Organizations have current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and the Customer Service Standard do not replace or affect existing legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and other laws in respect to accommodation of people with disabilities. Organizations must comply with both pieces of legislation.

Compliance Dates, Offences and Fines for the AODA

AODA: Accessible Transportation Compliance Schedule

Author: Suzanne Cohen Share
Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 09:00

As you probably know, the Transportation Standards under the Integrated Accessibility Standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act will come into force over the next five years. The Ministry of Community and Social Services has released the accessible transportation compliance dates, and you can find them all below. Obligated transportation providers can keep this schedule as a quick reminder of present and future compliance deadlines.

The large sections on technical requirements allow for existing contracts prior to July 1, 2011, to proceed without retrofits. Further, providers need not retrofit existing vehicles in the fleet as of July 1, 2011. Any contracts signed after this date must meet technical requirements except in certain cases where an installation might compromise the structural integrity of a vehicle.

Compliance requirements due January 1, 2012

Conventional and Specialized Transportation Service Providers, General

Conventional Transportation Service Providers, General

Section 44: General responsibilities

Conventional Transportation Service Providers, Technical Requirements

For contracts under this heading to purchase new or used vehicles on or after July 1, 2011, the provider will make sure the vehicles meet requirements of the section.

For the following sections, there is an exception to the above requirement for contracts entered on or after July 1, 2011, if installation impairs the structural integrity of a vehicle.

Specialized Transportation Service Providers

Other Transportation Services

Duties of Municipalities and Taxicabs

Section 80: Duties of municipalities, taxicabs

Compliance requirements due as of January 1, 2013:

Conventional and Specialized Transportation Service Providers, Accessibility Plans

Conventional Transportation Service Providers, General

Conventional Transportation Service Providers, Technical Requirements

Specialized and Conventional Transportation Service Providers who provide both services

Specialized Transportation Service Providers

Duties of Municipalities and Taxicabs

Compliance requirements due as of July 1, 2013

Conventional Transportation Service Providers, General

Section 50: Service disruptions

Other Transportation Services

Section 77: Ferries (subsection 3, Integrated Standards Section 50)

Compliance requirements due as of January 1, 2014

Conventional and Specialized Transportation Service Providers, General

Specialized Transportation Service Providers

Other Transportation Services

Compliance requirements due as of January 1, 2017

Conventional Transportation Service Providers, General

Specialized Transportation Service Providers

The clear message is that, as of July 1, 2011, obligated transportation providers must consider accessibility technical requirements when signing purchasing contracts for new vehicles.

Remember: the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service also include transportation requirements and demand specific actions be complete in 2012. A couple of these transportation regulations allow cover topics in the main Transportation Standards (discussed above), for example, service disruptions and service delays. Providers and customers may find these different compliance dates confusing if they expect these obligations to be in compliance as of this year.

Is everything you need to do clear now? No? Well, at least you have a calendar to remind you of compliance dates. Feel free to ask questions about with industry specific concerns. If you ask a question, other organizations may also find the answer helpful—and vice versa.

Suzanne Cohen Share, M.A., CEO
Access (SCS) Consulting Services

Reproduced from http://blog.firstreference.com/2012/01/17/aoda-accessible-transportation-compliance-schedule/

Fines

Author: Suzanne Cohen Share
Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 09:00

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) allows for severe maximum monetary penalties for any violation to the Act. The maximum penalties under the AODA include:

This said, to encourage compliance, the government has established an administrative monetary penalties scheme that determines how and why an individual or corporation might face a penalty or fine. The scheme was established under Part V, Compliance, of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, which came into force July 1, 2011.

The scheme allows a ministry director or a designate to issue an order against a person, organization or corporation to pay a penalty amount as a result
of non-compliance with the AODA or any of the accessibility standards.

These penalties and fines will depend on the severity and history of the contravention. The director will determine the severity of the contravention by ranking the contravention as minor, moderate or major.

The contravention history of the person or organization will be determined by ranking it as minor, moderate or major in the following manner:

A reporting cycle is a 12-month period. The current two reporting cycles period discussed above begins on the first day the person or organization must
file the accessibility report and ends on the last day before the next report must be filed. If a person or organization filed an accessibility report
before July 1, 2011, the two reporting cycles period is calculated from the first day that the person or organization was required to file an accessibility
report.

For organizations and individuals that are exempt from the reporting requirement, the two reporting cycles period consists of the 12-month period that begins at the earliest of the following and ends at the end of each 12-month period:

So what are these escalating administrative penalties for non-compliance?

The largest lump sum penalty amount that can be issued to an individual or an organization that is not a corporation is $2,000 and the maximum for a corporation is $15,000. These maximum amounts can be issued per day. The potential for daily amounts will be reserved for contraventions that fall within the “major compliance history and major impact” category. Decision will be made on a case-by-case basis with careful consideration of the circumstances before an order for a daily amount is issued.

Individuals or Unincorporated Organizations

Impact of Contravention Major
(priority requirement)
Moderate
(organizational preparedness)
Minor
(administrative/ operational)
Major compliance history
(6 previous contraventions)
$2,000
(can be issued per day)
$1000.00 $500.00
Moderate compliance history
(2–5 previous contraventions)
$1000.00 $500.00 $250.00
Minor
(first contravention)
$500.00 $250.00 $200.00

Administrative Penalties for Corporations

Impact of Contravention Major
(priority requirement)
Moderate
(organizational preparedness)
Minor
(administrative/ operational)
Major compliance history
(6 previous contraventions)
$15,000
(can be issued per day)
$10,000.00 $5000.00
Moderate compliance history
(2–5 previous contraventions)
$10000.00 $5000.00 $2500.00
Minor
(first contravention)
$2000.00 $1000.00 $500.00

Thus, to be issued an order with the maximum penalty amount, the person, organization or corporation must:

Persons and organizations that are facing a director’s order will receive notice and will have an opportunity to make written submissions explaining the
non-compliance. The person or organization must submit a response within 30 days after the order was made. A director’s review of the submission can result in the decision to reduce or rescind the initial penalty amount. The decision to reduce or rescind the initial penalty amount will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the explanation provided by the organization and other factors such as steps taken to come into compliance and any economic benefit derived from the contravention.

In the event a person or an organization appeals a fine, the Regulation designates the Licence Appeal Tribunal to hear and determine the appeal.

If an organization fails to pay an administrative monetary penalty within the time specified in the order (within 30 days after the order was made, unless
the order specifies a longer period), and makes no submission to the director, or appeal to the designated tribunal, the order can be filed with a local
registrar of the Superior Court of Justice to be enforced like a civil court order.

Failing to comply with a director’s order is an offence under the AODA that can be prosecuted.

The government is appearing to use a nurturing approach to ensure compliance. The AODA has harsh maximum penalties but the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation softens the blow with substantially lower monetary penalties before the maximum penalties can occur.

I hope everyone is now clear on the approach a director will take to first encourage compliance and then prepare to give the non-compliant organization
smaller monetary penalties. The initial penalties act as a reminder to organizations that after two years the higher amounts may be rapidly enforced.

This is just one of the tools directors may use to enforce compliance. Directors can also issue general compliance orders.

We all have a lot of work to do to accomplish accessibility, but one thing is clear: early recognition of the AODA allows organizations time to learn and
plan ways to meet legal obligations. By understanding your obligations now, you can begin to draft your policies, practices and procedures, as well as
your accessibility plan. Then, you actually have to do what you promise to do in those policies , practices and procedures and multi-year plans.

There is still a lot to talk about. Don’t forget to tune in for my next post.

Suzanne Cohen Share
Access (SCS) Consulting Services

Reproduced from http://blog.firstreference.com/2011/08/24/aoda-administrative-monetary-penalties-scheme/