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Purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (or “the Act”) is a provincial law. Its goal is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025 by developing and enforcing accessibility standards.

Accessibility standards

The accessibility standards are the legal requirements that organizations in Ontario must follow to become more accessible to people with disabilities. They address key areas of daily life, including:

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

The standards are found in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation which was established under the Act.

Who must comply

The standards must be followed by:

  • the Ontario Government and Legislative Assembly
  • all designated public sector organizations, which include municipalities, universities, colleges, hospitals, school boards and public transportation organizations
  • private businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have one or more employees in Ontario

Who is a customer?

A customer can be anyone who is accessing your organization’s goods, services or facilities. They may include paying and non-paying members of the public, and individuals your organization might call customers, such as clients, members, patrons or patients.

Customers can also be other businesses or organizations (also referred to as third parties).

Refers to rooms or spaces used to provide a service, such as a stadium or banquet hall. It does not refer to the physical structure of a building.opens in a new window
Refers to other businesses or organizations that may be your customers. This includes consultants, manufacturers and wholesalers as well as providers of other business and professional services.
Refers to the executive of the government and operational branches, including all the ministries of the Government of Ontario and the Office of the Premier.
Refers to the Offices of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario including all the offices of the Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), their constituency offices in their ridings and the offices of those appointed on the address of the Assembly, such as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Refers to organizations listed in Schedule 1 (Broader Public Sector) of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. These organizations include hospitals, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, district school boards, and organizations that provide public transportation.

Designated public sector also means every municipality and every person or organization listed in Column 1 of Table 1 of Ontario Regulation 146/10, of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.