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A Setback for Disability Rights

By Linda Saxon, The Windsor Star May 27, 2011 3:11 AM   

I am not writing as the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee chair, but as an individual with a disability.

I was very disappointed with Essex County Council’s May 18 decision to not support Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee’s resolution regarding
the Association of the Municipalities of Ontario’s position on the draft Integrated Accessibility Regulation.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Public Transit Association have urged the McGuinty government to delay enactment of the IAR
and to weaken its protections for persons with disabilities.

I support the AODA Alliance’s concerns that AMO is asking to delay timelines for the IAR; asking for the legislation to be delayed until reviewed by an
independent regulatory impact assessment to do a cost benefits analysis.

However, most provisions of the IAR are already obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and are not new; AMO already participated and provided input into the standards committees.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley likened this move by AMO and OPTA to slow changes related to the rights of persons with a disability to similar moves made in
some of the southern United States during the American Civil Rights movement for African Americans in the 1960s.

Unfortunately, Essex County council did not distance themselves from the regrettable and counter-productive position that AMO and OPTA have taken on the
Integrated Accessibility Regulation.

LINDA SAXON, Amherstburg

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