Ontario

Ontario flag
Ontario flag

Ontario’s disability community fought for a strong accessibility law for over ten years.

 

Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA)

Ontario adopted its first accessibility law in 2001. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) only applies to the public sector (ministries and government agencies). The disability community wasn’t satisfied with this law, so they kept fighting for a stronger law.

 

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Ontario adopted a stronger law in 2005. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) applies to the public and private sectors. The goal of the AODA is to make the province accessible by 2025.

Click here to learn about some of the general obligations under the AODA, including:

  • Involving people with disabilities
  • Accessibility policies
  • Training
  • Plans and reports
  • Municipal accessibility committees
  • Procurement (buying or renting goods and services)

 

Accessibility Standards

The AODA also plans for the development of accessibility standards in different areas. Five standards have been developed so far. Click on the links below to learn more about each of the standards:

These standards are laid out in regulations called the Integrated Accessibility Standards. Education and health care standards are currently being developed.

The standards are developed by committees that include people with disabilities. The Accessibility Standards Advisory Council advises the Minister about the development the standards. The Council is made up mostly of people with disabilities.

The standards are applied gradually based on the type (public or private) and size of organizations. Public sector and large organizations must comply before private sector and small organizations.

 

Canadian money

Canadian money

Oversight, Inspections and Penalties

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and the Minister of Seniors and Accessibility oversee the AODA.

 Inspectors make sure that people and organizations are respecting the law. Organizations that don’t respect the law face penalties and fines of up to $100,000.

 

Image of gavel
Gavel
Review of the Law

The Minister must report on the law’s implementation every year.

The law must also be reviewed every three years to see whether it’s achieving its goal. Unlike in Quebec, these reviews must include public consultations. People with disabilities therefore have the chance to give their feedback. So far, two reviews have been completed in 2010 and 2014.

Each accessibility standard must also be reviewed within five years of its adoption.