What Do Ontario’s Accessibility Laws Mean for Employers?

Ontario is the first province and one of the first jurisdictions in the world to enact specific legislation establishing a goal and time-frame for accessibility.

Significant progress in terms of developing and enforcing accessibility standards has been made since the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005). Businesses, communities and government officials have to work together to meet the goal of making Ontario more accessible and inclusive by 2025, as projected.


According to the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, 1 in 7 Ontarians has a disability. 

Removing barriers, whether they be physical, architectural, technological or informational is essential to ensure all community members can participate effectively in all aspects of society.

This year on January 1st, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was updated to mandate that:

  • Any organization that produces materials for educational and training institutions must be able to provide accessible or conversion-ready formats of supplementary educational or training resources.
  • All educational and training institutions’ libraries must provide accessible or conversion-ready formats of digital or multimedia resources and materials.

These updates mean that Ontario-based organizations must make their learning resources accessible. For example, those that use online video must have closed captioning for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers and video description for blind or low-vision users.

Ontario’s accessibility standards apply to all sectors, including customer service, information and communication, transportation, employment, design of public spaces and more. This means that no matter the field in which you work, there are sure to be implications for your workplace’s daily accessibility operations.

For further information about what you can and must legally do to support people with disabilities, visit the Accessibility in Ontario website here.


Looking to learn more about accommodations in the workplace? Read our blog post, “Emergency Online Learning and Accommodations” and join the mailing list for our weekly Sunday Snippets newsletter to stay up to date on best practices for diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace.

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