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Join Us at the Saturday June 16, 2018 Public Forum on Disability Accessibility in Barrie Ontario

Check Out the Responses We’ve Received On Social Media from Candidates in the 2018 Ontario Election

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities Twitter: @aodaalliance

June 1, 2018


1. Come to the June 16, 2018 Public Forum On Accessibility in Barrie Ontario

Believe it or not, the current all-consuming Ontario election will be over in six days. After that, we will immediately turn our attention to the next chapter in the saga of achieving a barrier-free Ontario for Ontarians with disabilities. We will be ready to work with whichever party Ontario voters choose in the June 7 Ontario election.

We always want to be ahead of the game! What better way to get started on that next chapter then by taking part in a new public forum on accessibility for people with disabilities! Join us in Barrie Ontario on Saturday June 16, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Holly Centre – Activity Room #2, 171 Mapleton Avenue, Barrie, ON, L4N 8T6 . A detailed announcement is set out below.
Please spread the word about this event, and encourage others to attend. Our huge thanks to DeafBlind Ontario Services for organizing this event!

2. Help Our Social Media #DisabilityVoteCounts Election Blitz, and See the Responses We’ve Gotten from Candidates Around Ontario Who Have Answered Us On Twitter!

We’ve been very busy during this election campaign, tweeting to every candidate for the four major Ontario parties for whom we can find a Twitter handle. We’ve asked candidates to make commitments to us about accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. We’re trying to get more commitments from these candidates than we have gotten from some of the party leaders!

We are using our popular new hashtag #DisabilityVoteCounts in all our social media efforts. We’ve urged candidates from all the parties to watch our widely-viewed new online video. It shows how the Ontario Government has used public money to create new disability barriers in new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations. We’ve also urged them to watch the recent interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”, that addresses the disability accessibility issues in this election.

We are delighted that we have gotten answers via social media from a good cross-section of candidates! We set out below as many of these as we could compile.

We need your help. On Twitter or Facebook, please re-tweet or share and like our #DisabilityVoteCounts posts. When candidates see that you are joining in, it really amplifies our message. Just a few minutes each day from now up to voting day will make all the difference. Check out our 2018 Ontario Election Action Kit for tips.

3. Remember to Try to Vote at Your Returning Office in Advance of June 7, To Avoid the Risk of Voting Accessibility Barriers

Here’s another reminder to make sure you vote in advance of June 7 voting day, if possible, at your riding’s returning office. To avoid the risk of disability barriers on voting day, we recommend that you plan now to vote in advance. As always, we don’t take any position on whom you should vote for or against. We are non-partisan!

Check out our detailed tips for voters with disabilities on how to avoid disability barriers when going to vote.


Announcement of June 16, 2018 Accessibility Public Forum in Barrie Ontario

Attention Assignment Desks:

Media Alert: Accessibility Forum in City of Barrie will bring together organizations that support persons with disabilities, individuals living with disabilities and elected officials for a discussion about accessibility in Ontario.

Barrie, June 16th, 2018

What: Join DeafBlind Ontario Services on June 16th to participate in a discussion about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
David Lepofsky, AODA Alliance Chair, will discuss the need to get the AODA back on track after the legislation was passed in 2005 and ideas for how local communities can provide their support for a fully accessible Ontario by 2025.

At this gathering, you will learn how to take part in the campaign to get things moving again.

The discussion will also include the need for federal accessibility legislation, a Canadians with Disabilities Act that will address barriers that the provincial law cannot, such as air travel, postal services, banking and the Federal Government itself.

The AODA Alliance is a disability consumer advocacy group that works to support the full and effective implementation of accessibility standards in Ontario.

DeafBlind Ontario Services is a not-for-profit organization that helps individuals who are deafblind to increase their independence and improve their quality of life through specialized services. With residential locations and community services programs across the province, their reach extends into a wide range of communities in Ontario.

Who: Mayor Jeff Lehman, and disability advocate David Lepofsky TBC

When: Saturday, June 16th 2018h 10:00am – 12:00 noon

Where: The Holly Centre – Activity Room #2, 171 Mapleton Avenue, Barrie, ON, L4N 8T6

How: For more information about DeafBlind Ontario Services, visit or call 1-855-340-3267


Photo Opportunities:
– Mayor Jeff Lehman, David Lepofsky

For more information, please contact: Senior Coordinator of Public Relations, Karen Madho at 1-855-340-3267 ext.243 or

Selection of Tweets from Ontario Election Candidates to the AODA Alliance In Response to Our #DisabilityVoteCounts Election Twitter Blitz

Karma Macgregor: @DavidLepofsky While no longer a candidate I’m a strong advocate of accessibility & disability issues, supporting March of Dimes since 1985. Accessibility to debates, voting & ALL venues is & always will remain a priority for me to ensure equal opportunity for all. #AODA #DisabilityVoteCounts 4/10/2018 5:36:50 PM from Twitter Web Client

James O’Grady: @DavidLepofsky Living w/ a handicapped mother, I understand the difficulty and barriers handicapped people face on a daily basis. I would hope that no debate would be held in a location that is not accessible. I will make that decision if and when the time comes. Let’s hope it doesn’t. 4/10/2018 9:35:52 AM from Twitter for iPhone

Goldie Ghamari: @DavidLepofsky @aodaalliance Please send me an email with all the details and I will pass your message along:

Thanks! 4/8/2018 8:55:58 PM from Twitter Web Client
Goldie Ghamari: @DavidLepofsky I have close family members with permanent physical disabilities. I completely understand where you are coming from. Every person in Ontario deserves to be heard. 4/8/2018 10:41:47 PM from Twitter for Android

Jeremy Roberts RT @David Lepofsky: @JR_Ottawa #DisabilityVoteCounts is our new hashtag for the 2018 Ontario election disability issues. Please RT, use it and follow it! It makes a strong positive statement! #accessibility #AODA #onpoli 12:45:45 PM from Twitter for iPhone

Daryl Kramp: @DavidLepofsky @aodaalliance absolutely. FYI I was a strong supporter of the Enabling Disabilities Program while I was federal member. Encourage, promoted and enacted many initiatives and projects in our riding as a result. Yes, still much, much more to do 4/11/2018 9:07:33 PM from Twitter Web Client

That was an answer to this tweet:
David Lepofsky: @darylkramp @aodaalliance asked parties for election pledges on disability #accessibility. Will you help get your party to make strong commitments for 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities? #AODA #onpoli #DisabilityVoteCounts 4/11/2018 6:11:43 PM from Chicken Nugget

Gary Bennett: @DavidLepofsky I would expect all organizers of candidate debates to ensure that the facilities are accessible to everyone. No one should be denied an opportunity to attend. 4/14/2018 10:52:28 PM from Twitter for Android

Pekka Reinio NDP: @DavidLepofsky “Hi David, good question, thanks! For all of our debates, I will make inquiries into accessibility and expect that all venues are accessible to voters with disabilities. If not, I will ask that modifications be made or thatvenues be changed. This is a human rights issue.”- Pekka 9:31:37 AM from Twitter for Android

Pekka Reinio NDP: @DavidLepofsky “For subsequent debate invitations, my first question will be accessibility. If the venue is not accessible, we will decline the invitation.” – Pekka #Barrie #Innisfil #DisabilityRights #AODA 9:43:55 AM from Twitter for Android

Pekka Reinio NDP: @DavidLepofsky “Accessibility is an issue we take seriously. We changed our nomination venue in January due to accessibility concerns.” – Pekka #Barrie #Innisfil #DisabilityRights #onpoli 9:59:31 AM from Twitter for Android

Jeff Wheeldon: @DavidLepofsky I will look into this! I am increasingly conscious of my privilege in this regard, but not enough to have noticed if all of the venues are accessible. Thank you for the reminder! Most of them are in public schools or libraries, so I think we’re good, but I’ll double check! 4/15/2018 10:33:17 PM from Twitter for iPhone

Rudy Cuzzetto: @DavidLepofsky @aodaalliance David, thank you for reaching out; I’ll do everything I can. cc: @GreyDoveCottage @MarkDeMontis #AODA #onpoli #DisabilityVoteCounts 3:35:21 PM from Twitter Web Client

Bob Chapman Oshawa: @DavidLepofsky thanls 4/20/2018 3:17:59 PM from Twitter for Android

Bob Chapman Oshawa: @DavidLepofsky Yes & FYI one of our priorities in locating a campaign office was one that was accessible. Happy to say we found one. 4/20/2018 3:20:50 PM from Twitter for Android

Roman Baber: @DavidLepofsky @aodaalliance @DavidLepofsky both myself and the Ontario PC Party support Ontarians with disabilities. We will do everything we can do ensure an accessible Ontario. #accessibility #AODA #DisabilityVoteCounts 4/19/2018 4:38:13 PM from Twitter for Android

Loralea Carruthers: @DavidLepofsky Hi David: thanks for the important question. Yes, that is something I am happy to commit to. I have confirmed for three local debates, and my understanding is all are in accessible venues, though I’ll ask my team to confirm. 4/18/2018 10:01:01 AM from TweetDeck

Mark DeMontis: @DavidLepofsky Yes, I also challenge every other candidate despite your political party or riding to do the same @Laura_Albanese @FaisalHassanNDP are you with me? #yorksouthweston #ontpoli 4/16/2018 11:43:21 AM from Twitter for iPhone

Keenan Aylwin: @DavidLepofsky @aodaalliance The Green Party of Ontario is committed to accessibility for Ontarians living with disabilities. You can find our policy at under the ‘People’ section, strategy D. #disabilityvotecounts #onpoli 4/16/2018 3:50:58 PM from Twitter Web Client

Laura Albanese: @MarkDeMontis @DavidLepofsky @FaisalHassanNDP Absolutely! Accessibility is incredibly important and making sure debates happen in an inclusive, accessible setting is even more so. 4/17/2018 8:52:13 AM from Twitter for iPhone

Faisal Hassan: Absolutely #yorksouthweston is at its best when everyone is included & nobody is excluded from their community & that debates happen in an inclusive, accessible locations, accommodating the distinct needs and strengths of everyone #ysw @DavidLepofsky @Laura_Albanese @MarkDeMontis 4/17/2018 10:29:45 AM from Twitter Web Client

Mark DeMontis: @Laura_Albanese @DavidLepofsky @FaisalHassanNDP Thank you. I’m glad you say inclusive. As you know there are many constituents who are deaf or hard of hearing. My hope is that we ensure that every debate has signers and interpreters on hand. 4/17/2018 10:12:48 AM from Twitter for iPhone

Mark DeMontis: @FaisalHassanNDP @DavidLepofsky @Laura_Albanese Thank you. Seems to me like #yorksouthweston candidates are on board. There should never be political colours getting in the way of disability awareness. By 2030, 1 in 5 Will be living with one, either physical or intellectual. In this province we must come together now. 4/17/2018 10:58:32 AM from Twitter for iPhone

Christine Hogarth: @DavidLepofsky Sounds reasonable to me. Thanks for reaching out. 8:53:46 PM from Twitter for iPhone

Ezra Tanen for Thornhill: @DavidLepofsky As someone temporarily living without a disability I applaud your work @davidlepofsky and the AODA Alliance. Your videos about the ttc were very informative. Proud of @AndreaHorwath’s plan, our province should be doing more! 9:57:13 PM from Twitter Web Client

Teresa Pun MD: @CNIB_Ontario @votespindler And here’s my video response to @DavidLepofsky and @aodaalliance regarding the inaccessibility of many newly developed @TTChelps infrastructure 5/24/2018 3:21:59 PM from Twitter Web Client

Carol Dyck: @DavidLepofsky Thank you for your message. We have no more debates at this time, but our public events in #LondonNorthCentre were accessible; constituents w/ mobility issues did attend. We were asked poignant questions regarding accessibility, among other important issues. 5/30/2018 8:59:46 AM from Twitter Web Client

Michael Mantha: @DavidLepofsky @DavidLepofsky I will always oppose cuts to what promotes accessibility. We have to do a better job at including Ontarians with disabilities. 5/30/2018 5:38:46 PM from Twitter Web Client

Jamie West: @DavidLepofsky Thanks for helping improve my awareness @DavidLepofsky! For example, I never knew what the TWI were specifically for – even though more and more of them are being installed in Sudbury! 5/30/2018 10:27:15 PM from Twitter Web Client

Brenda Rhodes: @DavidLepofsky I support @Kathleen_Wynne quote “I believe government should be there for people who need help. It’s the reason why I entered public life. I believe the way we care for one another is our greatest strength and government’s greatest responsibility.” #careovercuts 10:10:51 AM from Twitter Web Client

Brenda Rhodes: @DavidLepofsky Each of the debate sites were all accessible for all voters! 10:15:29 AM from Twitter Web Client

Abhijeet Manay: @DavidLepofsky @aodaalliance @TheAgenda @spaikin Will do ?? 7:42:43 PM from Twitter for Android
Note: That was in response to a tweet inviting the canaidate to watch the episode of The Agenda with Steve Paikin about the election’s disability accessibility issues.

Team Francesca: @DavidLepofsky Yes, all our All Candidate were held in fully accessible buildings. When choosing my office accessibility was the top criteria 9:11:43 PM from Twitter for iPad

More Information About the AODA Alliance and Accessibility Issues in the 2018 Ontario Election

Please take steps to ensure you can receive our AODA Alliance Updates. Put in your contact list. Check your spam filter so it does not treat our emails from that new email address as spam.

To sign up for or unsubscribe from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Updates, send your request to us at In late December 2017, our email list for these Updates unfortunately crashed. We have rebuilt it. In case you fell off the list but want to return, just email to ask us to sign you up. In case you had wanted to be removed from the list, but were accidentally restored to it, just email us to ask to be removed! Sorry for any inconvenience.

For the AODA Alliance tips to all voters with disabilities on how to try to avoid facing any disability barriers when trying to vote in the 2018 election, visit: To watch the new AODA Alliance video on serious accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations, visit:

16-minute version:

30-minute version:

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit:

To read the new AODA Alliance 2018 Election Action Kit, in order to get ideas on how to raise disability accessibility issues in the June 7, 2018 Ontario election campaign, visit:

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit For a list of all the all-candidates’ debates we could find around Ontario, visit: To read the AODA Alliance’s analysis of each party’s commitments on accessibility, visit

To read the AODA Alliance’s issue-by-issue breakdown of the commitments of each party on accessibility, visit

To read the AODA Alliance’s April 2, 2018 letter to the party leaders, listing the disability accessibility commitments we seek, visit:

To read the Ontario Green Party’s May 4, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:

To read the Ontario NDP’s May 5, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:

To read the Ontario Liberal Party’s May 14, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:

To read the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s May 15, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:

For more background on the AODA Alliance’s non-partisan campaign for accessibility in this election, visit

To learn more about the AODA Alliance’s efforts to ensure that the voting process is fully accessible to voters with disabilities, visit:

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at

Have you taken part in our “Picture Our Barriers campaign? If not, please join in! You can get all the information you need about our “Picture Our Barriers” campaign by visiting

We encourage you to use the Government’s toll-free number for reporting AODA violations. We fought long and hard to get the Government to promise this, and later to deliver on that promise. If you encounter any accessibility problems at any large retail establishments, it will be especially important to report them to the Government via that toll-free number. Call 1-866-515-2025.

Please pass on our email Updates to your family and friends.

Check out our new and expanded collection of online videos about the history, strategies and accomplishments of Ontario’s non-partisan grassroots accessibility campaign, available at: Why not subscribe to the AODA Alliance’s YouTube channel, so you can get immediate alerts when we post new videos on our accessibility campaign.

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates:

Follow us on Twitter. Get others to follow us. And please re-tweet our tweets!! @AODAAlliance

Learn all about our campaign for a fully accessible Ontario by visiting