If the ROI of Accessibility in your Workplace Does Not Convince you, the Penalties Should

Integrated Accessibility Standards – The Next Step in AODA Compliance for Private Companies in Ontario.
If the ROI doesn’t Convince you, the Penalties for Non-Compliance Should.

The compliance deadlines for the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service was the first of 5 Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians’ with Disabilities Act (AODA), have past. Private organizations in Ontario should be well under way in the planning stages for meeting the next IASR (Integrated Accessibility Standards) which is the next phase of requirements under Ontario’s Accessibility legislation. These Integrated Accessibility Standards came into effect on January, 2012 for Private Organizations and are also accompanied by the mandatory requirement to ensure public outdoor spaces include accessible design elements. The IASR significantly impacts most organizations in Ontario with respect to their human resources practices, procurement and day-to-day business practices.

The Integrated Accessibility Standards address accessibility in three areas: Information and Communications; Employment; and Transportation. The IASR is much more complex than the Customer Service Standard in its application as compliance with each section is not consistent for all organizations. Most of the compliance deadlines are phased in between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2017 (many extend beyond 2017). The deadlines within each standard vary making it critical that organizations know which parts of which standards apply, how and by what dates.

Who do the Integrated Accessibility Standards Apply to?

The IASR applies to the Ontario Government & Legislative Assembly, every designated public sector organization AND every person or organization that provides goods, services or facilities to the public or to third parties and has at least one employee in Ontario.

The 2 classifications of private organization under the IASR with targeted compliance include.

1. Large private and not-for-profit organizations (50+ employees)

2. Small private and not-for-profit organizations (between 1–50 employees)

* All organizations with the exception of small private and not-for-profit organizations (less than 50 employees) are required to report compliance to the government at designated timelines.

Outline of Basic Steps required in each Standard?

Following is a summary of categories and the primary requirements associated with each. The requirements under the IASR are extensive & as such this does not represent a complete complete list. Our AODA Policy experts and Built Environment Experts can assist in reviewing and planning for the more in-depth Integrated Accessibility Standards. contact us at AODA@optimalperformance.ca to arrange an initial consult.

General Requirements

The IAS Regulation has a set of General Requirements:

· Accessibility Policies and Plans

Organizations are required to develop, implement and maintain policies on how they will achieve accessibility requirements and commit to removing barriers to inclusion. Organizations will be required to establish, implement, maintain and document a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan which outlines the organization’s accessibility strategy to meet the requirements of the Integrated Standard. The plan must be posted on the organization’s website, provided in an accessible format and be reviewed at least once every five years.

· Mandatory Training

Organizations must train all employees on the IASR requirements which include the Communication and Information, Employment and Transportation standards as well as the Human Rights Code for Ontario. The requirements are numerous and training should be specific to the duties/nature of each job. This means employee & manager training requirements will differ in length and content.

Other groups which must also be trained include persons who develop policies (i.e. board members) and anyone who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization

Other General Requirements include the procurement of goods, services or facilities and self-service kiosks.

Information and Communications Standard including:

· Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

Organizations must, upon request, provide accessible formats and communication supports. Examples may include enlarged print, braille, accessible electronic formats, captioning, sign language interpreters and reading documents aloud. Accessible formats and communication supports must be provided or arranged for in a timely manner and at a cost not exceeding the regular cost charged to other persons.

· Accessible Websites

Organizations will be required to make their internet websites and web content conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines called WCAG 2.0. These guidelines define the requirements for an accessible website. These guidelines include four principles of web accessibility:

perceivable
operable
understandable
robust

Adherence to these guidelines will increase readability and allow persons with different disabilities to use assistive devices such as screen readers, magnifiers, & alternate navigation methods within the web.

· Feedback Processes

By now Organizations should have processes for receiving and responding to feedback related to the Customer Service Standard. There is now a requirement to ensure Feedback regarding the CSS and the IASR are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing accessible formats and communication supports, upon request.

Information and Communications requirements also include emergency procedures and educational and training resources and materials.

Employment Standard

The Employment standard is specific to Employers as it relates to the employment of paid employees. This Standard establishes obligations for employers regarding recruitment, accessible training and testing information, employee accommodation, return to work, performance management, career development and re-deployment. This will entail training managers on their responsibilities and training employees on their rights under the AODA.

· Individualized Workplace Emergency Response Information

Organizations must provide and document individualized workplace emergency plans for employees with a disability. Employees are not required to disclose a disability however organizations must request that an employee inform them if the existing emergency response plan does not meet their needs and how the Plan can meet their individual needs.

*This requirement was to be met on January 1, 2012.

· Recruitment Practices

Employers must ensure that all matters related to the recruitment process are accessible to persons with all disability types. This includes jobs being posted in accessible formats and locations; consulting with applicants to provide or arrange suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s disability; and providing communication supports and information in an accessible format.

· Employee Accommodation

Upon request, employers must meet an employee’s need for accessible formats and communication supports for information that is needed in order to perform the job and to access information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.

Transportation Standard

The Transportation standard applies to organizations that provide public or specialized transportation services. The details of the Transportation standard are numerous & technical in nature. Organizations should carefully review this standard to determine whether or not it applies to them.

Enforcement and Penalties

Failure to comply with the AODA requirements can lead to administrative monetary penalties and prosecutions. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has the power to conduct inspections, assign monetary penalties and prosecute through the courts. Penalties for non-compliance range from $200 to $2,000 for individuals and unincorporated organizations; $500 to $15,000 for corporations.
In the case of an offense under the AODA, penalties can reach a daily maximum of $50,000 for individuals or unincorporated organizations and $100,000 daily for corporations.

There are numerous excellent studies and evidence about the ROI of incorporated Accessibility Programs and Policies as well as Built Environments in the UK, US and Australia. Evidence is starting to emerge in Canada as well primarily in the Province of Ontario. If the ROI and Businesses cases are not motivation enough to embrace accessible, inclusive organizations, then the possibility of corporate penalties of $100,000 per DIEM, brand damage & negative shareholder perceptions may well motivate organizations to comply and do so on the timelines outlined by the Directorate.

To learn the details as to compliance requirements and deadlines for reporting please contact one of our AODA Policy experts.
To learn more about the Accessible Public Space Design requirements which were quietly passed in December 2012 or the new Ontario Build Code Accessible Built Environment (ABES) which passed December 27th 2013 contact one of OPC’s Built Environment Experts.
Contact us at AODA@OptimalPerformance.ca to set up an initial meeting with our experts. Continue reading

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Home | WBE Canada, Certified Women Business Enterprises

Source: www.wbecanada.org

OPC Inc has been a member of WBE Canada for over 4 years now – we are a diverse owned ergonomic consulting firm with operations across Canada and into the US.

See on Scoop.itHuman Factors Design

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Not compliant with AODA? As of today you have 41 days to comply & register with the Directorate

Is your company compliant with the CSS & IASR for the AODA in Ontario?

Is your company compliant with the CSS & IASR for the AODA in Ontario?

Not compliant with AODA? Ignore compliance audit notice at your peril.

The Countdown has begun for compliance with your IASR obligations under the AODA. 41 days and counting to comply and register your compliance with the Directorate. If these acronyms are not clear to you or if your company is not certain what to do with notices you may have received over the last 2 years, please contact one of our AODA experts at AODA@optimalperformance.ca With the Ontario Build Code’s mandatory Accessible Built Environment Standard (ABES) starting in full January 1 2015 Build Owners, Property Managers, & Tenants should be considering a Built Environment & Public Space Audit by one of our OBC Experts, Architects or Interior Designers. If your company is updating your websites, intranet or apps contact Arthur or Jason at OPC to arrange a meeting about how to comply with the WCAG level requirements (IASR). OPC Inc since 1991

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Not compliant with AODA? Ignore compliance audit notice at your peril

There are 500 companies facing AODA compliance orders from the province of Ontario. (Photo: Shutterstock)The Ontario government is cracking down on co…

Source: www.canadianlawyermag.com

The Countdown has begun for compliance with your IASR obligations under the AODA. 41 days and counting to comply and register your compliance with the Directorate.  If these acronyms are not clear to you or if your company is not certain what to do with notices you may have received over the last 2 years, please contact one of our AODA experts at AODA@optimalperformance.ca  With the Ontario Build Code’s mandatory Accessible Built Environment Standard (ABES) starting in full January 1 2015 Build Owners, Property Managers, & Tenants should be considering a Built Environment & Public Space Audit by one of our OBC Experts, Architects or Interior Designers.  If your company is updating your websites, intranet or apps contact Arthur or Jason at OPC to arrange a meeting about how to comply with the WCAG level requirements (IASR).  OPC Inc since 1991

See on Scoop.itHuman Factors Design

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Join Kathy Smythe of Steelcase Canada and Jane Sleeth of Optimal Performance this December for a Seminar

Announcing an exciting seminar at the impressive Steelcase 
Canada Facility in Downtown Toronto this December.

Join Kathy Smythe of Steelcase Canada and Jane Sleeth of Optimal Performance this December for a Seminar on new topics related to Ergonomics.

Jane, Sr Ergonomic & Accessibility Consultant with OPC Inc will present  about “Ergonomics is about more than Posture & a Chair: Stand Up at Work, Sit Like a Man, & Walking Shoes are for lunch” Jane will describe how the science of ergonomics extends beyond the usual idea that it is just about a good chair and improved postures.  Jane will outline the scientific evidence for 3 changes in employee work behaviours and their impact on human physical and mental health.

Kathy Smythe of Steelcase Canada will present about the Steelcase topic of wellbeing in the workplace; “Wellbeing and the Importance of Movement: How to Design Healthy & Active offices”

Steelcase statistics & OPC Inc assessment data collected over the last 24 years of practice in Canada find an increasing number of employees spend more time in a seated & static posture when their offices are designed in a certain way. It is

Sign up for the December 4th morning Seminar with two of Canada's top experts in the human factor/ergonomics.

Sign up for the December 4th morning Seminar with two of Canada’s top experts in the human factor/ergonomics.

clear that design can impact how, when & how effectively employees will move more dynamically in the office.  This leads to employees undertaking more healthy approaches to work to truly meet the outcome associated with employee Wellbeing.

Sign up with Steelcase or with Carla Mardonet at OPC for Thursday December 4th in the morning at INFO@optimalperformance.ca or 416 860-0002.

We look forward to seeing you there for this important dual talk by two top experts in this field.

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The Sheraton Centre Hotel is renovating in Toronto. Will this be ACCESSIBLE?

Which consulting firm will Sheraton Centre use to ensure all of the Ontario Build Code Barrier Free Design elements are in place. Jan 1st 2015 (45 days from today) is the deadline for commencement of use of the OBC ABES design + the IASR (AODA) mandatory requirements for public space accessible design and outdoor public space mandatory design.

Interior Designers and Architects are NOT experts in accessible design (although many a firm states they are). This is one of the reasons Vendors such as ID and Architectural firms themselves must prove compliance with the AODA for Ontario’s requirements before being selected by Hotel Procurement teams.

Read more about the AODA and the new OBC’s ABES at optimalperformanceblog.com or contact us at AODA@optimalperformance.ca

Our firm has worked with hotels & the restaurant industry on accessible design.Canada Falls Behind on Accessible Hotel Design

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FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION – only with <1" of Interior Designers and Architects finds OPC Inc

How to label accessible button for elevator – Google Search.

How to label accessible button for elevator – FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. OPC Inc has found in our practice that <1% of Interior Designers & even fewer Architects believe that FORM follows Function. Thus the need for Ergonomic Design experts and Accessible Design experts in the field. The challenge lies in getting ID's and Architects to hire & consult with these experts at the blue print phase to prevent eventual retrofits and upgrades. OPC Inc

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Outrage Turns to Fear Over Spinal Fusion » Evidence in Motion

ScientificEvidence; The Drunkard WalkOutrage Turns to Fear Over Spinal Fusion » Evidence in Motion.

This article presents excellent evidence about the overuse of surgery and even the overuse of MRI and Xrays for low back pain with no myotome impact (ie reflexes are intact, motor function normal) and not even any referred pain into the leg.
Have a read in order to become a more discerning consumer of healthcare.
Start to demand evidenced based medicine and rehabilitation in all cases for your back pain and injury.
Employers need to also start to demand more of medical providers in their handling of employees with low back pain and MSI’s.

JESleeth PT Optimal Performance Consultants
Read more about this topic in both the Carswell.com Return to Work Compliance Toolkit by Jane Sleeth and
Neck and Back Pain Prevention & Treatment also with Carswell by Jane Sleeth, Author, Ergonomic Consultant and Physiotherapist

Posted in Back Pain, best treatment for back pain, best treatment for neck pain, Physiotherapy, poor return to work outcomes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment