On July 14, 2009, the Government released the initial draft Employment Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 for public review and comment.

The AODA, 2005, requires the Minister of Community and Social Services to develop accessibility standards that will remove barriers for people with disabilities. The standards are expected to apply to the public sector, including all municipalities in the Province, as well as the not-for-profit and private sectors. They will address a full range of disabilities including physical, sensory, mental health, developmental and learning and will be implemented in phases leading to full accessibility in Ontario by 2025. Once completed, the standards will be introduced into legislation and therefore will become mandatory and enforced by the Province.

The Initial Proposed Accessible Built Environment Standard was developed by an external Accessible Built Environment Standards Development Committee (SDC). This external committee included representatives from the disability community as well as the public and private sectors. The SDC's initial proposed standard is now posted for public review and feedback. The initial proposed standard does not necessarily reflect the point of view of the government.

It is important to note that the government does not plan to impose requirements for retrofitting existing buildings at this time. Also, the government does not intend to require Ontarians to make their existing or new single family houses accessible at this time.

The public review period to make comments on the SDC's Initial Proposed Accessible Built Environment Standard is from July 14, 2009 to October 16, 2009.

Once the public review period is over, the standards development committee will reconvene to consider your feedback. They may make changes to their initial proposed standard based on the feedback prior to finalizing a proposed standard for submission to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Those interested in reviewing the SDC's proposed standard or participating in the accessibility standards development process can find more information on the Ministry of Community and Social Services' website.
In September, public consultation sessions will be conducted across the province. To participate in a consultation session please call 1-888-482-4317 or toll-free TTY 1-888-335-6611, or email public.review@oliverwyman.com.


AMO is urging its members to review the proposed standard and to provide comments to the Government. 

Through the work of the AMO Built Environment Resource Team, AMO will be developing a response to the standard outlining municipal issues and concerns. Once developed, AMO’s concerns will be shared with the membership.