The AODA has been enabled as law in 2005. The law requires all employers (churches included) in Ontario to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility in Ontario. The Act has been implemented as two standards:
1) Customer Service Standards effective January 2012;
2) Integrated Accessibility Standards effective January 2014.
Some of the churches are already aware of this new Government Act and have started this process. If you are not familiar with the law, you may find the synopsis provided by Carters Barristers and Solicitors helpful:
- Customer Service Standards http://www.carters.ca/pub/bulletin/charity/2011/chylb263.pdf
- Integrated Accessibility Standards http://www.carters.ca/pub/bulletin/charity/2014/chylb352.pdf
The Ontario Government also provided information on AODA:
- Information and Communication Standards
- Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
- Compliance Manual for Small Business and Owners
AODA requires that we have policy and procedures in place to ensure that our churches are accessible to all. It also requires that staff and volunteers be trained on the AODA policy and procedures.
Sample policies can be purchased on the Government’s site http://accessontario.com/shop/ You may also refer to the two sample policies below to help you create your own policies.
- Midtown Alliance Church Accessibility Policy
- Richmond Hill Christian Community Church Accessibility Policy
Ontario government provided the following instructions on training
The procedures are how we incorporate the AODA policy in every aspect of church ministries. This is the area that may require more thoughts. The following resources are included to help you in this process.
Recording from AODA workshop on February 9, 2017
PowerPoint slides of the Main Session:
PowerPoint Slides of the Breakout Workshops
Recorded workshops and webinars:
AD Invitation Part 1
The following link is a list of resources concerning the AODA legislation, and a suggested starter list of books, websites and articles related to ministries with people various disabilities