ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE
UNITED FOR A BARRIER-FREE ONTARIO

Learn more at: www.aodaalliance.org

ATTEND JUNE 23, 2009 TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION PUBLIC FORUM TO GIVE FEEDBACK ON ACCESSIBILITY NEEDS OF PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES

June 21, 2009

SUMMARY

On Tuesday June 23, 2009 from 7 to 9 p.m., the Toronto Transit Commission will be holding an open, accessible, public forum to hear about the barriers passengers with disabilities face when they try use TTC services. We encourage as many as possible to attend this forum. Please share your experiences and those of others with disabilities, when riding the TTC.

This forum will address barriers on TTC’s conventional transit services as well as its para-transit service, Wheel-Trans.

In 2007, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ordered TTC to hold these public forums annually for three years. This is one of the remedies David Lepofsky won for the disability community in his case where TTC was forced to announce all bus and streetcar route stops. TTC is required to have in attendance at this forum all its senior managers and all TTC Commissioners (the politicians who serve as TTC’s board of directors). The evidence at the Lepofsky v. TTC Human Rights Tribunal hearings showed that over several years, a number of complaints and concerns that passengers with disabilities emailed and phoned in to TTC never reached senior managers or the TTC Commissioners. These public forums are intended to be a positive avenue to ensure that those who lead TTC are more aware of the front-line experience of riders with disabilities. Last year, as many as 400 passengers attended the first of these public forums.

The AODA Alliance has recommended to the Ontario Government that the forthcoming Transportation Accessibility Standard, to be enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, should create similar opportunities for riders with disabilities to give direct input to those who manage other public transit authorities around Ontario. On this specific point, our brief to the Ontario Government recommends that:

“44. The Standard be amended to require that public transit authorities providing conventional and/or paratransit services be required to hold, at least once annually, an open, accessible, advertised public forum, for passengers with disabilities to give feedback directly to the transit authority's senior management and Board of Directors.”

To see our entire brief to the Ontario Government regarding the proposed Transportation Accessibility Standard (which we encourage you to endorse), visit:
http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/04082009.asp

The TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit will be held:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Queen Elizabeth Exhibition Hall, Exhibition Place, 180 Princes’ Boulevard

TTC announces that an accessible shuttle bus service will operate from accessible Bathurst Station to the Queen Elizabeth Exhibition Hall starting at 6:00 pm. Return buses will start at 9:00 pm. Regularly scheduled accessible bus service is also available on the 29 Dufferin route. If you cannot attend, but would like to contribute suggestions about TTC conventional and Wheel-Trans services, TTC asks you to call 416-393-3030, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.