Making your building AODA compliant doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your building is accessible for everyone.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) sets out specific requirements for businesses and organizations in order to make Ontario more accessible for people with disabilities. Although the AODA has been in effect since 2005, many businesses are still not compliant.
Compliance with the AODA involves removing barriers to accessibility and implementing policies and procedures that promote inclusion. It’s important to assess your building and identify any barriers to accessibility, then make the necessary modifications to remove those barriers. You should also develop and implement an accessibility plan, train staff on how to implement the plan, and educate the public about your commitment to accessibility. Finally, you should regularly monitor and review your building’s compliance with the AODA.
By following these steps, you can make sure that your building is accessible for everyone.
Overview of AODA Compliance Requirements.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a law passed by the Government of Ontario that requires businesses and organizations to become progressively accessible to people with disabilities. The goal of the AODA is to make Ontario accessible for all by 2025.
What is Required for AODA Compliance in Canada
In order to comply with the AODA, businesses and organizations must take steps to remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing their goods or services. This includes making changes to buildings, websites, and policies as well as training staff and educating the public about accessibility.
Assessing Your Building for AODA Compliance.
The first step in making your building AODA compliant is to identify any barriers to accessibility that exist. Some common barriers include:
- Steps or stairs leading up to the entrance
- Lack of handrails or grab bars in bathrooms
- Narrow doorways or hallways
- Lack of Braille or tactile signage
- Heavy doors that are difficult to open
If you are not sure whether a particular feature of your building constitutes a barrier, you can consult the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s “Policy on Accessible Housing“. Once you have identified all potential barriers, you can move on to making the necessary modifications to remove them.
Making Necessary Modifications to Remove Barriers.
After identifying all potential barriers, you will need to make the necessary modifications to remove them. This may involve:
- Installing ramps or lifts
- Widening doorways and hallways
- Installing handrails and grab bars
- Adding Braille or tactile signage
- Automating doors
- Making other changes to make the building more user-friendly for people with disabilities
Depending on the nature and extent of the modifications required, you may need to hire an architect, engineer or other professional to help you with the work. Once all barriers have been removed, your building will be AODA compliant.
How to Make Your Building AODA-Compliant
In order to make your building AODA compliant, you will need to develop and implement an accessibility plan. This plan should detail the steps you will take to identify and remove barriers to accessibility, as well as how you will train staff and educate the public about the changes you have made.
When creating your accessibility plan, there are a few key elements to keep in mind:
- Define your goals and objectives. What are you hoping to achieve with your accessibility efforts? Make sure these goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
- Conduct a barrier analysis. This will help you identify which areas of your building need to be made accessible, and what modifications need to be made in order to achieve this.
- Develop action items. Once you have identified the barriers that need to be removed, create a list of action items detailing how these barriers will be removed. Be sure to assign responsibility for each action item, and set a timeline for completion.
- Train staff and educate the public about the changes you have made. It is important that everyone who uses or visits your building is aware of the changes you have made in order to ensure compliance with the AODA. Make sure all staff members are trained on the new procedures, and post signage informing visitors of any changes they should be aware of (e.g., new entrance locations, elevator buttons placed at a lower height, etc.).
Monitoring and Reviewing Your Building’s AODA Compliance.
It is important to regularly review your building’s accessibility measures to ensure that they are still effective and up-to-date. This can be done by conducting regular audits of the premises and speaking with employees, tenants, and visitors about their experiences accessing the building.
Making Periodic Modifications.
As needs change and new technologies become available, it may be necessary to modify your building’s accessibility features. For example, you may need to install new automatic doors or make changes to the layout of a restroom. It is important to keep an open mind and be willing to make changes as needed in order to maintain compliance with the AODA.
Making your building AODA compliant is an important step in ensuring that everyone has equal access to your facilities. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can make sure that your building is accessible to all.
If you have any questions about AODA compliance or need help getting started, please contact us. We’re here to help you make your building accessible for everyone.
About GTA General Contractors Ltd.
GTA General Contractors has been a leading commercial construction company in the Toronto/Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and throughout Ontario for more than 32 years, and we are able to design, manage, and build your commercial project from start to finish. GTA General Contractors is a full-service construction and commercial development company that also provides consultancy services, construction management, design/build services, general contracting, project management, and more.