Amendments to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Ontario Regulation 191/11) to address barriers impeding access to outdoor public spaces by persons with disabilities also include proposed minor technical amendments under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
These changes effect accessibility plans, information and communication, employment, and transportation standards, and exist to clarify some of the requirements and make it easier for organizations to implement them. It also includes changes to the requirement to file an accessibility report under the accessibility standards for customer service under Ontario Regulation 429/07.
Currently, obligated organizations except for small organizations (19 or less employees) must file a report with the Ministry of Community and Social Services every year. The first report under the customer service standard must be filed on or before December 31, 2012.
Effective January 1, 2013, organizations will file an accessibility report with a director according to the following schedule:
- Annually, in the case of the Government of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly
- Every two years, in the case of designated public sector organizations
- Every three years, in the case of large organizations
With the first report being due,
- as of December 31, 2013, in the case of the Government of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly
- as of December 31, 2013, in the case of designated public sector organizations
- as of December 31, 2014, in the case of large organizations
The general obligation of developing an accessibility plan will be amended to clarify that two or more designated public sector organizations who are required to comply with the requirements with respect to accessibility plans can prepare a joint accessibility plan.
When a joint accessibility plan is prepared in accordance with the above, it is deemed to be the accessibility plan of each designated public sector organization to which it applies with appropriate modifications.
Libraries of educational and training institutions
Section 18 of the Integrated Regulation has been modified to clarify and stipulate who the requirement applies to, the libraries of educational or training institutions that are obligated organizations will provide, procure, or acquire by other means an accessible or conversion- ready format of print, digital, or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability who is a student of the educational or training institute, upon request.
Section 26 of the Integrated Regulation has been modified to remove “consult with the employee to” as a requirement since it is already stated in 26 (2).
26. (1) In addition to its obligations under section 12, where an employee with a disability so requests it, every employer shall
consult with the employee toprovide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for […]
Section 26 (2) has been modified to add the following words at the beginning of the obligation. “In meeting its obligations under subsection (1),” the employer shall consult with the employee making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.
The definition of “mobility aid” in section 33 of the Regulation is revoked.
Subsections 49 (1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Regulation are amended by striking out “courtesy seating” wherever it appears and substituting in each case “priority seating”. Clause 53 (1) (c) of the Regulation is amended by striking out “courtesy seating” and substituting “priority seating”. Subsection 56 (1) of the Regulation is amended by striking out “courtesy seating” and substituting “priority seating”.
Section 52 of the Regulation is amended by adding the following subsections: (3.1) Where a conventional transportation system provider provides electronic on-board announcements under clause (2) (a), the conventional transportation provider is not required to provide the same information verbally under subsection (1).
(4.1) Despite subsection (4), subsection (1) does not apply to subways, light rail, commuter rail and inter-city rail.
Section 78 of the Regulation is amended by adding the following subsection: (3.1) Despite subsection (3), a municipality shall limit the participation of the person in the consultation and planning to the extent that is necessary to prevent the person from obtaining an unfair advantage in future bidding for new contracts with the municipality.
Many interested stakeholders and accessibility advocate were surprised and not expecting the above amendments. The government gave no indication that the recently enacted standards would require or needed amendments.
Nevertheless, interested stakeholders can provide their comments to the government by email to email@example.com by October 1, 2012.
The comments received during consultation will be considered during the final preparation of the regulation. The amendments, once finalized, are expected to come into force the later of January 1, 2013, or the day they are filed.