ABOUT THE ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005
AND THE INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS REGULATION
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (AODA) was passed in June 2005, with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards for Ontarians. The goal of the AODA is for Ontario to be fully accessible by January 1, 2025, by implementing a series of accessibility standards. These standards focus on identifying, removing and preventing barriers for persons with disabilities.
Under the A.O.D.A., the government developed five standards in the areas of Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation, Design of Public Spaces and Accessible Customer Service. These standards, combined under one regulation called the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (I.A.S.R.), are legal requirements that businesses and organizations in Ontario must follow to identify, remove and prevent barriers so that people with disabilities can participate in activities with dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Who has to comply with the regulation? Every business and organization operating in Ontario that:
- provides goods, services or facilities to the public or other organizations, and
- has at least one employee in Ontario.
The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario and that includes people with disabilities. It applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts; and membership in unions, trade or professional associations.
At work, employees with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as people without disabilities. In some cases, they may need special arrangements or “accommodations” so they can do their job duties. Customers, clients and tenants with disabilities also have the right to equal treatment and equal access to facilities and services. Examples of facilities and services are restaurants, shops, hotels and movie theatres, as well as apartment buildings, transit and other public places.
What is disability?
“Disability” covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. A disability may have been present from birth, caused by an accident, or developed over time. There are physical, mental and learning disabilities, mental disorders, hearing or vision disabilities, epilepsy, drug and alcohol dependencies, environmental sensitivities, and other conditions.
The Code protects people from discrimination because of past, present and perceived disabilities. For example:
- a person who has a broken leg; and
- a person whose condition does not currently limit workplace abilities, but is believed to cause future limitations. Removing barriers and designing inclusively Persons with disabilities face many kinds of barriers every day.
These can be physical, attitudinal or systemic. It is best to identify and remove barriers voluntarily instead of waiting to answer individual accommodation requests or complaints.
Identifying and removing barriers also makes good business sense. In addition to meeting the needs of customers or employees with disabilities, removing barriers can help others such as older persons and families with young children.
Employers, unions, landlords and service providers can start by doing an accessibility review of their facilities, services and procedures to see what barriers exist. They can then make an accessibility plan and begin to remove the barriers.
It is also helpful to create an accessibility policy and a complaints procedure. These steps will help remove existing barriers and avoid making new ones. The best way to prevent barriers is to design inclusively. This means that when planning new facilities, renovating, buying computer systems or other equipment, launching websites, setting up policies and procedures, or offering new services, make sure choices avoid creating new barriers for people with disabilities.
Barriers are not just physical. Taking steps to prevent “ableism” – attitudes in society that devalue and limit the potential of persons with disabilities – will help promote respect and dignity, and help people with disabilities to fully take part in community life.
The duty to accommodate
Even when facilities and services are designed as inclusively as possible, you may still need to accommodate the individual needs of some people with disabilities. Under the Code, unions, landlords and service providers have a legal “duty to accommodate” persons with disabilities. The goal of accommodation is to allow people with disabilities to equally benefit from and take part in services, housing or the workplace.
Accommodation is a shared responsibility. Everyone involved, including the person asking for accommodation, should work together to exchange relevant information and look for accommodation solutions. There is no set formula for accommodating people with disabilities. Even though some accommodations can benefit many people, you still need to consider individual needs each time a person asks to be accommodated.
Some examples of accommodations include:
- Increased flexibility in work hours or break times;
- Providing reading materials in alternative formats including digitized text, Braille or large print;
- Providing sign language interpreters or real time captioning for persons who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing so they can take part in meetings;
- Installing automatic entry doors and making washrooms accessible in the workplace or the common areas of a condominium; and
- In some cases, changing job duties, retraining or assigning a person to another job.
Many accommodations can be made easily, and at low cost. In some cases, putting the best solution in place right away may result in “undue hardship” because of costs or health and safety factors. Even if this happens, you still have a duty to look at and take next-best steps that would not result in undue hardship. Such steps should be taken only until more ideal solutions can be put in place or phased in. Accommodation responsibilities
As a person with a disability:
- tell your employer, union, landlord or service provider what your disability-related needs are related to your job duties, tenancy or the services being provided;
- provide supporting information about your disability-related needs, including medical or other expert opinions where needed; and
- take part in looking at possible accommodation solutions.
As an employer, union, landlord or service provider:
- accept requests for accommodation from employees, tenants, and clients in good faith;
- ask only for information that you need to provide the accommodation. For example, you would need to know that an employee’s loss of vision prevents him or her from using printed material, but you do not need to know he or she has diabetes;
- take an active role in looking at accommodation solutions that meet individual needs;
- deal with accommodation requests as quickly as possible, even if it means creating a temporary solution while you develop a long-term one;
- respect the dignity of the person asking for accommodation, and keep information confidential; and
- cover the costs of accommodations, including any needed medical or other expert opinion or documents.
General Requirements: In addition to setting out the requirements for each of the five standards — Information and Communications, Employment, Transportation, Design of Public Spaces and Accessible Customer Service — the I.A.S.R includes general requirements that apply across all five standards.
Max Die Group – Statement of Commitment to AODA
As an employer, Max Die Group also known as MDG is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.
MDG has an important responsibility for ensuring a safe, respectful and welcoming environment for our employees, customers and third parties that do business with the Company.
MDG will strive to ensure that our policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following core principles as outlined in the AODA:
- Equal Opportunity
Under the AODA, the following accessibility standard requirements are applicable MDG:
- Customer Service Standard
- General Requirements
- Information and Communications Standards
- Employment Standards
MDG is committed to training all new and existing staff and in Ontario’s accessibility laws and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities. Training for new staff is provided during the employee orientation (see ‘Orientation Checklist’ form).
MDG trains employees on accessibility as it relates to their specific roles. MDG provides training on the requirements of the accessibility standards within the I.A.S.R., and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities, to all persons who are an employee of or volunteer with the corporation.
- For MDG employees that have an email address, website links to the required training will be emailed to them. For hourly employees who work on the plant floor and do not have a company email address and access to computer, website links to the required training will be provided on an information payroll stuffer and posted on the Employee Notice Board. AODA training information will include the requirements of the accessibility standards and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.
MDG will keep a record of the training provided as required, including the dates the training took place and the number of individuals trained
The training information shall be provided to employees and other persons as soon as practicable. Training with respect to changes to policies related to the I.A.S.R. and the Human Rights Code will be provided on an ongoing basis.
Information and communications
Accessible formats and communication supports
MDGwill communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. When asked, we will provide information about our organization and its services, including public safety information, in accessible formats or with communication supports.
When a request is received, MDG will consult with the person and provide information and communications appropriate to his or her accessibility needs. MDG, at that time, will determine the most appropriate accessible format or communication support depending on the accessibility needs of the person and the capability of the company to deliver. Accessible formats and communication supports must be provided in a timely manner.
When it is not possible to convert requested material, MDG will provide the individual making the request with the following:
- an explanation as to why the information or communications are unconvertible, and • a summary of the information or communications.
MDG will notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports on their website and at the front reception areas.
MDG’s will meet internationally-recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws when our website undergoes a significant refresh or web content changes. Our new website that will meet these requirements this standard is scheduled to be launched no later than December 31, 2020.
Our updated AODA policies and multi-year accessibility plan will also be posted on our new website no later than December 31, 2020.
(Refer to Pre-Employment Verification, Recruitment and Selection policy, Employee Accommodation policy, Return to Work policy)
Employment Standard: The Ontario Human Rights Code requires all employers to meet the accommodation needs of employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship. The Employment Standard builds on this requirement. The standard requires employers to have policy and processes in place to determine an employee’s accommodation needs, and it addresses key processes in the life cycle of a job. Requirements apply only to paid employees, not volunteers and non-paid individuals
Recruitment and Selection
MDGnotifies employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring and selection processes.
Informing Employees of Supports
MDG will inform all employees, both new and existing, of the company’s accessible employment practices
When hired, employees may request accessible formats and communication supports for information required to perform their job and information generally available to all employees. During the orientation process new employees will be informed of
Return to work process
MDG has a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability related accommodations in order to return to work, and shall document the process.
The process outlines the steps MDG will take to facilitate the return to work of employees absent because their disability required them to be away from work; and; use documented individualized accommodation plans, as per the I.A.S.R., as part of the process.
Performance Management and Career Development
MDG takes into consideration the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, and all individualized accommodation plans, when developing performance management documents and tools. When providing career development and advancement opportunities to its employees, the MDG takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities as well as any individualized accommodation plans when providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities.
Design of Public Spaces Standard
The Design of Public Spaces Standard establishes requirements for identifying, removing and preventing barriers, principally physical and information barriers, in newly constructed or significantly renovated public spaces such as sidewalks, recreational trails and playgrounds. Recreational Trail and Beach Access Routes.
Max Die Group will maintain barrier free public sidewalks, parking lots and front entrances to ensure they meet this standard.
If you require this information in an alternate accessible format, please contact
Janet Vanderschee, Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-737-6537, ext. 239
Last Updated December 2019