Business Accessibility Toolkit Teaser
In order of appearance, John Clark, Clarks LLP, Judy Robinet, Executive Director A Life Worth Living, Kyle Horner, Producer AM 800, Vicki Mayer, Ex. Dir, ATN Access, David Best, retired IT Accessibility Specialist, and member of the AODA Standards Council, Anna Szczurko, Siskinds LLP,John Corrent, LLP Corrent and Macri, Dean LaBute, AODA Consultant, Dr. Dan Vespa, Optometrist, and Laurie Komon, Low Vision Counsellor.
It is important to understand that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was established by unanimous support of all political parties. Initially, small and medium businesses may feel it is something else that is being done to them and that it is going to be expensive, labour intensive and it is not going to make any difference in their business. The AODA is going to have major impact on all Ontario organizations because the design of the AODA is for economic expansion. It levels the playing field for all individuals and encourages employers to allow all those with different perspectives and viewpoints to come to the forefront. Failure to comply with the legislations will certainly result in penalties but worse than that it doesn’t look good for the business. Creating accessibility for an employee with a wheelchair creates accessibility for many other customers by creating a better environment for everyone. Persons with disabilities are in fact an economic juggernaut. It is estimated that persons with disabilities have disposable income of $21-23 billion per year. If businesses do not know how to implement AODA, there is no lead to action. Wouldn’t it be beneficial for employers faced with an accessibility issue to be able to hearken back to a training video to place themselves in the shoes of the trainer and to apply what they learned in the video in the workplace. The Business Accessibility Toolkit, will give employers a new perspective and a new way of understanding and the training that they need. It will allow employers to understand tools that people with disabilities use in their daily life such as GPS systems. BAT will give employers the tool that they need to employ people with disabilities.