All posts by Advocate

Washrooms at Kirby’s Beach are Officially Open for Business in Bracebridge

Community Jul 24, 2017
by Mary Beth Hartill
Bracebridge Examiner

Mayor Graydon Smith gets a hand from some beach visiting friends cutting the ribbon on the newly renovated washrooms at Kirby’s Beach Park on July 21.

The Town of Bracebridge, Rotary Club of Bracebridge and members of the town’s accessibility advisory committee invited folks to the beach Friday afternoon, July 21, for a celebratory ribbon cutting and barbecue.

Help Us Make Transportation Services in Ontario Accessible to Passengers with Disabilities

By July 27, 2017 Please Send Us Feedback on the draft Brief by the AODA Alliance and ARCH Disability Law Centre on the Transportation Standards Development committee’s Draft Recommendations for Improving the 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities Twitter: @aodaalliance

July 21, 2017


New Pedestrian-Activated Crossing Signals Provide Safe Passage in Downtown St. Marys

By Galen Simmons, Stratford Beacon Herald
Thursday, July 20, 2017

According to St. Marys director of public works, Jed Kelly, the installation of pedestrian-activated signalized crossings at the town’s three downtown intersections have improved both pedestrian safety and traffic flow.

St. Marys council originally voted to change the signals from automated to pedestrian-activated based on recommendations from a downtown traffic study conducted in 2015, prior to the town’s streetscape reconstruction last summer.

Wynne Government Extends to July 31, 2017 the Deadline for Answering the Government’s Education Barriers Survey and for Giving Feedback on Draft Reforms to Ontario’s Transportation Accessibility Standard

Wynne Government Responds to AODA Alliance Letter But Doesn’t Answer Our Concerns With the Government’s Consultation on Education Accessibility Barriers

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities Twitter: @aodaalliance

July 17, 2017


Here are five quick newsworthy items from the front lines of our accessibility campaign in Ontario:

1. Wynne Government Extends Deadline to Complete the Government’s Education Accessibility Barriers Survey

Communication Support for Disabled Crime Victims ‘Ignored’ by Justice System, Advocates Say

Disabled Canadians are at high risk of sexual abuse often because they can’t communicate with police.

Barbara Collier runs a training program to teach speech-language pathologists how to help people with disabilities communicate with police and in court. By Peter GoffinStaff Reporter
Mon., July 10, 2017

He needed to tell police he’d been sexually abused, but he couldn’t speak.

About a decade ago, speech-language pathologist Barbara Collier was called on to help a Toronto man with cerebral palsy communicate with police.

Before Week’s End, Please Fill Out the Wynne Government’s Online Survey on Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Education system and Endorse the AODA Alliance’s Answers to This Survey, Which We Make Public Today

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

July 11, 2017


Please email the Wynne Government by the end of Friday July 14, 2017 to say you support the AODA Alliance’s answers to the Government’s survey on the disability accessibility barriers that over a third of a million students with disabilities face in Ontario’s education system. You might just say:

MobilityPlus to Take Another Look at Dialysis Rides

News Jul 07, 2017
by Johanna Weidner Waterloo Region Record|

WATERLOO REGION The region will take a closer look at MobilityPlus to ensure the right people are using the service, including the possibility of finding other transportation for dialysis patients.

Currently, upward of one in four riders is a person travelling for dialysis treatment.

“It’s very big,” said Dave Smith, assistant manager of specialized services for the Region of Waterloo.

“We’re taking a lot of rides away from people.”

Focus: Feds Can Improve Accessibility Legislation

Focus on: Legal Specialists & Boutiques
Monday, 10 July 2017
Written By Michael McKiernan

The federal government should learn from Ontario’s mistakes when it comes to accessibility legislation, according to advocates who practise in the burgeoning area of disability law.

Ontario became the first Canadian province to pass a law on the subject in 2005, when the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act set standards designed to remove barriers for disabled people in the realms of employment, goods, services, buildings and more within two decades.

Ontario to Change Child Support Law to Give Adult Children With Disabilities Access to Parental Cash

Brampton single mother launched a constitutional challenge to win child support for her 22-year-old disabled son. By Laurie Monsebraaten Social justice reporter
Sat., July 8, 2017

The provincial government will table an amendment to Ontario’s Family Law Act this fall to give adult children with disabilities access to child support, the Star has learned.

The move comes in the wake of a provincial court decision Friday that ruled the law unconstitutional after a Brampton single mother’s fight to win child support for her 22-year-old disabled son.

Braille on Map at New Toronto Park ‘Not Accessible’

By Erica Vella
Digital Broadcast Journalist Global News

Walking into the new Trillium Park, visitors are greeted by a map highlighting the trail’s attractions in both written and braille instructions for people who are visually impaired.

But if you look a little closer and touch the map visitors to the downtown Toronto park will soon realize the braille is printed on a flat board and is useless to those who need it.

Lack of Accessibility at New Orillia Restaurant Angers Resident

By Mehreen Shahid, Orillia Packet & Times
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Orillia resident Larry Wilson is disappointed by a lack of accessibility provided by a new business on Mississaga Street.

Larry Wilson is lucky enough to be Irish but not lucky enough to enjoy a pint at a new watering hole set to open in downtown Orillia.

The Orillia resident, who uses a mobility scooter, was excited as work began on the Cara Operations franchise Fionn MacCool’s.

ICC Releases Update to Building Accessibility Standard

ICC A117.1 provides greater accessibility to buildings for persons with physical disabilities June 29, 2017

The International Code Council (ICC) released an update to the 2009 ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities standard that provides greater accessibility to buildings for persons with physical disabilities and incorporates new elements of building design.

The 2017 standard is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard and was developed through a consensus-based process that brings together all the stakeholders, including disability-rights groups, code officials, product manufacturers, design professionals, and facility owners and managers.

LETTER: A Step in the Right Direction

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Oro-Medonte council should be applauded for moving our township into the 21st Century by recently deciding to include electronic voting in the next municipal election.

The 2018 voting process will now include options for paper ballot in advance polls, in addition to telephone and Internet voting for a longer period of time (a week to 10 days).

At the municipal level, Canada has become a world leader in Internet voting, with six provinces already passing legislation to allow various forms of electronic participation.

Press Release: Statement issued to Media by Durham Region Stroke Recovery Group, Whitby, Ont.

June27, 2017

Despite new healthcare law passed at Queens Park in 2016 the Wynne Liberal Government continues to discriminate against our adults by denying much needed and time sensitive OHIP funded stroke treatment/physiotherapy to our Post-Stroke Patients/Survivors between the ages of 20 and 64.

This age discrimination is preventing our adults from returning to work or continuing their Post-Secondary studies. Our adults are huge contributors to Ontario Society and are deserving of proper and timely healthcare/treatment after suffering a stroke.

AODA Alliance Asks the Wynne Government for Updated Specific Information on What It Is Doing to Keep Its Promise to Effectively Enforce the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities Twitter: @aodaalliance

June 26, 2017


Two weeks ago, on June 12, 2017, the AODA Alliance wrote Ontario’s Accessibility Minister, Tracy MacCharles. We asked for specific updated data and information on the Government’s efforts at enforcing the AODA. The Ontario Government has promised to effectively enforce this law. We set our June 12, 2017 letter out below. It is followed by links to key background material on this issue.