The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was enacted in 2005 for the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing standards for accessibility related to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation and buildings by 2025 within government, private sector organizations and non-profit organizations within the province of Ontario. The AODA was the first legislation of this kind in Canada and pre-dates the newly-enacted Federal Accessible Canada Act by 14 years.

There are strict deadlines for compliance with the requirements of the AODA depending on the organization’s size and sector within which it operates.

There are several upcoming deadlines of note.

    • AODA Accessibility Compliance Report: The AODA requires certain organizations to file an Accessibility Compliance Report, which is a self-assessment of an organization’s compliance with their applicable accessibility requirements. Deadlines for filing are as follows:
      • December 31, 2019 – Designated public sector organizations
      • December 31, 2020 – Private sector organizations with 20+ employees and not-for-profit organizations with 20+ employees

Details regarding how to complete and access this report can be found here.

    • Accessible Websites: The AODA mandates the implementation of certain components of the WCAG 2.0, an internationally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). By January 1, 2021, public sector organizations and private sector or not-for-profit organizations with 50+ employees must ensure all public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 meets the WCAG 2.0 Level AA standard, other than live captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions

Guidelines on WCAG 2.0 for Ontario employers can be found here.

At year end, PooranLaw encourages you to confirm that your organization is on track for compliance with the AODA requirements by the required deadlines.