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The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) Ontario
The Legislation and Act
(Current to November 23 2011),
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005)
Provincial legislation passed unanimously by all parties on third reading in the Ontario Legislative Assembly on May 10, 2005. This Act was enacted to achieve accessibility for all Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.
The AODA covers the public, private and not-for profit sectors.
The AODA supplements but does not diminish other legal obligations. Persons with disabilities continue to have access to all other pre-existing protections, including the human rights code, and avenues of recourse to protect and defend their rights.
- About the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) (pdf)
- Publications: About the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) (html)
The Standards to Date
The focus of the Act is on the development, implementation and enforcement of accessibility standards. Accessibility standards have now been developed and are in place in regulation in five areas:
- Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (came effective on January 1, 2008)
- Integrated Accessibility Standard (includes standards related to transportation, communication, employment and the built environment)
Monitoring and enforcement is to be based on reporting by obligated organizations and reviews and investigations by government agencies.
Persons with disabilities comprise one-half of members of committees drafting standards. Disability groups with representatives participating in the committees include but are not limited to:
- Adult Learning Disabilities Resource
- Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
- AODA Alliance
- Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities of Windsor and Essex County
- Audio Tactile Network
- Augmentative Communications Partnerships Canada
- Canadian Council of the Blind (Ontario Division)
- Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
- Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
- Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
- Canadian National Institute for the Blind
- Canadian Paraplegic Association
- Citizens with Disabilities – Ontario
- Community Living Ontario
- Disabled Persons Community Resources
- Goodwill Industries
- Independent Living Resource Centre
- Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario
- MS Society
- Ontario March of Dimes
- Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Implementation of the AODA has features both government partnerships with provate and non-profit organizations under the EnAbling Change Partnership Program. Details in this program are posted at:
A final feature of the AODA has been the grandfathering of Accessibility Advisory Committees that were required of all municipalities with more than 10,000 residents under the 2001 Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA). Basic information on this feature that now includes 150 such committees can be found at:
The AODA requires annual progress reports from the Minister of Community and Social Services with a four-year comprehensive review of the Act followed by reviews every three years thereafter.
The AODA requires five-year reviews and updating of each set of standards and includes substantial emphasis on public education and information and other supports to obligated organizations.
Support Materials for Compliance with the Customer Service Standard
The Province of Ontario has developed a range of tools to help organizations ensure that they will be in compliance with the Custumer Service Standard. These are posted on-line:
Recent AODA Related Reports
Charting A Path Forward: Report of the Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (The Beer Report)
An independent review of the implementation of the AODA prepared by Charles Beer.
Government of Ontario Response to Charles Beer Report
2009 Annual Report on the AODA
2010 Annual Report on the AODA
Links to Other Ontario Disability Sites
The AODA Alliance is a disability consumer advocacy group that works to support the full and effective implementation of accessibility standards in Ontario. Since 2005, the AODA Alliance has worked collaboratively with the disability community and with government to promote the interests of persons with disabilities.
The Alliance works to advance the full participation of persons with disabilities in Ontario, through effectual accessibility standards development.
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee is a voluntary coalition of individuals and community organizations who have united to secure the passage in Ontario of a new law which would achieve a barrier-free society for persons with disabilities.