By Geof Collis
February 26, 2010
With the uneven implementation of the Customer Care Standard in School Boards, Hospitals and a broad range of community services and the absence of any meaningful enforcement mechanism, it is more important than ever that your voices be heard
Just recently we had an incident of inaccessible Voting booths, apparently not an isolated incident. It’s become quite evident that the Disability Community is not being served by the McGuinty Government. Something has to give and quite frankly it should not be us yet again!
The Government put you in place to
(4) The committee shall,
(a) advise the council about the requirements and implementation of accessibility
standards and the preparation of accessibility reports and such other matters
for which the council may seek its advice under subsection (5);
(b) review in a timely manner the site plans and drawings described in section
41 of the Planning Act that the committee selects; and
(c) perform all other functions that are specified in the regulations.
In short a Watch Dog!
We have been working in isolation from other AAC’s, an isolation that has been actively supported by the provincial government as part of their ongoing
historical pattern of keeping people of like minds apart.
As usual the Disability Community has to take matters into their own hands and that is exactly what has happened.
The Coalition of Ontario Accessibility Advisory Committees (COAAC) was formed at the Access Ontario II conference in Burlington, ON, June 13 and 14, 2005.
The concept behind the coalition was to electronically connect people serving on accessibility advisory committees all over Ontario so we may share best practices, what doesn’t work, ideas and concerns.
Now that we have a Standard in place that is finally Law, it is time for us to speak up!
Their is a ListServe that people can join, see details at http://www.coaac.ca/?page_id=31 and now AAC’s can have their own personal place on the Internet from which they can inform us on progress, or lack thereof on the implementation of the AODA see http://www.coaac.ca/?page_id=26.
Not only will you be able to give us timely reports, subscribing AAC’s will have email contact to other AAC’s throughout Ontario and anyone can sign up to have email updates sent to them as they are posted online, your postings can then be discussed in the COAAC ListServe.
The time is now to hold this Government fully accountable, we need action rather than more talk and we need your participation and voices!
2025 is not that far off when you consider how slow this Government is moving on the implementation of the AODA.