Ontario private sector employers take note: you may have just
successfully complied with the Customer Service Standard
requirements, but now you face the first of several new deadlines
for compliance under the Integrated Accessibility Standards
Regulation ("IAS Regulation"),1 pursuant to
the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,
With few exceptions, the IAS Regulation applies to private
sector and not-for-profit organizations that provide goods,
services or facilities to the public or a third party business or
organization that has at least one employee in Ontario. In
addition, when an organization contracts with a third party to
provide goods, services or facilities on its behalf, the
organization must ensure that the third party also complies with
the IAS Regulation.
Overview of near-term obligations
1.Policies Pursuant to the
IAS Regulation, by January 1, 2014 all private sector employers
with 50 or more employees in Ontario ("Large Providers")
must first develop, implement and maintain policies governing how
the organization achieves or will achieve accessibility through
meeting its requirements under the IAS Regulation. Private sector
employers with between one and 49 employees in Ontario ("Small
Providers") will have until January 1, 2015 to do the
2. Statement of organizational commitment. By
January 1, 2014, Large Providers must also: develop and include in
their accessibility policies a "statement of organizational
commitment" to meet the accessibility needs of persons with
disabilities in a timely manner; prepare one or more documents
describing their policies; make their documents publicly available
; and provide their documents in an accessible format, upon
3. Multi-year accessibility plan. By January 1,
2014, each Large Provider must also: establish, implement, maintain
and document a "multi-year accessibility plan", outlining
the Large Provider's strategy to prevent and remove barriers
and to meet its requirements under the IAS Regulation; post the
plan on its website; and provide the plan in an accessible format,
upon request. The plan also has to be reviewed and updated at least
once every five years.
Overview of future obligations
Looking further into the future, Large Providers and Small
Providers will face requirements under the IAS Regulation to
develop, implement and maintain additional accessibility policies,
on or after January 1, 2015. We will address those requirements in
greater detail at a later date. However, in brief, those
obligations will include, without limitation, the following:
a) information and communications
Large and Small Providers will be required to provide
information to persons with disabilities about their goods,
services or facilities, and make feedback processes available, all
in accessible formats or with appropriate communication supports.
Large Providers will also be required to make their websites
accessible to persons with disabilities.
Large and Small Providers will be required to address
accessibility issues in a number of employment-related areas,
including recruitment, supports, emergency response, performance
management, career development and advancement, and redeployment.
Large Providers will also be required to develop written individual
accommodation plans for employees with disabilities and develop
return-to-work processes for employees on disability leave.
Transportation service providers will also have additional,
specific accessibility requirements under the IAS Regulation.
1 O Reg 191/11.
2 SO 2005, c 11.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
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