The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan


Image of cover page of reportInformation graphic related to AODA compliance timelines (Source: Province of Ontario)


The following is an excerpt of a recent news release by the Province of Ontario:


Plan Introduced on the 10 Year Anniversary of Landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Legislation

 

Ontario has released a new action plan to build on the progress made since the introduction of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005 and to achieve the goal of becoming accessible by 2025.

The AODA has transformed the lives of people with disabilities by establishing standards in key areas of daily life, including customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation and the design of public spaces.

The Path to 2025: Ontario's Accessibility Action Plan focuses on three key priorities:


Engaging employers to understand the value of hiring people with disabilities, through initiatives like:

  • Community Loans - a $4 million program to provide low-interest commercial loans to businesses that show a commitment to hiring persons with disabilities
  • Partnership for Accessible Employment - a $5 million program that helps small and medium-sized businesses hire and employ persons with disabilities
  • Abilities Connect - a $1.8 million partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to help employers build more inclusive workplaces and create a network of businesses that promote best practices.

Strengthening the foundation of accessibility in Ontario, by building on the province's accessibility laws and standards by:

  • Introducing legislation to address barriers to accessibility identified through a government-wide review of high impact legislation
  • Working with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to review gaps and in the health care sector, as a first step toward illuminating barriers that will be overcome through education, outreach and new standards.

Promoting Ontario's cultural shift to build awareness of accessibility in innovative ways, so that Ontarians of all abilities can reach their full potential by:

  • Consulting with industry disability advocates, certification experts, municipalities and not-for-profits to develop a voluntary, third party certification program, similar to the "LEED" designation in green buildings
  • Collaborating with professional audit services to enhance our compliance and audit activities
  • Exploring opportunities through social media or online platforms to expand and strengthen the conversation on accessibility between businesses and persons with disabilities.

Supporting an accessible province is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan. 

 


For additional information, visit the Ministry's newsroom "Ontario Launches Accessibility Action Plan" and to review the Action Plan online, visit the "The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan" website.