Photo: Accessibility Experts

The Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act Ontario was recently updated with new regulations for persons. There is a push to ensure this Act is slated to be fully-accessible throughout Ontario by 2025. It was created as “An Act to improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities and to make related amendments to other Acts”. One in seven people in Ontario have a disability. Over the next 20 years, that number will rise as the population ages.

There are five phases:

1. Customer Services Standard

2. Communications and Technology

3. Employment

4. Transportation

5. Built-Environment

The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services is responsible for implementing this Act through its numerous services, which include accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities, complying with the accessibility standards for customer service, community services, family responsibility office, services for people with a developmental disability, Ontario disability support program, and financial and employment support.

Employers non compliant with regulations can face up to $100,000 fines for not providing services to all people, including those with disabilities.

Many individuals and companies are now offering consulting services on accessibility matters including compliance with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the standards. Currently, employees throughout Ontario (or companies that have offices in Ontario) are required to take an online training course of 45 minutes followed by a short quiz to ensure competence.

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