Charles Beer Review of AODA Legislation Released

To mark National Access Awareness Week and the 5th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) legislation, the Ontario government has released Charles Beer’s review of the Act.

The review focuses on 4 areas of the legislation:

  • Standards development process
  • The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
  • A repeal strategy for the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA)
  • Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees (MACC)

Beer is quick to point in his introductory remarks that Ontario’s aging population will soon represent the largest segment of persons with disabilities. However, that demographic doesn’t appear to dominate Beer’s recommendations aside from a comment that this group will demand more as they age and are impacted by disabilities.

Beer’s key recommendations make sense – harmonize the remaining standards before enacting them, repeal the ODA once all the standards have been enacted, retain the MACCs. But, the most significant recommendation is elevating the Government’s role in raising awareness of the legislation.

The Government has already shown their intent to apply Beer’s recommendations by announcing that the Information and Communications, Employment and Transportation standards are being integrated into a single regulation.  The Government is hoping this will make the legislation more  flexible for businesses, something that aligns with their Open Ontario Plan.  No word yet on when the regulation will be enacted.