Did you know that starting Jan, 1, 2012, you must be in compliance with the new “People Access Customer Service” Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005?
If you are a company of more then 20 people, you will have to have written policies, procedures and training in place AND report on an annual basis to the proper government agency.
If you are a company of fewer then 20 people, you must comply; however, you do not have to report annually.
Some quick stats:
- “According to the Royal Bank of Canada, people with disabilities have an estimated spending power of about $25-billion each year in Canada. That’s a market no business can afford to overlook”.
- More than 15 per cent of Ontario residents (about 1.85-million) have some form of disability.
- Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada to have legislation that sets out a comprehensive 2025 goal of accessibility in the areas that affect the daily lives of people with disabilities.
The above stats were culled from a session I attended in June.
I’ve always had a passion for ensuring conferences, events and meetings are accessible for everyone, even before it became the law. And I find it amazing how many facilities are not totally accessible (new-builds or not). Don’t get me started!
I’m not going to bore you with everything I learned, had re-stated, etc., at that one-day workshop. Instead, I’m going to list some websites you can visit. I’ve checked them all out and learned something from each one.
Are you prepared?
It’s the law, AND our job is about making everyone comfortable. If you want to discuss further, I encourage discussion through this blog – or contact me directly.
Here you go:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca to view official wording of the regulation. Click on “current consolidated law”, do keyword search for 429/07. You will also find the original Act here.
www.publications.serviceontario.ca and do keyword search for AODA. These publications are FREE, but you do have to sign up.
www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/serve-ability/splash.html and do a 30-minute training on our own.
www.mess.gov.on.ca/en/mess/programs/accessibility/understanding_accessibility This offers a tips sheet on planning for accessible meetings.
You’d better be ready – as a planner, I’m asking questions when I do site inspections.