On July 1, 2011, the Integrated Accessibility Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “AODA”) came into force. Specific requirements will be phased in between 2011 and 2025. The Integrated Accessibility Regulation establishes three accessibility standards:
1. Information and Communications: this Standard aims to ensure that information provided to, and communications with customers is accessible to persons with disabilities.
Starting January 1, 2012, organizations will need to provide public safety information in alternative formats (such as large print). Other requirements will be phased in over time.
2. Employment: this Standard establishes the means by which organizations are to include accessibility measures throughout the employment relationship, including the recruitment process.
Starting January 1, 2012, organizations will need to provide employees with disabilities with emergency response information tailored to the employee’s needs. Other requirements will be phased in over time.
3. Transportation: this Standard focuses on making transportation services accessible, and includes buses (including public school buses), trains, subways, streetcars, taxis and ferries.
Some requirements for this standard came into effect on July 1, 2011, including equal fares for all customers, making verbal announcements, and providing courtesy seating. Others will come into effect on January 1, 2012, including making available information on vehicle accessibility features, establishing emergency preparedness and response policies, and facilitating accessible pick-up/drop-off locations. Other requirements will be phased in over time.
If you have any questions about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Davis LLP employment team would be pleased to assist. Please contact any one of the authors of this Alert.