ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE
A Great New Tool in Our New Blitz to Get Every Member of the Ontario Legislature to Press the Government for New Action on Disability Accessibility – Now Available On Youtube: TVOntario’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Featuring an Interview with Former Lieutenant Governor David Onley and AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky
February 6, 2015
TVOntario has posted on YouTube the 26-minute interview that aired on "The Agenda with Steve Paikin" on February 2, 2015. Leading journalist Steve Paikin interviewed former Lieutenant Governor, David Onley and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Chair, David Lepofsky on the need for the Ontario Government to take decisive new action to get Ontario back on schedule to reach full accessibility for people with disabilities by 2025, as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires.
At any time, using your computer or smart phone, you can watch the interview with David Onley and David Lepofsky on TVOntario’s February 2, 2015 edition of The Agenda With Steve Paikin.
We have recently launched a grassroots campaign across Ontario to press every member of the Ontario Legislature (MPP) to call for strong new action to make Ontario fully accessible to over 1.8 million people with disabilities. The Action Tips that we set out below can help you use this TV program to help our new grassroots campaign.
Do you want more ideas for ways you can help? To download the AODA Alliance’s recent Action Kit for more ideas on how to get your MPP to call for strong new action on disability accessibility.
1. Action Tips – Use the February 2, 2015 Interview on Disability Accessibility to Win Support for More Government Action on Accessibility
You can easily use this interview to help get all members of the Ontario Legislature to press the Ontario Government to speed up its implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. We invite you to:
- Phone your MPP’s office. Tell your MPP’s staff about the TVOntario program. Send them the link to it. If you don’t call their office, and only email the MPP’s office about it, they are much less likely to take the time to watch it.
- If you set up a meeting with your MPP or his or her staff, urge their office to have the MPP watch this interview before you come to meet with him or her. If they don’t, then at your meeting with them, urge them in person to watch it. If you have a smart phone, show them the first few minutes of the interview right then and there, to get them interested in watching the entire interview. Our Action Kit, at the link above, gives you lots of ideas on how to set up a meeting with your MPP and what you might wish to discuss at that meeting.
- Watch this TVOntario program with your family and friends. Discuss disability accessibility barriers you encounter in your community. Encourage them to contact their MPP’s office to get their MPP and the MPP’s staff to watch this interview.
- Use this TV program to help spark your local media to cover examples of accessibility barriers you face in your own community. Call your local newspaper or radio or TV station to tell them about a barrier you face. Send them the link to the TVOntario interview to show that this is still a huge problem right across Ontario, and that you are part of a large province-wide blitz on accessibility. Invite your local media to contact the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance for more background. We can always be reached by email at email@example.com
- Call your local member of city council. Urge them to also watch this interview. Tell them that each municipality should be doing more to make your community fully accessible for people with disabilities.
- Do you belong to a community organization or a religious community such as a church, synagogue or mosque? Urge people connected with that organization to watch this interview. Get them to publicize it on their website and in their newsletter.
- Send us ideas on other ways we can make good use of this TV interview. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Let the AODA Alliance know what steps you take, and what response you get from your MPP or local media.
2. Drop by the Accessibility Clock
What does the Accessibility Clock have to say today? The Government has only nine years and 330 days left to lead Ontario to become fully accessible to people with disabilities, as the AODA requires.
A breathtaking 444 days have now passed since we revealed that the Ontario Government was not enforcing the AODA, and that there have been rampant AODA violations in the private sector. The Government still has not made public its promised detailed plan for the AODA's effective enforcement. The Government’s November 7, 2014 web posting on AODA enforcement includes little new. It does not constitute the promised detail AODA enforcement plan.
Three hundred and fifty days have passed since the Toronto Star reported on February 20, 2014 that the Government would be publicly posting that new enforcement plan "in short order." Two hundred and sixty-five days have passed since Premier Wynne promised to establish a toll-free line for members of the public to alert the Government to accessibility barriers against people with disabilities in the community. None has been announced.
To read our November 18, 2013 revelation that the Government was failing to effectively enforce the Disabilities Act despite knowing of rampant private sector violations, and funds on hand for enforcement.
As well, 526 days have passed since the Government unveiled its plans for the legacy of the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games. Yet it has still not released details and specifics of a comprehensive disability accessibility legacy for the Games. Only 155 days remain until the 2015 Games begin. Time is running out!
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