What is the CHRA?
The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) is a federal law that promotes and protects the rights of all individuals in Canada, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. The CHRA was first introduced in 1977 and has since been amended several times to reflect changes in Canadian society and to expand its scope to include additional groups.
What are the differences between CHRA and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?
The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) are both pieces of legislation that aim to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities in Canada, but they differ in their scope, enforcement mechanisms, and specific requirements for accessibility.
The CHRA is a federal law that applies to all Canadians, including both public and private organizations, while the AODA is a provincial law that only applies to organizations operating in Ontario. The CHRA provides a framework for addressing discrimination on various grounds, including disability, in areas such as employment, housing, and services. The AODA, on the other hand, specifically targets accessibility barriers in areas such as transportation, customer service, employment, and information and communication.
Another key difference between the two laws is their enforcement mechanisms. The CHRA is enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which has the power to investigate complaints and bring cases before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The AODA, on the other hand, is enforced by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, who can issue fines for non-compliance.
In terms of accessibility standards, both the CHRA and the AODA reference the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the standard for accessible digital content. However, the AODA specifically requires compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA for all public websites and web content, while the CHRA does not have specific technical requirements.
Who is affected by the CHRA?
The CHRA applies to all Canadians, including both public and private organizations. Its primary goal is to prevent discrimination by ensuring equal treatment for all individuals. The CHRA provides a framework for addressing discrimination on various grounds, including disability, in areas such as employment, housing, and services.
What are the CHRA requirements?
One of the key areas of focus for the CHRA is ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The CHRA requires organizations to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to ensure they have equal access to services and employment opportunities. This includes providing accessible facilities, equipment, and information and communication technologies.
In terms of accessibility standards, the CHRA references the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the standard for accessible digital content. While the CHRA does not have specific technical requirements, it is generally understood that compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA is expected for all public websites and web content.
What are the costs associated with non-compliance?
Under the CHRA, individuals who believe they have been discriminated against can file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The Commission investigates complaints and may attempt to resolve them through mediation or conciliation. If the complaint cannot be resolved, the Commission may refer the matter to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a hearing.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is an independent body that has the power to hear and decide on complaints of discrimination. The Tribunal may order remedies, including monetary compensation and changes in policies or practices, to address the harm caused by discrimination.
In addition to the costs associated with complaints and investigations, non-compliance with the CHRA can also lead to negative publicity and damage to an organization's reputation. Discrimination complaints can generate media coverage and social media attention, which can harm an organization's brand and deter potential customers or employees from doing business or being associated with the entity in violation.
How can Clym help?
Clym believes in striking a balance between digital compliance and your business needs, which is why we offer businesses the following:
- All-in-one platform: One interface combining Privacy and Accessibility compliance with global regulations, at an affordable price;
- Seamless integration into your website;
- Adaptability to your users’ location and applicable regulation;
- Customizable branding;
- Ready Compliance: Covering 30+ data privacy regulations;
- Six preconfigured accessibility profiles, as well as 25+ display adjustments that allow visitors to customise their individual experience.