What is the AODA?
The AODA is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. The legislation was created in recognition that persons with disabilities experience many barriers in daily life. The legislation seeks to make Ontario more accessible. The accompanying Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) sets out five standards that organizations should focus on to prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities.
The five standards are:
- Information and communications;
- Design of public spaces or built environment; and
- Customer service.
Within each of these standards, there are different expectations, such as policy and training requirements.
What is an accessible employment policy?
An accessible employment policy is a document that sets out an organization’s expectations and strategies to ensure accessibility throughout the course of employment. For the most part, this policy maps out what the employer intends to do to reduce accessibility barriers.
What should be in an accessible employment policy?
In our sample Accessible Employment Policy (AODA), you will find sections on:
- Statement of Commitment (required for some organizations)
- Accessible Workplace Information
- Individual Accommodation
- Performance Management and Career Development
- Acknowledgement and Agreement
We recommend the intent and statement of commitment sections to map out how your organization is committed to reducing barriers during the employment experience. You can use the definitions section to provide clarity on what you’re referring to, such as communication supports and accessible formats, and what they mean in your organization. You can then use the guidelines and subsequent sections to outline how you reduce or eliminate barriers in elements of the employment experience, such as during the hiring process, providing information in accessible formats, providing accommodations where necessary, and ensuring that advancement opportunities are made with accessibility in mind.