By January 1, 2012 all Ontario businesses that provide goods or services to the public and have at least one employee have to comply with new accessibility standards in Ontario.
The new standards are part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). It is said to be the first legislation in the world that puts the onus on businesses to make their places of work barrier-free for customers and employees with disabilities.
Realizing that for many corporations and companies it will be a challenge to comply with the new rules, Quadrangle Architects of Toronto has formed a joint venture with the Ontario March of Dimes to create “AccessAbility Advantage.” With this copyrighted program they offer a one-stop and streamlined process to businesses to help them comply with the new rules.
The province will apply fines of up to $50,000 per day for directors and officers for non-compliance with the AODA rules.
Currently one in seven people in Ontario have a disability, and the number is expected to increase as the population ages.