On May 10, 2005, Ontario's legislative assembly passed Bill18, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA, 2005). It took effect upon royal assent June 13, 2005. This new Act is strong and effective legislation that will allow people with disabilities to participate in building a stronger province.
The purpose of the new act is to benefit all Ontarians by achieving accessibility for people with disabilities. This will be done by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards concerning customer services, information and communication, goods, services, accommodations, facilities, buildings including the built environment and employment. Improvements will be phased in, in stages of five years or less, moving toward an accessible Ontario within 20 years (January 1, 2025).
Two types of standards are being established under the AODA, 2005; Common Standards which broadly apply to all persons and organizations include: Customer Service, Employment, Information and Communication, Built Environment. Standards that apply to a single sector to address accessibility in a particular sector include Transportation.
The Accessible Customer Service Standard regulations were approved by the government on July 31, 2007 with regulations coming into effect on January 1, 2008. Municipalities must comply with these regulations by January 1, 2010.
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