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October 28, 2016 DOWNLOAD PDF

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act ("AODA") Compliance for Small Organizations

Original Newsletter(s) this article was published in: Employment Update: October 2016

Large organizations, defined generally as those organizations with 50 or more employees, have had to comply with the employment standards under AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (“IASR”) since January 1, 2016.  Commencing on January 1, 2017, small organizations - those organizations with one to fewer than fifty employees – will have to follow suit. 

These standards relate generally to employers’ recruitment, assessment and selection processes and to their performance management and redeployment procedures.

Recruitment, Assessment and Selection

Employers must notify employees and the public that accommodation for job applicants with disabilities is available in their recruitment processes.  Moreover, job applicants selected to participate in the assessment or selection process must be notified that accommodation is available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used in that recruitment or assessment process. 

Where a selected applicant asks for accommodation, employers must consult with the applicant and make arrangements to provide suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the individual’s specific accessibility needs due to disability. Employers must also tell successful applicants when making offers of employment of their policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

Providing Information to Employees Regarding Accommodation

Employers must inform employees of policies used to provide supports to employees with disabilities.  These may include but are not limited to policies regarding job accommodations, which take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability.  This information is to be provided to new employees as soon as possible after they begin their employment.  Updated information and any changes to policies about job accommodation must also be provided in keeping with an employer’s existing organization and business practices.

Providing Accessible Communication Supports

Employers must consult with and provide employees with suitable accessible formats and communication supports for (a) information needed by the employee to perform his or her job, and (b) information generally available to employees in the workplace. 

Performance Management

When using performance management processes employers will be required to take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as the information conveyed if an individual accommodation plan is in place. For the purposes of determining what constitutes “performance management” the IASR provides that performance management means activities relating to assessing and improving employee performance, productivity and effectiveness, with the goal of facilitating employees’ success.

Career Development/Advancement and Redeployment

Career development and advancement and redeployment procedures must also ensure that they take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities.