5 Things You Should Know About the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Dec 17, 2011

Many employers are completely unaware of their obligations under this law. There are a myriad of obligations that are imposed on employers under this law. This blog addresses a small number of these obligations. If you have never heard of this law, read on!

Who must comply with the Act?

Private and public sector employers must comply with the Act, including charities and non-profits.

Are small employers exempt from the Act?

No, however, employers with fewer than 20 employees have fewer obligations under the Customer Service Standard.

When are employers required to comply with the Act? (Some examples)

As of January 1, 2012 (that’s in less than 2 weeks!!!), private sector employers who provide goods or services to the public must comply with the Customer Service Standard.

As of January 1, 2012, all employers must provide individualized emergency response information to employees with disabilities if the employer is aware of the need for accommodation and if the specific disability requires individualized information.

As of January 1, 2016 most organizations that employ 50 or more people will be required to comply with the Employment Standard.

As of January 1, 2017 most organizations that employ fewer than 50 people will be required to comply with the Employment Standard

What is a Customer Service Standard? (Some examples)

• Must communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that account for their disabilities.
• Must allow people with disabilities to be use guide dogs or service animals, unless otherwise excluded by law.
• Must train employees, volunteers and others who interact with the public about a number of specified accessibility issues.

What is an Employment Standard? (Some examples)

• Must notify the public and employees about the possibility of accommodation during the hiring process.
• Must create accommodation plans for employees with disabilities.
• Must provide employees with information required for the performance of their jobs in accessible formats when employees request such information.

More information on this law is available at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/customerService/index.aspx

To download a copy of our publication, “20 Areas to Consider When Conducting Your Own Workplace Audit”, please visit www.macleodlawfirm.ca/employers

If you have questions about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, please contact us at [email protected] or call us at 1-888-640-1728 at your convenience.

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