Support & Resources

Have a question or need help with ACA / AODA compliance? You have come to the right place. Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), links to related websites and downloadable documentation. If what you are looking for is not available here please feel free to complete the FAQ form provided at the bottom of this page and we will do our best to follow up with you right away!

Key Resources and Links:


IAUD Logo  Home For Life Edmonton, logo  CMHC logoAccessNow Logo    Barrier-free Canada Logo      VisitAble Housing Canada logo       AccessOntario Logo  Province of Ontario Logo  GAATES Logo   OBIAA GoON Logo (Source: Accessibility Ontario)    Accessible Exit Sign logo Centre for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA) logo   BESide logo  OCAD Inclusive Design Research Centre logo  

 IAAP Logo    AODA Alliance logo   DFA Foundation Logo  ENAT logo  AMCTO Logo  The TeachAble Project    Stopgap Foundation logo


Are Accessibility consultants accredited in Ontario and Canada and/or is their any kind of formal designation for access consultants?

Simply put, no. There is no formal accessibility accreditation or certification in local and national jurisdictions, making it difficult for potential clients to find the right firm to serve their needs. SPH recognizes that poor advice provided by practitioners who do not possess the necessary skills or knowledge of accessibility issues not only causes major problems for clients but it is problematic for reputable advisors such as ourselves. In the near future, SPH hopes to collaborate with other professionals and organizations, such as the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to work towards a more formal accreditation process to ensure practitioners working in the areas of accessibility planning, design and construction are qualified and recognized as such.

What are the categories of design that provide accessibility?

The four basic categories, each of which provides a different level of access, include:

* Universal Design which allows products and spaces to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible while remaining aesthetically pleasing.

* Accessible Design which allows a person with a disability to make the greatest possible use of a space. It is generally thought to comply with regulations or general criteria that establish a minimum level of design necessary to accommodate persons with disabilities.

* Adaptable Design which addresses individual differences over time. It does not provide a high level of accessibility, but does permit a space to be easily altered as needed.

* Visitability which is an affordable, sustainable, and inclusive design approach for integrating basic accessibility features into all newly built homes and housing.

What are the new amendments to Ontario's Building Code (OBC) related to accessibility?

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing provides the following information:

New Accessibility Amendments to Ontario’s Building Code

On December 27, 2013, Ontario Regulation 368/13 was filed to amend the new 2012 Building Code, O.Reg. 332/12.

The effective date of the amendment is January 1, 2015. 

The amended requirements will substantially enhance accessibility in newly constructed buildings and existing buildings that are to be extensively renovated. They maintain Ontario’s leadership role in requirements for barrier-free design.

In 2005, the government committed to the development of five accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.  These amendments to the Building Code work together with the Design of Public Spaces standard, introduced in 2012, to finalize the government’s commitment to an accessibility standard for the built environment.

Five accessibility standards are already in regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act: Customer Service, Information and Communications, Employment, Transportation, and Design of Public Spaces. For more information on Accessibility Standards, please visit

The new requirements apply to most new construction and extensive renovations. Existing buildings, where no work is planned, are not affected by these new requirements. Houses, including semi-detached houses, townhouses and duplexes, are not affected by most accessibility requirements, with the exception of smoke alarm requirements. 

Amended requirements cover a range of areas, including:

  • Requirements for visual fire alarms to be installed in all public corridors of multi-unit residential buildings and in all multi-unit residential suites
  • Requirements for all smoke alarms in all buildings, including houses, to include a visual component
  • Requirements for an elevator or other barrier-free access to be provided between storeys in most buildings, with some exemptions for small residential and business occupancy buildings
  • Requirements for power door operators to be provided at entrances to a wider range of buildings, and at entrances to barrier-free washrooms and common rooms in multi-unit residential buildings 
  • Updated requirements for barrier-free washrooms and universal washrooms
  • Requirements for barrier-free access to public pools and spas
  • Updated requirements for accessible and adaptable seating spaces in public assembly buildings such as theatres, lecture halls and places of worship

For more information on new requirements, see Overview of Updated Accessibility Requirements.  

In addition, the text of the amending regulation is available on E-Laws: Ontario Regulation 368/13 - Amendment to Building Code Accessibility Requirements.

What is the AODA?

The government of Ontario enacted the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005. This act lays the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory standards on accessibility in all areas of daily life, including:

  • customer service;
  • employment;
  • information and communications;
  • transportation; and
  • design of public spaces.

A copy of the AODA legislation (referred to as ONTARIO REGULATION 413/12) can be obtained on the Government of Ontario's e-laws website.

What is the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR)?

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation sets out:

  1. special requirements for four standards:
    1. employment
    2. information and communications
    3. transportation
    4. design of public spaces, and

  2. general requirements that apply to all four.

Organizations will have to:

(Note: Small organizations will not have to develop an accessibility plan.)

(Note: This requirement does not apply to the private sector.)

  • develop accessibility policies and a plan to outline how they will comply with the regulation
  • incorporate accessibility when they procure goods, services and facilities
  • incorporate accessibility features (public sector) or consider accessibility (private sector) when designing or buying self-service kiosks

  • train staff and volunteers so that everyone who provides goods or services on their behalf understands the:
    • Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and its requirements, and
    • Ontario Human Rights Code (as it relates to people with disabilities).