The Government of Ontario has announced two developments related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The first is the release of the final proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard under the AODA. The changes are based on recommendations made by the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council/Standards Development Committee in 2013 and 2014. Comments from the public will be received until Dec. 31. For more information and details of the changes, visit the Service Ontario website. CMHA Ontario participated in the 2013/2014 review of the proposed changes and is pleased to see that the training requirement for service animals, which may have an impact on people with mental health disabilities, has been removed.
The Government of Ontario is also developing a voluntary accessibility certificate program to be delivered by a third party certifying body. The purpose of the program is to recognize businesses and organizational that have championed accessibility. Stakeholder feedback is encouraged into this development process, including feedback from businesses, disability advocates, certification experts, municipalities and not for profit organizations. For more information, please join the conversation online.