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What Has Each Political Party Pledged to Do to Make Ontario Fully Accessible to 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities by 2025? Major Disability Coalition Unveils and Analyzes the Parties’ Pledges

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance
News Release For Immediate Release

May 16, 2018 Toronto: With a province-wide live-streamed all-candidates’ debate between the parties on disability issues to take place tonight 6-8:30 pm at 55 Gould Street, Toronto, the non-partisan AODA Alliance here unveils the election pledges that Ontario’s major parties made to lead Ontario to become accessible to 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities.

The Liberals, Tories, NDP and Greens have each made election commitments in letters to the AODA Alliance. Links to them, plus an issue-by-issue and party-by-party analysis of these, are below. On April 2, 2018, the AODA Alliance wrote the parties, seeking detailed commitments on 14 issues such as enforcement of accessibility, tearing down barriers impeding students with disabilities, strengthening the implementation of Ontario’s Disabilities Act, and tackling the crisis in accessible housing facing seniors and others with disabilities.

The AODA Alliance’s analysis shows that the Green Party makes the broadest commitments, with the NDP coming in right behind the Greens. Trailing notably further back are the Liberals (who get credit for enacting the Disabilities Act in 2005) and behind them, the Conservatives.

“As a non-partisan coalition, we don’t support or oppose any party or candidate, or tell anyone how to vote,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the grassroots provincial coalition. “We let voters, including at least one million voters with disabilities, know where the parties stand on these issues. We encourage and equip voters to get to their individual candidates and press them to commit to more action.”

Ontarians with a physical, mental, sensory, learning, intellectual, mental health or other disability still face far too many barriers when they try to get an education, go to work, ride transit or go shopping. This is the seventh consecutive Ontario election in which the AODA Alliance or its predecessor coalition secured election pledges from Ontario parties during a provincial election.

Ontario’s Disabilities Act requires the Ontario Government to lead Ontario to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. Right now, we are behind schedule. The Government that takes office in June will have the last real chance to get Ontario back on schedule for that mandatory deadline.

“For us, the commitments in these letters from the parties are just the beginning,” said Lepofsky. “We’re now embarking on a blitz throughout the campaign, at campaign events, candidates’ debates, on social media and wherever we can, to get the strongest commitments we can from the parties and from individual candidates. To follow our campaign on Twitter, check out #DisabilityVoteCounts.” We want candidates to remember that the votes of at least a million voters with disabilities count in this election!”

Yesterday, the AODA Alliance launched a new YouTube video that shows why Ontario’s next Government must take bold action on accessibility. It revealed serious accessibility problems at new and recently renovated public transit stations in Toronto. Every candidate needs to watch it.

16-minute version:
https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o
30-minute version:
https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

Tonight, from 6 to 8:30 pm, at the Ryerson Tecumseh Auditorium 55 Gould St., Toronto, and live streaming from around the province, candidates will be grilled on their positions on a wide range of disability issues. More on that event organized by a number of great disability organizations (not the AODA Alliance but we’ll surely be there!) at https://bit.ly/2HsnsES Follow #disabilitydebate2018

Contact: David Lepofsky, aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance @davidlepofsky

Key Background Links

To read the Ontario Green Party’s May 4, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/read-the-may-4-2018-letter-from-the-green-party-to-the-aoda-alliance-setting-out-its-2018-election-commitments-on-accessibility/ To read the Ontario NDP’s May 5, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/read-the-may-5-2018-letter-from-the-new-democratic-party-to-the-aoda-alliance-setting-out-its-2018-election-commitments-on-accessibility/ To read the Ontario Liberal Party’s May 14, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/read-the-may-14-2018-letter-from-the-liberal-party-to-the-aoda-alliance-setting-out-its-2018-election-commitments-on-accessibility/ To read the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s May 15, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out its election pledges on accessibility, visit:
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/read-the-may-15-2018-letter-from-the-progressive-conservative-party-to-the-aoda-alliance-setting-out-its-2018-election-commitments-on-accessibility/ To read the AODA Alliance’s analysis of each party’s commitments on accessibility, visit
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliances-party-by-party-analysis-of-the-2018-election-disability-accessibility-commitments-of-the-major-ontario-political-parties/ To read the AODA Alliance’s April 2, 2018 letter to the party leaders, listing the disability accessibility commitments we seek, visit:
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-writes-ontarios-major-political-parties-seeking-their-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/ To read the AODA Alliance’s issue-by-issue breakdown of the commitments of each party on accessibility, visit
https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliances-issue-by-issue-party-comparison-of-the-major-parties-election-commitments-on-disability-accessibility/ For more background on the AODA Alliance’s non-partisan campaign for accessibility in this election, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/2018vote/

To learn more about the AODA Alliance’s efforts to ensure that the voting process is fully accessible to voters with disabilities, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/ontario-election/

To learn more about the AODA Alliance generally, visit
http://www.aodaalliance.org