AODA Training in Ontario

Accessibility and inclusivity are two challenging barriers that every person living with a disability confronts in daily life. While society has made great strides forward in accessibility in the last 40 years, if you have a disability – and in Canada, one in seven of us do – you know there is still a long way to go.

The Ontario Human Rights Code (also known as “The Code”) alongside the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) exist to help provide necessary accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities across many areas of their daily lives, including residential and work-related accommodations.

This page will cover what the AODA is, how to access AODA training in Ontario, and other helpful resources that Cortree can provide for you directly.

Three middle-aged people with disabilities who use wheelchairs cross a busy city street.

What is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?

First instituted in 2002, and made law in 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Act (AODA) was developed to create a barrier-free Ontario for persons with disabilities.

This involves institutions across the province being required to provide annual plans for addressing accessibility issues, including:

  • District school boards
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Hospitals and medical facilities
  • Public transportation systems
  • Government agencies

There have been other amendments made since the AODA was implemented, which have added to its areas of coverage.

This includes the “Customer Service Standard” that was implemented in 2008, which requires accessibility options for people with disabilities to obtain, use, and benefit from goods and services. This includes allowing access for service animals and support persons in publicly-accessible areas.

There have been additional amendments made in both 2011 and 2013, designed to increase accessibility of employment, information and communications, transportation and the design of public spaces. New standards are in development for health and education.

The Government of Ontario is committed to continuing this mission for accessibility, and reevaluates the Ontario AODA standards annually, to ensure existing measures are as effective and inclusive as possible.

Woman speaking on video call with diverse colleagues conducting an online briefing

What is the Purpose of AODA Training?

The purpose of AODA training is to help you recognize the history of discrimination against people with disabilities and ensure that your client-facing staff has the awareness and skills to serve the needs of all members of the community.

It will also teach you how to develop, implement, and enforce accessibility standards that are in line with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, relating to facilities, employment, goods, services, accommodations, and buildings. 

The ultimate goal of the AODA is to achieve accessibility for all Ontarians with disabilities on or before January 1st, 2025.

Young, hip male on couch with his laptop.

Who Needs AODA Training?

AODA training is a requirement if you are:

  • A paid worker
  • A Volunteer
  • A new or existing worker
  • A provider of goods, services, or facilities on behalf of your organization
  • Part of the development team for an organization’s policies (e.g., board member)
  • Responsible for changes to your organization’s accessibility policies

AODA training to helps build awareness of the hidden and pervasive discrimination people with disabilities face in public life, so we can work together to create equal opportunities for all

Young woman on video conferencing call.

2021 AODA Training Requirements

As of 2021, AODA training requirements are clear. The training content must cover:

  • Workplace-specific training that relates to responsibilities in any of the following areas of the accessibility standards[SW1] :
    • Employment
    • Communications and information
    • Transportation
    • Design of public spaces
    • Customer service 
  •  The Ontario Human Rights Code (relating to disability and accessibility)
  • Accessibility policy

Cortree’s AODA and Disability Awareness Training

Cortree offers a Disability Awareness elearning course designed to provide learners with the knowledge and confidence they need to work and thrive alongside people living with disabilities. The course provides an introduction to what constitutes a disability, and it introduces learners to common misperceptions and stereotypes, through video-based educational exercises and reflective learning.

The course also provides students the opportunity to explore and evolve their own perception of disability, to help foster more inclusive environments at work, at home, and within their communities. When paired with AODA Training, your team will learn to help remove barriers and provide exceptional customer service to the one-in-seven Canadians, who identify as living with a disability. This informational learning package is unique to Cortree.


Cortree’s Additional Resources

Cortree has developed a training suite for your organizational needs that covers AODA training requirements and disability awareness, which is a valuable addition to your Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategies. 

Cortree is a social venture owned by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, a registered charity with a proud 75-year history. We’re committed to making life more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities and their families. All Cortree proceeds are reinvested into support new programs and services, such as education and advocacy campaigns organized by and for people with disabilities.

Be part of the solution – your company can help build a truly inclusive Ontario.