In A Flash

AODA – New Obligations Effective July 1, 2016

June 15, 2016

AODA – New Obligations Effective July 1, 2016

Effective July 1, 2016, all organizations in Ontario with one or more employee must comply with changes made to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “AODA”) regulations.  These changes were based on recommendations from the Standards Development Committee.
The main changes for employers are:

  • Organizations with fewer than 50 employees are no longer required to put their accessible customer service policy in writing.  This does not remove the requirement to have a policy or affect any reporting requirements
  • Organizations with 50 or more employees must still put their accessible customer service policy in writing and make it available in an accessible format.  This may be publicly posted on organization websites
  • While previously only certain groups of individuals had to be trained on accessible customer service, effective July 1, 2016, organizations must ensure that all employees and volunteers are trained on accessible customer service and how to interact with people with disabilities

The next deadline for report compliance is December 31, 2017.
Other changes (for all Ontario organizations) include:

  • Expanded list regulated health professions who are able to provide documentation stating an individual needs a service animal for reasons relating to a disability
  • When requiring a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person, organizations must:
    • Consult with the person with the disability to understand their needs;
    • Consider health or safety reasons based on evidence;
    • Determine if there is alternative reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person with the disability or others on the premises; and
    • If a support person is required, waive any fee or fare (if applicable) required.
  • Ensure feedback processes are accessible by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports (on request).

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
For more information on new developments in Workplace Law, please refer to our website at:  http://www.mathewsdinsdale.com/news-events/in-a-flash/
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