Making Ontario accessible for people with disabilities

The City of Dryden supports the Province of Ontario in it's belief that people with disabilities should have the same kind of opportunities as everyone else. They should be able to do the things that most of us take for granted — going to work or school, shopping, taking in a movie or eating out.

That’s the goal of Ontario’s new legislation, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.  A copy of the act may be viewed at  Under this new law, businesses and organizations that provide goods and services to people in Ontario will have to meet certain accessibility standards with specific implementation deadlines, in five important areas of our lives:

    1)    Customer Service  

    Ontario’s first accessibility standard, the customer service standard, came into effect     
    on January 1, 2008.  The accessibility standards for customer service apply to the 
    designated public sector organizations, which includes the City of Dryden, on and after
    January 1, 2010 and to other providers of goods or services on and after January 1, 2012.

    The standard states what businesses and other organizations in Ontario must do to make
     the provision of their goods and services more accessible to people with disabilities.  More 
    information on the accesibility standards for customer service can be found online at:
    2)    Transportation  

    The Transportation Standard was developed by a committee composed of people 
    representing the disability community, transportation providers, businesses and public 
    sector organizations such as school boards and municipalities.

    The initial proposed standard was released for its mandatory public review period from
    June 27, 2007 to September 28, 2007.  The committee revised the initial proposed 
    standard to reflect the public’s input. At their last meeting on October 31, 2008, the 
    committee voted on the standard clause by clause.  The final proposed standard has now 
    been submitted to the Minister of Community and Social Services for consideration as law. 
    More information on the transportation standard can be found online at:
 3)    Information and Communications 

    A standards development committee, composed of representatives from the disability and
    business communities, developed the proposed standard.  From November 17, 2008 to 
    February 6, 2009, the Ontario government released the initial proposed Accessible 
    Information and Communications Standard for a public review period.  The committee will 
    reconvene to review and consider the input they received during the public review period,
    and will then submit a final proposed standard to the government for consideration as law. 

    The proposed standard outlines how businesses and organizations may be required to
    provide accessible public information in various formats such as online, print, verbal and
    digital.  More information on the accessibility standard for information and communications 
    can be found online at: 

    4)    Built Environment 

    The Built Environment Accessibility Standard, when completed, will specify the
    requirements for the identification, removal and prevention of barriers with respect to the
    built environment, the persons or organizations required to implement the requirements, 
    and dates by which requirements should be implemented, in increments of five years or 
    less.  More information on the accessibility standard for built environment can be found 
    online at:

5)    Employment 

    On February 18, 2009, the Ontario government released the proposed employment 
    accessibility standard for a public review period. A standards development committee, 
    composed of representatives from the disability and business communities, developed the 
    proposed standard.

    The goal of the proposed standard is to help employers create equal employment 
    opportunities for people with disabilities. The proposed standard sets out specific 
    requirements for the recruitment, retention and accommodation of people with disabilities, 
    and applies to all organizations in Ontario with at least one employee.  More information on 
    the accessibility standard for employment can be found online at:  

The City of Dryden is closely monitoring development of the above referenced five standards to be implemented under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and will put policies in place to comply with all requirements of the Act. 

For more information on accessibility in Ontario, visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services website at and for more information on accessibility in the City of Dryden, please contact Bob Cunningham, Chief Building Official, at 807-223-1140, or by email at