition of the design of public spaces. The standards for design of public spaces will only apply to new construction and planned redevelopment. The Design of Public Spaces covers the following 6 requirements:
- Recreational trails/beach access routes
- Outdoor public-use eating areas
- Outdoor play spaces
- Exterior paths of travel
- Accessible Parking
- Service related elements – counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas
For a complete copy of Regulation 413/12 which was filed December 14, 2012 go to:
Built Environment Standard will become part of the Building Code. It will be on a “new build” forward basis. Parts of the Built Environment Standard have been moved to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation under the Design of Public Space Standard.
We can help!
Accessibility Experts have worked with many public organizations; townships, cities, regional governments, libraries, school boards, conservation authorities, private sector organizations, non-profits and government ministries. We have many customers: Tim Hortons, Sobeys Ontario, Elections Ontario, Veridian, Durham College, Ontario Realty Corporation, Ontario Hospital Association, TVO, MPAC, hundreds of Municipalities, and many other small and large organizations. For a listing of our many clients see our client list.
Accessibility Experts have extensive background and expertise in all areas of the legislation and the needs of persons with disabilities. We are a credible, responsive and trusted supplier of accessibility training and consulting with a company goal of helping organizations to meet each required standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). We also care! We want to ensure that everyone can access the same goods and services as all members of society! The Owner and Corporate Director, Edie Forsyth, is passionate about making Ontario accessible for people with disabilities. Her passion comes across in all of the services the organization provides. Simplistic and easy solutions can be provided once we understand the needs of people with disabilities.
We can help you find that solution so that you are in compliance. Consultation processes are undertaken with all customers to identify and develop each organization’s individual solution. We design training that is tailored to the individual needs of the company. Training that ensures you are meeting the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, fulfilling the needs of your customers with disabilities, and providing the deliverables of the legislation.
We follow each of the AODA Standards , W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, CNIB Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines and London Facility Accessibility Design Standards. We continually receive information from colleagues and the many committees we serve on. It helps us provide expert advice and training. It also enables us to produce accessible documents, accessible web sites and advise on building assessments, customer service audits and accessible renovations.