Quick Hits

  • Private businesses and nonprofit organizations with twenty or more employees in Ontario, and all designated public-sector organizations, must file accessibility compliance reports at the times prescribed by the AODA.
  • December 31, 2023 is the current reporting deadline for all organizations with reporting requirements.
  • Private businesses and nonprofits with fifty or more employees have additional reporting obligations.

All organizations in Ontario with one employee or more, including private businesses, nonprofits, and public-sector organizations, are subject to the AODA. As the name indicates, the AODA is a set of standards to promote accessibility for persons with disabilities who interact with Ontario organizations. Requirements under this act scale up based on the size and nature of the business.

Private businesses and nonprofit organizations with twenty or more employees in Ontario must file an accessibility compliance report every three years (two years for all public-sector organizations), in addition to complying with their other obligations under the AODA on an ongoing basis. The purpose of the report is to ensure that organizations are meeting their accessibility requirements as per the AODA and its regulation, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR).

The report is a short self-reporting questionnaire (in the form of an interactive pdf). It is to be completed by someone who can legally bind the organization (a “certifier”). An organization can also specify a preferred primary contact if it prefers not to list the certifier for this purpose. AODA program administrators may audit reports for accuracy and compliance with the AODA and IASR. They may also periodically check up on whether an organization is meeting its obligations to AODA outside of the filed reports, through methods such as website audits. Enforcement and compliance measures may include financial penalties.

Information to be filled out in the report includes identifying details about the organization (such as organization type and size), which will automatically populate the appropriate questions on the form based on that information. Then, organizations are prompted to answer questions along the lines of:

  1. 1.Does your organization provide training to employees on accessibility for customers and employees?

2. Will persons with a disability be given notice of a temporary disruption in goods and services?

3. Has your organization created and implemented written policies on how to achieve accessibility by meeting all applicable accessibility requirements in the IASR?

Organizations with fifty or more employees have additional requirements, and are required to answer questions about establishing a multiyear accessibility plan and meeting requirements for website formatting. These organizations are required to have all websites under their control (including internal websites and applications) conform to World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA (except for live captions and prerecorded audio descriptions).

There will also be a series of questions about accessibility and accommodation policies, training, and (if applicable) plans pertaining to compliance with the AODA.

The accessibility compliance report can be accessed here. Once the multipage form is completed, submission within the document is possible. Please email accessibility@ontario.ca if an alternative format is required.

Ogletree Deakins’ Toronto office will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the Cross-Border and Disability Access blogs as additional information becomes available.

Emily Cohen-Gallant is of counsel in the Toronto office of Ogletree Deakins.

Kshemani Constantinescu is a 2023 graduate of University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law, and she is an articling student in the Toronto office of Ogletree Deakins.

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