About accessibility laws
Learn about the accessibility laws and standards for organizations in Ontario. Read the standards, action plans and progress reports that help us make Ontario more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.
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Ontario has been working for years to create an accessible and inclusive province where everyone can fully participate in everyday life in our communities and the economy.
Ontario is the first province and one of the first jurisdictions in the world to enact specific legislation establishing a goal and time-frame for accessibility. It is also the first jurisdiction to legislate accessibility reporting and to establish standards in areas like employment, transportation and the design of public spaces.
We have made progress in making Ontario accessible and continue to work towards removing barriers. However, making Ontario accessible by 2025 is a complex and ongoing process that can’t be completed by the province on its own. By working together, businesses, organizations, communities and all levels of government can meet the goal of making Ontario more accessible and inclusive.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a law that sets out a process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards.
Persons with disabilities and industry representatives work together with the government to develop the standards.
Under the AODA, the government is responsible for creating accessibility standards that organizations must follow. Implementing and enforcing these standards will help us work together to make Ontario more accessible and inclusive by 2025.
Accessibility standards are laws that government, businesses, non-profits and public sector organizations must follow to become more accessible.
They help organizations identify and remove barriers to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in 5 areas of daily life.
Customer service standard
This standard helps remove barriers for people with disabilities so they can access goods, services or facilities.
Read more about the changes to the accessible customer service standard
Information and communications standard
This standard helps organizations make their information accessible to people with disabilities.
This standard makes it easier for everyone to travel in the province.
This standard helps make hiring and employee support practices more accessible.
Design of public spaces standard
This standard helps organizations make new and redeveloped outdoor public areas accessible.
Integrated accessibility standards regulation guidelines
The guidelines for the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation will be undergoing a review. The existing accessibility standards and reporting deadlines will still apply during the review.
Read the regulation now.
What to expect from Ontario’s accessibility laws
Businesses and organizations must follow laws and standards to be accessible for people with disabilities.
Learn more about what this means for you in your everyday life.
Progress towards accessibility
Ontario has made progress towards making the province more accessible, including:
- developing accessibility standards in five key areas of daily living:
- customer service
- information and communications
- design of public spaces
- proposing new accessibility standards through the work of three Standards Development Committees in the areas of:
- requiring that all public transportation vehicles bought with provincial funding be accessible and that public transit offers audible on-board announcements
- requiring that employers provide accessible job and accommodation information
- partnering with SPARK Ontario, a portal that allows people to search for volunteer opportunities across Ontario
- supporting the EnAbling Change Program, which provides not-for-profit organizations with funding to develop AODA related projects that:
- promote accessibility across sectors
- support accessibility compliance
- provide education about accessibility requirements
- funding the Discover Ability Network, a free online tool that provides Ontario businesses with practical resources on how to hire, retain and accommodate people with disabilities
- establishing an Employers’ Partnership Table that creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities
- making Ontario’s curriculum more inclusive and accessible through increased collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility. This work includes making the 2019 elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum more inclusive and identifying accessible educational resources for students to learn at home
- introducing a new policy that helps Ontario students with special needs improve their access to service animals in schools by setting a consistent standard for schools across the province
- requiring that libraries of educational and training institutions offer materials in accessible formats
- launching the Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework in January 2020 to focus the work on accessibility in the province
- investing in the Rick Hansen Foundation to launch the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessible Certification program to help remove barriers in buildings
Reports and action plans
The 10-year Accessibility Action Plan describes the next steps to engage employers, and strengthen and promote accessibility to ensure we remain on track to create an accessible province in the decade ahead.
The 2014 Accessibility Compliance Action Plan details the government’s strategy to help organizations comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
The progress report on the Accessibility Compliance Action Plan summarizes our progress in building compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Annual reports on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Read the annual reports that outline our progress in raising awareness about accessibility and advancing accessibility in communities across the province.
- 2020 annual report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- 2019 annual report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- 2018 annual report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- 2017 annual report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- 2016 annual report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- 2015 annual report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Accessibility compliance and enforcement reports
Read the accessibility compliance and enforcement reports that outline the activities undertaken by the government to oversee compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its accessibility standards.