By Victor Schwartzman
October 13, 2014
About three weeks ago, concerned about the relative silence from new Minister Brad Duguid about implementing AODA, your correspondent wrote to him. Two basic questions were asked. The first was a statement about implementing AODA and its progress. The second, which may have got missed in the shuffle, was when Minister Duguid would meet with the AODA Alliance.
A couple of days ago, I received a response from the Minister’s office:
“The implementation of the AODA is still in the early stages. Achieving an accessible Ontario requires a significant, long-term societal shift that can be linked to other shifts such as wearing seatbelts, anti-smoking and recycling.
“Improving accessibility in Ontario is a 20 year journey, and 2015 will mark the 10th anniversary. This year, we have asked employers, large and small, to create a multi-year plan to remove accessibility barriers in their organizations.
“To ensure that we are on the right-track to meet our targets, our government commissioned Mayo Moran to issue an independent review of the legislation. This independent review will give us time to reflect on what is working well, what areas we need to work on, and how we can move forward to build momentum over the coming years.
“We are committed to making Ontario more accessible and look forward to our continued work with stakeholders, communities, and employers to implement a lasting, long-term societal shift.”
We appreciate the Minister responding, and will likely be writing about the statement in the coming weeks. A few reasonable questions rise from this statement now, though. They include how the implementation can be in “early stages” when it half the time line has now evaporated. Are the societal shifts required for access truly the same as getting people to wear seat belts? And didn’t the Government originally miss the deadline for appointing a new Independent Reviewer, Dean Moran, and only make the appointment after a significant delay and weeks of criticism?
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Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. Buy the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/King-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413214614&sr=1-1
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 also contributes to http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and hosts two writers’ circles. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.