October 18, 2023by Israel Foulon LLP
It is important for businesses to be mindful of their obligations, including reporting deadlines, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
The AODA was enacted in 2005 with the express purpose of advancing participation and engagement for Ontarians with disabilities and thereby creating an accessible Ontario by 2025.
Under the AODA, the Government of Ontario is responsible for creating accessibility standards that all businesses and organizations must follow. The AODA sets out specific accessibility standards for:
- Customer Service
- Information and Communication
- Employment; and
- Design of Public Spaces
Please note that businesses with fewer than 20 employees still have AODA compliance obligations, even if the compliance reporting obligation does not apply. We recommend that businesses review their AODA accessibility obligations HERE.
Deadline to File Accessibility Compliance Reports by December 31, 2023
Every three years, businesses and non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees must file an accessibility compliance with Government of Ontario that confirms that they have met their current accessibility requirements under the AODA. Designated public sector organizations, including municipalities, must file an accessibility compliance report every two years. The next reporting deadline for businesses, non-profit organizations and designated public sector organizations is December 31, 2023.
We recommend that businesses begin work on the compliance report as soon as possible, well in advance of the deadline.
While the AODA is constructed as a progressive enforcement system that also includes inspections, orders and administrative penalties, organizations that fail to file their compliance report could eventually face significant financial fines for non-compliance (daily penalties of $500-$15,000, up to a maximum of $100,000 for corporations).
Details on how to complete your accessibility compliance reports can be accessed HERE.