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Support for AODA Compliance

In the third review of the AODA, the Honourable David Onley recommends needed improvements to the Act. One of these improvements is the need to support organizations complying with the AODA. During the public meetings Onley held while preparing his review, attendees stated that many organizations would like to become more AODA compliant. However, many workers do not know how to apply the guidelines in AODA standards to their specific services or locations. As a result, Onley’s review recommends that the government develop more support for AODA compliance among organizations.

Support for AODA Compliance

Onley’s review states that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) offers resources to help organizations comply with the AODA. Moreover, other sectors have also developed resources to help organizations understand how AODA standards apply to them. For instance, some of these sectors are:

  • Educational institutions
  • Consulting firms
  • Stakeholder groups

However, the review recommends that the creators of these resources must make more organizations aware that this help is available. In addition, the review recommends that all these sectors should create or advertise more resources that explain in greater detail how AODA standards apply to every-day situations, such as:

More Guidelines and Resources are Needed

Onley’s review recommends that the ADO should develop clear, detailed guidelines to teach workers how their businesses can better serve the public in all these diverse ways. For instance, review attendees suggest that the ADO could create:

  • Toolkits for small businesses that do not employ accessibility “experts”
  • Training geared toward specific industries or sectors, including professional development training
  • A tool to support organizations creating accessible websites
  • Training on serving customers with invisible disabilities

In short, organizations need more guidance from the ADO about how to comply with AODA standards. The ADO could meet this need by creating more resources and making the resources they have already developed easier to find. Finally, the ADO could also endorse certain consulting firms or stakeholder groups that already have resources available. Moreover, the previous review of the AODA, in 2014, made a similar recommendation. In other words, Ontarians with disabilities have waited at least six years for support for AODA compliance.