Оntario legislation passed the AODA. This law aims to remove obstacles and make Ontario hospitable and accessіble to all people with disabilities. Оntario approachability standards of legislation were created as part of the AODA. These standards are guiding principles that Ontario businesses and organizations must adhere to identify, remove, and avoid barriers so that people with disabilities have more opportunities to participate in everyday life. Under this legislation, Canada is required to develop a multi-year approachability plan to help meet these goals.
Some companies started taking steps in 2005 to make their organizations comply with the requirements. The timing of compliance depends on the size of the institution and the sector in which it operates.
AODA has five standards as well as some general requirements that include:
- Information and Communication Standard
- Transportation standard
- Customer service standard
- Еmployment standard
- Publiс Space Design Standard
The AODA standards are part of the IASR. Moreover to the demands specific to each standard, IFRS includes the following general requirements:
- train staff and volunteers;
- develop an approachability policy;
- create a multi-year availability plan and update it every five years;
- consider availability when purchasing and when designing or purchasing self-service kiosks.
AODA supplements, but does not replace, the approachability and housing requirements described.
Ontario Disabled Persons Act
In 2001, the Ontario government passed the Ontario Disabled Persons Act 2001. This includes defining building and design guidelines, exclusive property rentals that comply with the guidelines, and purchasing products that should consider their approachability to people with disabilities. This practice is provided in coordination with groups and individuals with or representing a disability.
The Ontarians with the Disabled Persons Act is the acronym for Bill 125 of the Ontario government’s act of improving identification, removing and avoiding obstacles faced by people with disabilities, and amending other laws accordingly. The law received royal approval on December 14, 2001, and went into effect on February 7, 2002. The original purpose of the law was to make Ontario available to people with disabilities. Canada disability law required all ministries and local governments to develop approachability plans to identify, remove and prevent barriers to participation. By December 31, 2002, all local websites were to be available. Other agencies that had to submit annual plans to address approachability concerns were public transportation systems, hospitals, district school boards, universities, colleges of arts and technology, and other government agencies.
- Supporters of disability laws in Canada hoped that government agencies and other legal entities would identify barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating.
- They would develop appropriate plans commensurate with resources to remove them and prevent them from emerging new obstacles and all within a reasonable time frame.
- They wanted rules for groups with an inability, businesses, and others to be adopted to define the actions that need to be taken to achieve the law’s goals for people with an inability and a reasonable time frame for achieving them. It should include an effective, fair, and timely enforcement process.
The legislation was considered weak because it lacked enforcement, fines, and deadlines. The groups called on the government to improve legislation.
The scope of Canada’s disability law includes both public and private institutions. The law aims to remove barriers to participation.
By 2015, five standards had been set by government regulations.
- The first was the Customer Standard, which came into effect on January 1, 2008. This standard requires people with disabilities to receive, and use goods and services. These include companies that provide access to service animals, support people in public spaces, provide affordable customer service, and implement a feedback system.
- The Regulation on Comprehensive Approachability Standards entered into force. It consisted of three components of standards related to information approachability and communication, employment, and traffic.
- The standard Design of public spaces (built-up environment) came into force, which became part of the Regulation on standards for integrated approachability.
There were two AODA act reviews to assess progress towards approachability across the province. The second review was conducted by Mayo Moran and published in November 2014.
David Oneley, who was Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 to 2014 and is partially paralyzed by polio, is Special Advisor on Approachability. The approachability Standards Advisory Board also advises examining boards.
What disability laws are good for business in Canada?
AODA Ontario legislation is accessible to people with disabilities for different kinds of purposes. There are many benefits of this law including business ones. Improving accessibility is the right decision. It’s also a smart thing to do. According to the Royal Bank of Canada, the purchasing power of people with disabilities is about $ 25 billion a year.
The AODA act gives the government the power to impose monetary penalties to enforce approachability standards. Maximum penalties under AODA include:
- The guilty corporation/organization can be fined up to $ 100,000 per day.
- Directors and officers of a corporation/organization can be fined up to $ 50,000 per day.
Firms and non-profit organizations with more than 20 employees will be required to submit their next online compliance report to the government in 2021, confirming their continued compliance with Ontario’s AODA legislation.
Why does Ontario need this Canadian disability law? When we think about disability, we tend to think about people in wheelchairs and their obvious inability. But disability can also be subtle. We cannot always tell who has a disability. The wide range of impairments also includes visual impairment, deafness or hearing impairment, intellectual or developmental impairment, learning an inability, and mental health impairments.
Disability allowance and other benefits in Canada
Disability allowance per person is slightly over $ 1,000 in Canada. It is issued only in cases where there is a severe illness, due to which the doctor gave the patient a referral to a special commission, and she confirmed that the person cannot work and must receive benefits. A person with a disability can also get a subsidized apartment, and they have many benefits:
- free dental services;
- prescription drugs;
- purchase of orthopedic shoes and winter clothing;
- the right to use gyms and swimming pools free of charge, and much more.
Specially equipped cars serve to make their life easier. There are parking spaces near supermarkets or hospitals that are reserved exclusively for the disabled, thanks to the disability laws in Canada, and no one ever dares to occupy them. Each cafe, restaurant, airport, and school must have a special cabin (toilet) for the disabled. This provision was introduced in Canada 20 years ago.
The employment of disabled people, if they can work, is handled by social services. The state allocates special funds for equipping workplaces in small companies. People with disabilities are trying to become full-fledged members of society; sometimes, they work in shops, etc. The allowance increases depending on the number of children. The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) disability benefit in December 2012 was as follows:
- for singles 1075 dollars
- for couples 1635 dollars
- for single parent-child families $ 1,584
- for families of one parent and two children, $ 1,757
- for a married couple with one child 1790 dollars.
Accessibility for disabled people in Canada
Faced with the hardships of people with disability in the 1980s, Ontario’s AODA legislation adopted the concept of universal approachability, which targets all people with disabilities to ensure their approachability in all areas of daily life, with the right of all citizens as a core principle to access the services.
Transport. Approachability to Transport Canadians has no problem with the Canadian Transportation Act (LTC) 1996, making transportation accessible to people with disabilities.
- The Via Rail, which allows you to cross Canada while admiring the country’s stunning scenery, is wheelchair accessible and is free of charge for an accompanying person under certain conditions. Travel with the guide animals for free and have plenty of room during the journey.
- Another less convenient but cheaper form of transport, Greyhound buses, also have a policy of accepting people with an inability; details are available on their website. In any case, you must contact the company before departure.
- The Canadian government has created a website dedicated to travel to Canada that describes the various transportation options available to get around cities.
Accommodation. The Access and AODA act program in Canada has developed a system for approachability for people with an inability in a hotel, which are rated according to their ability to accommodate people with a disability. Since 2000, a building law obliges hotels to respect a 10% share of rooms accessible to disabled people. Still, some recent polls by journalists have shown that many hotels do not comply with the rules, particularly the city of Montreal, which has 99 rooms required. The percentage of hotels is unavailable. Therefore, it is imperative to call the hotel to ensure that all your needs are met.
Public places. Directly. Numerous Canadian public places are accessible for disabled people, such as Vancouver, one of the most compatible cities, where shopping malls and most attractions are accessible. There are parking spaces around restaurants and shops and even elevators to access them. Most cities also have extensive streets and wide sidewalks that make it easy to travel.
In Canada, each province has its administrative-territorial system; therefore, the disability laws may vary from one place to another in Canada. There are many associations and websites where you can get information.
- Where can disabled people get web access, to each other, to the businesses and services that meet everyday needs?
Digital accessibility” may sound like a dry technical term, but it’s really about people. Connecting people to better web access, to each other, to the businesses and services that meet everyday needs. Our team Allyable is ready to help you.
- What are the five standards of AODA?
AODA act consists of five standards which include:
- Customer Service Standard.
- Information and Communication Standard.
- Employment Standard.
- Transportation Standard.
- Design of Public Spaces Standard.
- How many Ontarians have a disability?
The older a person gets, the greater the likelihood of disability. Today, more than 15% of Ontario’s population has a disability, including more than 40% of people over 65. About 1.85 million people in Ontario have disabilities. It is every seventh person.
- What is the AODA service?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a law that sets out a process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards. Persons with disabilities and industry representatives work together with the government to develop the standards.