Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
|Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005|
|Legislative Assembly of Ontario|
|Enacted by||Legislative Assembly of Ontario|
|Royal assent||13 June 2005|
|Commenced||13 June 2005|
|First reading||12 October 2004|
|Second reading||18 November 2004|
22 November 2004
25 November 2004
2 December 2004
|Third reading||9 May 2005|
10 May 2005
|Status: In force|
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a statute enacted in 2005 by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada. Its purpose is to improve accessibility standards for Ontarians with physical and mental disabilities to all public establishments by 2025.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act
In 2001, the government of Ontario passed into law the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, requiring the government to adopt practices that eliminate barriers to participation of individuals with disabilities. Such practices are adopted by consultation with groups and individuals affected by or representing those with disabilities. These include defining building and structure guidelines, only leasing properties compliant with the guidelines, and sourcing products which "must have regard to their accessibility for persons with disabilities".
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act is the short title of the Ontario Government's Bill 125 - An Act to improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities and to make related amendments to other Acts. The Act received Royal Assent on 14 December 2001 and came into force on February 7, 2002. The Bill's original purpose had been to achieve a barrier-free Ontario for persons with disabilities—a right of full participation. The Act required all government ministries and municipal governments to prepare accessibility plans to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to participation throughout their operations. By 31 December 2002, all provincial websites were required to be accessible. Other institutions required to provide annual plans addressing accessibility issues included public transportation systems, hospitals, district school boards, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, and other government agencies.
Those who supported the idea of an ODA hoped that it would require government bodies, and others bound by law to identify the barriers that they now have which impede persons with disabilities from full participation, and to design reasonable plans consistent with their resources to remove these barriers and to prevent new ones from being created, all within reasonable timelines. They wanted it to allow for the enactment of regulations with input from disability groups, business interests and others, to set out measures to be implemented to achieve the ODA's goals and reasonable timelines for their achievement. It was meant to incorporate an effective, fair and timely process for enforcement.
By 2015, five standards have been established as regulations enacted by the government.
The first was the "Customer Service Standard", taking effect on 1 January 2008. This standard requires that individuals with disabilities are able "to obtain, use and benefit from goods and services". This includes businesses granting access to service animals and support people in publicly-accessible areas, provide accessible customer service, and implement a feedback system.
The "Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation" took effect on 1 July 2011. It consisted of three component standards addressing accessibility of Information and Communications, Employment, and Transportation. On 1 January 2013, the "Design of Public Spaces (Built Environment)" standard took effect, and became part of the "Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation".
There have been two legislative reviews of AODA, which are conducted to assess the progress of implementing accessibility throughout the province. The first review was conducted by Charles Beer and published in February 2010. The second review was conducted by Mayo Moran and published in November 2014.
David Onley, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 until 2014, and who has partial paralysis as a result of childhood polio, is a Special Advisor on Accessibility. The Accessibility Standards Advisory Council also provides advice to review committees.
In 2015, a patron of a restaurant in Northern Ontario and her daughter, previously a waitress at that restaurant, were awarded a combined C$25,000 because the owner refused service to the patron, who was accompanied by a registered service animal. The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal stated that the owner discriminated against the customer on the basis of disability, and against the waitress on the basis of family status, as the owner prohibited the waitress from serving her mother.
Barbara Turnbull, a quadriplegic Toronto Star reporter, wrote in a memoir ebook that the government of Ontario has not enacted sufficient standards regulations to "ensure full accessibility by 2025". She advocated for enforced mandatory standards.
- Accessible Canada Act for the corresponding Canadian legislation.
- Nova Scotia Accessibility Act for the corresponding Nova Scotia legislation.
- The Accessibility for Manitobans Act for the corresponding Manitoba legislation.
- Accessible British Columbia Act for the corresponding British Columbia legislation.
- Disability Discrimination Act for the corresponding UK legislation.
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 for the corresponding American legislation.
- Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
- Vanhala 2011, p. 62.
- Konrad, Leslie & Peuramaki 2007:
It won't be long before companies in the province of Ontario, like companies in some other jurisdictions around the world, will be obliged by law to accommodate people with disabilities. These authors, who have extensive experience in researching and implementing workplace disability programs and initiatives, provide a concise and comprehensive "how to" for organizations on everything from defining "disability" to meeting their ultimate obligations.
- Moran 2014, p. 13.
- Mason, Truelove & Dakai 2006, p. 522, Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
- Mason, Truelove & Dakai 2006, p. 523.
- Mason, Truelove & Dakai 2006, p. 522.
- Moran 2014, p. 12.
- Moran 2014, pp. 12–13.
- Ontario Human Rights Commission 2014.
- Beer 2010, p. 1.
- Moran 2014, p. 1.
- Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure 2015.
- Rampersad 2015.
- Turnbull 2015.
- Beer, Charles (February 2010). Charting A Path Forward: Report of the Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (PDF) (Report). Ministry of Community and Social Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 10, 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Konrad, Alison M.; Leslie, Kaye; Peuramaki, Don (October 2007). "Full accessibility by 2025: will your business be ready?". Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- Mason, Rita; Truelove, Janine; Dakai, Carol, eds. (2006). Canadian Master Labour Guide (20th ed.). CCH Canadian Limited. ISBN 1553675622.
- Moran, Mayo (November 2014). Second Legislative Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Rampersad, Asha (27 April 2015). "Canada: $25K awarded against restaurant owner who prevented employee from serving employee's mother because of service animal". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Turnbull, Barbara (11 May 2015). "The life of Barbara Turnbull, in her own words". Toronto Star. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Vanhala, Lisa (2011). Making Rights a Reality?: Disability Rights Activists and Legal Mobilization. Cambridge Disability Law and Policy Series. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107000872.
- "38:1 Bill 118, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "Statement by Brad Duguid on provost Moran's review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act" (Press release). Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "Ontario Human Rights Commission Submission Regarding Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): 2013-14 Legislative Review". Ontario Human Rights Commission. June 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11". e-Laws (Government of Ontario).
- Accessibility at the Government of Ontario
- Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
- Yousif, Zeinab (16 February 2015). "Canada: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act: are you compliant with The January 1, 2015 requirements?". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Text of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee website
- AODA Web Accessibility and WCAG