Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a provincial law in Ontario that aims to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. Since 2005, AODA applies to organizations in public, private, and non-profit sectors and to all types of employees, including full-time, part-time, seasonal and contract workers.

To make Ontario more accessible and ensure people with disabilities can participate more actively in their communities, the AODA establishes five standards that recognize five areas of daily life:

  1. Customer service standard
  2. Information and communications standard
  3. Transportation standard
  4. Employment standard
  5. Design of public spaces standard

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR)

The AODA standards are part of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). The IASR includes, in addition to requirements specific to each standard, the following general requirements:

  • Develop an accessibility policy;
  • Develop a multi-year accessibility plan and update it every five years;
  • Consider accessibility in procurement and when designing or purchasing self-service kiosks; and
  • Provide accessibility training to employees and volunteers.

The AODA for Employers

In addition to its accessibility standards for employment, AODA makes hiring and employment practices more accessible by accommodating the needs of employees and job applicants who have disabilities.

The accessibility laws for employment cover:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Offer of employment
  • Disabilities policy
  • Information and communication supports
  • Job accommodations
  • Emergency response plans
  • Return to work process
  • Performance management and career development

AODA Penalties

As an employer, do you know how the AODA applies to your business? If your business is found to be in violation of the legislation, you may be subject to monetary penalties depending on whether your actions are deemed minor, moderate, or major. Under the AODA, the maximum daily penalties are as follows:

  • Corporations: $100,000.00
  • Individuals or unincorporated organizations: $50,000.00

It’s important to take the time to understand your obligations and responsibilities around making your workplace accessible.

Need help applying the AODA to your business?

Let Employer Line answer your compliance questions and explain to you how Ontario’s employment and labour laws impact your business. Call our complimentary employer helpline to speak with our HR experts right away about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act: 1-833-247-3650.