Bits and Pieces of Important News on the Campaign for a Fully-Accessible Ontario

March 30, 2012

SUMMARY

Here are selections of important news and upcoming events of interest to all who support our campaign for a fully-accessible Ontario for all persons with disabilities:

1. On April 3 and April 16, 2012, the City of Toronto will be holding public consultations on the need for more accessible taxis in Toronto. It is important for as many as possible to attend from the disability community. See the City’s announcement, below, for more details.

We have been campaigning for much stronger measures across Ontario to ensure accessibility of taxi services.

2. We are honoured that AODA Alliance chair David Lepofsky has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the April 25, 2012 40th anniversary celebration of the important work of Hamilton Ontario’s Path Employment Services. See the announcement below.

Path Employment Services’ work helping our accessibility campaign goes as far back as the early years of the work of our predecessor coalition, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. Path did important work, helping spearhead the ODA Committee’s efforts on the ground in Hamilton.

3. On May 10, 2012, the Toronto Transit Commission is holding its 2012 annual Public Forum on Accessible Public Transit. See the announcement below. Originally, in 2007, the Human Rights Tribunal ordered TTC to hold three such annual forums, as part of the case that David Lepofsky won, forcing TTC to audibly announce all bus and streetcar route stops. Now the Integrated Accessibility Regulation, enacted under the AODA, requires all public transit authorities to hold such annual public forums. This gives transit passengers with disabilities a chance, face-to-face, to tell TTC leadership about barriers they face when trying to ride TTC.

4. The Law Commission of Ontario has released a draft framework on the law as it affects persons with disabilities. See its announcement below for more on this important document, and on how you can provide input to the Law Commission of Ontario up to May 2, 2012.

5. For those who want even more news than we provide on accessibility issues in our AODA Alliance Updates, here are some useful resources for you to consider:

* Follow the AODA Alliance on Twitter @aodaalliance

* Sign up for Accessibility News. It is a great weekly email update on accessibility issues, which we enjoy receiving ourselves! Send your request to sign up to info@accessibilitynews.ca

* Sign up for email updates from Barrier-Free Manitoba, our colleagues in Manitoba who are campaigning for new accessibility legislation in that province. Send your request for their email updates to barrierfreemanitoba@shaw.ca

* Follow Barrier-Free Manitoba on Twitter. They tweet wide-ranging news about accessibility issues around the world. Their Twitter feed is @barrierfreemb

* Sign up for email updates on accessibility from the Ontario Government. Visit:
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/questions/form/csForm.aspx .

*****

TAKEN FROM THE CITY OF TORONTO WEBSITE AT http://www.toronto.ca/licensing/taxireview/accessibility.htm

How Do We Improve Accessibility In The Taxicab Industry?

Persons and organizations with an interest in the taxicab industry are invited to share their input at the consultations mentioned below. We will discuss:

customer needs
accessibility issues
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
on-demand service and other modes of service
other concerns raised by participants.

Those unable to attend are encouraged to submit their comments online, or by email, letter or telephone.

Topic: Accessibility – Separate Consultations for Riders and Providers
Tuesday, April 3, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
City Hall Members Lounge
9 – 12 p.m. for riders and their advocates.
1 – 4 p.m. for service providers

Topic: Accessibility – Joint Consultation for Riders and Providers
Monday, April 16, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
City Hall Members Lounge
We have one session for both those who use accessible service and those who provide accessible service.

Riders’ sessions will include ASL interpreters and support workers for assistance. Please note that in the event of a labour disruption, the website below will be updated to advise if these meetings will continue as scheduled or be postponed.

*****

APRIL 25, 2012 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF HAMILTON ONTARIO’S PATH EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

TAKEN FROM THE WEBSITE OF PATH EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: http://www.pathemployment.com/index.html

JOIN PATH IN CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Hamilton Convention Centre
1 Summers Lane, Hamilton, ON
7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
MC: Dana Robbins, Publisher, Hamilton Spectator
Keynote Speaker: David Lepofsky

David Lepofsky, CM O. Ont, is Chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance and, before that, from 1994 to 2005, chaired its predecessor coalition the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. David spearheaded the campaign that led to the enactment of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 and later the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005. David is now leading the campaign to get these laws effectively implemented to achieve a fully accessible Ontario.

In his personal capacity, David won two successive human rights cases against the Toronto Transit Commission to force it to audibly announce all bus, subway and streetcar stops for the benefit of blind transit passengers.

Tickets available now at PATH. $40.00 per person
Please call 905-528-6611, ext 234 for more information.

*****

TAKEN FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION AT http://www.ttc.ca/Public_Meetings/Public_Forum_On_Accessible_Transit_2011.jsp

2012 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit
You are invited to give us ideas on how to make the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) services and facilities better for people with disabilities.

Thursday May 10, 2012, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Exhibit Hall, Exhibition Place – 180 Princes’ Boulevard

An accessible shuttle bus service will operate from accessible Bathurst Station to the Queen Elizabeth Hall starting at 6:00 pm. Return buses will start at 9:30 pm. Regularly scheduled accessible bus service is also available on the 29 Dufferin Route. ASL, captioning and attendants will be available.

If you cannot attend, but would like to contribute suggestions about TTC conventional and Wheel-Trans services, call 416-393-3030 (TTY at 416-481-2523) Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
We have lots of bits and pieces of important and helpful news on Ontario’s voyage to become fully accessible for persons with disabilities.

*****

TAKEN FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE LAW COMMISSION OF ONTARIO AT http://e2.ma/message/zw3w/b2npab

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, March 21, 2012 — The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today released for public feedback a Draft Framework for the Law as it Affects Persons with Disabilities. When completed, the Framework will assist in evaluating new or existing laws, policies and practices to ensure that they take into account the circumstances and experiences of persons with disabilities, and that they promote positive outcomes for these members of society within the context of society as a whole. The LCO anticipates that the final Framework will be of benefit to legislators, policy-makers, courts, advocacy organizations, community groups and service providers that deal with issues affecting older adults.

Feedback on the Draft Framework will be accepted until Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Based on the results of those consultations, the LCO anticipates releasing a Final Framework and Report in mid 2012.

The Draft Framework is accompanied by a Background Paper which sets out the principles on which the Draft Framework is based, and provides analysis of how these principles might be interpreted.

Persons with disabilities make up a significant proportion of Ontario’s population – over 15 per cent, according to 2006 figures – and the number and percentage of Canadians with disabilities has been steadily increasing in recent years. While in recent years there has been significant movement towards acknowledging the experiences of persons with disabilities and recognizing their rights, persons with disabilities nevertheless remain disadvantaged compared to their non-disabled peers. “A comprehensive legal framework to guide laws, policies and practices affecting persons with disabilities in all spheres of life is both essential and timely,” said Dr. Patricia Hughes, Executive Director of the LCO.

The LCO released a Preliminary Consultation Paper for this project in 2009, and has conducted extensive research, including funding six research papers by noted academics and experts. In the spring and summer of 2010, the LCO conducted extensive consultations with persons with disabilities and with organizations that serve, represent or advocate for persons with disabilities, in order to better understand the experiences of persons with disabilities with the law. In the late summer of 2011, the LCO released a Consultation Paper requesting feedback on key issues in the development of the Framework.

Launched in September 2007, the LCO, funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Law Society of Upper Canada, and housed in the Ignat Kaneff Building, York University, operates independently of government to recommend law reforms to enhance access to justice.

-30-

Aussi disponible en français

Lauren Bates
Staff Lawyer
Law Commission of Ontario
(416) 650-8406
LawCommission@lco-cdo.org

If you don’t now receive our updates directly from us, sign up for AODA Alliance e-mail updates by writing to our new email address: aodafeedback@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter and get others to do so as well! Twitter.com/aodaalliance
Learn more at: www.aodaalliance.org
UNITED FOR A BARRIER-FREE ONTARIO