To help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities, the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR) requires all organizations in the province that have at least one employee to develop, implement and maintain accessibility policies about your organization’s requirements. This should also include a statement of commitment that focuses on the intention to address the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, the prevention and removal of barriers to accessibility, and commitment to meet all requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
The requirements under the IASR fall under training, the Human Rights Code, information and communication, self-serve kiosks, employment standards, and the design of public spaces.
Companies are required to train all members of their organization on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on accessibility aspects of the Human Rights Code as well as company policies and procedures. Training should be provided in a way that best suits the duties of the employees, volunteers and other staff members.
The Human Rights Code
The Human Rights Code addresses the need for employers to accommodate employees, up to the point of undue hardship, when they cannot perform all of the duties of the job because of their disability. This can include the removal of barriers. Barriers can be physical, information and communication, systemic, or attitudinal. Best practice would be for organizations to try to identify and remove barriers before problems arise instead of waiting to answer individual accommodation requests or complaints.
Information and Communication
When asked, companies will need to provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication supports. This includes publicly available information about their goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency information.
A company must consider accessibility when designing, purchasing or acquiring self-service kiosks.
A large component of the IASR is for employers is to make their employment practices accessible. This will encompass:
- The recruitment and selection process, including:
- Job descriptions, interviews, offer letters, etc.
- The consideration of accessibility when working on performance management, career development, retraining, training, etc.
- Implement individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability, including:
- Disability Accommodation Policy
- Individual Accommodation Plan
- Return to Work Process
- Functional Assessment Form and Job Tasks Analysis
Design of Public Spaces
Companies will be required to make new or redeveloped public spaces accessible. Public spaces include:
- Recreational trails and beach access routes
- Parking lots
- Service counters
- Fixed waiting lines
- Waiting areas with fixed seating