Disabilities affect people of all ages and background. Some people are born with one or more disabilities. Many others develop disabilities through illness, injury or aging. People with disabilities represent a significant and growing part of our population. 1 in 7 people in Ontario has a disability. That’s almost 2 million Ontarians. By 2036, that number will rise to 1 in 5 as people age. Over the next 20 years, aging Ontarians and people with disabilities will represent 40% of total income in Ontario. That’s $536 billion.
People with disabilities are a growing market that businesses can’t afford to overlook.
Enhancing the ability of people with disabilities to live independently and contribute to the community will have positive effects on future prosperity in Ontario.
The law requires that barriers are identified, and removed, in order to provide customer service that is more accessible to people who have disabilities.The Province of Ontario recognized that accessibility is a shared responsibility and passed the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) on December 14, 2001 to require provincial and municipal governments and key broader public sector organizations to review their policies, programs and services.
In June 2005, the Province of Ontario furthered its commitment to accessibility by expanding previous legislation to include the private sector with the goal to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities by 2025. The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities in five important areas of their lives within specified time limits: