April 30, 2015
The Second Legislative Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was completed in November 2014 and released on Feb. 13, 2015.
The AODA, which came into effect in 2005, consists of a series of accessibility targets, which need to be met according to a specific timetable that ends in 2025, the goal is to have all of the aspects of accessibility covered in the AODA in place in Ontario. However, the AODA has not been fulfilling the implementation dates laid out in its timetable.
This review by Mayo Moran on The Dream Team’s website, did a thorough job of analyzing why this important legislation has failed to meet its implementation targets. Moran also had some suggestions on how to fix the problems with the AODA. Oddly enough, many of these suggestions make reference to the Pan Am and Para Pan Games being held in Toronto this summer, athletic competitions that George Brown College is heavily involved in.
Moran appears to think that since both these competitions will bring multitudes of people to this province, Ontario should take advantage of the international attention to show off how well it is implementing the AODA.
Of course, to ‘take advantage’ of this opportunity, Ontario will have to have some progress to show. And, as of this writing, there is scant little progress connected to the AODA for Ontario to show off. Ten years after the AODA came into effect, accessibility is not an aspect of life that Ontarians with disabilities enjoy.
Though there is a schedule of targets that the legislation is supposed to meet as well as a series of reviews that are intended to ensure these targets are on track, as Moran notes in this Second Review, many of the targets from the first review remain unmet.
Although his optimism is refreshing, it is highly unlikely that Ontario will suddenly wake up to its’ responsibilities and implement the targets mandated by the AODA in the short time that remains before the hordes of people descend on Ontario for the games. It is much more likely that the promises of the AODA will remain unfulfilled and almost certain that this summer will come and go without any further movement towards implementing the AODA legislation.