Many employers do not know about Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
This law came into effect in 2005 however it did not impose any obligations on most small, private sector employers until January 1, 2012. Many employers are not aware of these obligations.
About two weeks ago, one of our clients received a letter from the Ontario government. Her organization was given 15 business days to comply with AODA. Thereafter the organization was subject to a fine of $ 50,000 for each day the organization did not comply with AODA.
This article addresses five commonly asked questions about AODA.
Does the AODA apply to your organization?
This law applies to organizations that provide goods or services to members of the public or other third parties and that have at least one employee (a provider). This includes organizations that only sell products and services to other businesses. It does not apply to sole proprietors or federally regulated organizations like banks.
Who needs to receive accessibility training?
Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the provider including employees, agents, and volunteers. And every person who participates in developing the provider’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties.
What are the provider’s obligations under the Customer Standard of AODA?
Obligations include: establishing policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities, providing people with disabilities with notice of a temporary disruption in facilities or services and providing training to certain persons about the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities
When are providers required to comply with the AODA?
Most organizations were required to comply with Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (the Customer Standard) by January 1, 2012. A provider with at least 20 employees was required to file an accessibility report byDecember 31, 2012.
How many written policies and procedures is a provider required to prepare under the Customer Standard?
A provider can create one document that incorporates most required policies and procedures, or a provider can create more than one document. Providers with at least 20 employees are required to create more written documents.