Companies with at least 20 employees in Ontario must file an AODA Compliance Report by the end of the year, namely December 31, 2023. AODA compliance reports are an ongoing requirement in Ontario with businesses being required to file a report once every three years. The next deadline following this year’s deadline is December 31, 2026.
What is a Compliance Report?
It’s an online form that needs to be filled out on each deadline. The actual form can be found by clicking here. The form is basically a fillable PDF, which will ask a number of questions about your business the and business’ compliance with various obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, and the regulations made under that Act. Businesses are asked to assess their own compliance with the requirements by answering questions whether the organization:
· Has written accessibility policies and commitment statement.
· Has established a multi-year accessibility plan.
· Provides training on the AODA and the Human Rights Code.
· Complies with applicable requirements under the various standards such as the Customer Service Standard.
· Has publicly available procedures regarding it’s AODA practices.
The form is not very long, at just over 20 questions, but it must be completed prior to the deadline to avoid potential administrative penalties.
AODA Compliance Generally
According to the Ontario Government there are 2.6 million people in Ontario with a disability; more than 40% of this population is over the age of 65. As the population ages, this number will grow. Compliance with the AODA not only provides accessibility to millions of Ontarians, but also has a strong business upside. The Ontario government provides easily accessible training for businesses through the AccessForward program found at the following website: https://accessforward.ca/
Besides training and the Compliance Report, Ontario employers must ensure they have implemented appropriate accessibility policies and procedures. The requirements vary according to the size of the organization, but organizations of every size have obligations under the AODA if they operate in Ontario.
Website Compliance for Businesses with 50+ Employees
One item applicable to businesses with a larger number of employees is the requirement to make your website accessible by January 1, 2021. Although the deadline has passed, the requirement for compliance remains. In order to comply, businesses must ensure that their public-facing websites meet the WCAG 2.0 guidelines for accessibility.
This can be complex, but we can help! If you need assistance with AODA Compliance in Ontario, employment law support, or human resources, please do not hesitate to contact Bridge Legal and HR Solutions at (647) 794-5442 or email@example.com.