Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005- Integrated Accessibility Standards

PDADC#40, 2011-12

 To:   PDAD&C
 CC:   Professional/Managerial Staff
 From:   Angela Hildyard, Vice President Human Resources & Equity
 Date:   February 2, 2012
 Re:   Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005- Integrated Accessibility Standards



The AODA came into effect in 2005. The purpose of this Act is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises on or before January 1, 2025.

The Customer Service Standard was enacted in 2008 and outlined our obligations regarding delivery of service to persons with disabilities. Within the University context for the purposes of the standard all students were defined as "customers."

In June 2011 the Ontario Government released the Integrated Accessibility Standard, which combines standards for Information Communication, Employment, and Transportation.

The Information Communication Standard requires the University to develop accessible communication formats and supports. This standard addresses websites, educational and training materials, and libraries of educational and training institutions. The Employment Standard focuses on the entire employment cycle in terms of accessibility and accommodation of disability. Finally, the Transportation Standard addresses accessible transportation requirements which will apply to the charter companies we use to move between our three campuses.

Compliance dates for the Integrated Accessibility Standard are staggered and allow for gradual implementation.

The AODA officer and my office have been working closely with all divisions to ensure that the University of Toronto will continue to meet its obligations under the Act. Over the next year you will receive regular updates to assist your departments in fulfilling the standards set out in the Act. This will allow for a coherent and consistent strategy across the University.

We recognize that the standards do require some changes in practice and our goal is to ensure we accomplish those changes in the most efficient and effective ways possible. In particular, in partnership with the Council of Ontario Universities and the Ministry of Community and Social Services we are developing resources to assist U of T and all Ontario universities in preparing for our obligations under the AODA.

Internally, we are also developing resources to assist divisions in implementing the standard as effectively as possible. The AODA officer will be in contact with your division as rollout for the Integrated Standard continues.

For further information and consultation please contact:

Andrea Carter, AODA Officer
andrea.carter@utoronto.ca
office line: 416-978-5456