News

What is the AODA and what does it mean to you?

September 15, 2017 at 12:49pm

The Ontario government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005. The purpose is to make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. UFCW Locals 175 & 633 is on schedule to meet that requirement.

AODA Accessibility Standards will affect 360,000 organizations in Ontario, including government, the broader public sector, and private and not-for-profit organizations.

The ultimate goal of the AODA is to: Create a universally accessible and inclusive society.

It will accomplish this by identifying and removing barriers – whether physical, or in policies and practices. In addition to evident physical impairments, disabilities can include:

  • Vision loss or difficulties;
  • Deafness or being hard of hearing;
  • Intellectual or developmental impairment;
  • Learning disabilities; &
  • Mental health issues.

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service became the first law of the AODA in 2008. It set out requirements for accessible customer service for people with disabilities.

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Ontario Regulation 191/11) became law in 2011. This regulation includes Accessibility Standards for:

  • information and communications,
  • employment, and
  • transportation.

Each Standard requires developing policies and training employees. In addition, the Standard includes timelines for compliance, with different requirements phased in over several years. This means, that your Union as well as your employer must meet the AODA Standards within the provided timelines.

In particular, the AODA focuses on five key standards that require accessibility improvement:AODA 5 Key Standards - UFCW Locals 175 & 633

  • Customer Service,
  • Information & Communication,
  • Transportation,
  • Employment, and
  • Design of Public Spaces.

“The Local Union takes accessibility seriously and the policy we developed reflects our commitment,” said President Haggerty.

Download a copy of the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Customer Service and Accessibility Policies:

or contact the AODA Administrator Nadine Markou by email @ aoda@ufcw175.com or phone at 1-800-565-8329.

All Local Union staff received the necessary training required regarding these policies. In addition, to comply with the Information and Communication Standard, Local 175 updated and redesigned the website.

Website users can change the size of the text making it easier to read. Also, the website includes more contrasting colours so that items stand out more.

So, please visit the website often. If you encounter any difficulties, then please contact us at membership@ufcw175.com or by using the form on the site.

The multi-year plan developed by the Local Union includes information needed for future AODA requirements to remain accessible and compliant.

As a result, over the past year, UFCW 175 completed a review of the offices in Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Cambridge, Sudbury, Hamilton, Leamington and Mississauga to determine if those locations required any changes to maintain compliance. Currently, there are some modifications being made in the Hamilton office. These changes incorporate any AODA requirements.

“We believe that improving accessibility is the right thing to do,” said President Haggerty. “We welcome feedback from the Members. If you have any questions or comments please contact us.”

AODA Administrator:
Nadine Markou
1-800-565-8329 or aoda@ufcw175.com