Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
This website is dedicated to information sharing for the King’s community with regards to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Please note that government nomenclature includes terminology such as "customer" and "goods", as is evident in the wording of their legislation. Consistent with the culture of an educational institution, King's interprets these terms as follows: a) "customer": an all-encompassing term referring to anyone with whom we have contact (i.e. students, parents, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors, each other, etc.); and b) "goods": any type of provision from education to food services. The use of these terms in any of the documents relating to the AODA is in no way intended to diminish the educational values of the College.
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that, by the year 2025, the Province of Ontario is totally accessible and barrier free for persons with disabilities. Towards this end, five different accessibility standards, dealing with several key areas, have been developed by the Province of Ontario under the AODA. The first one of these to have become law was the Customer Service Standard and it required public sector organizations to meet certain requirements as of January, 2010. The other four standards are at different stages of development. Transportation, Information and Communication, and the Employment Standard are now law. The Built Environment is yet to be finalized.
In order to meet the requirements of these Standards, King’s leaders and staff are accountable to complete an accessibility learning program and then to review unit practices and procedures to ensure compliance. Accountabilities of all employees are addressed through the learning sessions.
Under Section 6(1) of the AODA Customer Service Standard (Ontario Regulation 429/07), training is required as follows:
Customer Service Standard
6(1) "Every provider of goods or services shall ensure that the following persons receive training about the provision of its goods or services to persons with disabilities:
- Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the provider, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise.
- Every person who participates in developing the provider’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties"
On this site you will find detailed information pertaining to the Customer Service Standard: requirements, including: King’s policies and guidelines, support services, accessibility maps and floor plans, service disruption information, feedback information, training information, and relevant links.
The Integrated Accessibility Standards
The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, or Integrated Regulations (O. Reg. 191/11) provides detail about what organizations must do to ensure accessibility in the areas of information and communication, employment, and transportation. This is the second set of regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The Integrated Regulations are comprised of the following:
- Information and Communications: this standard is designed to assist people with disabilities with access to more sources of information which many of us rely on every day. This includes websites, public libraries, learning materials and public safety information. The main goal of this standard is to promote inclusive design of information and communication platforms and to specify requirements to prevent and remove barriers to persons with disabilities when creating, conveying, distributing, receiving, and in some instances, procuring information and communication systems of technology. It calls upon us to think about the forms of sending and receiving information and communications and how to make them accessible for persons with disabilities. This includes: websites, policies, online documentation, textbooks, teaching materials etc. Also, emergency plans and safety information must be made available in accessible formats. Employees with a disability should meet with Human Resources to ensure they have a safety plan that works for them.
- Employment: this standard is designed to help employers provide support and accommodations for employees with disabilities, and to make accessibility a normal part of finding, hiring and communicating with employees who have a disability. It also requires an employer to engage in the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers hindering the full participation in the employment, performance appraisal and promotion of persons with disabilities.
- Recruitment – employers must notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants with disabilities. Furthermore, during the recruitment process, employers must notify candidates that they can be accommodated upon request.
- Employee Notifications – employers must inform employees about their policies relating to the support of employees with disabilities, including policies on job accommodations that take into account the employee’s accessibility needs due to disability.
- Individual Accommodation Plans – the employer must work with any employee who has identified a disability to develop a detailed accommodation plan that takes into account accessible formats and communication supports.
- Return-to-Work Process – the process must be documented and outline the steps the employer will take to facilitate return to work and include an individual accommodation plan.
- Performance Management, Career Development, Advancement and Redeployment – employers need to take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities as well as individual accommodation plans.
- Accessible Formats and Communication Supports – upon request by an employee with a disability, and following consultation with the employee making the request, employers must provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for the employee to perform their job.
- Workplace Emergency Response Information: – Employers must provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a known disability. If needed the employer must provide an individualized emergency plan.
- Transportation: focuses on making transportation services accessible. This includes buses, trains, subways, streetcars, taxis and ferries.
The Integrated Regulations require that all of the factors under discussion are addressed through policies, procedures and practices, and multi-year plans. There are five steps under this regulation with which King’s has or is complying and they are to:
- Establish Accessibility Policies – the organization must prepare a statement of organizational commitment to adopt and maintain policies that support implementation of the AODA regulations.
- Establish Accessibility Plans – maintain and document multi-year accessibility plans for the organization’s approach for the prevention and removal of barriers. These plans must be posted on the website and be reviewed every 5 years. All publicly funded organizations must also file a yearly status report on the progress of identifying and removing barriers and this also must be posted online.
- Consider Procuring or acquiring goods, services and facilities – organizations must include accessibility requirements and features when purchasing or acquiring goods, services or facilities except where it is not practicable.
- Self-service Kiosks – must include accessibility features when designing, purchasing or obtaining self-service kiosks.
- Training – training must be provided under the Integrated Regulation as well as the requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Training must occur whenever there are updates to the accessibility policies. Training and those trained must be documented.
In order to meet the requirements of this Standard, King’s leaders and staff are accountable to complete an accessibility learning program and to review unit practices and procedures to ensure compliance. This training is being conducted. Accountabilities of all employees are addressed through the learning sessions.
Websites for further study:
Although everyone who works at King’s (faculty, administrative staff, student employees), and anyone who is a contractor or a volunteer must undergo training, those who have already taken the Customer Service training, will not be asked to retake the updated version of the online training module. We ask merely that you familiarize yourself with the Integrated Standard requirements through a thorough review of the information in this document as well as with the King’s Accessibility website at: www.kings.uwo.ca/aoda/ which has been updated with current information.
King’s commitment to recognizing the dignity and independence of all staff, students, faculty and visitors and to ensure that persons with disabilities have genuine, open and unhindered access to the College’s services, facilities, accommodation, employment, building, structures and premises is aligned with its mission, vision and values. Please join us and the rest of the King’s community by continuing to build accessibility into the College’s culture.
Thank you. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact anyone in Human Resources 519-433-3491.