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The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) became law in 2005.  As part of that law, every private-sector and not-for-profit organization that provides goods or services to the public or to third parties and that has at least one employee in Ontario must be in compliance with the AODA’s Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (the “Customer Service Standards”) by January 1, 2012.
If your organization has done little or nothing to start the compliance process, you’re not alone.  From what I have seen, many organizations are completely blind – no pun intended – to this fast approaching deadline, while others have procrastinated – waiting for Labour Day to pass –
to kick the compliance process into high gear.
For such organizations, this means that there is less than 4 months left to:

•        learn about the AODA and its Customer Service Standards;

•        develop policies, practices and procedures that meet the Customer Service Standards; and

•        determine who needs to be trained, how and when the training will occur, and finish that training.

If your organization is one of these late bloomers, don’t be too alarmed.
Start by designating an individual (or team of individuals!!) to be responsible for AODA compliance in your organization.  Many human resource employees and customer service managers are being chosen for this task.
Next, provide the designated individual(s) with the time and resources necessary to ensure proper compliance by the January 1, 2012 deadline.  There are a number of on-line resources available to assist with compliance.  However, if you are running short of time and/or wish to have a trained professional involved, consider sending the designated individual(s) to an AODA education program and/or engaging the services of a third party accessibility consultant.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) became law in 2005.  As part of that law, every private-sector and not-for-profit organization that provides goods or services to the public or to third parties and that has at least one employee in Ontario must be in compliance with the AODA’s Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (the “Customer Service Standards”) by January 1, 2012.
If your organization has done little or nothing to start the compliance process, you’re not alone.  From what I have seen, many organizations are completely blind – no pun intended – to this fast approaching deadline, while others have procrastinated – waiting for Labour Day to pass –
to kick the compliance process into high gear.
For such organizations, this means that there is less than 4 months left to:
•        learn about the AODA and its Customer Service Standards;
•        develop policies, practices and procedures that meet the Customer Service Standards; and
•        determine who needs to be trained, how and when the training will occur, and finish that training.
If your organization is one of these late bloomers, don’t be too alarmed.
Start by designating an individual (or team of individuals!!) to be responsible for AODA compliance in your organization.  Many human resource employees and customer service managers are being chosen for this task.
Next, provide the designated individual(s) with the time and resources necessary to ensure proper compliance by the January 1, 2012 deadline.  There are a number of on-line resources available to assist with compliance.  However, if you are running short of time and/or wish to have a trained professional involved, consider sending the designated individual(s) to an AODA education program and/or engaging the services of a third party accessibility consultant.

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