Employer obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Aug 16, 2018
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) seeks to make Ontario accessible for persons with disabilities by 2025. The Act focuses on various private and public spaces, including in employment, customer service and transportation. While it’s been more than 10 years since the law first came into force, many workplaces still aren’t compliant.
It’s important for Ontarians, whether bound by or the beneficiary of the AODA, to have some basic knowledge of what the Act requires. In the workplace context, some of the key employer obligations include:
- Notifying applicants during recruitment about the availability of accommodations
- Notifying new hires about accommodation policies
- Accounting for the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities in performance management and advancement decisions
- Developing a process for individual accommodation plans (note – this doesn’t apply to small organizations)
- Providing information in an accessible format and with communication support to those employees with disabilities who request it
A failure to comply with these, and any other AODA standards can lead to additional reporting requirements and/or penalties.
Symes Street & Millard LLP has extensive experience in preparing and enforcing employment policies. If you are an employer or an employee seeking information on your obligations under the AODA, contact us [hyperlink] to discuss your options.
By Mika Imai; photo by Steve Johnson, cc.