Ontario Employers Take Note – AODA Compliance Deadlines in 2017

Posted by HRdownloads on Jan 6, 2017 11:42:00 AM

The new year brought new compliance deadlines for organizations in Ontario, both large and small, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The new set of requirements adds to existing obligations as Ontario moves towards its goal of full accessibility. As always, maintaining compliance is an objective that all organizations in Ontario should strive to achieve. With this newest batch of requirements, updating your organization’s policies and procedures should be achievable with minimal disruption to your operations. Many employers have likely already implemented at least some of the practices that are required by the guidelines, but even for those that are on the ball, it is always a good idea to check the requirements when compliance dates roll around.

Here are some of the main requirements that came into force under the AODA as of January 1, 2017:

Small Private and Non-profit Organizations (1–49 employees)

  • Provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities when requested.
  • Meet the requirements as outlined under the Employment Standards section, Part III, of the IASR, including:
    • Notify employees, the public, and job applicants about the availability of accommodations for job applicants with disabilities.
    • Provide a suitable accommodation in consultation with a job applicant if requested.
    • Notify successful applicants of policies regarding accommodation of employees with disabilities.
    • Inform employees of the organization’s policies used to support its employees with disabilities.
    • Consult with employees when asked to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats or communication aids for necessary job-related knowledge or knowledge that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
    • Provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability as needed and in accordance with Part III Section 27 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
    • Ensure the performance management system takes into account the needs of employees with disabilities.
    • Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when providing career development and advancement to employees with disabilities.
    • Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when redeploying those employees.

Large Private and Non-profit Organizations (50 or more employees)

  • Meet the requirements as outlined under Design of Public Spaces Standards, Part IV.1, of the IASR including:
    • Redevelop or make new recreational trails and beach access routes, outdoor public use eating areas, outdoor play spaces, exterior paths, off-street parking lots, and service counters so they are accessible.
    • Install fixed queueing guides and waiting areas with fixed accessible seating.
    • Maintain accessible elements in public spaces.

Ontario is well on its way to becoming a fully accessible province; however, action is still required of employers to continue the forward progress. Ensuring accessibility for employees, job applicants, customers or clients, and the general public helps organizations to better meet the needs of everyone, and to improve the organization’s image, both internally and externally. It is important to carefully consider your organization’s circumstances, and make the appropriate changes to remain compliant with the AODA.

To learn more, download HRdownloads' FREE AODA Compliance Action Plan!

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Source: O. Reg. 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards

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Topics: Ontario, AODA

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