Are you compliant? Do you know the AODA implementation phases and deadlines?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed on June 13, 2005. The basic purpose of the act is to break down the barriers faced by persons with disabilities. The aim is to make Ontario more accessible to persons with disabilities by 2025 when 1 in 5 Canadians will be over 65 years. (Statistics Canada)
In the report Disability in Canada (2006), 15.5% of Ontarians had a disability and 47.2% of Ontarians aged 65 or over had a disability. Making our workplaces more accessible benefits all of us and it is the right thing to do. The Royal Bank of Canada estimates that the spending power of people with disabilities is about $25 billion each year. So besides being the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.
Organizations Ontarians that provide goods and services are required to remove barriers that prevent a person with a disability from fully participating in society with dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity, in the same way as a person without a disability.
This legislation is being implemented in five phases as follows:
1. Customer Services Standard
2. Communications and Technology
*Phases 2, 3, & 4 are called the Integrated Standards.
The schedule for compliance is as follows:
||Private / Non-Profit
||Jan. 1, 2010
||Jan. 1, 2012
||Jan. 1, 2014 (>50 employees)
Jan. 1, 2015 (< 50 employees)
||Jan. 1, 2016 (>50 employees)
Jan. 1, 2017 (< 50 employees)
It makes sense to be proactive and learn what you need to do to meet the deadlines. And if you’ve missed the Customer Service deadline, it’s never too late to become compliant and help make Ontario accessible by 2025. We provide one-to-one coaching to help create policies, procedures, and practices and training programs suitable for your organization. Contact us if you need help.
Best regards, Joanne Royce
Royce & Associates
A Human Resources and Training Solutions company
Creating Happy, Healthy, & Productive Workplaces
Do you have your head in the sand with respect to the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)? It’s interesting that many businesses haven’t heard about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the need to become compliant. Others have heard about it but seem to be ignoring it thinking it doesn’t apply to them. Some know about it but don’t know how to get started. People have a tendency to procrastinate on getting started early in order to meet the requirements for AODA legislation. I’ve spoken to many businesses this week and I’m sharing some of the questions I’ve answered.
What is the AODA?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act became law on June 13, 2005, placing new responsibilities on employers with the goal to make Ontario organizations more accessible. The act seeks to break down the barriers faced by persons with disabilities with the aim to make Ontario accessible by 2025.
Doesn’t the Ontario Human Rights Code cover persons with disabilities?
The Human Rights Code deals with individual discrimination, while the AODA’s mandate is to make Ontario accessible for persons with disabilities.
When is the deadline?
AODA legislation will be implemented in phases. Phase 1 – AODA Customer Service Standard came into force for public sector organizations on January 1, 2010. The deadline for the private and non-profit sectors is January 1, 2012. Additional phases will be implemented with tiered deadlines and the ultimate aim to make Ontario accessible by 2025.
What are the phases?
The AODA includes standards which will be phased in as follows:
- customer service
- information and communications
- built environment, and
What do organizations have to do?
Organizations will have to implement policies, practices and procedures to guide the provisioning of goods and services to persons with disabilities, including training staff, and volunteers. The policies, practices and procedures must comply with specific principles such as, but not limited to, respect and dignity.
What organizations have to comply?
Any organization in Ontario that has one or more employees must comply with the AODA standards. However private organizations with fewer than 20 employees do not need to prepare written documents. (Note that public sector organizations with one or more employees must meet all documentation and filing requirements). Organizations with 20 or more employees must also prepare and file annual accessibility reports with the government.
Isn’t it just retail stores or restaurants that have to comply with the AODA?
The legislation applies to Business to Consumer and Business to Business organizations. It applies to public, private and not-for-profit sectors. It covers any organization that provides goods and services to customers whether individual or not, and has one or more employees, as noted in the previous section.
What if we don’t do anything?
It depends on if you prefer the carrot or the stick.
The Carrot: It makes good business sense to comply because according to the Royal Bank of Canada, persons with disabilities have an estimated spending power of about $25 billion each year in Canada. It good business to make your products and services accessible.
The Stick: For individuals, the fines up to $50,000 for each day that the requirements have not been met. For corporations, the fines are up to $100,000 for each day that the requirements have not been met.
It makes sense to be proactive and learn what you need to do to meet the deadlines.
If you need help, we’ve created a full day AODA – Customer Service Standards Workshop with templates and tools, similar in format to our popular Bill 168 Workshops, to help you understand what you need to do to quickly become compliant in your workplace. We have workshops scheduled regularly in a variety of locations across Ontario including, but not limited to, Toronto, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Waterloo-Kitchener, and Barrie. We also provide in-house AODA training if you have an implementation team that needs to get up-to-speed. Our AODA workshops are very practical and hands-on to help participants implement the AODA Customer Service Standard in a cost effective and timely manner.
We encourage you to start your plans for implementing this very important legislation. We have many years of experience educating and assisting organizations with human resources and training solutions to meet a variety of needs. For information about our AODA workshop and to register click here!
Best regards, Joanne Royce
Joanne Royce, Royce & Associates, Human Resources & Training Solutions
Creating happy, healthy, and productive workplaces.
Are you ready for
the Accessiblity for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?
Would you like to save time and money?
Don’t know where to start?
Contact us NOW!
We’ve developed an interactive, content rich, and engaging workshop divided into an educational session and a working session similar to our popular Bill 168 workshops. We’ll quickly and efficiently help get your organization compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) – Customer Service Standard. You’ll have the knowledge, skills, and tools to successfully roll out the AODA initiative in your organization.
We’ve set up a one day workshop consisting of an educational session in the morning and a working session in the afternoon. Our training can be customized to be delivered in a number of different formats best suited to your organization and your budget!
What you will learn and take away:
You leave with everything you need to help you successfully implement the AODA in your organization.
knowledge and skills to help you implement and train your people confidently and successfully
policy templates, checklists, forms, and tools to save you hours of time
additional resources including FREE ELearning to save you money
one month telephone and email access to support you while you implement!
Who should attend:
Customer Service Managers, Office Managers, Human Resources professionals, Business Owners, or individuals who want to save time and money and are responsible for implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act within their companies.
Why Royce & Associates:
(Kind Words from participants)
- Joanne has strong subject matter knowledge, which got us up to speed on the changes quickly!
- With Joanne everything was created to be user friendly.
- We left the session ready to train staff and feeling confident we are ready and compliant.
- You saved us valuable time and money.
- Months of hard work was already done for me!
Let Royce & Associates get you up to speed quickly so you can focus on the road ahead and your business. We know dealing with policies, procedures, and legislation isn’t the most exciting part of running a business, but it is necessary. We will save you hours of time, research and headaches. You will want to contact us now to make your workload lighter!
Best regards, Joanne Royce
Related Blog Posts:
Are you AODA compliant? Don’t know what the AODA is or when you need to comply?
AODA Workshop – Implementing the Customer Service Standard in your organization
Bill 168 Workshops Ontario Ministry of Labour inspections show that 80% of large companies are compliant, but only 20% of smaller organizations are compliant. If you haven’t yet implemented Bill 168 – Workplace Violence and Harassment it’s never too late to comply.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed in 2005, placing new responsibilities on employers with the goal to make Ontario organizations more accessible. The act breaks down the barriers faced by persons with disabilities with the aim to make Ontario accessible by 2025. (Note – Phase 1 deadlines - AODA Customer Service Standards - have earlier due dates).
Besides being the right thing to do, making our workplaces more accessible benefits all of us. The Royal Bank of Canada estimates that the spending power of people with disabilities is about $25 billion each year. So besides being the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.
This legislation is being implemented in phases with Phase 1 being Customer Service Standards. Public sector organizations were required to meet the Customer Service Accessibility regulations on January 1, 2010. Private sector organizations are required to meet the standards effective January 1, 2012.
Who must comply with the Customer Service Standard?
If your business or organization provides goods or services either directly to the public or to third parties (for example to other businesses) and you have one or more employees in Ontario, you must comply with the legislation. Those with 20 or more employees must also file accessibility reports starting in 2012.
Are you compliant with the AODA? Do you know what you need to do?
Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you so you don’t have to. We’ve scheduled educational and working sessions similar to our popular Bill 168 sessions, to get your organization compliant quickly. Click here for more information.