Special thanks to Eloise Somera (articling student in our Toronto office) for co-authoring.
Before the end of 2023, and every three years thereafter, all businesses or non-profits with twenty or more employees in Ontario must confirm their ongoing compliance with the accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and submit an accessibility compliance report to the Ontario Government. The same reporting requirement applies to designated public sector organizations, but they must submit an accessibility compliance report every two years.
Failure to submit an accessibility compliance report can lead to significant penalties and fines by the Ontario Ministry of Labour (the Ministry).
AODA’s accessibility compliance report is intended to be an organization’s self-assessment of its compliance with Ontario’s accessibility requirements, including a confirmation that the organization is complying with the Accessibility Standards. The types of questions a business must answer will depend on what organization category it falls into (i.e., business or non-profit, designated public sector, or Ontario public service/Ontario Legislative Assembly). This is because different businesses are subject to different accessibility requirements under AODA. (Electronic copies of the applicable form can be downloaded on the government’s website here.)
As a business, non-profit, or a designated public sector organization, the organization can expect to answer questions regarding whether it:
- employs any person with disabilities for whom it has provided individualized workplace emergency response information;
- provides appropriate training on AODA, which includes the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation;
- provides appropriate training on Ontario’s Human Rights Code as it pertains to people with disabilities; and
- has implemented a multi-year accessibility plan, and if yes, whether that plan is posted on the organization’s website, and whether it is updated at least once every five (5) years.