Every workplace should ensure that it is accessible to the employees with disabilities, as the law has imposed it. It is the legal and ethical rights of people with disabilities to be able to participate in every aspect of society. The Government of Ontario passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) in 2005, which aimed to eradicate all the barriers that stopped the participation of disabled people in Ontario. AODA is one of the legislative steps that confirm that people with disabilities can significantly able to take part in all ingredients and factors of our environment. All types of workers, which include, permanent, full-time, casual and part-time are covered under the human rights legislations and AODA. The employers should be adequately informed about it and should act accordingly with their employees.
Objective of the Disabilities Act, 2005
The law of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has a mission to progress and set up the standards of accessibility. Their motto is to make every person with disability and the entire industry come together and work along with the government in raising the standards. If everyone stands by the law and enforces the standards as requested by the Government, then Ontario would reach the goal of introducing an accessible Ontario very soon.
The Accessibility standards
The AODA applies to all types of organizations be it a public or private sector. The regulation of “Integrated Accessibility Standard” which comes under AODA is the one, who addresses the accessibility compliance requirements. There are five key areas to it. They are:
- Transport – This is done to make everyone’s travel experience better inside the province.
- The design of public areas – It will help the organization to come with new public areas, which would be accessible to the disabled employees. They would get a more developed space in public.
- Customer Service – The standard would help to erase all the barriers for people with disabilities and they should be able to access facilities, services, and goods.
- Communication and information – To assist all the organizations to make their crucial information accessible to the disabled employees.
- Equal scope of employment – This move would be quite helpful for disabled people, as they would get better access to employee support practices and hiring.
There are compliance timelines structured by AODA to allow organizations the due opportunity to integrate the accessibility compliance into operations.
What can you expect if you are a person with a disability?
The life of a person with various disabilities isn’t very easy. Hence, there are various privileges chalked out for them. Few of them are mentioned below and you may also get them verified by any of Toronto’s Best Employment Lawyer.
- Employees are trained about accessible customer service
You might expect that all the other employees in the organization be duly trained by the employers on how to effectively communicate and interact with people with different disabilities. This will prevent the disabled employees from all types of trolls, laughs, and misunderstanding from the other employees, thus creating a safer and friendly work atmosphere for them.
- Disabled people should be informed when the accessible services are out of order temporarily
If employees are working in an organization that has different disabilities, the employer must make a notice to them in advance when the accessible services of his organization are temporarily unavailable. Some of the services are elevators, accessible washrooms, and ramps. If they are under maintenance and need time to be operational, a notice should be put up and there, it should be mentioned for how long it would be out of service and whether there are any alternatives.
- Disabled employees should be handed over documents in an accessible format
Any type of information or printed document should be provided to the disabled person in an accessible format. Whatever, information the person needs to do his job or any notice that has been circulated to all the employees should be provided in a format, which is easy to read. The disabled employee shouldn’t be charged any money for the accessible format.
- Accessibility accommodation during the recruitment process
When the disabled person attends an interview of an organization, they can request an accessible format of the job application form or any other information related to the job. If there are written tests, the questionnaire should able to be in a readable format for them. If required, the disabled candidate can even request for an accessibility accommodation for testing and interview. The AODA’s Employment Standard wants the employers to execute the accessible strategies of accessible employment in the fields of recruitment, performance management, workplace accommodation, and retention. The only motive is to provide the people with various disabilities a more convenient space to work and provide them with a work-life balance.