Yes we’re back to this again. Will we have an accessible Ontario by 2025? That is a question that is up for debate so let’s have at it! The answer is we don’t know yet. We do know that since the AODA became the law nearly four years ago only one of the five standards has been released.
I have been talking to many organizations that have to comply by the end of this year and the consensus is that the requirements are somewhat vague. The Guide to Accessibility Standards for Customer Service provided by the Ontario Government states that “the standard does not specify what reasonable efforts are because they may be different in each situation”. This lack of clarity is challenging and the fact that “barriers” are not defined also adds that “huh?” element. Clearly everything isn’t black and white but it seems the legislation leaves a lot up to the service provider. For instance the new feedback process is a huge step towards accessibility but the standard doesn’t outline who receives it and what should be done with it. Is anyone else getting the same impression?
We have a little over fifteen years and four more standards to plow through so it is hard to say if we will in fact reach our goal. Seems like plenty of time, but how many times have you said to yourself “time flies”? Hopefully the next standards will roll out sooner than the Customer Service Standard.