Ontario Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code provides for equal rights and opportunities and freedom from discrimination based on grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. It recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario and applies to employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts and membership in unions, and trade and professional associations.
It also states that customers, clients, and tenants with disabilities have the right to equal treatment and equal access to facilities and services such as restaurants, shops, hotels and movie theatres, as well as apartment buildings, transit and other public places.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the County of Simcoe has a legal obligation to accommodate any person with a disability, regardless of whether they are an employee, volunteer, or resident.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)
The purpose of the ODA is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities. It is also 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.
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 develops, implements, and enforces accessibility standards with respect to customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation, and the built environment. The AODA applies to every person and organization in the private and public sectors in the province of Ontario.
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA includes standards for customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation, and the built environment (the design of public spaces). The IASR applies to the Government of Ontario, public sector organizations, private business and non-profit organizations and agencies.
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.
In October 2016, County Council approved the Accessibility Standards Policy. The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the County of Simcoe’s regulatory compliance with the AODA and all policy requirements under the Act. The Accessibility Standards Policy outlines the overall strategic direction that the County of Simcoe will follow in the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities to ensure access to the County’s goods, services, and facilities.