The first review of the AODA’s Information and communications Standards became public in 2020. In this review, the AODA Information and Communications Standards Development Committee outlines improvements to make information and communications accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. The Committee recommends changes to the Information and Communications Standards, to identify, remove, and prevent accessibility barriers in information. In addition, the Committee recommends an alternative system for developing, updating, and enforcing AODA standards. This new system would affect the Information and Communications Standards, as well as other existing and future standards. This article will discuss the Committee’s recommendations for providing accessibility in information and communication tools and systems.
Providing Accessibility in Information and Communication Tools and Systems
Committee members note that designers of information and communication tools and systems often do not know about the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. As a result, designers constantly create tools and systems with accessibility barriers. Therefore, the Committee recommends that organizations providing education or training on information and communication must provide accessibility training. For example, students in these education or training programs should learn about accessibility in information:
Moreover, students should learn about the accessibility needs of people with specific disabilities, such as people who are:
- Hard of hearing
Furthermore, students should learn about the Sign languages people with these disabilities may use, such as:
- American Sign Language (ASL)
- Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ)
This recommendation is similar to a recommendation in the Third Review of the AODA for accessibility in professional training.
Likewise, the Committee also recommends accessibility training in professions that the province regulates. Organizations providing education and training to certify these professionals should include training on accessibility, such as awareness of:
This training should align with the Ontario Human Rights Code Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability.