ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE UNITED FOR A BARRIER-FREE ONTARIO
September 19, 2014
As the Ontario Government marches ahead in its new term in power, we have written all key Ontario Government ministries to identify important steps they must take to keep the Government’s promises on disability accessibility. This is part of our effort to help ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible to persons with disabilities on or before 2025, as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires.
We here make public three more of these letters. On September 16, 2014, the AODA Alliance wrote the new Ontario Treasury Board President, the International Trade Minister, and the Attorney General of Ontario. We set out these letters below.
We ask the Treasury Board President to:
1. implement strong, monitored measures for ensuring that all Ontario Government programs are used effectively to ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible by 2025.
2. implement effective measures to ensure that no public money is ever used to create or perpetuate barriers against persons with disabilities.
We ask the International Trade Minister to:
1. incorporate disability accessibility as a prominent part of the International Trade Ministry’s strategy for economic development and innovation.
2. develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for incorporating disability accessibility as a core focus in the Ministry’s international trade agenda and activities.
3. incorporate disability accessibility as a condition of grants and subsidies for economic development, innovation and international trade that the ministry provides to the broader public and the private sectors.
4. take into account whether business representatives have accessible products to sell to the international market, when the Government decides which business leaders are to be invited to join the Government on international trade tours and missions.
5. strengthen Ontario producers of adaptive technology in order to help reach international markets for these products.
We ask the Attorney General to:
1. promptly complete the Government’s review of all Ontario legislation and Regulations for disability barriers
2. accelerate efforts at making Ontario’s courts fully accessible to court participants with disabilities.
3. ensure Ontario elections are fully accessible to voters and candidates with disabilities
Here is how to check out other letters to the Government that we earlier made public:
To read the AODA Alliance’s August 14, 2014 letter to Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/08142014.asp
To read the AODA Alliance’s August 28, 2014 letter to the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games Minister Michael Coteau, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/08282014.asp
To read the AODA Alliance’s September 12, letter to the Government and Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti, visit http://www.aoda.ca/aoda-alliance-writes-new-ontario-government-services-minister-to-urge-action-to-make-the-ontario-public-service-a-fully-accessible-workplace-and-provider-of-public-services/
To read the AODA Alliance’s September 16, 2014 letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/09172014.asp
The Accessibility Clock never stops until Ontario becomes fully accessible. A troubling 305 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 eleven 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, 387 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 294 days remain until the 2015 Games begin. Time is running out!
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Text of the September 16, 2014 Letter from the AODA Alliance to the President of the Treasury Board
ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8
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