But the Disabled deserve the whole loaf of bread, not just the crumbs
by Geof Collis
July 20, 2013
This article was inspired by a thread I’ve been participating on a LinkedIn list, where some think the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(AODA) is on the move, that things are improving when it comes to its implementation and we’re on target to become fully accessible by 2025.
It appears they are wearing rose coloured glasses, that life is magically getting better in the Province, that Accessibility is being embraced by all and that we’ll meet that goal on time.
Problem is it just isn’t true as many are pointing out.
There is a problem of attitude in this Province and I suspect worldwide when it comes to implementing accessibility for the Disabled, too many Politicians, Business types, Burocrats, Charities and even everyday people tend to look down upon the disabled, they let their personal feelings and agendas decide policy or how quickly they are willing to move on them.
Many will see a small step forward as a major victory but dont see, or dont want to see the ten steps backwards , the many years and years of unnecessary delay to get to that point that have also occurred, rose coloured glasses tend to do that.
They think if the Disabled get thrown a few crumbs once in a while they’ll shut up whining about equal access.
Dont get me wrong, any step forward is a good thing but dont confuse it with real progress and think it is time to sit back and pat ourselves on the back because the real heavy lifting is still ahead of us at this rate. We should accept nothing but what has been promised to us and is rightfully ours.
At this writing the Liberal Government under Premier Wynne’s leadership are going into their 7th week of breaking their own law, but why should they care?
It isn’t even an issue of implementation, just a case of appointing someone to see that we are actually moving in the right direction. Why is that so difficult to do? Probably wont like the answer I suspect.
The Government is sending a clear message here, they aren’t following their own Laws so why should anyone else and since they are also not enforcing the AODA as part of the legislation then who will listen anyway.
It’s not like they’re worried about us voting against them in any Election, why would they, too many Disabled cant vote because of accessibility barriers in the Electoral system, Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa is making sure of that by dragging his feet in implementation of new voting options that would allow equal access and I’m sure he has the full backing of the Liberal Government. He must have, how else to explain the silence from Minister Hoskins.
Perhaps they dont like David Lepofsky, intelligent Blind Lawyer/Advocate, backed by the Disabled Community telling them the way it is and providing answers on how to implement accessibility in a fair unbiased way, cant have the Disabled telling them what to do.
Perhaps there are many people out there who dont like Disabled people giving them concrete answers to Accessibility barriers and logical ways of implementing them, cant have Disabled people being smarter than them.
There are those who cry it will cost to much to implement but even the Government acknowledges it is good for business and should be seen as an investment.
There is also the issue of people who are profiting from the delay of implementation of the AODA, the longer it drags out the more they stand to gain financially.
Or perhaps I’m completely off base, become too cynical and should buy a pair of rose coloured glasses and learn how to skip through the tulips singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, anyone want to join me?