ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE

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United for a Barrier-Free Ontario

Learn All About the History, Strategies, Goals and Gains of Ontario's Disability Accessibility Movement from the Late 1970s to Early 2014 - Watch AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky's On-line Captioned Lecture Series Delivered in Winter 2014

March 27, 2014

Summary

Would you like to learn all about the history, strategies, goals, gains, and future priorities of Ontario's vibrant and tenacious grassroots disability accessibility movement? Here is a great way you can do so from the comfort of your own home or office, or on a smart phone or tablet device. And it's fully accessible!

In January and early February 2014, David Lepofsky, chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, served as a visiting Roy McMurtry Clinical Fellow at the Osgoode Hall Law School at Toronto's York University. As part of this Fellowship, he delivered a series of 12 lectures in different classes at the Law School and elsewhere around the University, on a full range of different topics concerning the long campaign up to early 2014, to make Ontario fully accessible to all persons with disabilities.

These are now organized into a sequential on-line lecture series, for your enjoyment. A short introductory lecture is added to get you started. They are all available on YouTube and have been captioned.

From 1994 to 2005, David Lepofsky chaired the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. The ODA Committee led the non-partisan province-wide campaign in Ontario from 1994 to 2005 to win the enactment of new accessibility legislation. From 2009 to the present, he has chaired the successor Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance. The AODA Alliance is the non-partisan community coalition that campaigns to get the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act effectively implemented and enforced.  

These lectures are available as a continuing playlist, or you can watch whichever individual lecture you wish. We recommend that you watch them in the sequence listed below. However you can still enjoy and benefit from them in whatever order you wish.

For many of these lectures, the audience was comprised of law students. However the lectures' content is designed to be easily and readily enjoyed and used by anyone, whether or not you are in Ontario or Canada, whether or not you have studied law, and whether or not you know anything about disability accessibility issues. We hope these lectures will be helpful for anyone interested in disability issues, or in community organizing and advocacy, or in the history and dynamics of social change and social justice.

Below we set out a list of each lecture with a title, description and link to the YouTube video. We also include links to relevant resources that will enrich your enjoyment of each lecture. Finally, we give you some other links to useful other resources.

We welcome your feedback on these lectures. Did you find them helpful? How have you made use of them? Email us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

We express our deep gratitude to Osgoode Hall Law School, and to all the professors listed in the descriptions listed below, for welcoming these lectures into their classes,, for captioning them, and for posting them on YouTube.  

Description of Each Lecture and Related Resources

Brief Introduction to the Lecture Series

Introduction to 2014 David Lepofsky Osgoode Hall Law School Lectures on Advocating for Disability Rights

Brief Introduction to the Lecture Series YouTube Link

Description: David Lepofsky gives a brief introduction to this 12-part series of lectures on disability accessibility and disability rights advocacy.

Lecture 1

A personal Perspective on the 1980-82 Advocacy to Amend the Canadian Charter of Rights to Protect Disability Equality

Lecture 1 YouTube Link.

Description: In this January 22, 2014 guest-lecture in Prof. Richard Haigh's State and Citizen  course at Osgoode Hall Law School, disability rights activist David Lepofsky recounts his volunteer advocacy efforts in 1980-82, as one of many who successfully campaigned to get Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of rights and Freedoms amended to protect disability equality. He was one of many who successfully fought to win the disability amendment to section 15 of the Charter of Rights. This lecture gives his personal recollections of his own involvement in that campaign.

You can also watch David Lepofsky's December 12, 1980 presentation to the Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada on the constitution of Canada.

Lecture 2

History of the 1994-2005 Grassroots Campaign to Win the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Lecture 2 YouTube Link

Description: In a January 14, 2014 lecture to York University's Introduction to the Critical Disabilities Studies course (taught by Prof. Geoffrey Reaume), David Lepofsky describes a 10-year Ontario grassroots community advocacy campaign from 1994 to 2005 that led to the Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, to address accessibility for people with disabilities. He describes the non-partisan Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee's goals, strategies and many uphill challenges.

For an exhaustive resource on the advocacy efforts of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee from 1994 to 2005, that led to the enactment of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001 and later the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, visit the ODA Committee's website. Even though the ODA Committee has wound up, and been succeeded by the AODA Alliance, we have preserved the ODA Committee's website on line as a legacy, and as a public record of the long and arduous fight to win those new laws.

Lecture 3

Designing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act  from 2003 to 2005 - What Regulatory Powers Should a Strong Disability Accessibility Law Include?

Lecture 3 YouTube Link.

Description: In a January 15, 2014 lecture to Osgoode Hall Law School's Advanced Regulatory Policy seminar (taught by Dean Lorne Sossin), David Lepofsky describes what Ontarians with disabilities wanted the Ontario Government to include in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, policy analysis that led to this platform, what they won in 2005, and reforms they sought since 2005. This focuses on the challenge of deciding what specific ingredients to include in a new disability accessibility law to make it strong and effective.

To read the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee's June 28, 2004 Discussion Paper, referred to in this lecture, entitled "Putting Teeth Into The Ontarians With Disabilities Act: A Discussion Paper On Options For Creating An Effective Compliance / Enforcement Process For The ODA".

Lecture 4

From 2005 to 2014, What Progress in Ontario Towards Full Accessibility for People with Disabilities?

Lecture 4 YouTube Link.

Description: In his February 3, 2014 open lecture to students at the Osgoode Hall Law School, David Lepofsky critically examines Ontario's progress towards becoming fully accessible to persons with disabilities, since the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005. How much progress have we made? Has Ontario's disability accessibility law lived up to its expectations? Where has it fallen short?

Lecture 5

Ontario's Slow Progress Toward Fully Accessible Transportation for People with Disabilities -The Challenge of Getting Accessibility Barriers in Ontario's Transportation System Removed and Prevented

Lecture 5 YouTube Link.

Description: In his January 23, 2014 lecture to the Policy Course in York University's Critical Disabilities Studies program taught by Prof. Rachel Gorman, David Lepofsky provides an in-depth exploration of the gains made and obstacles encountered in grassroots disability community efforts to use the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 to tear down barriers impeding persons with disabilities in Ontario when seeking to use transportation services like public transit or taxis.

To download in MS Word format the May 28,2007 initial proposal for a Transportation Accessibility Standard that the Transportation Standards Development Committee recommended.

To read the AODA Alliance's August 13, 2007 brief on the initial proposal for a Transportation Accessibility Standard.

To read the final proposed Transportation Accessibility Standard that the Transportation Standards Development committee recommended to the Ontario Government early in 2009.

To read the AODA Alliance's April 8, 2009 brief to the Ontario Government on the Transportation Standards Development Committee's final proposal for a Transportation Accessibility Standard under the AODA.

To download and read the AODA Alliance's March 11, 2011 final brief to the Ontario Government on the proposed 2011 Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (which included transportation accessibility requirements).

To download and read the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation enacted on June 3, 2011 under the AODA, including requirements for transportation accessibility.

Lecture 6

Using the Ontario Human Rights Code to Force the Toronto Transit commission to Reliably Announce all Bus & Subway Stops for Blind Riders - Lepofsky v TTC

Lecture 6 YouTube Link.

Description: In his January 24, 2014 lecture to Osgood Hall Law School's Disability Rights Intensive course taught by Prof. Roxanne Mykitiuk and Marion MacGregor, David Lepofsky describes his 13-year saga to force the Toronto Transit Commission to audibly announce all subway, bus and streetcar routes to accommodate the needs of blind passengers like himself. This included his 2 discrimination cases   at Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal against the TTC, Lepofsky v. TTC #1 (2005) and Lepofsky v. TTC #2 (2007).

The various rulings in Lepofsky v. TTC #1 (regarding the effort to get TTC to audibly announce all subway stops) include:

Interim Decision of Hon. Alvin B. Rosenberg dated April 18, 2005: Lepofsky v. Toronto Transit Commission, 2005 HRTO 12 (CanLII).

Interim Order of Hon. Alvin B. Rosenberg dated June 30, 2005:  Lepofsky v. Toronto Transit Commission, 2005 HRTO 20 (CanLII).

Interim Order of Hon. Alvin B. Rosenberg dated July 7, 2005:  Lepofsky v. TTC, 2005 HRTO 21 (CanLII).

Final Decision of Hon. Alvin B. Rosenberg dated September 29, 2005: Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Lepofsky, 2005 HRTO 36 (CanLII).

The various rulings in Lepofsky v. ttc #2 2007 (regarding the effort to get TTC to audibly announce all bus and street car stops) include:

Interim Order of Hon. Alvin B. Rosenberg dated July 26, 2007:  Lepofsky v. TTC, 2007 HRTO 23 (CanLII).

Final Decision of Hon. Alvin B. Rosenberg dated November 21, 2007:  Lepofsky v. Toronto Transit Commission, 2007 HRTO 41 (CanLII).

Lecture 7

Making Courts and Mediations Accessible for People with Disabilities

Lecture 7 YouTube Link.

Description: In this January 21, 2014 lecture to Osgoode Hall Law School's Negotiations and Mediation Seminar taught by Prof. Martha Simmons, David Lepofsky describes specific strategies for ensuring that persons with disabilities can fully participate in court proceedings and in mediation and negotiations processes connected with litigation.

To learn more about the barriers that impede many persons with disabilities from full access to and participation in court proceedings, and strategies for removing and preventing these barriers, read "Making Ontario’s Courts Fully Accessible to Persons with Disabilities - the December 2006 Report of the Ontario Courts Disabilities Committee (The Weiler Report),.

Lecture 8

Practical Strategies for Community Organizing  and Community Advocacy- Lessons from Ontario's Grassroots Disability Accessibility Campaign

Lecture 8 YouTube Link.

Description: In this January 31, 2014 lecture in Osgoode Hall Law Schools Law and Discrimination Intensive course taught by Prof. Bruce Ryder, David Lepofsky describes practical tips for effective community organizing and advocacy, drawn from the experience of Ontario's grassroots campaign from 1994 to the present to make Ontario accessible for persons with disabilities.

Lecture 9

How to Negotiate For a Community Not an Individual - tips from Experience in Ontario Disability Accessibility Advocacy

Lecture 9 YouTube Link.

Description: In this January 21, 2014 lecture to Osgoode Hall Law School's Negotiations seminar taught by Prof. Martha Simmons, David Lepofsky reviews some of the unique challenges and strategies facing a grassroots community organization when it is negotiating with a government over new laws to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. How does it differ from efforts at negotiating on behalf of an individual.

Lecture 10

The Battle for Ontario's Disability Accessibility Laws– Lessons Learned about Law, Lawyering, Legal Education and Scholarship

Lecture 10 YouTube Link.

Description: In a January 29, 2014 Osgoode Hall Law School Faculty Seminar, David Lepofsky reflects on what 20 years of disability advocacy taught him about law, lawyering, legal education and legal scholarship.

To read the Toronto Star's January 29, 2014 article on a troubling disability accessibility barrier in transportation, referred to in this lecture.

Lecture 11

The Next Steps in Early 2014 in the Grassroots Campaign to Make Ontario Disability-Accessible - What Goals? What Strategies?

Lecture 11 YouTube Link.

Description: At this February 4, 2014 York University public forum on disability accessibility, describes the immediate Ontario Government action needed to get Ontario back on schedule for full accessibility by 2025. He details strategies for grassroots action.

To read the AODA Alliance's January 26, 2014 Action Kit for raising disability accessibility issues in the two Ontario February 13, 2014 by-elections.

To read the 9 priorities for immediate accessibility action that the AODA Alliance made public on December 3, 2013. Full Title: Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community –

Lecture 12

Community Organizing and Social Justice Advocacy - An Integral part of Ethical Lawyering

Lecture 12 YouTube Link.

Description: David Lepofsky delivers the opening lecture on August 29, 2013 to Osgoode Hall Law School's first year students, its Class of 2016. On their very first day at law school, He highlights the important ways they can include community organizing and social justice advocacy in their careers, using the example of disability accessibility advocacy in Ontario.

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