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

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

PLAN AHEAD TO GIVE THE CHARLES BEER INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE AODA YOUR FEEDBACK –PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE FOR HIS FALL PUBLIC FORUMS

July 28, 2009

SUMMARY

As we previously announced, the Ontario Government has appointed Mr. Charles Beer to conduct an Independent Review of the effectiveness of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act at achieving a fully accessible Ontario for all persons with disabilities by 2025. For background on this Independent Review, visit:
http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/06152009.asp

Charles Beer has asked us to encourage you to mark down in your calendars the following tentative dates when his Independent Review of the AODA will be holding open public forums:

Sudbury

Date: October 1, 2009
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Ottawa

Date: October 6, 2009
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
6:30 pm. - 8:30 p.m.

Toronto

Date: October 14, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7:00 pm. - 9:00 p.m.

London

Date: October 20, 2009
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The Independent Review has given us the following information about these public forums:

“The Public forums will be open meetings. Individuals and organizations will have the opportunity to sign up to be scheduled to present to the Independent Reviewer. Anyone who wants to attend to listen to the presentations will also be welcome to attend, but space will be limited. We will have a way to register on line or over the phone to make your presentation. We will try to fit in as many presenters as possible.

We will only be limited by the size of the room and the time available for each forum. The Independent Reviewer will always stay until the end of the scheduled time set for the meetings. If someone doesn’t show up who was scheduled to make a presentation, we will make that time available to people who came, but had not signed up in advance to present.”

We at the AODA Alliance will let you know when we get word that these dates are finalized, and where the events will be held. However, the AODA Alliance will be issuing no Updates and will not be answering any emails between July 31 and August 31.

In the meantime, please periodically check the Ontario Government website for more details on the Independent Review, including for tips on how to submit your feedback to the Independent Review in writing. That website will be updated over the next weeks. Visit: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/accessibilityOntario

The Charles Beer Independent Review is encouraging everyone to send in any feedback in writing by the middle of October. While he will accept written submissions up to the end of October, he asks that you try your best to get your submissions in by the middle of that month.

Apart from the public forums that his Independent Review will be organizing, Mr. Beer has told us that he is eager to have other opportunities to get your feedback on how the AODA is working at achieving its goals. He is prepared, where possible, to attend community meetings, annual general meetings of community organizations, or other public events that you might choose to organize. You can bring together the public, including the disability community, to share your experiences with him.

This can provide an excellent opportunity, for example, for organizations in the disability community to share with Mr. Beer and his Independent Review the distinctive experiences of different disability groups, including the barriers they face. We understand from Mr. Beer that depending on his schedule, he is happy to attend such events, either in person or via video-conferencing over the internet, to hear from as many people as possible.

The sooner you organize such an event, and the sooner you contact Mr. Beer to schedule him, the better is your chance to be sure he can attend. To contact Mr. Beer, send an email to: charles.beer@ontario.ca