Towards an accessible Province
- Canada – Province of Ontario – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
- Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
- Country of Implementation
- North America
- Start Year
- First published
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a legal framework for accessibility that applies to organizations in both the public and private sectors in the most populous province of Canada. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA includes five standards (design of public spaces, employment, information/communication, transportation, and customer service) that aim to remove barriers, and help Ontario reach its goal of an accessible province by 2025. There are over 200 requirements under the IASR. Most of the requirements have been implemented, and the remaining will take effect by 2021.
Due to persistent accessibility barriers, people with disabilities are frequently disadvantaged and isolated from the rest of society.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada with legislation that sets a clear goal and timeframe to meet accessibility goals in the areas that most affect the daily lives of people with disabilities. Organizations have the flexibility to implement accessibility standards under the AODA in ways that consider their existing business practices. For example, the requirements of the standards are being phased in over time to give organizations time to integrate accessibility into their regular business planning, and so that investments are spread out over many years while moving toward an accessible province by 2025. Ontario does not provide funding to obligated organizations to fulfil their requirements under the AODA. However, the EnAbling Change Program provides grants to industry and sector leaders so they can educate their stakeholders about accessibility.
THE STORY OF GAIL CAMPBELL, ORANGE- VILLE TOWN COUN
“We now have ramps in both our town pools – and a chairlift.”
As a member of the Orangeville Town Council and Chair of “Access Orangeville,” I am proud to say that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is being implemented very methodically, such that everyone knows that in the year 2025 our province is going to be totally accessible. It is also being done in a progressive, orderly way so that people are able to accommodate the transition. I believe the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is making all Ontarians aware that everyone has the right to enjoy all the services that our province offers. To cite just one example, in our town of Orangeville we now have ramps into both of our pools. We also have a chair lift that can help people with disabilities get into either pool as well as personal flotation devices for every size individual.