ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE

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MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT GIVES 45 DAYS FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITS JUST-RELEASED SUMMARY OF PROPOSED NEW ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS –SEND US YOUR INPUT TOO

September 2, 2010

SUMMARY

The McGuinty Government has just released a detailed summary of the contents of the proposed accessibility standard it is planning to pass into law. It is proposing a single integrated standard to address barriers in transportation, employment, and information and communication. You can get these in MS Word format below.

The Government asks for you to provide input up until October 16, 2010. The AODA Alliance is now preparing an analysis of the Government’s proposal which we will circulate to you when it is finished.

We urge you to give the Government your feedback on this proposed accessibility standard. We also want to hear your feedback on the Government’s proposal. We want to take your views into account when we formulate our submission to the Government. Please send us your feedback at: aodafeedback@gmail.com

We commend the Government for taking the step of inviting public input on a summary of the proposed accessibility standard before posting a draft of the actual standard itself. This is a very important opportunity for the public, including persons with disabilities, to voice their views. We too are eager to hear from you.

Send the Government your feedback by visiting their website at the link set out above. You might wish to wait to review our forthcoming analysis of the Government’s summary of the proposed integrated accessibility standard before giving the Government your input.

The Government announcement says it will only keep the just-released summary of its proposed integrated accessibility standard on the Government’s website for this 45-day period of public consultation. After that, for reasons we do not understand, the Government will remove this summary from the Government’s website.

This information should remain permanently available to the public. We therefore will keep it permanently posted on our website, even after the Government takes it down from the Government website.

WHAT YOU MAY WISH TO THINK ABOUT WHEN REVIEWING THE SUMMARY OF THE GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD

There are several important questions we might ask ourselves when reviewing this proposed integrated accessibility standard:

  1. Will the Government’s proposed integrated accessibility standard ensure that by 2025, persons with disabilities will have barrier-free full accessibility in employment, information and communication, and transportation? The AODA requires that Ontario become fully accessible by 2025. These accessibility standards are the key means for getting us there.
  2. Does the summary of the proposed integrated accessibility standard cover all the barriers that persons with disabilities face in these three areas? Does it ensure their effective removal and prevention?
  3. Does the summary of the proposed integrated accessibility standard include reasonable time lines?
  4. Is the proposed integrated accessibility standard effectively enforceable?
  5. Does the proposed integrated accessibility standard at least include all the entitlements for persons with disabilities that were included in the proposals submitted to the Government by the three Standards Development Committees, the ones that addressed transportation, information and communication, and employment? The Government has inexplicably removed those earlier proposals from its website. That would prevent you from comparing them to what the Government is now offering persons with disabilities. We, however, have left them on our website.
  6. Does the Government’s summary of its proposed integrated accessibility standard incorporate the feedback we gave the Government in the areas of accessibility of transportation, information and communication, and employment?

You can see the Transportation Standards Development Committee’s final proposed Transportation Accessibility Standard at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/03172009.asp

Our brief on the final proposed Transportation Accessibility Standard is at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/04082009.asp

You can see the Information and Communication Standards Development Committee’s final proposed Information and Communication Accessibility Standard at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/default.asp

Our brief to the Government on the final proposed Information and Communication Accessibility Standard is at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/06222010.asp

You can find the Employment Standards Development Committee’s final proposed Employment Accessibility Standard at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/03032010.asp

Our brief to the Government on the final proposed Employment Accessibility Standard is at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/06182010.asp