AODA standards mandate how organizations must make themselves accessible to people with disabilities. The standards outline organizations’ responsibilities, and the deadlines they must meet. AODA Standards development committees are responsible for creating and maintaining the standards.
AODA Standards Development Committees
The government assigns one member of the Executive Council to be the minister in charge of the AODA. This minister oversees the process of developing standards. Therefore, the minister creates AODA standards development committees, whose members decide what rules a standard should include. Furthermore, the Minister invites people to be part of standards development committees. For instance, committee members can be:
- People with disabilities
- Representatives from the industries or sectors that the standard will one day apply to
- Members of government organizations responsible for those industries or sectors
- Other people or organizations the minister chooses to include
- Experts who advise the committee
- Members of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council
Moreover, the minister sets deadlines for the different stages of the committee’s work. The minister also specifies which kinds of services or organizations a standard can or cannot govern. In addition, the minister may choose to pay committee members for their time and expenses. The minister must make all this information, within a document called the terms of reference, public on a government website or other location. Likewise, minutes of committee meetings must also appear where the public can read them.
Once a committee proposes an accessibility standard, the proposal must become available to the public so that people can comment on it. The committee then has the chance to revise the proposed standard based on those public reactions and resubmit it to the minister. The minister must recommend to the Lieutenant Governor that the standard be accepted in whole, in part, or with modifications.
AODA standards development committees must re-examine standards, determine whether they are fulfilling objectives, and make any needed changes, in five years or less after a standard has been accepted. These changes must go through the same process of public commentary and revision. This process ensures that standards remain up-to-date and deal with any new barriers that arise after their creation.