Under the AODA, private or non-profit businesses with twenty to forty-nine (20-49) workers, or fifty (50) or more workers, must complete accessibility reports every three years. The next accessibility reports for private or non-profit businesses were due on December 31st, 2020. However, the Ontario government has extended this deadline. This extended deadline for accessibility reports for private or non-profit businesses is June 30th, 2021. Nonetheless, businesses should use this extra time to assess how compliant they are with AODA standards. Moreover, businesses should also improve their compliance by changing the services they offer so that their businesses are more accessible.
Extended Deadline for AODA Accessibility Reports
When businesses fill in their accessibility reports next year, they will need to answer questions about how well they comply with mandates in the AODA standards. Therefore, the extended deadline gives staff time to:
- Remind themselves what these mandates are
- Assess how well their business fulfills AODA requirements
- Make any needed changes to:
For instance, some staff may learn that their business is not doing enough to fully comply with one or more AODA standards. These businesses have time to change their policies or find better ways to serve their staff and clients. In contrast, staff at other businesses may find that their workplaces comply with the AODA. However, the process of assessing their compliance may still add value to their companies. For example, companies can consult with people who have disabilities to assess compliance. These consultants could suggest ways for the companies to improve their accessibility. If companies choose to go beyond AODA compliance, they can meet the needs of many more people with and without disabilities. In short, improved accessibility is a good business strategy. Therefore, businesses should take the time, before June 30th, 2021, to assess and improve their AODA compliance.
Our next series of articles will outline the things businesses need to do to comply with the five current AODA standards. We will also suggest ways to assess compliance and change services to make them more accessible.