By Victor Schwartzman and Pollyanna
May 11, 2015
Golly it is good to be back! I did not think I would be so lucky, appearing in this column again. But when it came to celebrating a decade of AODA implementation, Victor said he needed Pollyanna!
It is the end of ten years of not implementing AODA. Ooopsy. I’m not quite playing the Glad Game, am I? In the Glad Game I find something to be glad about even if bad things happen. “Not implementing” AODA: I never should have talked to Franz Kafka. He suggested I talk about the last ten years and next nine years of NOT implementing AODA. He said in 2024, before the deadline, the Government would kill AODA or extend it–into the next century. Franz told me AODA’s implementation is a disaster and only I could say it is fabulous.
But more on that later!
To begin: AODA, Ontario’s sweeping access legislation, just celebrated its tenth anniversary. It was proclaimed in 2005. Let’s celebrate! We should all sing “Happy Birthday” but the song has been copyrighted and we would have to pay.
I thought of giving the Ontario Government a present. I did some research and discovered that in the old days a tenth anniversary gift was tin or aluminum. It was hard to think of what a good tenth anniversary gift could be in the old days. The only things I came up with were cheap frying pans and aluminum foil.
But all that has changed. These days a tenth anniversary gift isare you ready?–DIAMONDS! Now there is a jump! Of course, Franz would say the gift was upped from tin/aluminum to diamonds because diamonds are more profitable to sell. What would be a diamond gift to the Ontario Government for its ten years of not implementing AODA? “Not implementing?” Ooopsy! Golly! Slipped again!
Maybe it is because of my past. I play the Glad Game with my past a lot. For example, I fell from that tree and hurt my legs and had to use a wheelchair and could never walk again. The Glad part was it showed me how hard, uh difficult, uh challenging–yes, it showed me how challenging life became when I had to depend on a wheelchair. I could not get around easily. It was difficult even getting off the block where I lived. When I tried to find a job, they offered all sorts of reasons for saying no, like it would be hard for me to get around, or there was no space for me to work. I thanked them for not giving me a job because that is the Pollyanna way.
So it is true I looked forward to AODA working so the nearly two million Ontarians who have a disability would not have to face some of my challenges. As positive and enriching as those challenges are, who needs them? Golly, if AODA had been around and working for me, I would have had a different life. Maybe I might not even have invented the Glad Game!
But I did invent the Glad Game and it is super useful when I look at AODA’s implementation. Each year there was something to be glad about. For example, each year brought us closer to the deadline where the Government would have to do something! I was also glad there were two excellent independent reviewers’ reports which found implementation was going nowhere fast. That is better than going nowhere slowly! As you can see, there has been plenty to be glad about.
The future? The next ten years of implementation until the 2025 deadline? I have in front of me the Pollyanna magic eight crystal ball, and it says “No”. Funny, each time I ask about AODA’s future and shake the sphere it has the same answer! I phoned Nate Silver, who did all those incredible analyses of election data for the New York Times, and he told me it didn’t take a Nate Silver to predict the odds of AODA not being implemented. Nostradamus said it wasn’t worth a quatrain. When I asked Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, she laughed.
You know what Franz thinks.
My response to all those no-sayers? The Ontario Government has learned from the last ten years! It will successfully implement AODA before the deadline! Only Pollyanna says that!
Only Pollyanna celebrates AODA’s tenth anniversary.
Screw it. I can’t stand it any longer. No one agrees with me. I’m all alone. There is no Glad here that I can find. Where’s the ice cream and the remote?
Next: AODA’s Implementation Forces Pollyanna Into Therapy
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satirical column to Accessibility News and the AODA Alliance. 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 it for free on Facebook. The unpolished first nine chapters has a “4 out of 5 star” review! He is currently polishing the novel. 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 has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.