The Integrated Accessibility Standard is the second regulation to be enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The first standard, the Customer Service Standard, has applied to public sector organizations since January 1, 2010 and will apply to private sector organizations with one or more employees on January 1, 2012.
The Integrated Accessibility Standard (the “Standard”) is substantially similar to the proposed Integrated Accessibility Standard that was made available for public comment from February 1 to March 18, 2011.
A notable difference in the enacted version of the Standard, compared to the proposed standard, is the obligation that organizations provided training on the Ontario Human Rights Code. This training, as well as training on the requirements of the Standard, must be given to all employees, volunteers, persons who participate in the development of the organization’s policies and all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organizations. The requirement that an organization train persons who provide “facilities” on behalf of the organization is also new.
Another interesting change is the exclusion of language in provisions dealing with accessible formats and communication supports in the Information and Communication Standard and the Employment Standard, that give the organization/employer the ultimate authority to choose the method of accommodation after consultation with the person with disabilities. Those provisions were omitted and the enacted Standard requires consultation with the person with a disability but is silent on how the ultimate decision is reached.
We will provide SBH Updates detailing the requirements in the Integrated Accessibility Standard shortly. Stay tuned.