Ontario businesses must follow the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) to prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities, but what is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR)?
The Ontario Regulation 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards is a grouping of five standards that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) developed.
What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR)?
The IASR includes five standards in the areas of:
- Information and communication
- Design of public spaces
- Customer service
What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation? – Information and Communications Standard
The standard outlines requirements for organizations to create, provide, and receive information and communications that are accessible for people with disabilities. For example, when requested organizations must provide information and communications in an accessible format to people with disabilities in a timely manner.
What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation? – Employment Standard
The standard requires that employers must make their workplace and employment practices accessible to potential or current employees with disabilities. For example, employers that make an offer of employment to a successful job applicant must inform the applicant of their organization’s policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation? – Transportation Standard
The transportation standard sets out the requirements for transportation service providers. Particularly, features and equipment on vehicles, routes, and services offered must be accessible to people with disabilities. For example, no conventional or specialized transportation service is permitted to charge a fare to a support person who is accompanying a person with a disability.
What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation? – Design of Public Spaces Standard
The design of public spaces standard outlines the need for newly constructed or redeveloped public spaces to be accessible for people with disabilities. For example, organizations must provide accessible parking for people with disabilities when building new or redeveloping existing parking spaces.
What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation? – Customer Service Standard
The standard outlines requirements for removing barriers for people with disabilities so they can access goods, services, and/or facilities. For example, a person who requires the use of a service animal must be permitted to enter the premises. They also must be allowed to keep the service animal with them, unless excluded by law.
Furthermore, the IASR includes general information and requirements that apply to all the standards.
The IASR requirements are not a replacement for the Human Rights Code requirements and they do not limit obligations under any other legislation. Therefore, if two laws conflict with one another, the law that provides the higher level of accessibility is the law that must be followed.
Who needs to comply with the IASR?
Businesses and organizations that have at least one employee, and provide goods, services or facilities to the public, other businesses or organizations are subject to the regulation. This includes:
- Businesses or non-profits
- Public sector organizations
- Educational institutions
- Producers of educational material
- Library boards
When is the compliance deadline for the IASR?
Depending on the type and size of the business or organization, compliance deadlines range from January 1, 2012, until December 31, 2025