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"Are there ‘best practices’ for continuing to meet our organization’s volunteer training requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act?"


Yes, there are on-going practices that will help you meet both the legal requirements and the intent of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Under the AODA, any volunteers with your organization that prepare policies or provide direct service on behalf of the organization must receive training on:

  • The purpose of the AODA
  • The requirements of the Customer Service Standard (CSS)
  • The four core principles of the AODA
  • The specific CSS policies and practices of your organization
  • Information about various types of disabilities and how to provide effective and respectful service

Training for volunteers who are new to your organization will need to meet all of these requirements. Material about the AODA, the CSS and your organization’s policies and practices should be included in your volunteer orientation manual and in the packages given to any new members of your Board of Directors.

To ensure that volunteers providing direct service understand your organization’s CSS policies and practices, information should be included in orientation sessions. Even if a volunteer is serving only a short stint as an event usher, they need to know how your organization accommodates people with disabilities.

Periodic ‘refreshers’ about how to serve people with disabilities could be included in e-newsletters. A discussion to increase awareness of various disabilities could be the focus of a volunteer training session.

VT’s website has CSS ‘Tip’ Sheets to share with your volunteers to continue the dialogue, as well as the specific AODA information required for new volunteers.

AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation (191/11) 2011, requires organizations to provide, on request, individualized workplace emergency response information for any employee with a disability. The regulation is specific to employees, but organizations can demonstrate responsible and respectful volunteer engagement by offering to create such a plan for volunteers with a disability.

Go to for more information and tools on the AODA and CSS.

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