There are three primary pieces of legislation that Ontario municipalities must bear in mind when working towards greater accessibility for people with disabilities. These are the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA); the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA); and the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC). In addition, other Ontario acts and regulations, including the Blind Persons' Rights Act, the Building Code and the Municipal Elections Act, contain provisions designed to ensure access for persons with disabilities.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
The purpose of the AODA is to develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians by January 1, 2025. It applies to all providers of goods and services in the public and private sectors. Five sets of standards will become regulations. The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service require public sector organizations to comply with this regulation by January 1, 2010. The Accessibility Standards for Transportation, Information & Communications and Employment are now in place in the form of a regulation. These are known as the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR).
Overview Resources Conference Presentation 2012 - The Accessiblity Directorate of Ontario - Alfred Spencer
Video of webinar on accessibility requirements (internet cookies must be enabled) - November 2011
Q & A's from Municipal Webinar
Conference Presentation 2012 - The Accessiblity Directorate of Ontario - Alfred Spencer
In the case of the Accessible Built Environment no Standard has yet been finalized. A draft Standard was released for public review from July to October 2009 and a link to it is available under the Accessible Built Environment tab.
The AODA provides that if one of its provisions or regulations conflicts with other legislation, the provision that provides the highest level of accessibility prevails.
- The Act
- The Regulations
- Training Video
- AccessON (Accessibility Directorate of Ontario's Main Website) Website
For the Ontario Public Service's Overall Approach to Implementing the IASR please see:
For other organizations' overall approaches to the IASR's general requirements see:
The ODA will be repealed once the AODA is fully implemented.
- The Act
- A Guide to Accessibility Planning Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (Sept. 2005)
- Training Video
The OHRC, which was originally enacted in the 1970s, applies in addition to the AODA and the ODA. It imposes a duty to accommodate disability short of undue hardship. New applications complaining about discrimination are filed directly with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Municipal Bylaws must follow Human Rights Code: OMB, January 25, 2010
Municipalities have to consider the needs of everyone - including people with disabilities or on social assistance - when making bylaws. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made that ruling, saying “municipalities – and this Board – are bound by the Human Rights Code."
If you're interested in reading about what is happening from the Advocacy side of accessibility, go to David Lapofsky's website, "AODA Alliance"
David is a great resource and stays current with all the Standards and their implementation.