ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE
UNITED FOR A BARRIER-FREE ONTARIO
September 12, 2014
On September 12, 2014, the AODA Alliance wrote Ontario’s new Minister of Government and Consumer Services, David Orazietti. (Letter set out below.) He is the minister responsible for the Ontario Public Service as an employer and as a provider of public services.
Our letter offers important recommendations on how to tear down the workplace and service barriers in the Ontario Public Service that Ontarians with disabilities continue to face, even a after over nine years have passed since the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was enacted. In summary, we explain that the Ontario Public Service is clearly behind schedule for becoming fully accessible for persons with disabilities as a service-provider and employer by 2025. We need bold new leadership and action.
We urge the minister to:
* establish a new effective strategy for ensuring that the Ontario public service becomes a barrier-free, accessible employer and service provider, including
a) implement a system for monitoring implementation of accessibility across the Ontario public service
b) strengthen the position of the accessibility lead in each ministry
* establish a full time deputy minister or associate deputy minister responsible for the accessibility of the Ontario public service
* ensure the Ontario government only procures goods, services and facilities that are accessible or that will be made accessible
* promptly complete the government’s review of all Ontario legislation and regulations for disability barriers.
The ever-dependable Accessibility Clock keeps on ticking. A troubling 298 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 plan for the AODA’s effective enforcement. Two hundred and four 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.”
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, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/11182013.asp
To read the Government’s February 20, 2014 pledge to publish in “short order” its plan for enforcing the Disabilities Act, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/02202014.asp
As well, 380 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 301 days remain until the 2015 Games begin. Time is running out!
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Text of the AODA Alliance’s September 12, 2014 Letter to Minister of Government and Consumer Services David Orazietti
ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8