Province Takes Another Step Towards an Accessible Ontario by 2025 November 16, 2015 1:15 P.M.
Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
Ontario is seeking public input to develop a voluntary, third-party accessibility certification program which will recognize businesses and organizations that have championed accessibility.
The province will explore ways to develop an accessibility certification program and challenge a third-party certifying body to come forward to deliver the program. A certification program would highlight the efforts of accessible businesses and organizations and help raise awareness of their commitment to accessibility in the marketplace. The program would help businesses tap into an important and relatively unexplored consumer base.
Businesses, disability advocates, certification experts, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to get involved in the conversation by sharing ideas, stories and advice online.
Improving accessibility is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- This consultation is part of Ontario’s Open Government strategy, focused on engaging a broader and more diverse range of people in new and modern ways.
- The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan contains a commitment to develop a certification program, encourage businesses to reach beyond the requirements of the AODA and promote a cultural shift towards a society where everyone can reach their full potential.
- One in seven Ontarians has a disability, a number that will increase to one in five by 2035.
- 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
- People with disabilities and their families represent an economic market worth $25 billion in Canada.
- According to the Martin Prosperity Institute, by building an inclusive Ontario, we would see a $7.9 billion increase to GDP, and that is good for business.
“I challenge people across this province to help create a made-in-Ontario designation for accessible businesses. This initiative would make it easier for people to identify accessible organizations and would be a great way for businesses to increase their customer base and improve their bottom line. Ontario is an accessibility leader certification would enhance our culture of inclusion and strengthen the economy.”
Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure