March 2014  |  View this email online
Ontario's Accessibility Standards: What you need to know

It’s a new year! Are you ready?

Two co-workers reviewing documents.

2014 Requirements Recap – Private and Non-Profit Organizations

As of January 1, 2014, here’s what your business or non-profit must have in place, depending on its size.

If you have 50+ employees:

If you have 1 – 49 employees:

You don’t have any new requirements this year.
Woman at a computer browsing the Internet.
Beginning January 1, 2014, if you’re a business or non-profit with 50+ employees and you build a new website or significantly refresh an old one, you must be making it accessible.

This means that new public websites and web content must meet international accessibility guidelines called “WCAG 2.0, Level A.

Do I submit a report this year?

Yes. If you are a business or non-profit with 20+ employees, you need to file a compliance report by December 31, 2014.
File your report now

AODA Review Update – A Message from the Reviewer

The second Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is well underway, and I welcome your comments and thoughts regarding Ontario’s progress in achieving the accessibility goals set out in the legislation.

I encourage you to visit my website at, where you may submit your confidential comments regarding the legislation, or register to attend one of the following public consultation sessions:

In-Person Consultations:

  • Ottawa – March 18, 2014
  • Toronto – March 21, 2014 and April 29, 2014
  • London – April 9, 2014
  • Thunder Bay – April 15, 2014

On-line and Call in Consultations:

  • April 3, 2014
  • April 22, 2014
Exact locations and times of consultations are available on my website, and registration for all consultation sessions via the website is required.  Those attending the public consultations are not required to make written submissions, although those wishing to speak to a written submission at a public consultation must upload the submission to my website seven days prior to the date of the consultation. 
I look forward to hearing from many Ontarians regarding this important piece of provincial legislation.

Dean Mayo Moran

Accessibility Standards Advisory Council / Standards Development Committee Update

Under the AODA, each accessibility standard must be reviewed five years after it becomes law to determine whether it’s working as intended and to allow for any needed adjustments.

In 2013, the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council / Standard Development Committee (ASAC/SDC) began its review of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, the first standard to become law under the AODA.

The committee has developed proposed changes and is asking for public comment before finalizing its recommendations to government.

Visit starting March 3, 2014 for information on the committee’s proposed changes and to provide your feedback. Comments will be accepted until April 16, 2014.

The ASAC/SDC appreciates your participation in the public feedback process and thanks you for helping to improve accessibility in Ontario.

Website Tools and Tips

All businesses and non-profits with 50+ employees have to make new websites accessible.

A “new” internet website means a site with a brand new web address. It doesn’t mean adding a new page or new link on an existing site. A new internet website can also mean that you’re doing a significant “refresh” to a site with an existing web address.

Here are some resources to help you learn more about making your website accessible:

1. AChecker is a web accessibility tool that checks single HTML pages to make sure the content can be accessed by everyone.

2. The Inclusive Design Research Centre now offers a free weekly clinic to help you check the condition of your website.

3. The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments has guides to help organizations understand and apply accessible information and communication technologies to their business practices.

Conferences and Connections

We travel all over Ontario spreading the word about accessibility at conferences and events. We also make virtual connections through webinars for organizations. Let us know if you’re interested in having us do a presentation for you.

Recent events:

  • Canadian Franchise Association (webinar)
  • Economic Developers Council of Ontario Conference
  • Festivals and Events Ontario Annual Conference
  • Human Resources Professionals Association Conference
  • Ontario Parks Association’s Annual Education Forum

What's new?

Ontario’s Building Code has been amended to include enhancements to accessibility in buildings.  As of January 1, 2015, new construction and renovations will be subject to updated accessibility requirements.

Accessibility Champions

Southwestern Ontario law firm, Cohen Highley LLP was the winner of the first Ontario Leader in Accessible Employment award. The award was presented by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce at its 2013 Ontario Business Achievement Awards in November.  Watch this video to learn more about their accessible employment practices.
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