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Is Your Business or Organization Compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005?

As of January 1, 2012 the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service Regulation came into effect for all businesses and organizations that employ at least one employee in Ontario and provide goods or services to members of the public. All businesses and organizations that fit the classification are required to provide accessible customer service to persons with disabilities to be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

In order to be compliant with the Act and accompanying Regulation businesses and organizations must meet the following requirements:

  • Establishment of policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities, including the use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from the provider’s goods or services, including persons using service animals or accompanied by a support person
  • Development of a process to take into account a person’s disability when communicating with a person;
  • Development a process to notify the public of a disruption in service;
  • Training of every person who deals with members of the public about the provisions of its goods or services to person with disabilities, whether the person is an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise;
  • Development of a process for receiving and responding to feedback about the manner in which good or services is provided to persons with disabilities and making the information about the process readily available to the public;
  • Where the business or organization has more than 20 employees, documenting actions relating to the standards and filing of an accessibility report with the Government of Ontario.

Failure to meet these requirements can result in an offence under the Act and there are significant fines for businesses or organizations convicted of an offence. A business or organization is liable to a fine of up to $100,000.00 for each and every day or part day that an offence happens.  Additionally, all directors and/or officers of a corporation must take all reasonable care to prevent the business or organization from committing an offence. Failure to do so is an offence. The directors and/or officers of a business or organization are liable to a fine of up to $50,000.00 for each and every day or part day that the offence happens.

If you would like assistance with ensuring that your business or organization is compliant with this and other employment standards, please contact us.

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