The Current Status of Accessibility in Ontario

Organizations and businesses throughout the province have been removing barriers to make it easier for people with disabilities to participate in their workplaces and communities. This represents a tremendous opportunity for business as improving accessibility can create up to $9.6 billion in new retail spending and $1.6 billion in new tourism spending in Ontario over five years.

It is also important to keep in mind that a wide range of accessibility issues that affect people and businesses every day are outside the scope of the AODA – and that accessibility for everyone needs to be considered as broadly as possible.

This past June the government released The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan, to lay out some of the steps government is taking to ensure it remains on track to creating an accessible province in the decade ahead.

Read the full Hack-cessibility Challenge Brief.

 

 
Want to learn more about accessibility or need a quick refresher? The following list of reading materials and links may provide you with some helpful background on the subject of accessibility and inspiration when thinking through the idea you’ll bring to the table at the policy hack.
 

Useful Links

Government of Ontario – Accessibility Page
The main Government of Ontario site that informs Ontarians about the laws and reporting deadlines for complying with accessibility requirements.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
An independent site with information on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act also known as Bill 118.

Accessibility News
Accessibility News is an online magazine with up-to-date links and information about accessibility news within Canada.

The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan
This is Ontario’s plan to ensure that it remains on track to creating an accessible province in the decade ahead.
 

Reading List

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005)
Government of Ontario
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a law passed by the Ontario legislature in 2005 that sets out a process for developing accessibility standards.


Access Ryerson
Ryerson University
Check out the Accessibility at Ryerson website to learn about Ryerson’s Access Initiative.


Federal Disability Reference Guide (2013)
Government of Canada
The Disability Reference Guide (the Guide) is a tool for identifying, clarifying and promoting policies to address issues that affect people with disabilities.


Business Benefits of Accessible Workplaces (2014)
Conference Board of Canada
A brief by the Conference Board of Canada that examines the business benefits of accessible employment practices. The Conference Board also outlines strategies and resources to help businesses develop accessible and inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities.


Releasing Constraints: Projecting the Economic Impacts of Improved Accessibility in Ontario (2010)
Martin Prosperity Institute
This study, commissioned by the Government of Ontario, examines the potential economic impact of achieving substantially higher levels of accessibility. It finds that that there are opportunities at all three levels to realize non-trivial economic gains through enabling a higher number of Ontarians to participate fully in the province’s economy.


Charting a Path Forward: Report of the Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Government of Ontario
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act must be reviewed regularly. This is a report by Charles Beer on his findings and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of Ontario’s accessibility laws.


Second Legislative Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Government of Ontario
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act must be reviewed regularly. Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, reviewed the Act and conducted consultations between 2013 and 2014. This reports presents her recommendations to the government.


Partnership Council on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities: Initial Report
Government of Ontario
The Partnership Council on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities (the Council) submitted recommendations to the government on how to enhance employment opportunities for Ontarians with disabilities.