New AODA regulations coming into effect January 1st

For those of your who are interested in disability law and critical disability studies, it is worth pointing out that the latest round of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) regulations will be coming into effect on January 1, 2014 (amazingly, less than two weeks away).

AODA regulations are being gradually rolled out on an annual basis until January 1, 2025, having started on January 1, 2012. The standards can be found in the Integrated Accessibility Standards (O. Reg. 191/11), which exhaustively lay out the standards, along with the deadlines for compliance. It also lays out the penalties for non-compliance, which can be as much as $100,000 a day (!!).

The relevant standards that come into effect this coming January 1st deal with the establishment of detailed accessibility standards for large private sector organizations and small designated public sector organizations, establishment of accessibility plans for large private sector organizations and small public sector organizations, and far beyond (and far too much for me to list here) including but not limited to provision of accessible formats, opening of feedback channels, and the creation of accessible websites (although on this point it should be noted that this is a graduated process, with increased levels of accessibility to follow). On the point of AODA-compliant web sites, York has set up a site to deal with ensuring York's compliance with these standards.