The Accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities Act was passed in 2005, setting out the plan for Ontario to become an accessible province by 2025. All public, private, and not-for-profit employers have to meet requirements depending on the size of the workforce. If there are more than 20 employees, a report must be filed explaining how the accessibility requirements are being met, meaning how the business is attracting and accommodating people of all abilities. If you have more than 50 employees, you must report that you have accessibility policies and a multi-year accessibility plan in place, consider accessibility when buying or designing electronic kiosks, ensure that new websites or updates to websites are accessible, and that you meet all accessibility requirements in place since 2012. To file a report for 50 or more employees, you must have your business number ready, and visit ontario.ca/onesource, log in or set up an account and select “Accessibility Reporting.” The compliance report deadline was December 31, 2014, so if you have not done so already, you can still file your report now. To file this compliance report, you must visit “ontario.ca/AccessON,” click “file your accessibility report,” answer the questions, and submit the report. If you have less than 20 employees, you must still meet certain requirements, but a compliance report is not required at this time. Organizations who fail to comply with the Act are in contravention of the law and the Directorate will use all available enforcement measures including financial penalties, court enforcement and prosecution.
Standards for employment state that organizations must: tell applicants that recruitment and hiring processes will be altered to accommodate disabilities if requested, incorporate accessibility needs of employees into Human Resources, develop a written process (if they are a large organization) to develop and document individual accommodation strategies for employees with disabilities, and help employees be safe in emergencies by giving individualized emergency response information when necessary. In general, organizations must plan for accessibility and train staff to follow the accessibility standards set out.
For more information, visit ontario.ca/AccessON