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AODA Update

 

As you probably know, the Government of Ontario has an important piece of legislation called the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The purpose of this act is to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people living in Ontario with disabilities.  The AODA is made up of standards that cover different areas of life including: Customer Service, Employment, Information and Communication, Transportation, and most recently, the Design of Public Spaces. Each standard has a list of requirements that businesses and organizations in both the public and private sector must do to comply. Each standard has its own timeline.

Design of Public Spaces

As of January 1, 2017, ILCWR must comply with the regulations presented in the Design of Public Spaces (DOPS) standard of the AODA. Accessible public spaces make it easier for people with disabilities to move through and use the environment.

The requirements of the standard are divided into seven sections:

1.       Accessible Parking

2.       Exterior paths of travel

3.       Service-related elements

4.       Outdoor public-use eating areas

5.       Maintenance of spaces

6.       Recreational trails and beach access routes

7.       Outdoor play spaces

The standard requires ILCWR to incorporate accessibility when:

1.    Building new public spaces, or

2.    Making planned significant alterations to existing public spaces

ILCWR is not required to retrofit public spaces to meet the requirements. In other words, ILCWR is not required to alter our public spaces unless we have plans to do so.

The DOPS does not reflect the physical structure of any building. Accessibility for elements related to buildings, for example, building entrances, washrooms and barrier-free paths of travel, are not addressed in this standard. They are addressed through Ontario’s Building Code, which was update in 2015 to enhance accessibility. 

Further Reading

  •          To review ILCWR’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) policy, which is now updated to include the Design of Public Spaces click here.
  •          To learn more about ILCWR’s responsibilities under the DOPS standard of the AODA click here
  •          To review the Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation click here.
  •          To learn more about the accessibility features added to the Ontario Building Code click here.

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