ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE

Sign Up for AODA Alliance Updates by writing: aodafeedback@gmail.com
Learn more at: www.aodaalliance.org

AODA ALLIANCE GETS ENCOURAGING THANK-YOU LETTER FROM OUR COUNTERPART IN MANITOBA

June 8, 2010

SUMMARY

The AODA Alliance has received a wonderful letter of thanks and encouragement from our counterpart in Manitoba, set out below. Barrier-Free Manitoba is a non-partisan grassroots disability coalition fighting for comprehensive accessibility legislation in Manitoba. Their agenda and efforts have been helpfully influenced by our efforts in Ontario. They hope to build on our successes, and learn from shortcomings revealed in the Ontario experience. They have approached us on a number of occasions for input and ideas, which we have been delighted to provide. To learn more about Barrier-Free Manitoba’s efforts, visit: www.barrierfreemb.com

The thanks and positive feedback in the letter set out below go to everyone in Ontario who has contributed in their own way towards our campaign in Ontario for a fully-accessible province. We thank Barrier-Free Manitoba for their kind words.

We encourage Barrier-Free Manitoba to continue with their efforts. They have won commitments over the past months from political leaders in Manitoba in connection with accessibility legislation. They are hoping to learn from Ontario what to include in their legislation. We hope. For example, that all the great work our supports invested into presenting to the Charles Beer Independent Review of the AODA will serve to help Manitobans learn from Ontario’s experience.

We also encourage Barrier-Free Manitoba and all their supporters to keep up their efforts. We look forward to learning from them, as they have been learning from us.


Open Letter to Members of the AODA Alliance

June 3, 2010

Dear Alliance Members:

We are writing this open letter to the membership of the AODA Alliance to thank you for your tremendous efforts and your leadership in addressing accessibility-rights issues, as well as for the inspiration and support you have given those of us outside Ontario who are working to build on your experience and successes.

Yours has been a marathon run. Your Alliance and your predecessor, the ODA Alliance, have been hard and continuously at it for more than 16 years. Holding a grassroots movement together for even five years is difficult. Growing and sustaining a dynamic cross-disability movement over 16 is remarkable.

But the extended duration of your unity and collaboration is only part of your story. We are continually impressed by the consistently high quality, the creativity and the timeliness of your advocacy efforts. The briefs and other submissions your alliance prepares are always well reasoned, clearly written and comprehensive. And almost as soon an issue or opportunity to advance accessibility rights arises, your alliance seems poised to respond.

Work though the auspices of Barrier-Free Manitoba only started in 2008. Our initiative has been built on the past efforts of many committed activists in Manitoba. But it has also been built on the progress you have achieved in Ontario. Reference to content on your web site, consultations with many of your members and the active support from your current chair, David Lepofsky, have all be instrumental in helping us advance the case for strong and effective accessibility-rights legislation here in Manitoba.

We are hopeful that landmark accessibility-rights legislation will be introduced in our province within the next 12 months. We still have a lot of work ahead to get there and then even more work will lie ahead to ensure effective implementation. Throughout, we will welcome opportunities to strengthen our relationship with your alliance.

Thank you again for your leadership.

Patrick Falconer, Consultant
On Behalf of the Barrier-Free Manitoba Steering Committee
Web: www.barrierfreemb.com
E-mail: barrierfreemanitoba@shaw.ca