As you may already know, Ontario is dedicated to making our province accessible by 2025 through the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The government is now looking to develop a third-party certification program for businesses, similar to what LEED certification is for environmental and sustainable buildings. You can now have your say in sharing your stories and submitting your ideas!
As part of its Accessibility Action Plan, the Government of Ontario has launched a citizen engagement process to inform the development of a voluntary accessibility certification program that would be delivered outside of government. The citizen engagement is being led by Deloitte on behalf of the Ontario government. Certified for Access incorporates an online platform intended to engage participants and give them an opportunity to have their say in shifting the accessibility landscape in Ontario and beyond. It will bring together businesses, disability advocates, certification experts, municipalities, and not-for-profit organizations in a transparent and inclusive way.
The desired outcome of this process is the development of an independent, financially self-sustaining, made-in-Ontario certification process for Ontario businesses, organizations, and institutions. Certification will not replace the requirements that organizations need to meet under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). It is also not intended to be a replacement or alternative to compliance and enforcement activities. Certification is intended to enable a competitive advantage that business, industry, and institutions can strive towards. Certification would improve Ontarians knowledge of which businesses are accessible and allow them to make an informed decision about what services, locations, information and institutions are more accessible.
How can you have your say?
Your feedback and ideas will help guide this process, and by participating in Certified for Access you will ensure your voice is heard in the development of a made-in-Ontario certification model.
As each phase of this engagement unfolds, Certified for Access will seek your feedback on the challenges faced by people and business as they work to make their interactions more accessible. This is your opportunity to share stories and provide advice.