Making Ontario Accessible
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)
The purpose of the ODA is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities and to provide for their involvement in the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to their full participation in day-to-day living. The Act applies only to the government of Ontario, municipalities, and broader public sector organizations. The ODA has the following two key requirements for the County of Simcoe:
- The establishment of an Accessibility Advisory Committee
- The preparation of an annual accessibility plan in consultation with an Accessibility Advisory Committee
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
The goal of the AODA is a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. In order to achieve this, the Government of Ontario will develop, implement, and enforce accessibility standards with respect to customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation, and the built environment. Additional standards may be developed over time and passed as Regulations by the Government of Ontario. The AODA applies to every person and organization in the private and public sectors in the province of Ontario.
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation
The first standard to be passed by the Ontario government was the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation (O. Reg. 429/07). It applies to all organizations that provide goods or services to the public. It sets out standards for providing services and goods in an accessible manner.
Public sector organizations, such as the County of Simcoe, were required to comply with the Regulation by January 1, 2010. All other providers of goods and services were required to comply by January 1, 2012.
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
The standards for information and communication, employment, transportation, and the built environment (the design of public spaces) were combined by the Ontario government into the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). The IASR applies to the Government of Ontario, public sector organizations, and all other organizations that provide goods, services, or facilities to the public.
Large public sector organizations, such as the County of Simcoe, have compliance requirements that range from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2021. Other organizations have until 2025 to comply with various requirements.
For more information and resources on accessibility legislation, please visit the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario website.