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Human Rights Cases Settled as Transit Providers Offer More Accessible Services

TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2011 /CNW/ – The cities of Hamilton, Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have settled three human rights cases at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The OHRC filed the complaints in 2009 to increase accessibility for riders with vision disabilities by ensuring the calling out of all transit stops.

Each of the three transit providers took action and each now has an automated call out system that incorporates backup procedures in the event of a system malfunction. The transit providers monitor their systems regularly to make sure they are working properly, and provide training for all drivers. As part of the cities’ commitment to accessible service, they have also helped transit riders learn about the stop announcement systems, and provided ways for riders to raise any concerns or get more information.

“Accessible transit is good for everyone, but for people who are blind or partially sighted, it’s essential,” said Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner. “I
am very pleased that transit riders in the Hamilton, Sudbury and Thunder Bay areas, including people with disabilities, newcomers, and others, can count on hearing their stops called out, just like other transit users across the province.”

The settlement respects the rights of persons with vision disabilities to equal treatment in services under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and means that the municipalities have also met the requirement under the AODA Integrated Accessibility Regulation that all transit route stops must be called out audibly as of July 1st, 2011.

“The City of Greater Sudbury is very pleased with the outcome of this issue, considering the City’s long-time commitment to a fully accessible transit fleet” said Roger Sauve, Director of Transit Services. “In 2008, the City of Greater Sudbury committed to equipping all Transit buses with an automated next stop announcement system – both audible and visual.  We were proud to have accomplished this in 2009.  The City of Greater Sudbury is proud to have a 100% accessible transit system available to riders, and remains committed to ensuring that full ridership services are provided to all citizens.”

“The City of Thunder Bay’s long standing commitment to serving the needs of the disabled community is demonstrated by being the first mid-sized transit system to have a 100% fully accessible low floor fleet.  Our investment in an automated audio/visual call stop system, which was installed on all buses in September 2009 and our extensive accessibility training for all staff, reinforce Thunder Bay Transit’s efforts of working towards providing public transit that is accessible to everyone.” – Brad Loroff, Manager, Transit Division.

“The City of Hamilton committed back in March 2008 to acquiring a fully automated stop announcement system to complement its fully accessible fleet, in order to better serve its visually and audibly impaired transit users, and worked determinedly from that time to see the project to fruition” said Don
Hull, Director of Transit.

Background

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For further information:

For the Ontario Human Rights Commission
Rosemary Bennett, Sr. Communications Officer
416-314-4549

For Hamilton Transit
Don Hull – (905) 546-2424 ext. 1860 – 
don.hull@hamilton.ca

For Greater Sudbury Transit
Roger Sauve – (705) 674-4455 ext. 3014 or ext. 3012 – 
roger.sauve@greatersudbury.ca

For Thunder Bay Transit
Brad Loroff – (807) 684-2187 – 
bloroff@thunderbay.ca

Reproduced from http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2011/29/c7794.html