As we approach the end of 2023, Ontario businesses and non-profit organizations, along with designated public sector entities, must mark their calendars with an important deadline. Every three years, Ontario businesses and non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees must file an accessibility compliance report under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 [AODA], with the next deadline to file this report being December 31, 2023. This deadline also applies to designated public service sector organizations, who have a slightly tighter reporting interval of every two years.
The AODA first instituted this reporting requirement in 2014, with subsequent filing dates that were set in 2017 and 2020—although the 2020 filing deadline was extended to June 30, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Reporting Process
The accessibility compliance report is a critical, online self-reporting tool for organizations to use to assess their adherence to Ontario’s accessibility requirements and to ensure their compliance with the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. The specific questions an organization must answer in the report depend on the type of organization—whether it’s a for-profit business or not-for-profit organization, designated public sector organization, or within the Ontario public service/Ontario Legislative Assembly.
The accessibility compliance report form is submitted online, and the form can be accessed from the Government of Ontario’s Central Forms Repository.
Key Questions in the Report
Businesses and organizations, depending on their type and the number of their employees, may need to answer questions such as:
- Does your organization provide training about providing goods, services or facilities to persons with disabilities to staff and volunteers, people involved in developing accessibility policies, and people providing goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization?
- Has your organization created and implemented written policies on how to achieve accessibility by meeting all applicable accessibility requirements in the IASR?
- Does your organization ever require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person when on your premises?
- Does your organization provide appropriate training on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to people with disabilities?
- Does your organization have a process for receiving and responding to feedback that is accessible to people with disabilities?
Consequences of Non-Compliance
Organizations that fail to submit a compliance report can be fined up to $100,000 per day, while directors and officers of an organization can be fined up to $50,000 per day.
Taking Action for Compliance
Given the potential consequences of non-compliance, now is an ideal time for Ontario businesses and non-profit organizations to review their accessibility practices. Ensuring that the appropriate accessibility policies and practices are in place is critical, especially for organizations with employees who have disabilities or medical conditions requiring accommodation.
For assistance in meeting your employer obligations under the AODA, please contact a member of our team.
This blog is provided as an information service and summary of workplace legal issues.
This information is not intended as legal advice.