Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed in 2005. Its goal is to have an accessible Ontario by 2025. In order to achieve its objective, the AODA will establish accessibility standards in the areas of:
- Customer Service
- Information and Communications
- Built Environment
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) was the first to be enacted into law. As a public sector entity, York Region had to comply with the regulation as of January 1, 2010, and thereafter. The timeframe for private and non-profit sector organizations to comply is January 1, 2012.
To learn more about what York Region is doing to make its customer service accessible to people with disabilities, visit the Accessible Customer Service Policy page.
The Ontario government has integrated the Employment, Information and Communications, and Transportation standards into one regulation. The Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11) came into force July 1, 2011, with staggered compliance dates from 2011 to 2021. For more information visit AccessOn. Work is continuing on the Built Environment standard.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) seeks to improve opportunities for people with disabilities and help identify, remove and prevent barriers to their full participation in the life of the province. It applies only to the Ontario Public Service and broader public sector and has the following key elements: the development of annual, public accessibility plans and the establishment of Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) will eventually replace the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), however the Province has indicated that the ODA will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Until the ODA is repealed, all organizations, including local municipalities and the Region, must continue to comply with both Acts simultaneously. This includes the continued development, implementation and monitoring of annual accessibility plans.
What is the difference between the ODA and AODA?
The AODA expands on the ODA in a number of ways:
- The AODA promotes full accessibility where the ODA seeks to improve accessibility.
- The AODA commits to an accessible Ontario by 2025 where the ODA does not provide a timeframe.
- The AODA applies to the public and private sectors where the ODA applies only to the public sector.
- The AODA prescribes the development of accessibility standards where the ODA does not.
- The AODA provides for enforcement powers where the ODA does not.