The AODA Clock is Ticking

There are until a fully Accessible Ontario! Will you be compliant?

Let our team of experts help with your AODA needs:

  • Website Audits
  • Multimedia
  • Web Design
  • Accessible Documentation

For more details email info@aoda.ca

Ontario Government Enacts New Accessibility Regulations Setting Standards for Accessibility of Public Spaces

AND CONDUCTS PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED ACCESSIBILITY REFORMS TO THE ONTARIO BUILDING CODE

February 15, 2013

SUMMARY

1. New Public Spaces Accessibility Standard is Now the Law in Ontario

A new accessibility standard has been enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. In December 2012, the Ontario Government enacted the Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation. It establishes requirements for identifying removing and preventing barriers, principally physical and information barriers, in such public spaces as newly constructed or significantly renovated sidewalks, public recreational trails, public playgrounds public parking lots and public seating areas.

The Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation was enacted as a new part of the Integrated Accessibility Regulation that the Ontario Government passed in June 2011 to address barriers in transportation, employment and information and communication. You can read the newly expanded Integrated Accessibility Regulation, including its provisions addressing barriers in public spaces, by visiting http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_110191_e.htm

Below we set out the Government’s 1-page list of highlights and its 10-page summary of the requirements in this new regulation.

There are clearly a number of quite helpful provisions in this regulation. It is a step forward in our campaign for a barrier-free Ontario. However, this regulation does not go far enough nor does it require action to be taken quickly enough, to achieve the mandatory goal of full accessibility by 2025 that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act sets. It also includes exemptions that are too broad and unjustified.

It is important for all organizations in Ontario to know that there are additional accessibility requirements that they must comply with that require the removal and prevention of barriers in public spaces, beyond those set out in the new Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation. The Charter of Rights imposes accessibility requirements on all public sector organizations, like the Ontario Government, municipalities, public schools and public transit providers. The Ontario Human Rights Code imposes accessibility obligations on both public and private sector organizations.

Those important laws require more action, and more prompt action, in this area, than does the new Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation. The AODA does not trump those laws. The law with the strongest and swiftest accessibility requirement always prevails. We encourage all organizations to address all the barriers in public spaces as soon as possible, whether or not the Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation addresses them, and whether or not its lengthy time lines are longer than the organization needs to fix the problem.

To help with this, we encourage organizations to read our October 4, 2012 brief to the Ontario Government on the draft Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation. It will alert organizations to some areas where the regulation can fall short. For example, section 80.15 of the new regulation includes sweeping and entirely unjustified exemptions from certain recreation trail accessibility requirements. It provides in part:

“80.15 Exceptions to the requirements that apply to recreational trails and beach access routes are permitted where obligated organizations can demonstrate one or more of the following:

1. The requirements, or some of them, would likely affect the cultural heritage value or interest of a property identified, designated or otherwise protected under the Ontario Heritage Act as being of cultural heritage value or interest.

2. The requirements, or some of them, would affect the preservation of places set apart as National Historic Sites of Canada by the Minister of the Environment for Canada under the Canada National Parks Act (Canada).

3. The requirements, or some of them, would affect the national historic interest or significance of historic places marked or commemorated under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (Canada).”

Our October 4, 2012 brief to the Ontario Government raised well-founded concerns, which the Government was wrong not to fully address. Any wording changes that tightened the provision somewhat, did not go far enough to respect important human rights concerns. Our brief had warned:

“Second, these provisions give far too wide an exemption for heritage properties. Section 80.14(1) gives a blanket exemption from any of these accessibility requirements that “would erode the heritage attributes, as defined under the Ontario Heritage Act, of a property” that is listed in a municipal register as being of cultural heritage under section 27 of that Act, or that is designated by a municipality as being a property of cultural heritage value or interest under section 29 of that Act, or that is included in a heritage conservation district designated by a municipality under section 41 of that Act, or that is designated by the Minister of Culture under section 34.5 of that Act as a property of cultural heritage value or interest of provincial significance, or that is designated as having national historic significance by the Minister of the Environment for Canada on the advice of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

The regulation gives an unwarranted carte blanche to an organization to disobey an accessibility requirement merely if compliance would erode the heritage attributes of that property. “Erode” could be found to occur if there is even a minor departure. Any “heritage attributes” could trigger this exemption, no matter how tiny or inconsequential. The exemption does not require the organization to implement alternative accessibility measures to achieve the same accessibility result as would follow from compliance with the technical requirements about which the organization is concerned.

It is important that decisions about providing accessibility for persons with disabilities not be delegated to heritage officials. We are deeply concerned that such “heritage” considerations are easily and unfairly overblown. Heritage officials have no expertise in accessibility. They should not trump accessibility for persons with disabilities.

As one example, in recent years, there was unwarranted and inappropriate push-back against making the front door accessible for the historic Osgood Hall courthouse in downtown Toronto. Municipal heritage officials and others wrongly claimed that this would erode the heritage features of that building.

Commendably, the Ontario Government rejected those claims. It decided to make accessibility the primary consideration. The result was an excellent new accessible walkway to the front door of the historic Osgoode Hall courthouse that replaced the supposedly “historic” steps. Had the views of municipal heritage officials and others objectors been heeded, persons with disabilities would not have secured full, ready and equal access to that important and historic building through its front door. The new ramp is now a benefit for persons with disabilities, as well as for lawyers, judges and others who come to court with large bags of court materials on wheels.

The Western Wall to the historic Temple in Jerusalem, and the ancient Acropolis in Athens, have evidently been made accessible. So can recreational trails and beach access paths in Ontario.”

You can read the AODA Alliance’s October 4, 2012 brief to the Ontario Government on the draft Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation by visiting http://www.aodaalliance.org/docs/October-4-2012-final-AODA-Alliance-Brief-on-Draft-Public-Spaces.doc

On the other hand, we are pleased that the Government took more significant action on some of our recommendations when it finalized the Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation. We here point out two examples.

First, the draft regulation, posted for public comment last fall, did not require any organization to include any accessibility features in any new playgrounds. The organization, at most, only had to consult with persons with disabilities on accessibility issues.

After we and others raised this deficiency, the Government expanded the provision to include an actual duty to include accessibility features in new or redeveloped playgrounds. Section 80.20 of the regulation now reads:

“80.20 When constructing new or redeveloping existing play spaces that they intend to maintain, obligated organizations, other than small organizations, shall,

(a) incorporate accessibility features, such as sensory and active play components, for children and caregivers with various disabilities into the design of outdoor play spaces; and

(b) ensure that outdoor play spaces have a ground surface that is firm, stable and has impact attenuating properties for injury prevention and sufficient clearance to provide children and caregivers with various disabilities the ability to move through, in and around the outdoor play space.”

As a second example, we are pleased that the Ontario Government has removed from this regulation a series of provisions that it proposed to enact last fall. Those would have amended other parts of the Integrated Accessibility Regulation that do not concern barriers in public spaces. We had pressed the Government not to enact those, because any amendments to an existing accessibility standard must first be reviewed by a Standards Development Committee appointed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The Government had not followed that mandatory procedure for which our community pressed in 2003 to 2005, when the Legislature was voting on the provisions of the AODA. You can read our August 29, 2012 letter to Community and Social Services Minister John Milloy, setting out our concerns, by visiting http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/08292012.asp

We encourage you to circulate the news of this new regulation to your local media, and to any organizations that may need to take action under it. Encourage them to act now to make public spaces fully accessible.

We thank all those of you who invested time and effort over the years to advocate for action in this important area.

2. Give the Ontario Government Your Input on How to Improve the Ontario Building Code’s Accessibility requirements

The Ontario Government is now conducting a public consultation on how to improve the inadequate accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code. We encourage you to send the Government your feedback by March 1, 2013. Learn how to give the government feedback on the Ontario Building Code’s accessibility provisions by visiting http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page10159.aspx

The Government announced this consultation several weeks ago. We are sorry we were not able to sooner pass on this news via our Updates.

The AODA Alliance would also like to hear from you. Let us know what concerns and issues regarding the Ontario Building Code’s accessibility provisions you think are important to raise. Write us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

The Government is long overdue in enacting the built Environment Accessibility Standard. On August 19, 2011, then-Premier Dalton McGuinty promised to enact it “promptly”. To learn more about the long and winding road to winning an effective Built Environment Accessibility Standard under the AODA, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/20120914.asp

The new Public Spaces Accessibility Regulation addresses only a tiny slice of the built environment. Ontario’s new Premier, Kathleen Wynne, has promised us in writing to honour all previous commitments on accessibility by the McGuinty Government. This is an important one to keep. To read Premier Wynne’s disability accessibility commitments to us, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/01272013.asp

Send your feedback to us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to: aodafeedback@gmail.com

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance/106232039438820

Follow us on Twitter. Get others to follow us. And please re-tweet our tweets! ! @AODAAlliance

Learn all about our campaign for a fully accessible Ontario by visiting http://www.aodaalliance.org

*****

ONTARIO GOVERNMENT WEBSITE INTRODUCTORY DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW PUBLIC SPACES ACCESSIBILITY REGULATION

Note: this is current to February 15, 2013 and is posted at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/built_environment/index.aspx

“The standard for the design of public spaces only applies to new construction and major changes to existing features.

Here are the highlights of what the standard covers:

•Recreational trails/beach access routes
Example
Meet minimum requirements for trails and beach access routes (i.e. clear width), post signs with specific information at the start of trails

•Outdoor public eating areas like rest stops or picnic areas
Example
Provide a minimum number of accessible tables

•Outdoor play spaces, like playgrounds in provincial parks and local communities
Example
Consult with people with disabilities to help to incorporate accessibility for children and caregivers with various disabilities into play spaces

•Outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas and accessible pedestrian signals
Example
Meet minimum requirements for sidewalks (i.e. clear width), install accessible pedestrian signals at intersections

•Accessible parking (on and off street)
Example
Make at least four percent of spaces accessible in new lots with 1-100 parking spaces

•Service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas
Example
Have a minimum of one accessible counter when providing services to the public

•Maintenance and restoration of public spaces
Example
Make sure accessibility-related equipment and features are maintained

Timelines

Requirements are being phased in depending on the:

•type of organization (private or public)
•number of employees in the organization.

Go to the Wizard to find out exactly what you have to do and when.

Other accessibility requirements

The Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces is part of a larger regulation called the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.

It includes some general requirements that organizations must follow including:

•planning for accessibility
•training staff to comply with the accessibility standards.”

ONTARIO GOVERNMENT WEBSITE’S SUMMARY OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PUBLIC SPACES ACCESSIBILITY REGULATION

Note: The following is copied from the Ontario Government’s website as of February 15, 2013, found at
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_sheets/index.aspx

Make recreational trails and beach access routes accessible.

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces requires all organizations in the province that have at least one employee to make their organization’s new or redeveloped recreational trails and beach access routes accessible. The standard only applies when you plan to build new trails and routes or make major changes to existing ones. This summary will help you find out what you need to do.

When do I need to comply?

This requirement is being phased in over time to give organizations time to prepare.

Government of Ontario: 2015
Public sector organizations: 2016
Private sector and non-profit organizations 50+ employees: 2017
1 – 49 employees: 2018

What are recreational trails?

Recreational trails are public trails intended to allow pedestrians to do recreation and leisure activities, such as walk through parks, access playgrounds or get closer to nature.

They do not include:

•wilderness trails
•backcountry trails
•portage routes, or
•trails only meant for cross-country skiing, mountain biking or driving motorized recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

What are beach access routes?

Beach access routes help people get to a public beach area. They are often constructed pathways, allowing people to access a beach from a parking lot, trail or picnic area.

Do I have to change my trails and beach access routes to comply with the law?

No, you do not have to change your organization’s recreational trails and beach access routes to comply with the law. The standard only applies when you plan to build new trails and routes or make major changes to existing ones.

What do I have to do?

You must consult with the public and people with disabilities when you start planning to:

•build new recreational trails, or
•make major changes to existing ones.

Municipalities must also consult with their accessibility advisory committees.

Features you must consult on include:

•the trail’s slope
•the need for and location of ramps on the trail, and
•the need for, location of and design of rest areas, passing areas, viewing areas, amenities and other features on the trail.

Organizations and municipalities do not need to consult about beach access routes.

Technical requirements

New and redeveloped recreational trails and beach access routes must follow certain technical requirements. For example, they must follow:

•minimum width and height guidelines, and
•maximum slope requirements

If you are planning to add a boardwalk or ramp to your trail or route, similar requirements also apply to the boardwalk and ramp.

Are there any exceptions to this law?

Yes, exceptions may apply if meeting a requirement is not practical due to existing site constraints. For example, when an organization redevelops its beach access route, rocks bordering the route make it impossible to meet the minimum width requirements.

Exceptions also apply when a requirement would likely have a negative effect on:

•properties protected by the Ontario Heritage Act, the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (Canada) or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) World Heritage List, or
•water, fish, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, species at risk, ecological integrity or natural heritage values.

Want more detailed information?

For more detailed information about making recreational trails and beach access routes accessible, including specific technical requirements you need to follow, read part IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11.
Make outdoor play spaces accessible

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces requires all public sector organizations with at least one employee and all private and non-profit organizations with 50 or more employees in the province to make their new or redeveloped outdoor play spaces accessible. The standard only applies when you build new or make major changes to your existing outdoor play spaces. This summary will help you find out what you need to do.

When do I need to comply?

This requirement is being phased in over time to give organizations time to prepare.

Government of Ontario 2015
Public sector organizations 2016
Private sector and non-profit organizations 50+ employees 2017
1 – 49 employees N/A

What are outdoor play spaces?

Outdoor play spaces are areas with play equipment or features designed to give children and their caregivers opportunities to play. For example, a community park may include a playground with:

• play equipment, such as swings
• water features, such as a splash pad, and
• natural features, such as sand and logs.

Do I have to change my outdoor play spaces to comply with the law?

No, you do not have to change your organization’s outdoor play spaces to comply with the law. The standard only applies when you build new or make major changes to your existing outdoor play spaces.

What do I have to do?

Consult
You must consult with the public and people with disabilities before you build new or make major changes to your existing outdoor play spaces. Municipalities must also consult with their accessibility advisory committees.

Organizations and municipalities must consult on the needs of children and caregivers with various disabilities. This can help your organization understand the needs of your local community.

Make play spaces accessible

When your organization builds new or makes major changes to your existing outdoor play spaces, you must:

• incorporate accessibility features into the design for children and caregivers with various disabilities, such as sensory and active play components
• make sure there is enough room for children and caregivers with various disabilities to move through, in and around the play spaces, and
• make sure the ground surface is firm, stable and designed to reduce impact to help prevent injuries.

Want more detailed information?

For more detailed information about making outdoor play spaces accessible, read part IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11.

Make exterior paths of travel accessible

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces requires all public sector organizations with at least one employee and all private and non-profit organizations with 50 or more employees in the province to make their new or redeveloped exterior paths of travel accessible. The standard only applies when you build new or make major changes to your existing exterior paths of travel. This summary will help you find out what you need to do.

When do I need to comply?

This requirement is being phased in over time to give organizations time to prepare.

Government of Ontario 2015
Public sector organizations 2016
Private sector and non-profit organizations 50+ employees 2017
1 – 49 employees N/A

What are exterior paths of travel?

Exterior paths of travel include:

• outdoor sidewalks and walkways
• ramps
• stairs, and
• curb ramps.

This law does not apply to paths of travel that are:

• designed to provide a recreational experience, or
• regulated by Ontario’s Building Code.

Do I have to change my exterior paths of travel?

No, you do not have change your organization’s exterior paths of travel to comply with the law. The standard only applies when you build new or make major changes to your existing exterior paths of travel.

What do I have to do?

New and redeveloped exterior paths of travel must follow certain technical requirements. For example:

• they must follow minimum width and height requirements
• the slopes of sidewalks, walkways and ramps cannot exceed certain ratios, and
• the surfaces of ramps and stairs must be firm, stable and slip resistant.

Are there any exceptions to this law?

Yes, exceptions may apply if meeting a requirement is not practical due to existing site constraints. For example, if widening a walkway would narrow the width of an adjacent highway, an organization would not have to meet that requirement.

Exceptions also apply when a requirement would likely have a negative effect on:

• properties protected by the Ontario Heritage Act, the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (Canada) or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) World Heritage List, or
• water, fish, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, species at risk, ecological integrity or natural heritage values.

Want more detailed information?

For more detailed information about making exterior paths of travel accessible, including specific technical requirements you need to follow, read part IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11.

To learn about making recreational paths of travel accessible, read Make recreational trails and beach access routes accessible.

Make parking accessible

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces requires all organizations in the province that have at least one employee to make their organization’s new or redeveloped parking lots accessible. The standard only applies when you plan to build new or make major changes to your existing parking spaces. This summary will help you find out what you need to do.

When do I need to comply?

This requirement is being phased in over time to give organizations time to prepare.

Government of Ontario 2015
Public sector organizations 2016
Private sector and non-profit organizations 50+ employees 2017
1 – 49 employees 2018

Do I have to change my organization’s parking to comply with the law?

No, you do not have to change your organization’s parking to comply with the law. The standard only applies when you plan to build new or make major changes to your existing parking spaces.

What do I have to do?

The requirements you need to follow when building new or redeveloping existing parking spaces depend on the type of parking your organization owns and/or maintains. There are two types of parking: off-street and on-street.

What is off-street parking?

Off-street parking is a space where you can park your vehicle temporarily that is not on a public road or street. Off-street parking includes open and covered parking lots, such as a hair salon’s customer parking lot and an underground parking garage at a shopping centre.

Public, private and non-profit organizations own and maintain off-street parking. People may need to pay to use off-street parking.

What is on-street parking?

On-street parking is a space where you can park your vehicle temporarily that is located on a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, bridge or similar type of road.

Public sector organizations, such as municipalities, hospitals, universities and colleges, may own and maintain on-street parking. On-street parking provides direct access to shops, offices and other facilities. People may need to pay to use on-street parking.

What are the requirements?

Off-street parking

New and redeveloped off-street parking must follow certain technical requirements. For example:

1. Off-street parking facilities must include two types of accessible parking spaces:
a. wider spaces for people who use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, and
b. standard-width spaces for people who use mobility assistive devices, such as canes, crutches and walkers.

2. Off-street parking facilities must include a minimum number of each type of accessible parking space, depending on the total number of parking spaces.

3. Accessible parking spaces must have access aisles (a space between parking spaces) that allow people with disabilities to get in and out of their vehicles.

On-street parking

Before building new or redeveloping existing on-street parking, public sector organizations must consult with the public and people with disabilities on the location, design and need for accessible parking spaces. Municipalities must also consult with their accessibility advisory committees.

Are there any exceptions to this law?

Yes. One exception to the law is when it is not practical for an organization to include the minimum number of accessible parking spaces due to an existing site constraint. For example, this could happen when existing walkways make it impossible for an organization to include enough parking spaces that are wide enough for people who use mobility aids.

There are other exceptions to this law for organizations with off-street parking facilities. For example, off-street parking facilities that are not open to the public do not have to comply with this law. These include parking lots that are only used to park the following types of vehicles:

•buses
•delivery vehicles
•law enforcement vehicles
•medical transport vehicles, such as ambulances, and
•impounded vehicles.

Want more detailed information?

For more detailed information about making parking accessible, including specific technical requirements you need to follow, read part IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11.

Make service counters, queuing guides and waiting areas accessible.

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces requires all organizations in the province that have at least one employee to make new or redeveloped service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas accessible. The standard only applies when you plan to build new or make major changes to your existing features. This summary will help you find out what you need to do.

When do I need to comply?

This requirement is being phased in over time to give organizations time to prepare.

Government of Ontario 2015
Public sector organizations 2016
Private sector and non-profit organizations 50+ employees 2017
1 – 49 employees 2018

Do I have to change my organization’s service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas to comply with the law?

No, you do not have to change your organization’s service counters, fixed queuing guides or waiting areas to comply with the law. The standard only applies when you plan to build new or make major changes to your existing features.

What do I have to do?

When your organization builds new and makes major changes to its existing service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas, you must make them accessible to people with disabilities by following certain requirements.

Service counters

When you build new or make major changes to your existing service counters, you must make at least one service counter accessible to people who use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs. You can make the counter accessible by making sure it:

•is low enough for someone sitting in a mobility aid, and
•has enough clear space in front for a person in a mobility aid to approach the counter, including space for the person’s knees.

If your organization has one queuing line for several service counters, such as a coffee shop, each service counter must be accessible.

If your organization offers different types of services counters, each with its own queuing line, such as a large grocery store with regular, express and self-serve checkouts, you must make sure at least one of each type of service counter is accessible.

You must clearly identify all your accessible service counters with signage.

Fixed queuing guides

A queuing area is a place where people line up for services. Fixed queuing guides — a feature of some queuing areas — are permanent or built-in fences or railings that require you to line up and follow a set path. For example, an amusement park may use fixed queuing guides to help people line up at booths where they can purchase tickets for rides.

When you build new or make major changes to your existing fixed queuing guides, you must make sure:

•the queuing area is wide enough for people using mobility aids and mobility assistive devices, such as canes, crutches and walkers, to move through the line, including when the line changes direction.
•people who are blind or who have vision loss can detect the queuing area with a cane, for example, by using tactile flooring.

Waiting areas

When you build new or make major changes to your existing waiting areas that have seating fixed to the floor, such as in a hospital, you must make sure:

•at least three per cent of the new seating is accessible, and
•no fewer than one seating space is accessible.

Accessible seating means a space in the waiting area where someone using a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, can wait to receive service.

Example: How much accessible seating do I need? Jason, a lawyer, plans to build a new waiting room with eight built-in seats for his clients. To comply with the law, Jason will have to make one of the new seats accessible (three per cent of eight is less than one, but Jason must make sure at least one space is accessible).

Want more detailed information?

For more detailed information about making service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas accessible, including specific technical requirements you need to follow, read part IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11.

Maintain the accessible parts of your public spaces.

To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces requires all public sector organizations with at least one employee and all private and non-profit organizations with 50 or more employees to maintain the accessible parts of their public spaces. This summary will help you find out what you need to do.

When do I need to comply?

This requirement is being phased in over time to give organizations time to prepare.

Government of Ontario 2015
Public sector organizations 2016
Private sector and non-profit organizations 50+ employees 2017
1 – 49 employees N/A

What do I have to do?

You need to make sure your accessibility plan includes:

•preventative and emergency maintenance procedures for the accessible parts of your public spaces, such as posting when regular maintenance occurs and letting people know about alternatives, and
•procedures for handling temporary disruptions in service when an accessible part of your public spaces stops working, such as putting up a sign explaining the disruption and outlining an alternative.

Want more detailed information?

To learn how to create your organization’s accessibility plan, read Developing accessibility policies and plans for organizations with 50 or more employees.

For more detailed information about making public spaces accessible, read part IV.1 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11.