By Victor Schwartzman
In an access legislation coup, the Ontario Government under new Minister Brad Duguid has built upon his idea of having The Flash run up to Ontario to solve its AODA implementation problems in one day. He had to build on it because he has had a hard time catching up with The Flash to talk with him.
However, Minister Duguid did manage to meet and sign an AODA implementation contract with another famous person with unique abilities: Dr. Who.
The Ontario Government, through ASAC, the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, reviewed the customer standard recommendations made in 2007 and found they were too good. ASAC decided to lower the standards below what had been created in 2007. Of course, that meant going back in time. Hence the need for Dr. Who. It is ironic, perhaps, because I’m not sure of the definition of ironic, that these same 2007 customer accessibility standards to be rolled back are the ONLY complete and effective standards.
The need to properly implement AODA by 2025 by rolling back progress may seem illogical to some. Those people, well-meaning though they are, assume that a Government means what it says. Actually it never means what it says. To know what it means, check out how it ends. Because we are really talking about the means justifying the ends. The end for the Government being finding a way to say implementing AODA is impossible.
The whole history of several Ontario Governments has been that AODA was proclaimed and then the Governments worked hard to avoid implementing it. ASAC should have many sets of standards to review by now. Without the standards, organizations cannot develop plans to implement AODA. Minister Duguid issued a statement that he has asked organizations to develop their AODA access plans. Perhaps Minister Duguid did not know that it was impossible for businesses to create plans as there were no standards on which to base the plans.
Or perhaps he found out that there actually was one single lonely existing set of standards, and realized he had to nip that progress before the floodgates opened and there were standards everywhere. If that was the case, and we should assume it was, Minister Duguid was in a pickle. Even if he could catch up with The Flash, which was not realistic because The Flash was faster, The Flash could not help him with the standards issue. For that, Minister realized he would need someone else, and that he would receive that invaluable assistance from Dr. Who. Dr. Who is a Time Lord, after all.
As of this writing, Minister Duguid was last seen at a media conference before he walked into the Tardis, Dr. Who’s time machine. “Great progress was made in 2005, but it does not fit in with Ontario ten years later. We know how to make our own progress, and our businesses do not need laws to do it as they have proven by ignoring the law to file AODA reports. I have built on that by now asking organizations to create AODA implementation plans. They will also ignore that request, although they have a reason in that they do not have the standards needed to create access plans. That is consistency, except for having any standards!
“When I learned that we had one set of standards, customer standards, I knew it had to be dealt with. But how? The answer was simple: we deal with the how by using the Who. Dr. Who.
“With Dr. Who’s help, although he seems a bit reluctant, I will go back in time to 2007 and ensure that the AODA customer standards are never developed. That way all those Government committees which did not develop any usable standards will not be embarrassed, and the situation today will be stable.
“If that works, I plan to follow on that success by travelling back to 2005 and altering the legislation so it reads that Ontario would only LIKE to have complete access by 2025. And if that works, everyone wins. People with disabilities win because the legislation is on the books. And organizations win because they don’t read books.
“And then access legislation will sadly fail because it was found to be fundamentally flawed, and we will decide never to try it again, and this whole mess will be over. Dr. Who has raised some moral issues but I will talk to him about that and win him over!”
Dr. Who was seen patting Minister Duguid on the back as they walked into the Tardis. He was heard asking the Minister if he spoke Neanderthal.
Next: We Are Getting Close To Christmas! Shopping Season! Is Anyone Buying What Minister Duguid Is Saying?
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly column to Accessibility News. Buy the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.ca/King-The-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC or read the earlier drafts and current chapters for free, on the King Of The Planet Facebook page. It has a “4 out of 5 star” review already!
His graphic novel The Winnipeg Weakly Herald (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He also contributes to http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and hosts two writers’ circles. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.