As of January 1, 2012, all employers, including licensed child care programs, will be required to maintain compliance with the Accessbility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (OADA). Ontario is the first Canadian jurisdiction to enact such leglislation, which is aimed at making all workplaces accessible to people living with various types of disabilities. Over 15% of Ontario's population, or one in seven people, is living with a disability. The AODA standards apply to every person and organization in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors that provides goods, services or facilities; employers one or more persons; offers accomodation; or owns or occupies a building, structure or premises. The main areas covered by the legislation are customer service; information and communications; employment accessibility; accessible transportation and the built environment. A good starting point to learn more is the government's AODA web site: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/
The ADCO My School insurance program offered by CCV Insurance & Financial Services offers a variety of safeguards for child care employers seeking to maintain legislative compliance and prevent litigation costs related to their employment practices. To learn more, please visit: www.ccvinsurance.com.
The Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO) has also created a number of AODA resources for employers. These include the Harold Jeepers' series of
six short videos and a special communications guide to help managers and supervisors more fully understand their responsibilities
under the AODA.
ADCO members may also wish to review a special presentation about New Obligations in Employment developed by lawyer Kelsey Orth, Crawford, Chondon & Partners LLP and Deborah Gibson, CCV Insurance & Financial Services Inc. This presentation was created especially for the 2011 ADCO Fall Conference and is available here.