All posts by Advocate

Supreme Court Hears Case Today on Disabled Children and Public Schools

January 11, 2017 by NCC Staff

The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a significant case about the level of education support disabled children must receive in the public school system.

Back in 1975, Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which was later renewed and changed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (or IDEA). The federal government in today’s case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, wants the Court to clarify what Congress has meant since it set these policies since 1975, and specifically the concept of “free appropriate public education” for disabled children at public schools.

AODA Alliance Writes Tracy MacCharles to Propose Action Priorities for Her as Both Accessibility Minister and Minister of Government and Consumer Services

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

January 16, 2017


Now that Premier Wynne has assigned Tracy MacCharles to serve as both Ontario’s Accessibility Minister and Minister of Government and Consumer Services, the AODA Alliance has written Minister MacCharles to provide a thorough list of priorities for action on accessibility in each portfolio. We set out that letter below.

Road Scraping Leaves Residents Frustrated

Friday, January 13, 2017 12:45:33 EST PM

Dear Mayor Christian Provenzano and City Council:
Re: Winter Services
We are writing to our Ward One Councillors Paul Christian and Steve Butland as well as Mayor Christian Provanzano and City Council to express our concerns regarding the City’s winter services in particular road scraping and driveway clearance, and to request that City Council re-examine these services and address our concerns. While our concerns relate to our experience at Parkshore Drive, it is clear this issue is not limited to our street or ward, but rather is a City-wide matter requiring the attention of all City Council.

Yesterday’s Ontario’s Cabinet Shuffle Is a Step Backwards for 1.8 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

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

January 13, 2017


We unfortunately start this new year with a Cabinet shuffle that for people with disabilities, is a case of one step forward and then seven months later, one step backward. Yesterday’s Cabinet shuffle significantly unravelled the gains we applauded last June.

Vaughan Accessibility Activist Randy McNeil Won’t Stop Pushing Changes

Vaughan Citizen
By Tim Kelly

Wheeler Randy McNeil won’t back down from a fight.

The Vaughan man makes it his business to stand up to anybody who doesn’t follow accessibility rules and laws. And he makes no bones about how he feels about those who don’t know or care about the law.

McNeil he much prefers the term “wheeler” to wheelchair-bound can often be seen and heard on Twitter, TV and in print telling off a politician or business type for not moving fast enough, or worse, not at all, on accessibility.

Access Denied: Woman’s Support Dog Not Recognized by Orangeville Transit

Orangeville Banner
By Chris Halliday

She sits alone on the Orangeville Transit bus fixated on the pictures of her emotional support dog found on her cellular phone.

As more people board the bus, the woman in her mid-30s looks away and senses her anxiety levels starting to rise. A quick glance back at her phone helps calm her down.

“We have never been apart,” the Orangeville woman says of her support dog, a nine-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. Except when she is on the bus.

Sticking with Red and Green Transit Lines ‘Offensive’ to Colour-Blind People, Says Advocate

Ottawa Citizen
Jon Willing, October 17, 2016

OC Transpo is using two colours to differentiate the Confederation Line LRT and Trillium Line. It might cause problems for people who have a red-green colour blindness, an advocate says.

OC Transpo is confident the red and green lines marking the O-Train Confederation Line and Trillium Line on a new rail map won’t cause problems for people with a specific form of colour blindness.

Design Exchange and Ontario Government Announce Post-Secondary Design Competition

January 4, 2017
by Shannon Moore

How can graphic design, architecture, product design, interior design and other disciplines change exterior sidewalks and walkways, outdoor public eating areas and play spaces, accessible parking, waiting areas and service counters to provide a positive experience for all?

This year, students studying in all design disciplines are invited to submit proposals that demonstrate how existing public spaces in Ontario can be re-designed to be accessible to the greatest number of individuals.

TTC Wheel-Trans Eligibility Expands in 2017

Source: Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Jan 2, 2017

Starting January 1, the TTC’s eligibility criteria for new Wheel-Trans customers are expanding and a new conditional category is being introduced.

To align with the Ontario Human Rights Code and to comply with changes to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the TTC will accept applications from persons with cognitive, sensory and mental health disabilities in addition to physical disabilities. Services for existing Wheel-Trans customers will not be impacted as a result of this change.

New Year Should Bring Contentious Political Issues to Forefront in Peel Region

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca at a transportation summit in Brampton in November 2016. All eyes will be on the provincial government in early 2017 waiting to find out the fate of the GTA West Corridor project. Brampton Guardian
By Roger Belgrave

Big changes are coming to TransHelp in the new year as the transportation services for residents with disabilities must implement new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements by Jan. 1, 2017.

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

December 28, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance today to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.

Durham Regional Council Passes 2016 Accessibility Report

WHITBY, ON December 14, 2016

Durham Regional Council has passed The Regional Municipality of Durham’s 2016 Accessibility Report, a document that outlines completed initiatives that will help to further eliminate barriers across Regional operations.

“In order to preserve dignity and independence for individuals of all abilities, we are continually working to achieve an inclusive and accessible environment,” said Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “One of our top priorities remains creating a safe and fully inclusive community for our residents.”

Accessible WorkPlace AODA Deadlines

The Accessible Employment Standard comes into effect for businesses and non-profits: January 1, 2016 for businesses and non-profits with 50+ employees January 1, 2017 for businesses and non-profits with 1-49 employees

City Committee Approves Changes to Transit Subsidies

December 14, 2016 06:34 am

Following an emotional public input session, the Community and Protective Services Committee has voted to continue providing discounted bus passes for the blind and visually impaired.

Council will have the final say next week on the proposed changes to transit subsidies in London, which includes bringing an end to automatic discounts for seniors.

Managing Director, Neighbourhood, Children and Fire Services Lynne Livingstone explained during Tuesday’s meeting that it was meant to explore a proposal to provide subsidies for low income residents by scrapping both the subsidy for the blind and seniors.

TransHelp Celebrates 35 Years and Prepares for Big Changes in Transit Service for Peel’s Disabled

Brampton Guardian
By Roger Belgrave

TransHelp celebrated 35 years of providing transportation to Peel’s disabled residents this month. This man thought it fitting to take a photograph of the 35-year journey told in pictures. (Visit the link at bottom for more pictures)

As TransHelp prepares for a major system change in the new year, the transportation service for Peel residents with disabilities celebrated 35 years in operation this month.