First Reflections After the 2018 Ontario Election from the Perspective of Our Non-Partisan Campaign for Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

First Reflections on the 2018 Ontario Election from the Perspective of Our Non-Partisan Campaign for Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

June 8, 2018

          SUMMARY

We congratulate Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative Party on its success in the June 7, 2018 Ontario election. With the election of a new majority Progressive Conservative Government for Ontario yesterday under Doug Ford, a new chapter begins in our non-partisan campaign to make Ontario fully accessible to 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities by 2025. We’re ready to work with Ontario’s new Government! Our sleeves are rolled up!

 

In this Update, we offer a few preliminary reflections on the election campaign that has just finished, and on our mission in the days ahead. We thank everyone who swung into action to help us raise disability issues in the 2018 Ontario election campaign.

 

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First Reflections on the June 8, 2018 Ontario Election

 

As always, the non-partisan AODA Alliance is ready to work with the new Government that is poised to take office at Queens Park. Over the years that it was in opposition, we worked with PC MPPs, urged them to raise disability issues in the Legislature, and offered our help. We are always ready to work with any party in the same way.

 

As the Tories now take office, they do so with their party on record as having unanimously voted for and applauded the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in the Legislature when it was passed 13 years ago, back on May 10, 2005. PC leader Doug Ford wrote the AODA Alliance on May 15, 2018, voicing support for this legislation. He recognized a number of the barriers that Ontarians with disabilities still face, and committed to work with us to address these. We will take him and his Government up on this.

 

We will show how a strong and effective implementation and enforcement of the AODA fits within Doug Ford’s promise to govern for the people. That includes the 1.9 million Ontarians who now have a disability and all other Ontarians who are bound to get a disability as they age. Doug Ford has promised to make Ontario “open for business”. To do so, that needs to include ensuring it is open for people with disabilities, as employees, business owners and customers. We look forward to offering to help the Ontario Government achieve this.

 

We set out below Doug Ford’s May 15, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance. 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/

 

We have known that whatever the outcome to the election was to be, a very large majority of the MPPs in the next Ontario Legislature had not been not members of that Legislature back in May 2005 when the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed. The vast majority of the MPPs who voted to pass the AODA have left provincial politics. So has every cabinet minister who had responsibility for the AODA, or for its creation, or for the predecessor law that the PCs passed under Premier Mike Harris, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001.

 

In fact, a total of only 9 MPPs who voted to pass the AODA in May 2005 will be in the next Ontario Legislature. We list them below. Of them, a majority of them, totaling 5, are Conservatives, namely Ted Arnott, Ernie Hardeman, Norm Miller, Jim Wilson and John Yakabuski. Two are Liberals. Two are NDP.

 

The nine MPPs who were re-elected yesterday and who were in the Legislature 15 years ago to vote to pass the AODA, along with their party affiliation, are:

 

Ted Arnott PC

Gilles Bisson NDP

Michael Gravelle Liberal

Ernie Hardeman PC

Andrea Horwath NDP

Norm Miller PC

Jim Wilson PC

Kathleen Wynne Liberal

John Yakabuski PC

 

We can and should all be proud of our non-partisan efforts in the 2018 Ontario election to raise disability accessibility issues. We secured a greater profile in the media and elsewhere than in several of the past Ontario elections. As part of our efforts, we:

 

* Offered all party leaders a constructive list of election commitments that we sought, and that the next Government will need to act on, to ensure that Ontario reaches full accessibility by 2025, as the AODA requires.

 

* Secured commitments in response from all four party leaders.

 

* Brought to the public’s attention the election commitments we sought, and the commitments we received, broken down on an issue-by-issue basis.

 

* Spearheaded a grassroots campaign to get voters with disabilities and their supporters to raise accessibility issues with the candidates, including at all-candidates debates. We made available an online list of all the candidates’ debates we could find.

 

* Undertook a Twitter blitz to every candidate who was on Twitter. We sent hundreds if not thousands of tweets. We are delighted whenever AODA Alliance supporters took the time to retweet these and to add their own messages. A number of candidates tweeted back to us from the campaign trail, voicing their support for accessibility. Our new #DisabilityVoteCounts hashtag was a real success on Twitter.

 

* Released a very successful new online video that became a centerpiece of our campaign. It reveals serious accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations. In its first 12 days online, it secured over 2,000 views. Its viewership has kept growing since then. It will remain highly relevant to our efforts long after the end of this election campaign. Links to that video are set out below.

 

* We and our issues got great coverage in the mainstream media during this election campaign, including on TV, on the radio, in newspapers, and online. It is extremely hard to get the conventional media to cover disability issues during an election. We did better than we had in the most recent prior elections.

 

* We exposed serious accessibility problems facing voters with disabilities, and secured media attention on this. We have pressed Elections Ontario for major improvements, and will be following up on this issue.

 

We thank one and all for receiving our Updates over this election, and appreciate that we have been sending more than we usually do. Things will slow down a bit now. However we will have lots to offer in the next days and weeks on such topics as:

 

* How we can effectively raise accessibility issues with Ontario’s new Government.

 

* Taking part in the 3rd Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, which must complete its work and submit its final report by early February 2019.

 

* How we can raise disability accessibility issues in this fall’s upcoming local municipal and school board elections.

 

* How we can press the Federal Government to introduce and pass a strong national accessibility law, as it has promised to do.

 

We welcome your feedback on our efforts during this election, and your suggestions for working together with you on those priority areas that we have just listed.

 

At this Update’s end you will find links to helpful information about our ongoing efforts on disability accessibility, and a button for unsubscribing from these Updates.

 

 

May 15, 2018 Letter to the AODA Alliance from Progressive Conservative Party Leader Doug Ford

 

 

May 15, 2018

 

David Lepofsky, Chair
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA Alliance)

 

Dear David,

The Ontario PC Party is pleased to respond to the AODA Alliance’s survey for the 2018 Ontario election. Our team is focused on providing a clear alternative to voters. After 15 years of high taxes and government mismanagement under the Wynne Liberals, the people of Ontario are ready for change.

Your issues are close to the hearts of our Ontario PC Caucus and Candidates, which is why they will play an outstanding role in shaping policy for the Ontario PC Party to assist Ontarians in need.

 

Too many Ontarians with disabilities still face barriers when they try to get a job, ride public transit, get an education, use our healthcare system, buy goods or services, or eat in restaurants.

Whether addressing standards for public housing, health care, employment or education, our goal when passing the AODA in 2005 was to help remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating more fully in their communities.

For the Ontario PCs, this remains our goal. Making Ontario fully accessible by 2025 is an important goal under the AODA and it’s one that would be taken seriously by an Ontario PC government.

 

Christine Elliott, our former Health Critic and Deputy Leader, has been a tireless advocate for Ontarians with disabilities. Ms. Elliott called to establish the Select Committee on Developmental Services, with a mandate to develop a comprehensive developmental services strategy for children, youth and adults in Ontario with an intellectual disability or who are dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental illness.

When it comes to people with disabilities, we have a moral and an economic responsibility to focus on their abilities and not just on what holds them back. Our family members, friends and neighbours who have a disability of some kind are a wellspring of talent and determination.

There’s no good reason why a person with a disability should not be able to cast a vote in an election. It’s also completely unacceptable that someone should be passed over for a job because of the myth that people with disabilities can’t do the work. We have a moral and social responsibility to change this.

This is why we’re disappointed the current government has not kept its promise with respect to accessibility standards. An Ontario PC government is committed to working with the AODA Alliance to address implementation and enforcement issues when it comes to these standards.

Ontario needs a clear strategy to address AODA standards and the Ontario Building Code’s accessibility provisions. We need Ontario’s design professionals, such as architects, to receive substantially improved professional training on disability and accessibility.

The Ontario PC Party believes our education system must minimize barriers for students with disabilities, providing the skills, opportunities and connections with the business community that are necessary to enter the workforce.

Building a strong, open dialogue with your organization is most certainly a priority for our party. We encourage you to continue this dialogue and share your ideas and solutions for Ontarians with disabilities.

When I am elected Premier on June 7th, I promise I will focus on investing in the priorities that matter most to the people of Ontario. Jobs and economic development will be a key focus, and Ontario will be open for business again.

In the coming weeks, our team will be releasing our platform of policies and priorities and a clear vision for a prosperous Ontario.

If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out at any time.

Sincerely,

Doug Ford

Leader, Ontario PC Party

 

 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 updates@aodaalliance.org in your contact list. Check your spam filter so it does not treat our emails from that new email address as spam.

 

To unsubscribe from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Updates, click on the “unsubscribe” button at the end of all our Updates that we email to you.

 

To watch the new AODA Alliance video on serious accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations, visit:

 

2 minute teaser/promo:

https://youtu.be/y7111_apq48

 

16-minute version:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

 

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

 

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

 

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

 

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

More Media Coverage of Accessibility Issues and Voting Barriers Facing Voters with Disabilities – and — Elections Ontario Accepts As Accurate AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s Report of Voting Barriers He Faced Last Week

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

 

More Media Coverage of Accessibility Issues and Voting Barriers Facing Voters with Disabilities – and — Elections Ontario Accepts As Accurate AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s Report of Voting Barriers He Faced Last Week

 

June 6, 2018

 

          SUMMARY

 

Our non-partisan campaign to raise accessibility issues and concerns in the 2018 Ontario election has secured even more great media attention as Voting Day gets close!

 

* On June 4, 2018, the Canadian Press wire service published an important article by reporter Michelle McQuigge, set out below, that reports on the parties’ platforms on disability issues like accessibility. A number of news organizations picked up this report.

 

* Today, June 6, 2018, the Canadian Press published another article, also set out below and also by reporter Michelle McQuigge. This article reported on accessibility problems that voters with disabilities have experienced in this election, including by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky.

 

As well, here’s more news from us on our efforts to get Elections Ontario to ensure that voters with disabilities. On Friday, June 1, 2018, the AODA Alliance issued a news release that reported on serious accessibility barriers that AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky faced when he went to vote that day at his riding’s Returning Office. His right to a secret ballot was violated. His ballot ended up on the floor, face up, so that a polling official could see for whom he voted. This was not due to any action on the part of David Lepofsky. The news release gave details about this incident.

 

On June 2, 2018, he forwarded a copy of this news release to Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, Greg Essensa. As a result, Elections Ontario’s Chief Administrative Officer contacted David Lepofsky by email, and requested a chance to speak on the phone.

 

On Monday, June 4, 2018, David Lepofsky spoke by phone with Elections Ontario’s Chief Administrative Officer and its accessibility lead. As a result, David Lepofsky sent Elections Ontario an email on June 5, 2018, which confirms a number of key points that they had discussed on the phone. We set that email out below.

 

In that email, you will see that Elections Ontario did not dispute the accuracy of David Lepofsky’s report of what happened to him. Elections Ontario apologized and recognized the need to improve its offerings to voters with disabilities.

 

David Lepofsky has also forwarded to Elections Ontario a number of complaints about accessibility problems that other voters with disabilities had sent to the AODA Alliance over the past few days, with the permission of the people who sent us those complaints. Elections Ontario agreed that it would investigate those incidents.

 

At the end of this Update, we again give you links to key background information on how to raise accessibility issues in this election. At the end of each Update is a button to click if you want to unsubscribe from these Updates.

 

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          MORE DETAILS

 

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Canadian Press June 6, 2018

 

Originally posted at:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/some-voters-report-issues-with-accessible-voting-machines-in-ontario-1.3962125

 

Some voters report issues with accessible voting machines in Ontario

 

Tim Nolan, who is legally blind, and his wife, Kim Nolan, who requires the use of a wheelchair, are photographed together in Hamilton, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power)

 

Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018 3:28PM EDT

 

TORONTO — As Ontario gets set to elect a new government, some disabled voters say accommodations put in place to allow them to cast their ballots independently and privately are not working as intended.

 

People with visual, mobility and hearing impairments in at least five different ridings said they had issues with Elections Ontario’s accessibility measures at returning offices, where they can vote until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

 

They say elections workers were helpful and respectful, but not always trained on accessible voting options and sometimes did not offer them or didn’t readily know how to make them available.

 

In some cases, they also say accessible voting machines designed to help them vote did not work as advertised and they were unable to keep their ballots private.

 

Elections Ontario is apologizing to anyone who encountered a systemic barrier while voting and urges anyone affected to share their experience so improvements can be made.

 

Spokeswoman Jessica Pellerin says Elections Ontario has taken steps to improve accessibility since accessible voting machines first became available in 2011, and now also pays for deaf or hard-of-hearing voters to have a sign language interpreter. Home visits can also be arranged for those who cannot get to the polls.

 

Tim Nolan, who is legally blind, wasn’t aware of the accessible voting machines or offered an opportunity to use them. He said the issues experienced by some disabled voters show they cannot count on the same access to secure, independent voting their able-bodied peers enjoy.

 

“That’s the gap in the whole democratic system,” he said. “While everybody else who doesn’t have a disability has both the right and privilege, persons with disabilities do not get the privilege.”

 

Accessible voting machines are located at each returning office, plus 51 satellite offices until the day before the election, but will not be available at polling stations on election day. Elections Ontario says other forms of accommodations will be available at general polling stations, such as paper templates to guide visually impaired voters in casting ballots.

 

The province’s 175 accessible voting machines use three distinct interfaces.

 

An audio tactile controller helps visually impaired voters by reading the names of candidates aloud and permitting voters to press buttons to make selections. Voters with mobility limitations can use paddles they manipulate with hands, feet or elbows, or use a sip-and-puff interface that sends signals when a voter inhales or exhales through a straw.

 

Nolan and his wife Kim, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, said they had to rely on assistance from election workers to vote.

 

Nolan said an employee read him the list of candidates and helped insert his ballot in a paper template containing holes where voters mark their choices. He said he made his selection by memorizing the candidate list, then counting down the appropriate number of lines and marking an X, adding that the elections worker ultimately saw his ballot. His wife said she verbally communicated her choice to a staff member.

 

One wheelchair user in the Greater Toronto Area said neither the paddle nor the sip-and-puff interface were working when she went to vote, adding she had a companion input her choices for her using the audio tactile option. She said staff did their best to address problems, but said they told her they only received a brief demonstration of how the machine worked.

 

Pellerin said Elections Ontario has a 30-minute video on assistive voting technology and requires a designated staff person from the 124 returning offices to attend a mandatory training session. That person then schedules training with their staff and keeps a manual on hand for reference.

 

Elections Ontario wants to hear from those who encountered issues, Pellerin said.

 

“The integrity and accessibility of the voting process is very important,” she said. “We welcome any and all feedback that electors are able to provide, as this does inform how we either maintain or change our processes.”

 

David Lepofsky reached out after voting in Toronto and encountering problems.

 

The totally blind disability rights advocate said his polling station didn’t have braille versions of some forms he was asked to sign and said there were problems verifying the accuracy of his ballot before it was cast. While he was ultimately able to complete this step, he said he knows of other instances where blind voters had to cast votes without being able to check their ballot was marked properly.

 

In North Bay, Ont., Penny Leclair, who is deaf-blind and uses a hearing implant, said she tried unsuccessfully to use the audio-tactile interface.

 

She said brief blocks of text read out by the machines do not allow users like her enough time to position headphones appropriately and make adjustments to reading speed and volume levels. She called on Elections Ontario to implement an option that would see machines read out an uninterrupted block of text that deaf people could use as a test before beginning the voting process.

 

“Over the years we’ve advocated for independent voting,” Leclair said of the disabled community. “We still don’t have it completely.”

 

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Canadian Press June 4, 2018

 

Originally posted at:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4251221/ontario-election-accessibility-law/

 

June 4, 2018 12:57 pm

Ontario election: Disability advocates hope new government will revisit accessibility law

 

By Michelle McQuigge The Canadian Press

 

Global News at 6: Advocates say province planning to reduce accessibility requirements for small businesses

 

TORONTO – If Emily Daigle had wanted to watch Ontario make history when it passed Canada’s first accessibility law in 2005, she would have had to do so from afar thanks to the lack of wheelchair accommodations in the legislature’s visitors’ gallery.

 

More than a decade later, Daigle and other disability advocates say the law that was supposed to eliminate such barriers has had little effect.

 

Even if the party that wins Thursday’s election heeds calls to improve the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Daigle will still struggle to get a front-row seat to the conversation. The visitors’ gallery remains inaccessible to wheelchairs and while five spots are available elsewhere, the distinction makes Daigle feel voices like hers are not as welcome in the province’s political discourse.

 

The situation underscores what, for many, is a critical issue the new government will need to address – revisiting the legislation’s stated goal of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025 and implementing major changes to get that process back on track.

 

“Right now it’s about as worthless as Dollarama toilet paper,” Daigle said of the law. “It has no teeth.”

 

The law – often referred to by its acronym, AODA – has dominated many campaign discussions around disability issues, which some activists say have been more numerous and nuanced than in past elections.

 

The three main parties have all made pledges or even explicit platform commitments geared toward the estimated 1.9 million Ontarians living with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities.

 

Some of those came in response to a letter sent out by the AODA Alliance, a non-partisan advocacy group that tackles issues around the province’s access legislation.

 

Chairman David Lepofsky outlined 48 accessibility related requests for the incoming administration and pressed the governing Liberals, the Progressive Conservatives, the New Democrats and the Green Party for their commitments on each one.

 

All four asserted support for the AODA and the need for greater enforcement, which the alliance has flagged as an urgent priority.

 

Government data obtained by the alliance showed that since 2013, more than half of private-sector companies with at least 20 employees had not filed mandatory AODA compliance reports. During that time, the government issued only five monetary non-compliance penalties.

 

Many of the alliance’s issues were not addressed in party responses, but Lepofsky said this year’s campaign marked the first time he’d secured accessibility related pledges from all four parties.

 

Another sign of growing engagement, he said, was an all-party debate in Toronto organized by community service providers and grass-roots organizations.

 

The Liberals defended their record but asserted more work needed to be done, including on AODA enforcement and mental health supports. Candidate Damin Starr stated the party promise to raise Ontario Disability Support Program rates by three per cent for each of the next three years, as well as revisiting asset limits and how much money recipients can keep from employment or other sources.

 

The NDP, represented by MPP Monique Taylor, promised its own ODSP increase of at least five per cent. Other commitments included thousands of new affordable or supportive housing units and modernization of the Assistive Devices program that alleviates the cost of some accessible technology and mobility devices but has not expanded to cover heavily used tools like smart phones.

 

The party’s platform also promises to create a stand-alone ministry for mental health issues and do away with regulations forcing disabled youth to reapply for support programs once they turn 18.

 

The latter priority was echoed by Progressive Conservative candidate Christine Elliott, who also emphasized a $1.9 billion promise to bolster mental health supports and a public education campaign for employers looking to hire disabled workers.

 

Elliott, however, would not join the other parties in promising an immediate social support increase, saying that would be addressed when the province’s finances were under control. An individual on ODSP currently makes less than $1,200 per month, a figure well below the poverty line.

 

Promises from the Green Party, represented by leader Mike Schreiner, included a province-wide expansion of the guaranteed income pilot that rolled out in parts of Ontario last year, and barrier-free public transit.

 

Lepofsky said it’s been encouraging to witness such a wide-ranging discussion, crediting the disabled community for mobilizing on social media and applying pressure.

 

He said he’s observed the effects of that pressure in many ways. While he knows of few disabled candidates on the campaign trail, more people are openly discussing disability concerns that impact their families. Candidates are also making efforts to provide election materials in multiple formats and hold meetings in accessible venues, he said.

 

But Lepofsky noted that disability issues are still not frequently discussed by the prominent party leaders.

 

The incoming government will have the last real chance to reform the AODA and get province-wide accessibility back on schedule, he said, adding the uncertainty of the race means there may be room for contributions from all parties.

 

“One of the possibilities … is a minority government, and in a minority government we want to make sure that our issues become a priority,” he said. “That’s not just a function of what whoever wins does, but what the opposition parties make a priority.”

 

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June 5, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Elections Ontario

 

To: Deborah Danis, Chief Administrative Officer, Elections Ontario

From: David Lepofsky

Date: June 5, 2018

Re: Barriers in Voting Process for Voters with Disabilities

 

Thank you for speaking to me on the phone yesterday afternoon. I want to confirm the following among the points that we discussed.

 

You said that Elections Ontario accepts the veracity of the statement I sent you regarding the events that I experienced when I went to vote on June 1, 2018. You have received an incident report from the Returning Office in question. It does not contradict the events as I described them. I would add to our discussion that I would appreciate receiving a copy of the incident report.

 

You agreed that my description was very fair, having regard to the fact that I attributed good intentions to the poll worker in question.

 

You said you deeply apologize to me for the experience I had when voting. You did not try to justify it, or say it was acceptable. You said that I should not have to grapple with the equipment and I should not have my confidentiality violated. You said that Elections Ontario takes this very seriously.

 

You told me that the adapted voting machine we were offered in this election is the same one that was used in previous elections. I asked whether this machine requires the ballot to be removed from the machine and then re-inserted in that machine or another machine in order to verify my vote. You said you would find out and let me know. You and your accessibility lead on the call, Edie Forsyth, were not familiar with the machine’s specifics.

 

You told me that Elections Ontario does not now have a disability advisory committee. I explained that Elections Ontario had had one some years ago, but Elections Ontario had terminated it. You saw merit in establishing one after the election to get advice on how to better serve voters with disabilities. You asked if I would be agreeable to give feedback after this election. I said I would.

 

You explained that Elections Ontario gives training to its 55,000 workers on disability accommodation, but you made it clear it was uncertain how much of that training gets through to them, and that it could be strengthened. You said that this voting equipment is used infrequently. When poll workers are called on to use it, they may or may not be comfortable with it.

 

I explained that given my experience and that of others, as reported to us, and which I have now forwarded to you since our call, it is clear that Elections Ontario’s current provisions to accommodate voters with disabilities are manifestly insufficient. You spoke in accord with this view, and suggested that Elections Ontario has to explore other options, once this election is over.

 

You told me that before receiving my complaint, Elections Ontario’s senior officials had had a discussion about whether this voting machine for voters with disabilities was sufficient. You indicated to me your view that it is not sufficient or optimal. You said that immediately after this election, when Elections Ontario looks at how to revise its procedures, it will be looking at other solutions for voters with disabilities.

 

Thank you for agreeing to my request to let me know what efforts and actions Elections Ontario took since the 2014 election and up to the present to explore options for accommodating voters with disabilities, and what if any changes were made over that period. I understand that you must look into this before getting back to me with the answer.

 

I asked what Elections Ontario is going to do over the days before the June 7, 2018 vote, to address this issue. I proposed that Elections Ontario should send a direction to its front-line poll workers now, alerting them of what happened to me, and giving specific instructions on how to avoid it being repeated. I also suggested that Elections Ontario should let poll workers know of a hotline number which will reach someone at head office with expertise in this voting machine, who can guide them step-by-step through its use, when a voter wants to use it. A voter with a disability who appears at a Returning Office, and who wants to use it, should not have to wait for a long time while the poll workers figure out how to properly work the machine. Please let me know what steps are now taken to deal with this issue.

 

I told you that I would like to discuss this with Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa. You said you would pass this on, but it would likely have to be after the election, because he is so busy.

 

I also noted one other potential barrier issue that I noticed while at the Returning Office, although it did not affect my voting. I overheard a poll worker telling a voter that they cannot have a cell phone in the polling booth. It was evident from their exchange with a voter that they thought it might be sufficient if the phone was turned off or not used, but it could be brought into the booth. The poll worker then spoke in terms of not taking pictures. You confirmed to me that there had been a concern about voters taking a picture of a ballot and then posting it online.

 

I explained, for Elections Ontario’s information, that some people with disabilities use a cell phone for accessibility purposes. For example, a person with low vision might use it to magnify the text on the ballot. A blanket prohibition on cell phones, such as the poll worker announced in my presence, is a barrier to that. You said that this kind of disability-related use of a cell phone may be permitted. I explained that if a voter hears that there is a ban on them, they won’t necessarily know that this cannot operate as a barrier to using the cell phone as a disability aid or accommodation.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

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 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 updates@aodaalliance.org in your contact list. Check your spam filter so it does not treat our emails from that new email address as spam.

 

To unsubscribe from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Updates, click on the “unsubscribe” button at the end of all our Updates that we email to you.

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-urges-all-ontario-voters-with-disabilities-to-vote-at-advance-polls-to-avoid-the-risk-of-running-into-accessibility-barriers-on-voting-day-june-7-2018-here-are-helpful-action/

 

To watch the new AODA Alliance video on serious accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations, visit:

 

2 minute teaser/promo:

https://youtu.be/y7111_apq48

 

16-minute version:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

 

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

 

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

 

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

 

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 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/

 

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 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/

 

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/

 

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

 

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

 

 

New 2-Minute Teaser/Promo Video Available for the Longer AODA Alliance Video on Accessibility Problems at New and Recently Renovated Toronto Public Transit Stations – and – Let Us Know If You Face Disability Barriers When Voting – and – Progress on AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s Latest Freedom of Information Application

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

 

New 2-Minute Teaser/Promo Video Available for the Longer AODA Alliance Video on Accessibility Problems at New and Recently Renovated Toronto Public Transit Stations – and – Let Us Know If You Face Disability Barriers When Voting – and – Progress on AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s Latest Freedom of Information Application

 

June 5, 2018

 

          SUMMARY

 

We know that we are sending out more frequent AODA Alliance Updates than usual. This is due to the current election. We expect this to slow down after this week.

 

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1. New 2-Minute Teaser/Promo for the AODA Alliance’s Online Video About Accessibility Problems at New and Recently Renovated Public Transit Stations in Ontario

 

If you are not one of the 2,300 people who have seen our widely-watched new captioned video on accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations, check out the new 2-minute teaser/promo for this video that we just posted online. Encourage others to watch it. Even if you don’t have time to watch the 16 minute version or 30 minute version, this 2-minute video is worth a look. Encourage others to watch it.

 

Our new 2-minute teaser/promo is available at:

https://youtu.be/y7111_apq48

 

 

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2. Let Us Know of Any Disability Voting Barriers You Face

 

Last Friday, June 4, 2018, the AODA Alliance issued a news release. It documented serious disability barriers that AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky experienced when he went to vote at his riding’s Returning Office. Since then, several AODA Alliance supporters have contacted us to report barriers they have experienced in this election, when trying to vote. With their permission, we have shared these complaints with Elections Ontario, the public organization which runs the election process.

 

If you encounter any disability-related difficulties when you go to vote, whether at a Returning Office on June 6, or at your local polling station on Election Day June 7, 2018, please notify us with as many details as possible. Email us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

It is also very important for you to immediately notify Elections Ontario if you face any such difficulties.

 

 

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3. Progress on AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s Freedom of Information Application Seeking Information Regarding AODA Implementation and Enforcement

 

 

On April 2, 2018, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky had to file a new Freedom of Information application to get current information about the Ontario Government’s implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Earlier efforts to get the Government to reveal the requested information had not succeeded.

 

In the dying days of the current term of the Ontario Government, David Lepofsky was notified that key parts of his requests would be fulfilled. We set out the key correspondence below. This time the Government is only charging him $7.50. This is quite a reduction from the $2,325 it tried to charge for his 2013 Freedom of Information application or the $4,250 it tried to charge for his June 4, 2015 Freedom of Information application. We acknowledge that those earlier applications sought more information. However that did not justify those huge fees. In the end, the Government answered his entire 2013 Freedom of Information application at no charge. As for his 2015 Freedom of Information application, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky appealed to the Information and Privacy Commission. It ruled that the Government had overcharged him by over 5 times the permissible fee.

 

We need this information for our future advocacy work, including preparing to make submissions to the upcoming Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. Below we set out the key correspondence on this. We are still awaiting answers on some parts of his Freedom of Information application. We will have more to say when we can review all the information to be released

 

At the end of this Update are links to key background information, and a button to unsubscribe from these Updates. We hope you will all stay subscribed!

 

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          MORE DETAILS

 

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April 19, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to the Ontario Government

 

To: Amanda Doobay-Kydd

Manager, Information Management & Access

 

Via email: amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Corporate Resources Management Branch

20 Dundas St. W., 4th Floor

Toronto ON M7A 1N3

 

Telephone: 416-325-2791

 

From: AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

Date: April 19, 2018

 

RE: ADO 18-001 – AODA Stats

 

Thank you for your April 13, 2018 email, confirming receipt of my April 2, 2018 Freedom of Information application. I would ask the Ministry to do what it can to respond to my request before the forthcoming election writ period begins. The information I request is very important for issues to be raised in this election. If some of that information can be quickly provided, while other parts may take more time to consider, I ask that the easy-to-deliver information be provided now, without waiting for the rest to be dealt with.

 

I have drafted the request in order to ensure that the information I have requested can be found with absolutely minimal search time. In the case of my last Freedom of Information application regarding the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, the Information and Privacy Commission concluded that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario had exaggerated the search fee that the ADO was requesting by over five times the justifiable fee. I ask that this not be repeated here.

 

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario should be able to find this information quickly, since I had earlier requested it in a letter to the Minister of Accessibility in a February 1, 2018 letter to her. In formulating the Government’s March 7, 2018 response to that letter, no doubt the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate, Ann Hoy, already accessed most if not all of the information I have requested. Any fee estimate should not involve re-searching for information that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario would already have gathered.

 

In your email, you suggested that I look for some of the information I requested in the Ontario Government’s 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report. I carefully studied that, before formulating my April 2, 2018 Freedom of Information application.  If I am incorrect, no doubt the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario can quickly point that out, since they wrote the Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report.

 

Your April 20, 2018 email to me suggested that I could find the actual expenditures for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario by going to this link:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/expenditure-estimates-accessibility-directorate-ontario-2017-18

 

I have tried that link. I regret that given the way the Government has formatted that web page, a blind person like me, using a screen-reader, can find it hard to make sense of it. I certainly did.

 

In the past several years, the Government has been prepared, ultimately at no charge, to simply send me the figures I requested regarding the actual per=-year total expenditure of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. I hope and trust that this could be done again now.

 

As in the past, I am happy to speak by phone or in person if you need help in taking the quickest and easiest route to the information I have requested. Please confirm that you received this email.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

 

 

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April 19, 2018 Email from the Ontario Government to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

From: Doobay, Amanda (MGCS) [mailto:Amanda.Doobay@ontario.ca]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 4:28 PM
To: David Lepofsky
Cc: MGCS Freedom of Information (MGCS)
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001 Acknowledgement Letter from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

Good Afternoon Mr. Lepofsky,

Thank you for your email. I am writing to confirm receipt and to let you know that I will review the information you have provided and will respond to you early next week.

Amanda Doobay

Manager, Information Management and Access

Corporate Resources Management Branch

Corporate Services Division

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Telephone (416) 326-3825

Cellphone (416) 894-2216

Email amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

 

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April 30, 2018 email from the Ontario Government to David Lepofsky

 

From: Doobay, Amanda (MGCS) [mailto:Amanda.Doobay@ontario.ca]
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2018 12:54 PM
To: David Lepofsky

Cc: MGCS Freedom of Information (MGCS)
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001 Acknowledgement Letter from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

Good Afternoon Mr. Lepofsky,

Enclosed please find our response to your inquiry below.

Amanda Doobay

Manager, Information Management and Access

Corporate Resources Management Branch

Corporate Services Division

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Telephone (416) 326-3825

Cellphone (416) 894-2216

Email amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

 

.

 April 30, 2018 David Lepofsky email to the Government

 

From: David Lepofsky

Sent: Monday, April 30, 2018 4:40 PM
To: ‘Doobay, Amanda (MGCS)’
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001 Acknowledgement Letter from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

Thank you for your April 30, 2018 email. Re my Freedom of Information application request Item 7, please accept this email as a confirmation that I do not seek any private third party identifying information. Please confirm that this is a sufficient clarification to eliminate the need for the Government to contact the related third parties.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

 

 

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 May 2, 2018 email from the Ontario Government to David Lepofsky

 

From: Doobay, Amanda (MGCS) [mailto:Amanda.Doobay@ontario.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:09 AM
To: David Lepofsky

Cc: MGCS Freedom of Information (MGCS)
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001 Acknowledgement Letter from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

Good Morning Mr. Lepofsky,

Thank you for confirming the scope for item 7 of your request. We will proceed accordingly.  I also wanted to let you know that any records released will be done using a USB key sent to you via regular mail.

Amanda Doobay

Manager, Information Management and Access

Corporate Resources Management Branch

Corporate Services Division

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Telephone (416) 326-3825

Cellphone (416) 894-2216

Email amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

 

.

 May 4, 2018 Email from the Ontario Government to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

From: Doobay, Amanda (MGCS) [mailto:Amanda.Doobay@ontario.ca]
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2018 3:14 PM
To: David Lepofsky

Cc: MGCS Freedom of Information (MGCS)
Subject: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001

 

Good Afternoon Mr. Lepofsky,

I am writing to you today in relation to your FOI Request ADO 18-001. In reviewing records responsive to your request, we have determined that third party notification is required for item 1. In order to expedite the processing of your request to ensure the ministry’s disclosure decision is communicated to you by May 8, 2018, we are recommending that item 1 of your request be processed independent of items 2 to 7. If you are agreeable to this, the ministry will proceed with issuing a disclosure decision to you relating to items 2 to 7, and will continue to process item 1 and will communicate a revised decision due date accordingly. Please let me know if you are agreeable to this approach.

Amanda Doobay

Manager, Information Management and Access

Corporate Resources Management Branch

Corporate Services Division

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Telephone (416) 326-3825

Cellphone (416) 894-2216

Email amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

 

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 May 4, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to the Ontario Government

 

From: David Lepofsky

Sent: Friday, May 04, 2018 3:19 PM
To: ‘Doobay, Amanda (MGCS)’
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001

 

To speed up the Government’s processing of my Freedom of Information application, I agree to my Item 1 being separated out and treated separately from the rest of the application. I would expect that in the report which I there requested, the Government had contractually secured the right to make use of and share the report, so that no third party would have a right to veto its distribution. Can you please advise on this?

 

Please confirm you received this.

Thank you.

 

 

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May 4, 2018 Second Email from the Ontario Government to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

From: Doobay, Amanda (MGCS) [mailto:Amanda.Doobay@ontario.ca]
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2018 3:52 PM
To: David Lepofsky

Cc: MGCS Freedom of Information (MGCS)
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-001

 

Good Afternoon Mr. Lepofsky,

Thank you for your response. We will proceed with processing Item 1 separately. We will undertake to look into your question and will get back to you as soon as we can.

Amanda Doobay

Manager, Information Management and Access

Corporate Resources Management Branch

Corporate Services Division

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Telephone (416) 326-3825

Cellphone (416) 894-2216

Email amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

.

May 7, 2018 Email from the Ontario Government to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

Corporate Resources

Management Branch

20 Dundas St. W., 4th Floor

Toronto ON  M7A 1N3

 

Telephone: 416-325-2791

 

Ministère des Services gouvernementaux et des Services aux consommateurs

Direction de la gestion des ressources générales

20 rue Dundas Ouest, 4e étage

Toronto ON  M7A 1N3

 

Téléphone: 416-325-2791

 

 

May 7, 2018

 

David Lepofsky, Chair

AODA Alliance

 

Mr. Lepofsky:

 

RE: ADO 18-002 – ADO Review Report – Acknowledgement and Third Party Notice Letter

This letter concerns your request for access to records held by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). We received your request and $5.00 application fee on April 09, 2018. On May 5, 2018, you agreed to separate the first question from your original request, reference file number ADO 18-001.  A new file has been opened and assigned the case number ADO 18-002.

 

Your request reads as follows:

 

In 2016-2017, the Government hired the Leadership Intelligence consulting firm to conduct a review of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. I request a copy of the report which Leadership Intelligence submitted on the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.

ADO has completed the records search for your request.

 

I write to advise that following our careful review of the responsive records we have determined that disclosure may affect the interests of a third party. The third party has the right by law to make representations about the release of the records. Your identity will remain protected at all times. Under section 28 of FIPPA (enclosed), a decision on whether the records can be disclosed will be made by June 6, 2018.

 

Please feel free to contact our office at 416-327-4113 or email us at MGCS.FreedomOfInformation@ontario.ca.

 

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Amanda Doobay-Kydd

Manager, Information Management & Access

Ministry of Government & Consumer Services

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY ACT

 

R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER F.31

 

Third party information

  1. (1) A head shall refuse to disclose a record that reveals a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence implicitly or explicitly, where the disclosure could reasonably be expected to,

(a) prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization;

(b) result in similar information no longer being supplied to the institution where it is in the public interest that similar information continue to be so supplied;

(c) result in undue loss or gain to any person, group, committee or financial institution or agency; or

(d) reveal information supplied to or the report of a conciliation officer, mediator, labour relations officer or other person appointed to resolve a labour relations dispute. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 17 (1); 2002, c. 18, Sched. K, s. 6.

 

Tax information

(2)  A head shall refuse to disclose a record that reveals information that was obtained on a tax return or gathered for the purpose of determining tax liability or collecting a tax. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 17 (2).

 

Consent to disclosure

(3)  A head may disclose a record described in subsection (1) or (2) if the person to whom the information relates consents to the disclosure. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 17 (3).

 

Notice to affected person

  1. (1) Before a head grants a request for access to a record,

(a) that the head has reason to believe might contain information referred to in subsection 17 (1) that affects the interest of a person other than the person requesting information; or

(b) that is personal information that the head has reason to believe might constitute an unjustified invasion of personal privacy for the purposes of clause 21 (1) (f),

the head shall give written notice in accordance with subsection (2) to the person to whom the information relates. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (1).

 

Contents of notice

(2)  The notice shall contain,

(a) a statement that the head intends to release a record or part thereof that may affect the interests of the person;

(b) a description of the contents of the record or part thereof that relate to the person; and

(c) a statement that the person may, within twenty days after the notice is given, make representations to the head as to why the record or part thereof should not be disclosed. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (2).

 

Description

(2.1)  If the request covers more than one record, the description mentioned in clause (2) (b) may consist of a summary of the categories of the records requested if it provides sufficient detail to identify them. 1996, c. 1, Sched. K, s. 5.

 

Time for notice

(3)  The notice referred to in subsection (1) shall be given within thirty days after the request for access is received or, where there has been an extension of a time limit under subsection 27 (1), within that extended time limit. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (3).

 

Notice of delay

(4)  Where a head gives notice to a person under subsection (1), the head shall also give the person who made the request written notice of delay, setting out,

(a) that the record or part thereof may affect the interests of another party;

(b) that the other party is being given an opportunity to make representations concerning disclosure; and

(c) that the head will within thirty days decide whether or not to disclose the record. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (4).

 

Representation re disclosure

(5)  Where a notice is given under subsection (1), the person to whom the information relates may, within twenty days after the notice is given, make representations to the head as to why the record or the part thereof should not be disclosed. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (5).

 

Representation in writing

(6)  Representations under subsection (5) shall be made in writing unless the head permits them to be made orally. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (6).

 

Decision re disclosure

(7)  The head shall, within thirty days after the notice under subsection (1) is given, but not before the earlier of,

(a) the day the response to the notice from the person to whom the information relates is received; or

(b) twenty-one days after the notice is given,

decide whether or not to disclose the record or the part thereof and give written notice of the decision to the person to whom the information relates and the person who made the request. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (7).

 

Notice of head’s decision to disclose

(8)  Where a head decides to disclose a record or part thereof under subsection (7), the head shall state in the notice that,

(a) the person to whom the information relates may appeal the decision to the Commissioner within thirty days after the notice is given; and

(b) the person who made the request will be given access to the record or to a part thereof, unless an appeal of the decision is commenced within thirty days after the notice is given. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (8).

 

Access to be given unless affected person appeals

(9)  Where, under subsection (7), the head decides to disclose the record or a part thereof, the head shall give the person who made the request access to the record or part thereof within thirty days after notice is given under subsection (7), unless the person to whom the information relates asks the Commissioner to review the decision. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, s. 28 (9).

 

Personal information about deceased

(10)  In the case of a request by the spouse or a close relative of a deceased individual for disclosure of personal information about the deceased individual, the person making the request shall give the head all information that the person has regarding whether the deceased individual has a personal representative and how to contact the personal representative. 2006, c. 19, Sched. N, s. 1 (3).

 

Deemed references

(11)  If, under subsection (10), the head is informed that the deceased individual has a personal representative and is given sufficient information as to how to contact the personal representative, and if the head has reason to believe that disclosure of personal information about the deceased individual might constitute an unjustified invasion of personal privacy unless, in the circumstances, the disclosure is desirable for compassionate reasons, subsections (1) to (9) apply with the following modifications:

  1. The expression “the person to whom the information relates” in subsections (1), (5), (7), (8) and (9) shall be deemed to be the expression “the personal representative”.
  2. The expression “the person” in clauses (2) (a) and (b) shall be deemed to be the expression “the deceased individual” and the expression “the person” in clause (2) (c) shall be deemed to be the expression “the personal representative”. 2006, c. 19, Sched. N, s. 1 (3).

 

 

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May 8, 2018 Email from the Ontario Government to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

From: Doobay, Amanda (MGCS) [mailto:Amanda.Doobay@ontario.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 3:55 PM
To: David Lepofsky

Cc: MGCS Freedom of Information (MGCS)
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request ADO 18-002

 

Good Afternoon Mr. Lepofsky,

I am writing to follow up on your question on May 4, 2018 in relation to your new file ADO 18-002. Since the records are in the custody of the ADO, they are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Third parties who might have an interest in the information contained in the record are afforded the opportunity to provide their views on disclosure. The ministry is obligated to take their views into consideration when making its final disclosure decision. We would keep you informed in accordance with the requirements under the legislation to inform you of the outcome of this process.

Amanda Doobay

Manager, Information Management and Access

Corporate Resources Management Branch

Corporate Services Division

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Telephone (416) 326-3825

Cellphone (416) 894-2216

Email amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

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May 8, 2018 Ontario Government Decision Letter on David Lepofsky’s April 2, 2018 Freedom of Information application

 

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

Corporate Resources

Management Branch

20 Dundas St. W., 4th Floor

Toronto ON  M7A 1N3

 

Telephone: 416-325-2791

 

Ministère des Services gouvernementaux et des Services aux consommateurs

Direction de la gestion des ressources générales

20 rue Dundas Ouest, 4e étage

Toronto ON  M7A 1N3

 

Téléphone: 416-325-2791

 

May 8, 2018

 

David Lepofsky, Chair

AODA Alliance

 

Mr. Lepofsky,

 

RE: ADO 18-001 – AODA Stats Decision Letter

This letter concerns your request for access to records held by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Your request and $5.00 application fee was forwarded to us, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, from the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth on April 09, 2018.

Your request reads as follows:

 

  1. In 2016-2017, the Government hired the Leadership Intelligence consulting firm to conduct a review of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. I request a copy of the report which Leadership Intelligence submitted on the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.

 

  1. In 2016 or in 2017 (broken down by year), for how many obligated organizations, has all or part of their website been audited or inspected by or on behalf of the Ontario Government, for compliance with AODA accessibility standards?

 

  1. In 2018, at the place of business of how many obligated organizations does the Ontario Government plan to have an on-site AODA inspection? In 2018, how many obligated organizations does the Ontario Government plan to audit for AODA compliance, without conducting an on-site inspection of the organization’s place of business?

 

  1. In 2017, how many compliance orders were issued under the AODA?

 

  1. In 2017, for the three monetary penalties that were imposed under the AODA, what were their amounts? How many were against private sector organizations? How many were against public sector organizations?

 

  1. As for the annual budget of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario:
  2. a) How much did the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario actually spend in fiscal year 2016-17?
  3. b) What total budget was allocated to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for fiscal year 2017-18?
  4. c) How much did the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario actually spend in 2017-18?

 

  1. The June 3, 2015 Toronto Star included an article on new plans for AODA enforcement.

 

Among other things, it stated the following, regarding complaints of AODA violations which the Government receives on its toll-free line, which the Government promised to provide for the public to report AODA violations: “New monthly reports to the minister’s office on complaints will ensure systemic problems are addressed promptly, officials say.”

I request copies of those monthly reports since the Government made that commitment.

 

On April 30, 2018, you narrowed your request to exclude any information where an affected third party may have an interest.

 

On May 4, 2018, you agreed to remove item one for this request, to be processed as a separate request.

 

A search has been conducted by ADO. I am pleased to inform you that access is being granted in part to the responsive records. In regards to question 2 and 6 c), we would like to advise you that no responsive records exist. As per our acknowledgement letter on April 13, 2018 and our inquiry response letter to you on April 30, 2018, records for question 4 and 6b are publicly available, and therefore exempt under section 22 of FIPPA (information currently available to the public or soon to be published). For your reference, we provided you with the following information on April 13:

 

In regards to your fourth question, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has published the 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report which outlines the activities undertaken by the Accessibility Directorate in 2017. It can viewed on the government’s website at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-compliance-and-enforcement-report

 

As for your budget questions, specifically 6-b which asks about the 2017-18 allocation, the Directorate has published its Expenditure Estimates for fiscal year 2017-18. It can also be viewed on the government’s website at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/expenditure-estimates-accessibility-directorate-ontario-2017-18

 

On April 30, we provided further clarity by stating:

“Regarding item 4, in the 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report, the number of Director’s Orders issued was six and can be found in the section ‘Compliance Plans’, third paragraph and second bullet point.

 

“Regarding items 6a and 6b in your FOI request, we advised you in our acknowledgement letter on April 13, 2018, that this information was already publicly available. As you have indicated that the information is not in an accessible version that meets your needs, I am enclosing with this letter an accessible Microsoft Word version.

 

For the remainder of your request, we are enclosing a detailed index of records and their respective decision regarding disclosure.

 

Section 57 of FIPPA provides that fees shall be charged for certain costs associated with processing an access request. These fees are prescribed in the General Regulation to FIPPA (Reg. 960. R.R.O. 1990). In this case, the final fee for processing your request is $7.50, calculated as follows:

“15 minutes of search time at $7.50 per 15 minutes for a total of $7.50”

 

Additionally, we are pleased to inform you that we are waiving the fee for the USB key and any preparation fees associated with your request.

 

In your original request, you indicated that you request the records be provided to you in an accessible word document. We would like to advise you that, due to the volume of records, this may cause a delay in releasing the records to you. Upon final payment, we would be happy to release the non-accessible records to you immediately and then release the accessible versions as soon they are available. However, before we take this approach, kindly confirm if this is acceptable to you.

 

To complete your request, please send a cheque or money order made payable to the Minister of Finance in the amount of $7.50. The payment along with the file number ADO 18-001 should be mailed to our office. After receipt of payment, the requested records will be released.

FIPPA provides that all or part of the fee can be waived if, in the opinion of ADO, it is fair and equitable to do so after considering; a) if the fee will cause you a financial hardship; or b) if dissemination of the record will benefit public health or safety. If you would like ADO to consider granting a fee waiver, please provide documentation supporting your fee waiver request. If you require assistance on what documentation is required, kindly contact our office.

 

If we do not hear from you by June 8, 2018, we will deem your request to be abandoned and your file will be closed.

 

Under FIPPA, you may ask the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to review any matter related to this access request for information. You have 30 days from the date of this notice to request a review by writing to the Commissioner at: Registrar, Suite 1400, 2 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A8. Telephone (416) 326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073.

 

If requesting a review, please provide the Commissioner’s office with the following:

  1. The reference number quoted at the top of this letter;
  2. A cheque for $25.00 payable to the Minister of Finance;
  3. A copy of this letter; and
  4. A copy of the original request that you sent to ADO.

 

Please feel free to contact our office at 416-327-4113 or email us at MGCS.FreedomOfInformation@ontario.ca.

 

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Amanda Doobay-Kydd

Manager, Information Management & Access

Ministry of Government & Consumer Services

 

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June 5, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to the Ontario Government

 

To: Amanda Doobay-Kydd

Manager, Information Management & Access

 

Via email: amanda.doobay@ontario.ca

 

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Corporate Resources Management Branch

20 Dundas St. W., 4th Floor

Toronto ON M7A 1N3

 

From: David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

Date: June 5, 2018

ADO 18-001

 

I write as a follow-up to our telephone conversation this afternoon. Thank you for your helpful approach.

 

I confirm I am going to mail a cheque for $7.50 for the requested documents. Therefore, do not treat my application as abandoned if you do not receive it by June 8. Please let me know when you receive the cheque. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario never imposed a charge when it was in this range. However you told me that your Ministry’s policy is to charge a fee whenever it involves more than $5.

 

Regarding my request for the budget allocation for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for 2017-18, I have asked you to send me the actual number, so I don’t have to try to decode a long list of numbers in a Government budget document. Thank you for agreeing to do so.

 

As for my request for the actual expenditures of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2016-17, I have asked you as well to send me the specific number, for the same reason. Thank you for helping with this. As I mentioned, in the past, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario or their minister has given us the figure itself when requested, either as a direct request, or in response to a prior Freedom of Information application.

 

As for the actual expenditures of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2017-18, you have told me that this figure is not yet available. Can you notify the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario that I would like to receive it when it becomes available?

 

As discussed, you have told me that for Item 2 in my Freedom of Information application, the numbers of obligated organizations’ website that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has audited for AODA compliance, you have advised that there are no responsive documents. From this it is reasonable to infer that this is because none have been audited. However, to be clear, I have asked you to ask the senior managers at the ADO who are relevant, the head of AODA enforcement and the Assistant Deputy Minister, how many obligated organizations if any were audited in the years to which I inquired. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has, in response to past Freedom of Information applications, been willing to give a responsive answer to similar questions, even if there are no responsive documents. You have kindly agreed to pass this request on to them, and tell me their response, if any.

 

I did not mention during our call that in your May 8, 2018 letter to me, you state:

 

“For the remainder of your request, we are enclosing a detailed index of records and their respective decision regarding disclosure.”

 

I found no such document attached to that email. Please send it to me in an accessible MS Word document. Please ensure it is in plain text format, and not in a table.

 

As discussed, I am content to have the documents, to be disclosed, first provided in their current format, whether or not it is accessible. Once disclosed, I have asked to speak with you and Accessibility Directorate of Ontario staff to review what was disclosed, so I can determine which I also need in an accessible format.

 

Please confirm you received this.

 

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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 updates@aodaalliance.org in your contact list. Check your spam filter so it does not treat our emails from that new email address as spam.

 

To unsubscribe from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Updates, click on the “unsubscribe” button at the end of all our Updates that we email to you.

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-urges-all-ontario-voters-with-disabilities-to-vote-at-advance-polls-to-avoid-the-risk-of-running-into-accessibility-barriers-on-voting-day-june-7-2018-here-are-helpful-action/

 

To watch the new AODA Alliance video on serious accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations, visit:

 

2 minute teaser/promo:

https://youtu.be/y7111_apq48

 

16-minute version:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

 

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

 

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

 

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

 

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 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/

 

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 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/

 

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/

 

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

 

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

 

More on the pressing Need for Ontario’s Next Government to Enact Strong New Laws to Ensure that Ontario’s Built Environment Becomes Accessible to 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

More on the pressing Need for Ontario’s Next Government to Enact Strong New Laws to Ensure that Ontario’s Built Environment Becomes Accessible to 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

June 4, 2018

          SUMMARY

With the June 7, 2018 Ontario election fast approaching, last weekend Premier Wynne conceded that her party will not form Ontario’s next Government. The time will come for a fuller reflection on the 15-year legacy of the Ontario Liberal Government on accessibility for people with disabilities, under Premier Dalton McGuinty and later under Premier Kathleen Wynne. However, in advance of the election, we want to ensure that our Updates let you know of all the final steps that took place on accessibility for people with disabilities under their watch.

The need for strong new laws, effective enforcement and other Government action in Ontario to ensure that Ontario’s built environment becomes fully accessible to 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities has been emphasized in the current Ontario election campaign. We brought this into sharp focus by our recent, widely-viewed online video that reveals serious accessibility problems at several new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations.

In this Update, we bring you up to date on the issue of the pressing need to ensure that Ontario’s built environment becomes fully accessible to Ontarians with disabilities by 2025, as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires. We had earlier reported to you that on March 19, 2018, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario convened a forum of experts to gather advice on what should be done to address accessibility in the built environment. We were delighted that the Government acted on the idea to hold such a forum, which we had presented to the Government months earlier.

We have written Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles several times about this issue during her two years in office as the minister. We have written the previous ministers in that role as well about this topic. Most recently, we wrote Minister MacCharles on April 3, 2018 to summarize the key points raised at that forum, and to urge her to take action on this issue before the spring election campaign got underway.

Since then, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has released its summary of the discussion at the March 19, 2018 forum on the built environment. We set it out below.

A number of the points in the Accessibility Directorate summary are accurate. Our April 3, 2018 letter to Accessibility Minister MacCharles provides a more thorough summary of concerns and advice presented at that forum.

There are two particularly troubling problems with the Accessibility Directorate’s summary. These imply that the Directorate, or the Government which oversees it, were focused on exaggerating the good and downplaying the deficient.

First, the summary substantially dilutes and downplays the single most important point that was presented to the Government, and which the Government should by then have already known. Ontario’s laws detailing accessibility requirements in the built environment, including AODA accessibility standards and the Ontario Building Code, are too weak. A building can fully comply with these laws and yet have real and serious accessibility problems. Our videos on accessibility barriers in the new Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre and the new Ryerson University Student Learning Centre are compelling examples.

We and a good number of others at this built environment forum called for a comprehensive accessibility upgrade of those laws. No one at the forum spoke to the contrary, or disputed our assessment of how weak those laws now are.

Second, the Government’s summary includes this clear exaggeration of progress to date on accessibility in the built environment in Ontario:

“While there have been many successes in the accessibility of the built environment with leading edge facilities all over Ontario, there continue to be ongoing challenges.”

Much to the contrary, expert speakers at this forum emphasized that if anything, newer construction in Ontario is at times less accessible than older construction. The rosy image that the Directorate’s summary creates of “leading edge facilities all over Ontario” is certainly not one which the consensus presented to the Government at this forum.

Also relevant to this issue are the Ontario Government’s current plans to build a new courthouse in the heart of downtown Toronto. Our Updates have in the past months made public serious accessibility concerns with the proposed design of that courthouse which the Ontario Government had selected through a competitive bidding process.

In earlier correspondence on that topic, Ontario’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told us to follow up on our concerns with Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dante Pontone. Below we set out emails to that Assistant Deputy Attorney General from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on May 31, and June 1, 2018. These will bring you up to date. They emphasize the need for the Government to take further action on accessibility at the New Toronto Courthouse, as well as the need to make public and consult people with disabilities on plans for accessibility at a new Peel courthouse, and in courthouse accessibility standards that are now under development.

The next Ontario Government that is elected on Thursday will need to give this issue a serious re-think. We will call on the new Government to do a top-to-bottom review of accessibility at these planned new courthouses.

We will be ready to offer our advice and assistance. Ontario’s next Government will not only need to fully review the deficient plans for the New Toronto Courthouse. More broadly, it will also need to substantially strengthen the Ontario Building Code and AODA accessibility standards, as they relate to the accessibility of the built environment. It is high time that a comprehensive, strong and effective Built Environment Accessibility Standard is enacted under the AODA   — one which goes much further than the very narrow Public Spaces Accessibility Standard that was enacted in 2012.

Learn more about the AODA Alliance’s multi-year campaign to get the Ontario Government to enact a strong and effective Built Environment Accessibility Standard. For more background on this election’s disability accessibility issues and for links to other key information, including on how to sign up for or unsubscribe from these Updates, check out the resources we list at the end of this Update.

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          MORE DETAILS

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Accessibility Directorate of Ontario Summary of the March 19, 2018 Forum on Accessibility in the Built Environment

Built Environment Forum Event Summary

 

Purpose of the event:

On March 19th, 2018 the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, with its partners at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Housing hosted a full day forum to engage with people with disabilities and sector experts on issues related to accessibility and the built environment.

With broad representation of persons with disabilities, key experts, obligated sector representatives and other accessibility stakeholders, there were rich and meaningful discussions. Participants heard about successes and challenges across communities of all sizes, and about leading practices in creating interactive design for users of all abilities.

The following is a summary of the key messages and themes identified by participants.

 

Accessibility must be at the forefront of planning

Participants identified that accessibility planning and consultation, including consultation with municipal accessibility advisory committees, occurs too late in the planning process. This can result in confusion about needs and expectations as well as result in unintended barriers.

Working with design teams very early on in the process to help translate the needs of persons with disabilities into building plans is crucial to accessible built environments.

Participants suggested engaging early and often on accessibility helps to manage costs associated with any changes in design and helps ensure design guidance and advice is properly interpreted into building plans.

 

Holistic and comprehensive policy guidance 

Participants from businesses and municipalities identified that they are struggling to identify and locate clear guidance for their projects. Legislative requirements are sometimes vague and lack the interpretation of best practice guidelines to support a clear understanding of obligations and how to apply them across various projects.

In addition, the many layers of standards and regulations, including but not limited to, the Ontario Building Code, Canadian Standards Association B651, the AODA’s Design of Public Spaces Standard, the Planning Act, etc. and the numerous municipal accessibility guidelines result in confusion and overlap of guidance. It is not always clear why guidance varies or what guidance provides the highest level of accessibility.  While the Ontario Human Rights Code sets a high standard for accessibility it is not always clear exactly what that means for building and design specifications.

Participants from municipalities noted that they often respond to these gaps and overlap often by creating their own resources and design guidance. There was a strong desire from all participants for a repository of information and guidance that is publicly available. This could be used to support both formal and informal learning for businesses, municipalities, accessibility advisory committees and the public at large.

 

Education for designers, planners, and implementers

Participants identified that the various design professionals and planners critical to the design and construction of buildings are often neither educated nor informed on accessible or universal design.

New graduates are entering the field keen to understand accessibility but have not been provided formal education to develop these skills. Participants noted that a strong understanding of accessibility in the built environment should be an integrated part of educational curricula for design professionals. Some participants argued this education should be mandatory for graduating or licensing.

In absence of this expertise for both established and new professionals errors are often made even with the best of intentions. There is a strong community of industry leaders who are working to teach one another but more resources are needed. Participants noted that these resources and supports should be available to both students and existing professionals.

Change needs greater enforcement

Participants noted that enforcement is key to ensuring compliance with accessibility in the built environment. Enforcement activities should also include education and awareness activities.

This can be further supported by incentivizing activities wherein best practices are recognized and encouraged for their successes.

Participants noted that accessibility should be better accounted for in licensing and permitting processes.

Retrofits

Participants also discussed how retrofits must be a part of reducing barriers. Existing buildings, including public, commercial and housing lack accessibility features key to navigating the built environment. Participants discussed potential solutions to this issue such as regulatory change and incentive programs.

Remain focused on the goal for a barrier free Ontario

While there are many challenges on the road ahead participants noted that government must stay focused on the goal of a barrier-free Ontario. This includes continuing to improve standards under the AODA to remove barriers as well as working to ensure new barriers are not created.

This requires government at all levels and communities across Ontario to work together. While there have been many successes in the accessibility of the built environment with leading edge facilities all over Ontario, there continue to be ongoing challenges. Projects sometimes occur in silos and there remains much work to be done to link infrastructure and surrounding communities to create a fully accessible network for Ontarians to visit and experience in their daily lives.

How these findings may be used:

The event provided a valuable opportunity for government to hear about the accessibility issues faced by both community members and implementers in the built environment. The findings from this event will inform government’s understanding of the issues on accessibility across the built environment from an all of government perspective.

This information will support pre-consultation work for the Design of Public Spaces review which is scheduled, as per the AODA, to be reviewed in 2018.

This information will be provided to the Third Legislative Reviewer. Ontario has appointed the Honourable David C. Onley to conduct the third review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Housing would like to thank all of the participants in this engaging and valuable day.

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May 31, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dante Pontone Re Accessibility in New Courthouse Projects

To: Dante Pontone, Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Ontario

From: David Lepofsky, Chair, AODA Alliance

Date: May 31, 2018

Thank you so much for attending the May 24, 2018 meeting of the Disability Sector Advisory Group that the Government convened this spring to get input on accessibility issues in the design of the New Toronto Courthouse. Construction of that courthouse is expected to commence sometime next year. We need your active assistance and intervention to ensure that accessibility is properly included in this project.

It was helpful to know that the courthouse design team is considering feedback that the Advisory Group had given at our earlier March 20, 2018 meeting. At the March 14, 2018 meeting we had identified serious accessibility problems in the design of the New Toronto Courthouse that the Government had selected in the competitive process. I want to summarize a few of the key points that the disability sector representatives made at the May 24, 2018 meeting.

* At the May 24, 2018 meeting, the information that the design team gave our Advisory Group revealed that in troubling ways, it appears that the private company that is building this courthouse is giving the building’s aesthetics an improper priority over ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities, with the Government’s evident agreement or silence. I offer two examples from this meeting.

First, back at the March 20, 2018 meeting, we had pointed out that the use of “open risers” in the feature staircase in the courthouse’s main lobby presents an accessibility and safety problem for people with vision loss, among others. The Government’s specific requirements for this building preclude the use of open risers. Yet EllisDon, whom the Government selected to build this courthouse, disregarded this, and included open risers in the building design. The Government selected that design in the competitive bid process, despite its direct contravention of this accessibility requirement in the Government’s Project Specific Output Specifications (PSOS).

At the May 24, 2018 meeting, we were told that the project design team is considering “options” for dealing with this issue. We asked what options are being considered. We did not get a direct answer. They did not want to say what options were being considered. We don’t understand why this was being withheld from us.

Moreover, one of the design team members in effect asked us at the May 24, 2018 meeting if there was no way that open risers could be included in the building. We said “no”. We explained there that they were treating aesthetics as more important than accessibility.

Second, we had indicated at our March 14, 2018 meeting that the three-storey atrium design of the building created several accessibility problems. There would be inconsistent lighting and glare during the day, creating problems for those with low vision. The acoustics present problems for people who are hard of hearing, or people with vision loss who use echo-location to help navigate. People with sensory integration problems, include some with autism, also experience sensory overload in such environments. Eliminating this atrium design would eliminate these problems and create more useable floor space.

At the May 24, 2018 meeting, the project team’s solution appeared to be to keep the atrium design, but to consider canopies, overhangs and blinds to control lighting, and some acoustic protections to reduce acoustic problems. We were told about sound and lighting studies being conducted to look into these effects.

We responded that the aesthetic tail appears again to be wagging the dog. If blinds must be adjusted throughout the day to regulate the light in the building, there is the real risk that this will not always happen. We won’t know that these palliative measures will work until the building is built, by which time it is too late. The acoustic studies did not explore the impact of the acoustic measures on echo-location for navigating the building. We could only be satisfied that these palliative measures all worked if we could now visit a comparably-designed building that includes all these lighting and audio features, to test to see if they are reliable and consistently effective.

* At the May 24, 2018 meeting, we were not shown the layout for any of the non-public secured areas of the building, but were assured that they would be accessible. We asked to be able to see those designs, on an undertaking of confidentiality if necessary, so we can give feedback. We appreciate that the project team agreed to look into this.

* We were told at the May 24, 2018 meeting that the seating area that was proposed for people with disabilities who are waiting for Wheeltrans would be inside the vestibule, just inside the main doors. The disability sector representatives identified several problems with this.

That seating location only has a direct line of sight to half of the pick-up spots where vehicles would arrive. There is an obstructed view to the rest of those drop-off spots. In addition, this seating is placed between the doors to the outside, and the doors to the main floor. As such, people sitting there will have to endure regular blasts of cold air when waiting during the winter, and hot air during the summer, each time the doors open and close.

* We noted that placing Court Services on the third floor presents real problems. This can be the first stop for many who arrive at the courthouse. They must clutter up the elevators to get there, and then head up from there to their destination. This first stop should be on the main floor.

* We understand that there is no location planned to situate the courthouse’s disability accessibility and accommodation coordinator on the ground floor. We emphasized that they should be readily available on the ground floor, to be a first contact, where needed, for court attendees with disabilities.

* We were told that the public was to be told by way of posted signs about the availability of disability services. We emphasized that this was insufficient, as it will not accommodate those with vision loss or dyslexia. I would add that this would not accommodate those with literacy issues.

* At our earlier March 14, 2018 meeting, we were told that only one interview room per floor would be accessible. At the May 24, 2018 meeting we learned that this information had been incorrect. We were told on May 24, 2018 that all of the interview rooms are accessible, but only one room per floor will accommodate a scooter. We were still not able to learn how these rooms are to be assigned, to ensure that they are not simply used by people who don’t need that accessibility feature.

* We learned at the May 24, 2018 meeting that some important accessibility concerns that we raised at our earlier meeting have not been corrected at all. The problematic layout of the six public elevators has not been changed, despite the accessibility concerns. There has also been no change to the plan to have a universal washroom on only eight of the building’s seventeen floors, and not on every floor. No reason for this was given.

* For some of the other concerns we had raised at the March 14, 2018 meeting, we were told that it is now too late in the planning process to change certain aspects of the building’s design. This demonstrates that it was wrong for the Government not to consult on accessibility some three years ago, at the design process’s outset.

We look forward to further meetings with the disability sector advisory group, to ensure that the accessibility concerns with this building are all effectively addressed.

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June 1, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dante Pontone

To: Dante Pontone, Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Ontario

From: David Lepofsky, Chair, AODA Alliance

Date: June 1, 2018

Re: Accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities in New Courthouse Construction in Ontario

Thank you for taking the time to speak to me today about the future actions needed to ensure accessibility of the New Toronto Courthouse, about accessibility of the forthcoming new Halton Peel Courthouse (at an earlier stage of design) and about the development of a new Government accessibility standard for new court construction. Here are the key items which we requested and those to which you agreed. If I have anything incorrect, please let me know as soon as possible.

Re the New Toronto Courthouse

I asked that you continue to attend any upcoming meetings of the Disability Sector Advisory Group regarding the New Toronto Courthouse. Your oversight is critically important, in our view. Thank you for being agreeable to this.

We have not been told how many future meetings the Government plans for this Advisory Group regarding the New Toronto Courthouse. I recommended to you that this Advisory Group continue to meet with the Government and its contractors until all the accessibility concerns regarding this courthouse have been effectively resolved. I understood you to be supportive of this.

I explained that it is important in this project, and in each future project, that the Government directly retain the accessibility consultant, retained on these projects, and that this consultant report their accessibility advice directly to the Government. Otherwise, as at present, it appears that their accessibility advice is given to the private architecture firm or other private organization that hired them. What the Government and the public learn about that accessibility advice is only that which the retaining private organization chooses to pass along. The public is paying for that advice. The Government should receive that advice directly, and in its entirety. The public should be able to see this advice as well. I understood that you are going to consider this.

The Halton Peel Courthouse

I understand that the accessibility requirements for the future new Halton Peel courthouse have not yet been finalized. The Project Specific Output Specifications PSOS for that project are still under development.

I recommended that the Government now get advice from the disability community, e.g. from the Disability Sector Advisory Group, as these are being formulated, and certainly long before they are finalized. No longer should we ever be told that it is too late in the design process to take into account an accessibility concern. I understood you to be agreeable to and supportive of this.

I therefore asked that the Government now show us these accessibility requirements at whatever stage they have now reached. Even if they are at a draft or preliminary stage, it would help to see what has been developed so far, so that we can give our feedback. As the New Toronto Courthouse experience revealed once again, the earlier in the design development process this consultation occurs, the better will be the end product.

New Accessibility Standard for Future Courthouses

As we discussed, Bob Topping told the Disability Sector Advisory Group at our inaugural March 14, 2018 meeting that his accessibility consulting firm, DesignAble Environments, was working on a new accessibility standard for new court consultation. Corresponding to this, the lead architect for the EllisDon firm told us at that meeting that when they designed the plans for the New Toronto Courthouse, they used the old accessibility standard that the Ministry has had going back many years.

As a result, I asked you to find out who else, if anyone, is working on this new courthouse accessibility standard, beyond DesignAble Environments? We asked to see that standard in its present state of development. We also proposed that the disability community be consulted on this, as early as possible, in its development. I urged you to contact Mr. Topping to follow up on this and to get more information, since it was he who told us about this work at the March 14, 2018 Advisory Group meeting. You agreed to look into this, including speaking to Mr. Topping. Thank you for agreeing to get back to me on this.

In conclusion there is a clear long term need for problems such as these to be resolved on a Government-wide basis. However, in the meantime, resolving the accessibility needs of Ontarians with disabilities in these courthouse projects cannot await a resolution of broader Government-wide deficiencies in how it deals with planning for the accessibility of new infrastructure construction.

I look forward to hearing from you on the important issues we discussed, and especially on those listed in this letter.

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

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Excerpt from the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 Issue-By-Issue Summary of the Parties’ Commitments on Disability Accessibility in the 2018 Ontario Election

Take Overdue Steps to Ensure the Accessibility of the built Environment, Including Residential Housing

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

#16. To publicly recognize that there is now a problem with the inaccessibility of the built environment in Ontario, and to launch a comprehensive strategy that will address both new consultation and the retrofit of existing buildings that are undergoing no major renovations.

#17. To ensure that the accessibility of the Built environment is fully and effectively addressed by requirements enacted under the AODA, e.g. by developing and enacting a comprehensive Built Environment Accessibility Standard under the AODA, and to ensure that it effectively addresses accessibility retrofits in existing buildings, as well as accessibility in new construction and major renovations.

#18. To direct each Standards Development Committee now in operation to make recommendations on standards for the built environment as it relates to the area that that Standards Development Committee is studying. For example, the Transportation Standards Development Committee should be directed to make recommendations for accessibility in public transit stations and stops.

#19. To ensure that a new and comprehensive Built Environment Accessibility Standard will include accessibility requirements for elevators.

#20. To create a Residential Housing Accessibility Standard under the AODA, and within six months of taking office, to appoint a Standards Development Committee to make recommendations on what it should include.

#21. To announce a comprehensive strategy on accessible housing (apart from an AODA accessibility standard), within six months of taking office, after consulting the public, including people with disabilities. This strategy should aim to effectively increase the supply of accessible housing in Ontario, including supportive housing.

#22. To require that before a building permit and/or site plan approval can be obtained for a project, the approving authority, municipal or provincial, must be satisfied that the project, on completion, will meet all accessibility requirements under the Ontario Building Code and in any AODA accessibility standards.

#23. To require that post-project completion inspections include inspecting for compliance with accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code and AODA accessibility standards.

#24. To require professional bodies that regulate or licence key professionals such as architects and other design professionals, to require adequate training on accessible  design to qualify for a license, and to require existing professionals, where needed to take continuing professional development training on accessible design.

#25. To require, as a condition of funding any college or university that trains key professions, such as design professionals (like architects), that they include sufficient training on meeting accessibility needs, in their program’s curriculum.

#26. To substantially reform the way public sector infrastructure projects are managed and overseen in Ontario, including a major reform of Infrastructure Ontario, to ensure that accessibility is addressed far earlier, and more effectively in the project. This should include a requirement that accessibility advice be obtained on all major projects starting at the very beginning, with input being required from the outset obtained from people with disabilities. Any accessibility advice from people with disabilities or accessibility consultants should be promptly made public. Any decisions by the Government or by project teams it hires to reject any accessibility advice should promptly be publicly reported, identifying who made that decision, and the reasons for it. The accessibility requirements for any infrastructure should be made public as soon as possible, and well before a bidding competition is closed.

#27. To require that when public money is used to create public housing, principles of universal design will be employed in the design of that public housing.

#28. To create a fund to increase the number of accessible public premises, which would be available to public buildings that agree to make their property available to the public, in the case of emergency.

NDP

* In December, we called on the government to immediately establish the as-of-yet undelivered Built Environment Standards. These will include recommendations for retrofits, major renovations, transit and elevators. An NDP government is committed to implementing these recommendations.

* There is an accessible housing crisis in Ontario. To begin to address this, we will earmark affordable housing units for Ontarians with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Our investment in 30,000 units of supportive housing will give adults who have developmental disabilities access to housing that ensures they can live rich lives with more independence.

We are proponents of universal design and will ensure that accessibility standards are considered and met before, during, and after any major reforms or infrastructure projects are undertaken by the government.

Liberals

* A re-elected Liberal government will build on this progress by: …exploring and determining next steps for preventing and removing accessibility barriers in the built environment

*  We intend to continue the reviews already underway and continue the work of developing standards in the areas of health care and education. We would welcome advice from these committees on built environment issues and look forward to making the process more open and transparent to ensure all voices are heard without compromising necessary privacy and accountability measures.

Beyond ongoing work, we know that there are barriers in the province that need to be addressed through standards. Earlier this year, former Minister Tracy MacCharles publicly stated that the standards governing the built environment need to be strengthened to achieve our goal. That’s why she convened a summit on the subject attended by many impacted stakeholders, including the AODA Alliance. We will use the feedback gleaned from this summit and further consultation with stakeholders to determine the best path forward as we track toward the mandated review of the standard. Given the complexity of housing construction, building modification, and renovation, we will also work with builders, developers, architects, and other experts before committing to a path forward on residential housing and retrofits.

Getting to an accessible Ontario requires that we also ensure that the professionals most connected to design and construction know about accessibility. To this end, we will work with regulatory bodies, colleges, universities, and professional organizations to ensure that accessibility is included throughout the process.

Standards for AFPs differ project to project, but all Project Companies are required to comply with all legislation on AFP projects, including the AODA and accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code. This is the de facto minimum standard. Issues related to accessibility in AFP projects are therefore related to the content of the standards. On built environment issues specifically, that’s why we have committed to working with stakeholders toward the next review of the standard.

Greens

* We support accessibility as an essential component of any new building project or retrofit. Training in accessible design should be a requirement across all licensing and educational institutions in Ontario, and all new building projects should meet standard accessibility requirements before approval. A strategy must be developed both to increase the supply of accessible housing within Ontario and to undertake the retrofitting of existing buildings in order for them to meet accessibility standards.

Conservatives

* Ontario needs a clear strategy to address AODA standards and the Ontario Building Code’s accessibility provisions. We need Ontario’s design professionals, such as architects, to receive substantially improved professional training on disability and accessibility.

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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 updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-urges-all-ontario-voters-with-disabilities-to-vote-at-advance-polls-to-avoid-the-risk-of-running-into-accessibility-barriers-on-voting-day-june-7-2018-here-are-helpful-action/

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:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

For a list of all the all-candidates’ debates we could find around Ontario, visit:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/list-ofall-the-2018-ontario-elections-all-candidates-debates-we-could-find-ask-the-candidates-to-make-strong-commitments-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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 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/

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 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/

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/

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

News Release: Blind Disability Rights Advocate Has His Right to Mark His Ballot in Private Violated at His Riding’s Returning Office – Elections Ontario Again Fails to Ensure Accessible, Private Voting for All Voters with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

News Release  For Immediate Release

Blind Disability Rights Advocate Has His Right to Mark His Ballot in Private Violated at His Riding’s Returning Office – Elections Ontario Again Fails to Ensure Accessible, Private Voting for All Voters with Disabilities

June 1, 2018 Toronto: Blind lawyer, law professor and disability rights advocate David Lepofsky went to vote at his riding’s returning office this afternoon, using what Elections Ontario offers as an accessible voting machine. He experienced three distinct barriers. Worst among these, after he used the machine to mark his ballot, his ballot evidently came out of the voting machine and fell down to the floor, revealing his choice to an Elections Ontario official who was there to assist him in using that technology.

Lepofsky chairs the non-partisan grassroots Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance that has campaigned for years for accessible voting for voters with disabilities, and more generally, for accessibility for 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities. He acknowledges that this violation of his secret ballot was inadvertent, and that the Elections Ontario official was not trying to see the name of the candidate for whom he voted. However, the fact that this incident occurred, even inadvertently, shows that Elections Ontario has not found a reliable way to ensure that all voters with disabilities can independently and privately mark their ballot and verify their choice.

The following is a statement by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky about these events and the three barriers he faced, written shortly after it occurred:

“The fundamental democratic right that is in issue is the right to independently and privately mark my own ballot, and then to be able to myself verify my choice, before I cast my ballot.

Two hours ago, on June 1, 2018, just after 4 pm, I went to vote at the Returning Office in my riding, Eglinton Lawrence. I encountered the following inexcusable three disability barriers in the voting process. Elections Ontario is fully and solely responsible for these barriers.

On arriving, my wife (who is sighted) and I lined up to begin the process for each of us to vote. The pleasant gentleman who served us at the sign-in desk told us that we each had to sign a statement. I then ran into the first of the three barriers I was to face.

I asked if the affirmation document was available in Braille. The officials behind the desk said that it was not. We were told that a Braille document was available for the ballot, but not for this statement that I must sign. My wife read it to me. It was an affirmation that I am entitled to vote now e.g. affirming that I have not previously voted in this election.

There is no good reason in 2018 why Elections Ontario does not have such a mandatory document in alternative accessible formats like Braille. This raises serious issues under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

I was told about options for me to vote. It was obvious that I am blind. I carry a white cane. I was told about the accessible voting machine. I am very familiar with this kind of technology. I have used it in the 2011 and 2014 Ontario elections.

In the past two elections, the voting machine that was provided at a returning office let me put on headphones and hear instructions. By pressing a series of buttons, I was told of my choices of candidate. I could mark it and confirm my choice. The ballot was printed. In the 2011 and 2014 elections, I was then afforded a chance to myself verify that the ballot was marked as I wished. The ballot was scanned by a machine, and the machine told me for whom I had voted. I could then have the ballot confirmed, so I could cast it.

When voting today, the machine verbally gave me my voting choices over headphones. I selected my candidate of choice, and confirmed it. If memory serves, it did not give me the option of spoiling my ballot.

The machine then printed my ballot. I then encountered the second barrier I was to face. Neither the machine nor the Elections Ontario poll official who stood there to assist me throughout had told me that there was any option to use the machine to verify my choice of candidate on the ballot. I knew there had been such an option in the 2011 and 2014 elections.

I asked the official (who was very pleasant and clearly was trying to do a good job) if there is an option to verify my choice. He told me there was.

Then I encountered the third, and clearly the most intrusive barrier. My ballot came out of the voting machine. I heard the poll worker go over to the machine and do something. He then told me my ballot had fallen to the floor.

I was shocked. I asked if he saw whom I had voted for. He said he had seen whom I voted for. His tone of voice was anxious. He obviously understood that he is not supposed to see the candidate for whom I voted. I am not suggesting in any way that he was trying to intentionally get a look at my choice of candidate.

I was very upset, but made a real effort to keep my voice calm. He then had to feed the ballot back into a machine to verify my choice. I do not know if it was the same machine or a different one. I put on the headphones. The instructions came on and guided me through the steps so I could have the ballot scanned. It scanned the ballot and told me over the headphones which candidate had been marked. It had indeed been marked as I had chosen.

The polling official then took the ballot away to do whatever they do to submit it. I have no idea what exactly he did with the ballot from the moment it came out of that machine until it was deposited wherever ballots eventually go to be tabulated. I do not know if my choice of candidate was exposed to public view at any time during that process. Elections Ontario appears to expect me to simply take it on faith that my privacy won’t be violated.

I am very upset that my fundamental right to privacy in the voting process has been violated. No one should know for whom I voted. The whole purpose for this technology was to enable me to independently mark my ballot in private and to verify my choice. I don’t believe that voters who have no disabilities would be expected to tolerate such intrusions and risks.

It is absurd that this remains a problem in Ontario in the year 2018. That Elections Ontario cannot get this right eight years after the Ontario Legislature passed amendments to ensure the accessibility of the vote for voters with disabilities shows a serious failure on its part. This is made worse by Elections Ontario’s inflexible multi-year opposition to other new accessible voting options, like telephone voting, and Elections Ontario’s failure to come up with any other more effective alternatives.

I certainly don’t want Elections Ontario taking this incident out on that poll worker. Responsibility for this systemic problem lies with the leadership at Elections Ontario that has failed to find a more reliable solution for voters with disabilities, and that has not treated accessibility for voters with disabilities as a sufficient priority.

That this incident was inadvertent does not excuse it. Voters with disabilities and all voters deserve to know what Elections Ontario will now do to ensure that such incidents will never happen again.”

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/

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

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

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

Join Us at the Saturday June 16, 2018 Public Forum on Disability Accessibility in Barrie Ontario – and – Check Out the Responses We’ve Received On Social Media from Candidates in the 2018 Ontario Election

June 1, 2018

          SUMMARY

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.

          MORE DETAILS

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 www.deafblindontario.com

or call 1-855-340-3267

-30-

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 k.madho@deafblindontario.com

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: info@votegoldie.ca

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? 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/ #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 that venues 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 http://gpo.ca/vision 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CdxzQEQwp8 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 updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-urges-all-ontario-voters-with-disabilities-to-vote-at-advance-polls-to-avoid-the-risk-of-running-into-accessibility-barriers-on-voting-day-june-7-2018-here-are-helpful-action/

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:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

For a list of all the all-candidates’ debates we could find around Ontario, visit:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/list-ofall-the-2018-ontario-elections-all-candidates-debates-we-could-find-ask-the-candidates-to-make-strong-commitments-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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 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/

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 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/

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/

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/

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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

 

More Proof During this Election of the Need for Ontario’s Next Government to Take Strong, Prompt New Action to Tear Down the Many Barriers Impeding Students with Disabilities – and – What Should An Accessible Education system Look Like?

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

More Proof During this Election of the Need for Ontario’s Next Government to Take Strong, Prompt New Action to Tear Down the Many Barriers Impeding Students with Disabilities – and – What Should An Accessible Education system Look Like?

May 31, 2018

SUMMARY

A major disability issue that keeps coming up with Ontario election candidates around Ontario has been the pressing need to tear down the many disability barriers that impede students with disabilities  in Ontario’s education system. We asked all the major parties for specific commitments in this area. Below we set out what we asked, and what they committed. This is taken from the AODA Alliance’s issue-by-issue breakdown of the commitments we secured on a wide range of disability accessibility issues.

There have been a series of important recent developments highlighting the need for reform in this area. We bring these to your attention:

* The May 4, 2018 Toronto Star included a powerful article, set out below. It reported on a report that had just been released. It documented serious recurring barriers facing students with intellectual disabilities in Ontario schools. This shows the pressing need for major reforms now!

* A similarly powerful report on the results of an ongoing survey of parents of students with special education needs at TDSB has been made public by the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the Toronto District School Board. This report shows similar serious recurring barriers facing many students with all kinds of special education needs. Its contents parallel the Toronto Star’s May 4, 2018 report, which had focused on students with intellectual disabilities.

To read the 28 page report that synthesizes the 1,600 responses to this survey as of earlier this spring, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/to-learn-more-about-the-disability-barriers-in-ontarios-education-system-check-out-the-results-as-of-spring-2018-of-an-online-survey-of-parents-of-students-with-special-education-needs-at-the-tor/ AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky is a member and past chair of TDSB’s SEAC. He is one of the SEAC members who oversaw this survey’s design. The report was prepared by two Osgoode Hall Law School students who volunteered for the AODA Alliance as part of their law studies. We thank them for their wonderful effort.

* The work of the Education Standards Development Committee has been continuing since its first meeting in early February 2018.  The Government in fact appointed two Standards Development Committees, one to deal with barriers in schools from kindergarten to Grade 12, and one to deal with post-secondary education (i.e. colleges and universities). AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky is a member of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee.

Drawing on feedback we have received from our supporters over the years, David Lepofsky circulated to members of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee a proposal that we set out below for your thoughts and feedback. The Committee is considering what the long term objective should be of the promised Education Accessibility Standard. It is also considering what an accessible education system should look like. These are important first steps towards developing a recommendation for the Education Accessibility Standard’s contents.

Send us your feedback on this. Write us at aodafeedback@gmail.com * After the April 17-18, 2018 meeting of the K-12 Standards Development Committee, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (part of the Ontario Government) sent all committee members a 2-page email on behalf of the committee’s chair, Lynn Ziraldo. The Government wants Standards Development Committee members to share these with their networks. As such, we set this out below. These “key messages” appear to have been written at least in part, if not entirely by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.

* The Wynne Government decided that there should be a joint sub-committee, including representatives from both the K-12 Standards Development Committee and the Post-Secondary Standards Development Committee. It would work on helping ensure that there is coordination between the work and recommendations of the two Standards Development Committees.

AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky applied to serve on this joint-sub-committee. He has experience with disability barriers in both the K-12 and post-secondary contexts. From He was recently advised that he was not selected to serve on this sub-committee. We do not know who made the selection, what criteria they used, or why he was not included.

We encourage all our supporters to keep raising accessibility issues with all candidates in the Ontario election. Use this last week of the campaign to get all candidates to make strong commitments on accessibility. No matter who wins this election, the vast majority of MPPs in the Ontario Legislature will not have been in the Legislature back on May 2005, when the AODA was passed. We need to ensure that this new crop of MPPs has a strong commitment to the implementation and enforcement of the AODA.

At the end of this Update are links to key background information on the AODA Alliance, on how to raise disability issues in this election, and on how to sign up for or unsubscribe from these Updates. As always, we are non-partisan. We do not seek to elect or defeat any party or candidate. We strive to get the strongest commitments on accessibility from all candidates.

MORE DETAILS

The Toronto Star May 4, 2018

Students with disabilities being left behind; Ontario education system fails special-needs pupils, report by advocates says Graphic: Dorlean Lieghfars- Rotolo, with daughter Jessica, who has Down syndrome, says she and her husband had a constant battle to make sure Jessica received appropriate accommodation in school.

They are excluded from classrooms, left out of field trips and they don’t get the tools or extra staff they need to help them learn.

Their parents are asked to keep them home from school, pick them up early and must fight hard to get them the supports they are legally entitled to.

This is the reality for students with intellectual disabilities and their families in Ontario, according to a new report released Friday, which provides a rare look at how this vulnerable group is faring in school. Despite their legal right to inclusive education, these students face “daunting” academic and social barriers that can leave them excluded, vulnerable to bullying and set them up for low expectations for the future, said the report, a joint project by experts in disabilities law and education, and advocacy groups such as Community Living Ontario.

“These results paint a stark picture of how the education system fails to serve students who have intellectual disabilities,” it said, adding that “significant measures need to be taken in order to ensure these obligations are met.”

The findings revealed parents who are overwhelmed, under emotional and financial stress trying to support their children and in constant conflict with schools and boards.

More than half of parents reported their child was not receiving proper academic accommodations, which can range from teaching techniques to a special needs assistant or technology, and had been denied learning opportunities. Almost two-thirds said their child had been excluded from extracurricular activities, and a third said their child didn’t have access to an educational assistant when needed.

Two-thirds reported conflict at the classroom level over their children’s education, three-quarters with school administrators, and 56 per cent had battled with their school board.

Many felt the onus was on them to initiate communication about, or request meetings on, their child’s progress and accommodations.

But the report stressed that, despite “ubiquitous conflict,” many parents cited the positive impact of school principals and teachers when they receive the training and support necessary to help special-needs students access the curriculum and reach their potential.

Those kind of positive relationships can “make or break a school experience” for those students, said report co-author Luke Reid, staff lawyer with Arch Disability Law Centre. He said the research captures a lot of the problems faced across the special-education system.

The findings resonate with Dorlean Lieghfars-Rotolo of Toronto, whose 19-year-old daughter Jessica has Down syndrome and is a Toronto high school student. Jessica was in a regular class, with extra help outside the classroom for English and math, at her Catholic elementary school.

Lieghfars-Rotolo said it was a constant struggle to make sure the right supports were in place and that Jessica would be encouraged to learn, not face low expectations. She went on field trips so that Jessica would be included and was a vigilant presence at the school.

But by the pre-teen years, she noticed her daughter started to be left out and was often alone. Fearing Jessica would not get the social or academic supports she needed in a regular high school, the family enrolled her in Heydon Park Secondary School, an all-girls public school that focuses on special needs, where her daughter is happy and doing well.

“I would love her to be in an integrated classroom if it was with a teacher who could handle that,” said Lieghfars-Rotolo. “This was the best option.

“We saw the failings of the system for our daughter.”

Andrea Gordon Toronto Star

Election Commitments on the Need to Substantially Reform How the Ministry of Education Deals with the Needs of Students with Disabilities

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

#29.  To create a new associate Deputy Minister and Division at the Ministry of Education, to be called the Full Participation Inclusion of Students with Disabilities Division. This division should have lead responsibility for ensuring that all planning and programming at the Ministry is designed and operated to ensure that students with disabilities  can fully participate in and be fully included in schools and education services. To avoid this becoming an irrelevant, isolated  silo within the Ministry, this Division should have a mandate to oversee and ensure the work of all other divisions in the Ministry in this regard, so that no new initiatives in education will go forward unless this Division approves it as fully including students with disabilities without barriers.

#30. To amend Ontario’s Education Act and special education regulations, to eliminate the unfairly restrictive definition of “exceptional pupil” and “exceptionality,” and to replace it with a definition of students with disabilities that covers all disabilities covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The current out-dated terms “exceptional pupil” and “exceptionality” now leave out mental health conditions that have not become a behaviour issue).

#31. To independently review the Ministry’s programming and funding formula for special education, to be renamed funding for students with disabilities, in order to ensure it is sufficient to meet their needs, and to ensure that funding is based on the actual number of students with disabilities in a school board, not some mathematical formula of how many students with disabilities there hypothetically should be at that school board.

NDP Commitments

* We understand that the Ministry of Education has been a major barrier to effectively meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and that the responses and supports that students and families receive have varied wildly across the province. We are committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are no longer treated as an afterthought. We will review the funding formula for special education, and will restructure the way that the Ministry of Education approaches accessibility. We are proud of the advocacy we have done to push the government to establish an Education Standards Committee.

Liberal Party Commitments

* The Ontario Liberal Party believes that every student must have access to the support they need to reach their full potential. We will ensure that we have the appropriate structures in place to continue to make progress in removing barriers and supporting full inclusion for students with disabilities. This includes working with all of the divisions of the Ministry of Education in developing a new Education Accessibility standard to remove accessibility barriers for students. The advice of the Education Standards Development Committees will be key in charting our next steps on improving accessibility in schools and post-secondary institutions, and we look forward to receiving that advice before committing to significant reforms in the sector.

The Ministry of Education recently undertook an organizational realignment that placed an increased focus on supporting student success. The Student Support and Field Services Division is responsible for supporting the achievement of students with disabilities and working across divisions and ministries to support children and youth with special needs, while the Education Equity Secretariat supports all of the ministry in building capacity for equity and human rights. This happened in 2017, and we expect improved results as a result of this realignment.

We care deeply about student mental health and well-being, because we know how many of our young people are facing mental health challenges and needs support both in their schools and broader communities. Up to 70 per cent of mental health and addictions challenges begin in childhood or adolescence. That’s why we recently announced we are supporting quicker access to better care for mental health and addiction services for people of all ages through a historic $2.1 billion investment over the next four years. This is the largest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions care.  On top of the Mental Health Leads that we created in every school board, this investment means an additional 400 mental health workers to support every high school across the province dedicated to supporting continued and expanded mental health awareness and education, earlier identification and assessment, and improved timely referrals to community mental health services. This investment will also support enhanced mental health literacy for our educators and school staff, and social emotional learning skills embedded in the curriculum.

This is all in addition to our government’s investment of $49 million over the next three years to promote and support the well-being of Ontario’s students, which includes doubling funding to school boards for locally-determined priorities including mental health.

All students with disabilities must be supported by our public education system based on individual assessments of strengths and needs. Specific needs are addressed through students’ Individual Education Plans. The categories of exceptionalities in the Education Act were designed to address the range of conditions that may affect a student’s ability to learn, rather than by condition or diagnosis. Our government will continue to work with our partners to address barriers to helping students reach their full potential.

After inheriting an education system that was severely underfunded and in complete disrepair, Liberal governments have made historic investments in our public education system. This has enabled hiring more than 40,000 additional teachers and education workers into the system to support student success during a period of declining enrolment. It has also contributed to caps on K-3 class size, reduced average class size for grades 4 to 8 from 26 to 24 and the complete roll-out of full-day kindergarten for every four and five-year-old in Ontario.

These investments are contributing to the high school graduation rate reaching an all-time high of 86.5 per cent, up more than 18 percentage points compared to the rate when we took office. Today, Ontario’s students consistently rank at or near the top in national and international student achievement results in reading, math and science, and we are the only jurisdiction in the world to achieve this feat in a diverse context. Gaps in achievement for students with special needs are closing, and we are confident that our new investments will further this success.

We also know that there is more to do. Our 2018 Budget announced another $300 million over the next three years to support students with disabilities, bringing total funding for special education to $3 billion next year. This funding will eliminate the waitlists for professional assessments of student needs and means 600 additional staff forming multidisciplinary teams of social workers, psychologists, behavioural specialists and speech-language pathologists to build board capacity and help teachers, education assistants and other staff better understand and adapt to the unique needs of their students. Our Budget also includes an additional $30 million per year for 500 more Education Assistants who will support our highest needs students. All of these investments are critical to our plan and are at risk in this election.

We have changed about 90% of the education funding formula since 2013 and are committed to continuing to review the formula to advance student achievement, well-being and equity. We made changes several years ago to the way that special education funding is allocated to be more responsive to the needs of students. The prior model that the PCs developed was inequitable and rewarded school boards that could fill out paperwork rather than meeting students’ needs. We are committed to engaging with our education partners to continue reviewing the funding model for special education to ensure it is responsive to the needs of students, families, school boards, and educators. The formula is just one part of the story – and the Ontario Liberal Party is the only party proposing to increase investment to support students with disabilities.

Green Party Commitments

* The Green Party is committed to changing outdated and restrictive terminology related to students with disabilities in the province’s Education Act so as to be inclusive of the full range of disabilities covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code. In addition, funding for students with disabilities should be determined based on the actual number of students within a particular school board.

Conservative Party Commitments

* The Ontario PC Party believes our education system must minimize barriers for students with disabilities, providing the skills, opportunities and connections with the business community that are necessary to enter the workforce.

Excerpt from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s April 16, 2018 Proposals to the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee

1. Long-term Objectives of the Education Accessibility Standard

I propose the following:

The purpose of the Education Accessibility Standard should be to ensure that Ontario’s education system becomes fully accessible to all students with disabilities by 2025, the AODA’s deadline, by requiring the removal and prevention of recurring accessibility barriers that impede students with disabilities. It should aim to ensure that students with disabilities can fully participate in and be fully included in Ontario’s education system on a footing of equality and inclusion, in the least restrictive environment consistent with a student’s and their parents’ wishes, . It should provide a prompt, accessible, fair, effective and user-friendly process to learn about and seek individual placements, programs, services, supports and accommodations tailored to the individual needs of each student with a disability. It should aim to eliminate the need for students with disabilities and their families to have to fight against education accessibility barriers, one at a time, and the need for educational organizations to have to re-invent the accessibility wheel, one educational program at a time.

2. What Would an Accessible Student-Centered Education System Look Like ?

An accessible student-centered education system at the K-12 level would include the following:

* It would be designed and operated from top to bottom for all of its students, including students with all kinds of disabilities, as protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It would not in any way restrict its programs, services, supports or accommodation to students whose disability falls within the outdated and restrictive definition of “exceptionality” in Ontario’s education legislation. The education system would no longer be designed and operated from the starting point of serving the fictional “average” student. It would not treat or label students with disabilities as “exceptions” or “exceptional”. It would not call their needs “special”, nor would it call the provision of education to them “special education”. Their services, supports and needs would not be conflated with the services and needs of gifted students who have no disability.

* The built environment in the education system, such as schools, yard, playgrounds etc., and the equipment on those premises (such as gym and playground equipment)  would all be fully accessible to people with disabilities, and would be designed based on the principle of universal design.

* Courses taught, including the curriculum and lesson plans, as well as informal learning activities, would fully incorporate principles of Universal Design in Learning, to be fully inclusive for students with disabilities.

* Instructional materials used in Ontario’s education system would be available in formats that are fully accessible to students with disabilities who need to use them, and are available when needed.

* All digital technology used in Ontario’s education system, such as hardware, software and online learning, used in class or from home, will be fully accessible and willfully embody the principle of universal design. As well, education staff working with students with disabilities will be properly trained to use the accessibility features of that hardware, software and online learning technology, and to assist students with disabilities to access them.

* Full inclusion and Universal Design in Learning will extend beyond classroom learning to other activities connected with education, such as the playground at recess, social and recreational activities, field trips, extra-curricular activities, and experiential learning opportunities.

* Students with disabilities will be able to bring to school the accessibility supports from which they benefit. For example, they will have the right to bring a qualified service animal to school with them.

* Teachers and other direct educational staff, will be fully trained to serve all students, and not just students who have no disabilities. They will be fully trained in such things as Universal Design in Learning. “Special education” teachers should not serve as a human resources silo for students with disabilities .

* students with disabilities  will have timely access to current adaptive technology and to effective training on how to use it, to enable them to best take part in and benefit from education programming.

* Options for placement and programming are sufficiently diverse and flexible to accommodate a wide spectrum of learning needs and styles, rather than tending to be one-size-fits all.

* Tests and other forms of evaluation will be designed based on principles of universal design and Universal Design in Learning,, to be barrier-free for students with disabilities .

* Classroom teachers will be provided sufficient staff support, and, where needed, additional specialized training, to enable them to serve students with disabilities  in their classes.

* Students with disabilities will be assured the opportunity to be educated in the least restrictive environment, consistent with the student’s/parents’ wishes.

* Students with disabilities  will encounter a welcoming environment at school and in class to facilitate their full participation. Students without disabilities, teaching staff and other school staff, as well as other parents in the school context, will be welcoming and inclusive towards students with disabilities . To achieve this, among other things, all students will receive positive curriculum content on the importance of inclusion and accessibility for students with disabilities . Bullying, teasing, stereotyping, patronization and the soft bigotry of low expectations will all be absent from the school environment.

* Admission criteria and tests or other screening for any education programming and offering will be barrier-free for students with disabilities .

* students with disabilities  and their parents will have prompt, effective and easy access to user-friendly information in multiple languages on the educational options, programs, services, supports and accommodations available for their disability, and on the process for seeking these. Students with disabilities  and their parents will be afforded a timely opportunity to observe options for placement, programming and other educational services and supports, when considering which would be most suitable for that student.

* The student and their family will be kept regularly and frequently posted on the effectiveness of the placement, program, services, supports and accommodations that the student is to receive.

* The process for deciding on a student’s placement, programming, services, supports and accommodations will be a fair, open and transparent one in which the student and their family can fully participate. For example, before an Individual Education Plan is written, the student and parents will be able to take part in an Individual Education Plan meeting with school officials, at which the Individual Education Plan can be jointly written. At each stage of the process, the student and parents will be given clear user-friendly “rights advice” on how the process works, and on their rights in the process.

* Where a student or their family believe that the school is not effectively meeting the student’s disability-related needs, (e.g. by not including a desired item in the Individual Education Plan), or if the student or family believe that the school is not providing an educational program, service, support or accommodation to which it had agreed, the student and parents should have access to a prompt, fair, open and arms-length  appeal process, including an offer of a voluntary  Alternative Resolution Process, conducted by someone who was not involved in the original decision or activity, and who does not oversee the work of those involved in the student’s direct education.

* A decision about a student’s placement would not be made until assessments and decisions are reached about the needs and most appropriate program, services, supports and accommodation for that student with a disability.

* Qualifications and required training for specialized support educators (such as teachers of the visually impaired) will be modernized and sufficient to ensure that they are qualified and competent.

* There will be no bureaucratic, procedural or policy barriers that can impede the effective accommodation of individual students with disabilities at all levels of Ontario’s education system.

* Major new Government strategies in Ontario’s education system will be proactively designed to fully include the needs of students with disabilities. For example, when the Ontario Government announces a new math strategy for Ontario’s schools, it will, among other things, include an effective strategy to address disability barriers that students with disabilities face in math education.

* Those responsible at the provincial and local levels for overseeing and operating Ontario’s education system will have strong and specific requirements to address disability accessibility and inclusion in their mandates, and will be accountable for their work in that connection. This will not be relegated to special education silos.

* Schools will not systemically or disproportionately exclude students with disabilities from school for either all or part of the school day e.g. because a special needs assistant is away from school.

* Once a student has an established Individual Education Plan at one school, that plan should be portable, and carry forward should that student move to another school at the same or a different. School board

* The education system would provide disability-related funding to a school board based on the actual number of students with disabilities at that board, and not on a formula that estimates how many should be at that school board.

Key Messages from the K-12 Standards Development Committee from Its April 17-18, 2018 Meeting

The following is the text of a message that the K-12 Standards Development Committee received from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario on behalf of the Committee’s chair, Lynn Ziraldo.

K-12 Education Standards Development Committee Key Messages

April 17-18, 2018

  • “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” (Phil Jackson)
  • As part of the April meeting, the K-12 Committee affirmed their shared consensus on the following group norms:
  1. Find choices that are win/win
  2. Mutual Respect for all members
  3. Openness and Flexibility
  4. Evidence-Based Approach to Committee work
  5. Shared Ownership of Process and Results
  • The Committee appreciated hearing from the Minister of Education, the Honourable Indira Naidoo-Harris, who emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive and equitable education system for all students to have a chance to learn and reach their full potential.
  • The Committee also appreciated the opportunity to incorporate the voices of youth and the We Have Something to Say Report shared by the Office of the Ontario Child Advocate, and to better understand the role of a disability justice approach and framing barriers to accessibility in terms of rights.
  • The Committee continues to identify barriers facing students with disabilities, and agreed that there are a range of barriers still to be explored and discussed.
  • The Committee collaborated on developing a shared vision for an accessible-student centred education system which would include a seamless model for transition planning.
  • Key themes for the meeting were a focus on equity and inclusion, centering student voices, and considering the intersectionality of disability. Every student matters.
  • The Committee recognized that students don’t learn in isolation, but in relation to a broad community. Lived experience of educators, staff, and a broad range of student support services must be considered throughout.
  • The Committee acknowledged that barriers to accessibility can be exacerbated by capacity and resource challenges, particularly for northern and rural boards as well as Francophone boards who face challenges providing French-language services.
  • The Committee appreciates the Ministry of Education sharing information and insights about K-12 education in Ontario. The Committee acknowledges the role of current accessibility standards and current Education framework, as well as challenges and implementation issues.
  • Looking ahead, the Committee is committed to:
  1. Working towards accessibility in a way that includes all students with disabilities
  2. Focusing on evidence and research-based approaches
  3. Referring back to Committee guiding principles throughout their work
  • “Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” (Mattie Stepanek)

 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 updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-urges-all-ontario-voters-with-disabilities-to-vote-at-advance-polls-to-avoid-the-risk-of-running-into-accessibility-barriers-on-voting-day-june-7-2018-here-are-helpful-action/ 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: https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o 30-minute version: https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

For a list of all the all-candidates’ debates we could find around Ontario, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/list-ofall-the-2018-ontario-elections-all-candidates-debates-we-could-find-ask-the-candidates-to-make-strong-commitments-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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 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/

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 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/

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/

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com 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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

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: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/

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 https://www.aodaalliance.org

On the Eve of the 2018 Ontario Election Campaign, the Wynne Government Made Public the Weak Final Recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee For Revisions to the 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard – Reflecting an Impoverished Approach to Ontario’s Disabilities Act, The Wynne Government Said It is Not Seeking Public Input on those Recommendations

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

On the Eve of the 2018 Ontario Election Campaign, the Wynne Government Made Public the Weak Final Recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee For Revisions to the 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard – Reflecting an Impoverished Approach to Ontario’s Disabilities Act, The Wynne Government Said It is Not Seeking Public Input on those Recommendations

May 29, 2018

SUMMARY

On May 2, 2018, just days before the official 2018 Ontario election campaign began, the Wynne Government made public the final recommendations of the Government-appointed Transportation Standards Development committee. Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Government had appointed that Committee to consult the public and to make recommendations on any revisions needed to the 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard, which was enacted under the AODA. The Transportation Accessibility Standard is supposed to ensure that transportation services in Ontario become fully accessible to people with disabilities.

The Transportation Standards Development committee had submitted its final recommendations to the Wynne Government some weeks earlier. The Government traditionally only posts these recommendations on its website for 45 days. In contrast, the AODA Alliance posts these permanently on our website. We believe they should be permanently available to the public.

To read the final recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee, visit:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/read-the-government-appointed-transportation-standards-development-committees-final-recommendations-for-revisions-to-the-2011-aoda-transportation-accessibility-standard/

This is very important for the current Ontario election. The final recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee are very weak. They would not ensure that transportation becomes fully accessible to passengers with disabilities by 2025, or ever. They would not substantially improve the limited 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard. That standard needs substantial improvement.

The Transportation Standards Development committee did not accept many if not most of the advice in the detailed 106-page brief that the AODA Alliance and the ARCH Disability Law Centre submitted to the Transportation Standards Development committee on July 31, 2017. We made an in-person presentation on that brief to the Transportation Standards Development committee on November 15, 2017. No member of that Standards Development Committee asked us a single question about our 59 detailed recommendations.

The Transportation Standards Development Committee’s final recommendations are modestly better than the Committee’s even-weaker earlier draft recommendations, on which the AODA Alliance /ARCH July 31, 2017 brief had commented. However, most of the deficiencies in the Transportation Standards Development committee’s earlier draft recommendations have not been fixed.

In its final recommendations to the Government, the Transportation Standards Development Committee commendably recommended that the Government should strengthen the stated goal of the Transportation Accessibility Standard. However, none of the other Transportation Standards Development committee recommendations would significantly strengthen the Transportation Accessibility Standard, in the ways needed to achieve that goal.

The Transportation Standards Development committee proposes a number of modest changes to the 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard itself. These largely focus on more education, more consultation, and imposing requirements to report on progress. A strong, effective accessibility standard must go much further. It must spell out which disability barriers must be removed and by when in transportation services.

One of the important disability accessibility issues that the AODA Alliance has raised in the 2018 Ontario election is the fact that the Ontario Government has been building new public transit stations with serious accessibility problems. Our new online Youtube video, which amply shows this, has gotten over 2,000 views in the first 12 days after we posted it on line. Check it out!

16 minute version:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30 minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

The Transportation Standards Development committee made a very weak recommendation in this area. It merely recommended:

“The Transportation Standards should be changed to require municipalities and transit providers to report on and show progress made to improve accessibility at transit facilities, stops and shelters, based on their service offerings and community need, as part of the annual status report on their multi-year accessibility plans.”

Ontario needs a Transportation Accessibility Standard that spells out specific accessibility requirements for public transit stations. The Ontario Government has hundreds of new public transit infrastructure projects coming, or already in progress. We cannot afford more accessibility blunders like those we expose in our new Youtube video.

The Government that the public elects on June 7, 2018 will have to decide what revisions to enact, to strengthen the limited 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard. Sadly, the Transportation Standards Development committee’s final recommendations are not much of a help. If the Government implemented all of that Standards Development Committee’s recommendations, we would have no assurance that the serious transportation barriers, shown in our recent video, would be removed or prevented in existing or future public transit stations or projects.

In contrast to the final recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee, the AODA Alliance/ARCH July 31, 2017 brief is far more detailed. It includes much stronger recommendations. We encourage all voters with disabilities to raise these issues with candidates during this election. Check out our 2018 Ontario Election Action Kit for tips on how to do this.

It is very troubling that the Transportation Standards Development committee disregarded so many of our proposals. It is also very troubling that in its last days before the current election campaign, the Wynne Government took an impoverished approach to public consultation in this area. In the past, when the Government has received a Standards Development Committee’s final recommendations, it has posted it on line, for purposes of affording the public, including the disability community, a chance to give the Government its feedback on the Committee’s final recommendations. Over the past decade, the AODA Alliance has submitted detailed briefs to the Ontario Government, analyzing the final recommendations of most of the Standards Development Committees, and offering our own recommendations.

In sharp and disturbing contrast, the Wynne Government, as represented by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, now takes the position that it is not seeking any public feedback on the final recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee. In a May 3, 2018 email to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, The Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, Ann Hoy, wrote as follows:

“To clarify, the final report and recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development Committee has been submitted to the Minister, and is currently posted for information.  We are not seeking public comment at this time.”

In response, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky took exception to this, writing on May 3, 2018 to Ms. Hoy:

“The whole purpose for public posting of a final recommendation from a Standards Development Committee is for the Government to receive public input on it. Why is the Government not seeking or inviting public input on the final recommendation of the Transportation Standards Development committee?”

Neither Ms. Hoy nor anyone else from the Government responded to this. The full exchange of emails is set out below.

The AODA Alliance will be preparing a brief to submit to the Ontario Government, whether or not the Government is seeking any feedback. The public transit sector has been very active in trying to keep this accessibility standard as narrow as possible. We are certain that the public transit sector will be pressuring the Government not to significantly strengthen this accessibility standard. We want to be sure that the disability perspective is fully at the table when the Government deliberates on this.

We welcome your feedback on the Transportation Standards Development committee’s final recommendations. Send your thoughts to us at: aodafeedback@gmail.com

We also encourage you to send your feedback to the Ontario Government, even if the Government is not inviting your feedback.

We call on the next Ontario Government to invite public feedback on the final recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee, before it decides what revisions to make to the 2011 Transportation Accessibility Standard.

          MORE DETAILS

Key Exchange of Emails Between the AODA Alliance and the Ontario Government on Whether the Government is Seeking Feedback on the Final Recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development committee

May 3, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Senior Officials at the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

From: David Lepofsky

Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2018 11:03 AM

To: ‘Bartolomucci, Mary (ADO)’; wintermd@lao.on.ca

Cc: ‘Paulin, Christopher (ADO)’; ‘Simeon, Phil (ADO)’; Ann Hoy; Marie-Lison Fougere; Ed Steel; Janeiro, James (OPO)

Subject: RE: Review of the Transportation Standards

Thanks for this. We regret that the Government has disregarded the advice in our recent letter to the Minister, and has overlapped the consultation periods for the Employment Accessibility Standard and the Transportation Accessibility Standard. We had asked that the Government space out these consultation periods and not overlap them.

We ask that you extend the deadline for input on the Transportation Accessibility Standard, to eliminate the impact of this overlap.

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

May 3, 2018 Email from the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

From: Hoy, Ann (ADO) [mailto:Ann.Hoy@ontario.ca]

Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2018 11:49 AM

To: David Lepofsky Bartolomucci, Mary (ADO); wintermd@lao.on.ca

Cc: Paulin, Christopher (ADO); Simeon, Phil (ADO); Fougère, Marie-Lison (MSA); Steel, Ed (MGCS); Janeiro, James (OPO)

Subject: RE: Review of the Transportation Standards

Good morning, David,

To clarify, the final report and recommendations of the Transportation Standards Development Committee has been submitted to the Minister, and is currently posted for information.  We are not seeking public comment at this time.

As you know, the Employment Standards SDC initial recommendations are currently posted for public comment until May 7.

I hope this helps.

Ann Hoy

May 3, 2018 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, Ann Hoy

From: David Lepofsky

Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2018 12:21 PM

To: ‘Hoy, Ann (ADO)’

Subject: RE: Review of the Transportation Standards

Dear Ann,

The whole purpose for public posting of a final recommendation from a Standards Development Committee  is for the Government to receive public input on it. Why is the Government not seeking or inviting public input on the final recommendation of the Transportation Standards Development committee?

 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 updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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’s 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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/aoda-alliance-urges-all-ontario-voters-with-disabilities-to-vote-at-advance-polls-to-avoid-the-risk-of-running-into-accessibility-barriers-on-voting-day-june-7-2018-here-are-helpful-action/

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:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

For a list of all the all-candidates’ debates we could find around Ontario, visit:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/list-ofall-the-2018-ontario-elections-all-candidates-debates-we-could-find-ask-the-candidates-to-make-strong-commitments-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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 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/

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 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/

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/

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

AODA Alliance Urges All Ontario Voters with Disabilities to Vote at Advance Polls, to Avoid the Risk of Running Into Accessibility Barriers on Voting Day June 7, 2018 – Here Are Helpful Action Tips

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

AODA Alliance Urges All Ontario Voters with Disabilities to Vote at Advance Polls, to Avoid the Risk of Running Into Accessibility Barriers on Voting Day June 7, 2018 – Here Are Helpful Action Tips

May 24, 2018

SUMMARY

Election day is only two weeks away. It’s time for all voters with disabilities to now take active steps to ensure that you can vote, despite barriers that you may face in the process. We here offer ideas on what to do. Of course, as a non-partisan coalition, we don’t suggest who you should vote for or against. However, we do urge all Ontario voters, including at least one million Ontario voters with disabilities, to be sure to vote, and to think about the election’s disability accessibility issues.

We periodically like to let our readers and supporters know about important anniversaries along the road to a barrier-free Ontario. Today is the anniversary of an important day in AODA history. Twenty-three years ago today, on May 24, 1995, Conservative Party leader Mike Harris wrote our predecessor coalition, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, during the 1995 election campaign. He promised that if elected, he would enact the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in his first term. He also promised that he would work with the ODA Committee to develop it.

His party won the 1995 election. The Mike Harris Government did not pass the promised legislation in its first term. Eventually a weak and limited Ontarians with Disabilities Act was enacted in 2001, in the Harris Government’s second term. It had no enforcement. It did not apply to the private sector.

Two years later, when the Liberal Party won the 2003 election, replacing the Conservatives, it brought in the stronger Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The Conservatives voted for that law. It applied to the private sector and included enforcement powers.

During debates in the Legislature on the AODA bill, the Conservative MPP who had earlier been the Conservative Minister that created the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Cam Jackson, recognized that the Conservatives’ earlier Ontarians with Disabilities Act was too weak.

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001 was the last piece of legislation passed while Mike Harris was Ontario’s premier. During his six years as Ontario premier, the ODA Committee asked many times to meet with Premier Harris. Mike Harris never agreed to meet with the ODA Committee.

MORE DETAILS

Action Tips for Voters with Disabilities to Ensure They All Get to Vote

Elections Ontario is Ontario’s non-partisan public agency responsible for administering the election, and for ensuring that everyone can cast their ballot. Despite their policies and public statements in support of accessibility, Elections Ontario’s track record on accessibility for voters with disabilities in past elections has been insufficient. As far as we have been able to tell, Elections Ontario has never come up with a comprehensive and effective plan to ensure that voters with disabilities can always mark their ballot in secrecy and verify their choice.

Here are a series of important action tips for all voters with disabilities:

* Be sure you are registered to vote. To find out more about this, visit:

www.elections.on.ca

* We strongly recommend that voters with disabilities vote before June 7, 2018. Vote at an advance poll, or at your riding’s Returning Office. Ontario elections are, sadly not assured to be barrier-free for voters with disabilities. If you wait until the day of the election, June 7, 2018, and then run into disability barriers that prevent you from voting, you won’t be able to come back the next day to vote. On the other hand, if you plan to vote at an advance poll, and then run into accessibility voting barriers, you at least have the option of coming back again to try to overcome these barriers some time before or on June 7.

To learn about the different options for voting, including the accommodations that Elections Ontario offers voters with disabilities and to find out when and where you can vote in your riding before or on voting day June 7, visit:

https://www.elections.on.ca/en/voting-in-ontario/how-to-vote.html

* Plan well in advance for accessible transportation to get to and from the voting location. If you need to use para-transit, be sure to book it well in advance so you can assure yourself of a ride.

* Allow yourself extra time when you go to vote. Despite their training and eagerness to help, the staff that work at voting locations may not be fully familiar with the options open to you for accessible voting.

For example, each Returning Office is supposed to have an accessible voting machine, to accommodate the needs of people with vision loss, dyslexia, and physical barriers that prevent them from themselves marking their own paper ballot. However, in the past, Elections Ontario staff at a Returning Office may not have used this machine before you get there. You may need extra time to become familiar with the machine, and for making sure it is working.

* What should you do if you find out that your local polling station lacks proper accessibility, or if you try to use an accessible voting machine at a Returning Office, only to find out that it isn’t working properly?

Don’t just keep this to yourself! Please let us know, so we can make this public. Send us as much detail as you can. Email us at:

aodafeedback@gmail.com

Please also report any barriers you faced to Elections Ontario, as soon as you can. Again, include as much detail as possible. Please copy us on your communications with Elections Ontario.

Here is how to contact Elections Ontario, according to its website:

“Our office hours are Monday to Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., and Sundays from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. (Eastern Time).

Mailing address:

Elections Ontario

51 Rolark Drive

Toronto ON M1R 3B1

Phone: 1-888-668-8683

TTY: 1-888-292-2312

Fax: 1-866-714-2809

Email: info@elections.on.ca

 

General enquiries and feedback:

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns. Send us an email or contact us by mail, phone or TTY using the contact information above.”

* If you face any barriers getting to a voting location, or getting into and around the voting location, or with using accessible voting equipment, or if you face any other disability barriers to voting, we also urge you to let the media know. Also, post it on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Take pictures or video of any barriers. Tweet these using the hashtags #AODAfail and #DisabilityVoteCounts

* We again encourage you to use our new 2018 Election Action Kit. Its many great tips on how to raise disability accessibility issues with the candidates in the current election campaign. We are delighted that our non-partisan’s centerpiece, our online Youtube video of accessibility barriers in new and recently renovated public transit stations, is having quite an impact. Since we released it last week, it has been viewed over 1,700 times. Today, it was featured in an interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on CBC Radio Toronto’s flagship current affairs program, Metro Morning.

More Information About the AODA Alliance

Please take steps to ensure you can receive our AODA Alliance Updates. Put updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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.

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:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30-minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release that unveiled the commitments on disability accessibility from the major Ontario parties, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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:

Use and Widely circulate our new Election Action Kit — Full of tips on how to raise disability accessibility issues in this Ontario election

For a riding-by-riding list of all the candidates’ contact info we could find, visit https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

For a list of all the all-candidates’ debates we could find around Ontario, visit:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/list-ofall-the-2018-ontario-elections-all-candidates-debates-we-could-find-ask-the-candidates-to-make-strong-commitments-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

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 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/

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 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/

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/

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

Any Time, You Can Watch Online the Archived Video of the May 21, 2018 Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” Addressing The 2018 Ontario Election’s Disability Accessibility Issues –and — More Proof That There Are Accessibility Problems at the New Toronto Courthouse, Planned to Be Built in the Heart of Downtown Toronto

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

Any Time, You Can Watch  Online the Archived Video of the May 21, 2018 Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” Addressing The 2018 Ontario Election’s Disability Accessibility Issues –and — More Proof That There Are Accessibility Problems at the New Toronto Courthouse, Planned to Be Built in the Heart of Downtown Toronto

May 23, 2018

            SUMMARY

1. Get Friends, Relatives, Journalists and Ontario Candidates to Watch Online AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky’s Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” Discussing the 2018 Ontario Election’s Disability Accessibility Issues

At any time, you can now watch online the interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and Hamilton-based disability advocate Yvonne Felix, on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin.” We understand that this video should have captioning. To watch this video, visit:

https://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/making-progress-on-disability-issues

Send this link to your local media. Urge them to cover this election’s disability issues. Send the link as well to candidates running in your riding.

Among other things, this interview addresses new disability barriers that are revealed in the AODA Alliance’s new captioned online video about accessibility problems at new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations. We are thrilled that in just one week since we posted that video on line, it has gotten over 1,400 views! You can watch it, and encourage others to do so by visiting:

16 minute version: https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30 minute version: https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

2. Use Our New Partial List of All-Candidates’ Debates Around Ontario—Press Candidates to Make Strong Commitments on Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

We’ve just posted online a partial list of all-candidates’ debates around Ontario. Please find a debate near you, and go to it! Press candidates to make strong commitments on accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. If you cannot find a debate nearby on our list, call your local candidates, and ask them when and where there will be a debate near you.

We thank our amazing volunteers for putting in all the time and effort to compile our online list. If you want to go to a debate that is on our list, double-check with a candidate in that riding to be sure the information we posted is correct. How do you find information to contact your local candidates? Check out our list of all the candidates’ contact information, riding by riding, that our amazing volunteers could find. It’s all on our website!

For ideas on what to ask at the debate, check out our new 2018 Ontario Election Action Kit.

3. Latest News In Our Effort to Address Serious Accessibility Problems in the Design of a Future Huge Courthouse to Be Built in Downtown Toronto

As both the AODA Alliance’s recent video and the interview on The Agenda with Steve Paikin both highlight, one of the important accessibility issues the AODA Alliance is raising in the Ontario election is the need for the Ontario Government to take bold new action to make our built environment become accessible to people with disabilities. We report today on new developments on an important illustration of this problem.

As an obvious step, it is important that public money never be used to create new disability accessibility barriers. Last fall, we made public our serious concerns that the Ontario Government was not properly taking accessibility into account in the design of a huge new courthouse, planned to be built in the heart of downtown Toronto. We have previously reported to you that we wrote the Ontario Government to raise our concerns about this on October 5, 2017, and again on April 6, 2018.

So what’s new? We have since learned that the Ontario Government has received a detailed report from design professionals. It documents a series of accessibility problems and deficiencies in the proposed design of this new courthouse that the Ontario Government has selected. We here make that report public.

This troubling courthouse design came from the successful bidder for this project, the EllisDon company. The Government has written us to say that these deficiencies will be addressed. However, we are left wondering why the Government approved a bid to build this courthouse that included such accessibility deficiencies. The Government has written us to say provide the specific accessibility requirements it has set for this courthouse. However, we have not yet gotten a clarification if these requirements are mandatory, or are just guidelines that EllisDon can disregard if it wishes.

Below we also make public the substantial recent exchange of letters and supporting documents on this issue. Some of you may not want to read it all. However, we want to make it available for anyone who wants to dig into the details. We have said that the Government should be far more open and transparent about these projects. For our part, we are making public and available to you, key information we have received, concerning it.

Below we set out:

* The April 9, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from the Attorney General of Ontario, Yasir Naqvi. He was belatedly responding five months later, to the AODA Alliance’s October 5, 2017 letter to the Government. His letter to us crossed with our April 6, 2018 letter to him, which we made public last month.

* The first enclosure with the Attorney General’s April 9, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance. This is a list of the accessibility requirements that the Government has set for this courthouse. These are included in the “Project Specific Output Specifications” (PSOS) for this project.

* The second enclosure with the Attorney General’s April 9, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance. This is a report, prepared by design professionals, for the Government, that lists the ways that the EllisDon design for this courthouse, which the Government selected in a competitive bid, falls short of the accessibility requirements that the Government set for this project. We know that this report was prepared at least in part by the DesignAble Environments accessibility consulting firm. We have asked the Government who else, if anyone, took part in this report’s preparation.

* The April 18, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from the Attorney General for Ontario, Yasir Naqvi. That letter responds to the AODA Alliance’s April 6, 2018 letter to the Attorney General. It tells us to follow up on these issues with Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dante Pontone.

* The AODA Alliance’s May 22, 2018 letter to Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dante Pontone. In this letter, we follow up on this earlier exchange, offer to work with him on this issue, and ask a series of specific questions about all the information the Government has disclosed.

* A summary, prepared for the Ontario Government, of the March 20, 2018 meeting with the Government of the disability sector advisory group, which had been invited to give accessibility feedback on this project. The AODA Alliance is part of that advisory group. This was sent to us by the DesignAble Environments accessibility consulting firm. We have not commented on its contents. The AODA Alliance’s April 6, 2018 letter to the Attorney General of Ontario provides our summary of the major accessibility problems with this courthouse’s design that the disability sector raised at that meeting.

* The text of the PowerPoint which Infrastructure Ontario presented to the disability sector advisory group at its March 20, 2018 meeting.

At the end of this Update, we give you links to key background information, including information on how to sign up for or unsubscribe from these Updates.

            MORE DETAILS

1. Text of the April 9, 2018 Letter to the AODA Alliance from the Attorney General of Ontario, Yasir Naqvi

Attorney General

McMurtry-Scott Building

720 Bay Street

11th Floor

Toronto ON M7A 2S9

Tel:  416-326-4000

Fax: 416-326-4016

 

Procureur général

Édifice McMurtry-Scott

720, rue Bay

11e étage

Toronto ON  M7A 2S9

Tél.:    416-326-4000

Téléc.: 416-326-4016

Our Reference #: MC-2017-7972

Mr. David Lepofsky

Chair

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

1929 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, ON  M4G 3E8

Email: david.lepofsky@gmail.com

Dear Mr. Lepofsky:

I would like to thank you for your letter of October 5, 2017 concerning accessibility of the new Toronto courthouse. I appreciate your taking the time to write to me.

I understand that Mr. Dante Pontone, Assistant Deputy Attorney General of my ministry’s Corporate Services Management Division, has been in touch with you by phone and email on several occasions since October, to keep you updated. I am advised he also committed to providing you with various documents and other information about the project, once the confidential Request for Proposals period had ended. I am pleased to follow up with you now.

On February 22, 2018, the contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new Toronto courthouse was awarded to EllisDon Infrastructure. This includes a requirement for EllisDon to have an accessibility consultant on the project. In addition, Infrastructure Ontario also has an accessibility consultant on board, DesignABLE Environments Incorporated, to provide oversight and to ensure accessibility objectives for the project are met.

In your letter, you requested release of the project-specific output specifications of the new Toronto courthouse in order to review accessibility requirements. As explained by Mr. Pontone, the accessibility components are integrated into the overall document along with all other requirements including some that are confidential. To respond to your request, a separate document with only the accessibility-related material has been created and is attached for your information.

As Mr. Pontone mentioned in his last message to you, from this point on, the ministry will capture accessibility features and requirements of our new courthouse projects in a discrete, standalone report, which can be readily shared.

 

…/2

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You also asked about the assessment of the accessibility components of the selected design. Attached please find the assessment of the design by DesignABLE Environment Incorporated, which notes areas where the accessibility requirements for the courthouse have not been met. EllisDon Infrastructure is required to rectify all the areas of non-conformance and to meet all the requirements set out in the attached accessibility specifications report. As the design develops, DesignABLE Environments will continue to monitor conformance.

With all new courthouses, the ministry has included a process to consult with local municipal accessibility advisory committees. At the suggestion of the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee, the ministry asked that Infrastructure Ontario and its accessibility consultant invite a broader range of representatives of people with disabilities to be consulted for the new Toronto courthouse project. The first consultation session was held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

Invitations for a consultation with members of the judiciary with disabilities and disability community expertise are also being arranged. I look forward to the results of this collaboration and engagement process, which will continue as the courthouse design is finalized.

I also want to address another issue you raised regarding the lack of accessible parking at the courthouse. The rigorous security requirements of a courthouse do not allow us to offer parking under the building for the public.

As you know, there are several parking lots with accessible parking in the vicinity, as well as some on-street parking. The ministry is working closely with Infrastructure Ontario and the City of Toronto to increase the number of available accessible parking spots in the vicinity of the courthouse. We are continuing to proactively work with the City of Toronto to ensure that accessible parking spaces are increased in the area to meet the needs of court users with disabilities who must drive. I understand that ministry staff have been in contact with you on this issue. We will be sure to keep you informed of any updated information we receive.

I want to assure you again that my ministry is committed to providing justice services in buildings that are secure, safe, and accessible to all. I believe that the new Toronto courthouse will be the province’s most modern and accessible courthouse.

 

Once again, I appreciate your taking the time to raise your concerns and to discuss them with us.

 

Sincerely,

Yasir Naqvi

Attorney General

Enclosures

2. Enclosure #1: Summary of the Ontario Government’s Accessibility Requirements for the New Toronto Courthouse – Program Specific Output Specifications) (PSOS)

NEW TORONTO COURTHOUSE:

Summary of Accessibility Provisions for the New Toronto Courthouse

Prepared by: Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz and Montgomery Sisam Architects in Joint Venture and DesignABLE Environments Inc.

Prepared for: Infrastructure Ontario

Report Date: October 18, 2017

Report Version:        Version 1.1

Revision History

Version          Date    Description    Author(s)

1.0       Sep. 17, 2017           Summary of NTC Requirements   Jordan Wilson (KMA/MSA) and Thea Kurdi (DesignABLE)

1.1       Oct. 18, 2017            Update to format, including the addition of a cover sheet, Revision History, and Table of Contents      Jordan Wilson (KMA/MSA)

Table of Contents

Introduction   1

  1. General Provisions and Background 2

1.1 Assessibility as a Courthouse Design Principle……………………………..2

1.2 Referenced Standards………………………………………………………….2

1.3 Site Context………………………………………………………………………2

1.4 Requirement to Engage Specialist Accessibility Consultant……………….2

  1. Parking and Vehicular Access 2

2.1 Public/ Visitor………………………….…………………………………………2

2.2 Judicial and Program Parking………………………………….………………3

2.3 Prisoner Vehicular Sallyport……………………..……………….……………3

  1. Site Design and Exterior Accessibility 3

3.1 Exterior Surfaces and Materials…………………………….…………………3

3.2 Exterior Paths of Travel………………………………………………………..3

3.3 Exterior Ramps………………………………………………………………….4

3.4 Curb Ramps……………………………………………………………………..4

3.5 General Design Considerations……………………………………………….4

  1. Building Entrance and Lobby 4

4.1 General Design Considerations……………………………………………….5

4.2 Main Entrance…………………………………………………………………..5

4.3 Judicial Entrance……………………………………………………….……….5

4.4 Entries from Parking……………………………………………………………5

  1. Interior Vertical and Horizontal Circulation 5

5.1 General Public and Staff Areas………………………………………………..5

5.2 Horizontal Circulation…………….…………………………..…………….…..5

5.3 Vertical Circulation………………………………………………………………6

5.4 Ramps……………………………………………………………………………6

5.5 Power Door Operators…………………………………………………………6

5.6 General Design Considerations………………………………………….……7

  1. Courthouse Design 7

6.1 General Public and Staff Areas………………………………………………..7

6.2 Public Service Counters and Reception Counters………………………….7

6.3 Courtroom Waiting Areas………………………………………………………8

6.4 Courtrooms and Courtroom Millwork….………………………………………8

6.5 Conference Settlement Rooms.. ………………………………………………9

6.6 Barrier-Free (Courtroom) Interview Rooms…………………………………..9

6.7 Prisoner Handling and Related Areas………………………………………..9

6.8 Barrier-Free Washrooms……………………………………………..………10

6.9 First Aid / Restroom……………….………………………………………..…11

6.10 Areas/Spaces where a Specific Quantity/Proportion are Accessible…..11

6.11 Interior Finishes………………………………………………………………11

  1. Miscellaneous Items 12

7.1 Signage  …………………………………………………………………..12

7.2 Electronic Court Docket………………………………………………………12

7.3 Self-serve Digital Kiosks………………………………………………………12

7.4 Vending Machines…………………………………………………………….12

7.5 Mounting Heights………………………………………………………………13

7.6 Kitchens/ Kitchenettes………………………………………………………..13

7.7 Closets/Coat Rooms………………………………………………………….13

7.8 Public Telephones…………………………………………………………….13

7.9 Lighting…………………………………………………………………………13

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The following report summarizes the accessibility requirements in the Project Specific Output Specifications (PSOS) for the New Toronto Courthouse. These requirements were developed with the accessibility consulting firm of SPH Planning & Consulting Ltd whereas the current PDC team accessibility consulting firm of record is DesignABLE Environments Inc.

 

This summary document has grouped the requirements under seven headings: 1. General Provisions and Background; 2. Parking and Vehicular Access; 3. Site Design and Exterior Accessibility; 4. Building Entrance and Lobby; 5. Interior Vertical and Horizontal Circulation; 6. Courthouse Design; 7. Miscellaneous Items. All items have been reviewed to indicate if they are more than the OBC and AODA Design of Public Spaces currently require. These items are indicated with “(more than code)” or words to similar effect stated in green text.

 

The report excludes a discussion of the Space Layouts in the PSOS which show room sizes, dimensions, layouts and necessary clearances (including barrier-free turning radius, barrier-free T-shaped turning area, mobility aid device maneuvering area, designated barrier-free seating spaces/access) to achieve accessibility.

 

Note that this report summarizes only those requirements that are written in the NTC PSOS. Some of these requirements are consistent with the referenced codes and standards, others exceed those codes/ standards, and yet others are specific to courthouse design and are not contemplated therein. This report does not and is not intended to summarize the requirements contained in the referenced codes or standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. General Provisions and Background

There are four (4) general items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS as follows:

 

  1. Accessibility is a Courthouse Design Principle: “Barrier-free design shall be an integral component of the design of the New Toronto Courthouse. Accessibility will be treated in a universal way and will extend to all areas of the courthouse facility.”
  2. Referenced Standards include:
    1. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. (Amended 2009)
    2. Guidelines for Barrier–Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities (OPS), latest edition
    3. Ontario Building Code (OBC, 2012), Division B, Part 3, Section 3.8, Barrier-Free Design
    4. Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), Part IV.1, “Design of Public Spaces Standards”
    5. City of Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines, latest edition
    6. CAN/CSA B651 Accessible Design for the Built Environment

 

  1. Site Context (Surrounding Infrastructure with Accessibility Provisions)
    1. Three (3) out of the four (4) subway stations located within approximately 500 metres of the NTC site are currently accessible by elevator (Osgood, Dundas, and Queen Subway Stations), and the fourth (St. Patrick Subway Station) is scheduled to be in 2018
    2. Various TTC bus routes provide accessible access to the vicinity of the NTC site (#6 Bay St, #5 Avenue Rd, and #142 Express Ave)
    3. A number of public parking facilities are located in close proximity to the NTC site. There are nine (9) public parking facilities located within 300 metres of the site with a parking supply of approximately 3,800 spaces. Note: It is unknown if these sites provide accessible parking spaces complying with AODA Design of Public Spaces.

 

  1. Project Co must engage an independent specialist accessibility consultant to advise on the integration of universal design into the response to accessibility requirements

 

  1. Parking and Vehicular Access

There are three (3) items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS for parking and vehicular access as follows:

 

  1. Public/ Visitor:
    1. Six (6) accessible parking spaces for visitors (either on west side of Centre Avenue or north side of Armoury St, west of Centre Ave) (more than code)
    2. A para-transit (Wheel Trans) pick-up/drop-off area to be designated along Chestnut Street (more than code)

 

  1. Judicial and Program Parking:
    1. 5 accessible parking spaces for Judiciary (2 Type A, 3 Type B)
    2. 2 accessible parking spaces for Staff (1 Type A, 1 Type B)

 

  1. Prisoner Vehicular Sallyport:
    1. Accessible circulation space required around all four sides of prisoner transport vehicle (more than code)
    2. Accommodates wheelchair accessible vehicle with accessible circulation space to accommodate a ramp extended to the rear or to the side of the vehicle (more than code)

 

  1. Site Design and Exterior Accessibility

There are five (5) items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS for site design and exterior accessibility as follows:

 

  1. Exterior Surfaces and Materials:
    1. Firm, stable, and slip resistant
    2. Exterior ground surfaces have a high visual contrast between the walkway and adjacent areas, and between benches, bollards and edge protections (more than code)
    3. Pedestrian Clearway Surface must be classified as an accessible surface as per the Accessibility for Ontarian’s With Disabilities Act, 2015
    4. Gratings and drainage structures to be AODA compliant, with openings no greater than 12mm in dominant direction of travel and oriented with long dimension of openings perpendicular to dominant path of travel (more than AODA)

 

  1. Exterior Paths of Travel:
    1. Exterior paths of travel minimum of 1.8m wide (more than code), but may be reduced to 1.2 m wide at the top of curb ramps if required
    2. Minimum width of a Pedestrian Clearway is 2.1 m (more than referenced standards and code)
    3. Spacing of vehicle barriers (e.g., bollards) to achieve the Standoff distance shall be a minimum of 1200 mm face to face (more than referenced standards and code)
    4. All ground surfaces preferably level; Paths of travel with a slope greater than 5% designed as ramps, but may not be steeper than the slope of the adjacent roadway if the path is a pedestrian clearway with a slope greater than 1:20
    5. Rest area every 50 m if the running slope of a walkway exceeds 1:20 (5%) (more than code)
    6. All changes in level along exterior paths of travel to be provided with an accessible running slope and transition (e.g., curb ramp or bevel) as per AODA IASR requirements
    7. Where there is any headroom clearance less than 2100 mm, a cane detectable rail or other protective barrier is provided

 

  1. Exterior Ramps:
    1. Maximum running slope of 6.67% (1:15) (more than code; per AODA and OPS)

 

  1. Curb Ramps:
    1. Minimum of 1.8m wide (more than referenced standards and code)
    2. Minimum clear transition area of 1.8m x 1.8m at top and bottom (more than referenced standards and code)
    3. Maximum running slope of 1:10 (10%), with cross slope no more than 1:50 (2%)
    4. Full width raised tactile walking surface indicators with Luminance Contrast, set back 150 to 200 mm from the curb edge and placed at the bottom of the curb ramp for a depth of at least 610 mm
    5. Depressed curbs, where provided, with running slope no steeper than 1:7.5 (13%) (more than referenced standards and code)

 

  1. General Design Considerations:
    1. The barrier free route from the pedestrian clearway to the building entry to be apparent (more than referenced standards and code)
    2. The transition from the exterior public space to the building entry must accommodate barrier-free travel from all approaches
    3. A complete, universally accessible, public pedestrian route shall allow building occupants and visitors to freely move from the on-street accessible parking, drop-off areas, public transit stops and surrounding areas to the main entrance of the building. (more than referenced standards and code) A sensitive design response to site gradients shall facilitate barrier-free access throughout the site
    4. Sidewalks shall include curb depressions/cuts as required. Special considerations for wheelchair access and or persons with disability shall be provided for the entire Lands

 

  1. Building Entrance and Lobby

There are four (4) items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS for building entrances and lobby accessibility as follows:

 

  1. General Design Considerations:
    1. The public entrance must be readily identifiable from both the exterior and interior (more than code)

 

  1. Main Entrance:
    1. Main entrance doors to be accessible and provided with auto door operator(s)
    2. Minimum of one accessible security screening station at the main entrance designed to screen building visitors who are using mobility aids or assistive devices (e.g., manual or powered wheelchair, scooter, walker etc.) (more than code)

 

  1. Judicial Entrance:
    1. Judicial entrance vestibule is accessible and includes two accessible swing doors both will open with auto door operator (more than code)

 

  1. Entries from Parking:
    1. Elevator access is provided to all below-ground parking areas
    2. Any door along the path leading from Judicial parking area to the private elevators is provided with an auto door operator

 

  1. Interior Vertical and Horizontal Circulation

There are six (6) items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS for interior vertical and horizontal circulation as follows:

 

  1. All public and staff areas shall be accessible as required by the most stringent requirements of OBC, AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), and Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government Facilities

 

  1. Horizontal Circulation:
    1. Barrier-free path of travel with a minimum clear width of 1100mm in accordance with OBC Article 3.8.1.3
    2. Clearances for manoeuvring of wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility aid devices to OBC and IO requirements
    3. Clear door width for doors will 865mm (more than code)
    4. Clear turning space diameter to be minimum 1500 mm
    5. Enhanced manoeuvring space, consisting of a 2000 mm x 2000 mm clear floor space to allow mobility aid device to perform a 180 degree turn, required for private elevator lobbies, open office areas (1 manoeuvring space per continuous open office), meeting rooms, barrier-free interview rooms, and kitchens/ kitchenettes (more than referenced standards and code)
    6. All courtroom and public, judicial and staff entrance vestibules require a minimum width of 1500mm plus the width of the door swinging into the space (more than code)

 

  1. Vertical Circulation:
    1. Elevators to meet OBC accessible standards including light levels in the cab
    2. Public Elevators: All public elevators serve all accessible floors to the public and staff including below-grade levels
    3. Where a Component is located on multiple floors, internal communication stairs as well as internal barrier-free access are required. (Note: A Component describes a functional grouping of activities and assigned spaces that are functionally similar.)
    4. Private Elevators: private elevators must serve all floors with courtrooms, the Court Services components, the Judiciary components, and the secure judicial parking
    5. Prisoner Elevators: Each courtroom requiring prisoner access requires direct prisoner elevator access
    6. Escalators: Escalators are provided from the main floor to high volume courts and Court Services public counters, with dedicated up and down direction units between landings, nominal step width of 1015 mm and three horizontal steps at both landings
    7. Stairs:
      1. Open risers prohibited for any interior staircase
      2. Tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) required at the top of all stairs
  • All stairs to have safety and accessibility features, such as Colour Luminance handrails (more than code), Colour Luminance nosing and tactile walking surface indicators
  1. All stairs to comply with CAN/CSA B651 (more than code)

 

  1. Ramps:
    1. Landing dimensions, edge protection, tactile warnings, guards, and railings to meet OBC and Infrastructure Ontario standards
    2. Encouraged maximum of 1:15 slope over a maximum of 9 meters (more than code) (maximum of 1:12 slope over a maximum 9 meter length where not possible to achieve 1:15)

 

  1. Power Door Operators: auto door operators required at a minimum in the following locations:
    1. Main entrance
    2. Any door leading from Judicial parking area to the private elevators
    3. Judicial Entrance vestibule: both accessible swing doors
    4. All universal washrooms intended for the public
    5. All barrier-free washrooms for staff listed in the Accommodation Schedule
    6. All staff Universal washrooms listed in the Accommodation Schedule
    7. Accessible Interview Rooms (more than referenced standards and code)
    8. Building Meeting Room (more than referenced standards and code)
    9. All department/suite entrances from public corridors (more than code)
    10. Doors leading to a judicial dais (more than referenced standards and code)
    11. All courtroom entry vestibules (both doors) (more than code)
    12. Conference Settlement Room entry vestibules (both doors) (more than code)
    13. Judicial Officer Entry door in Courtrooms (more than code)
    14. Food Services Outlet (more than code)
    15. 25 additional automatic door operators required to be provided for, to be installed on doors throughout the facility at the discretion of HMQ (more than code)

 

  1. General Design Considerations:
    1. The overall layout of the building shall be readily comprehensible to both staff and visitors and promote intuitive or natural wayfinding through design without the need for complex signage and directions (more than code)

 

  1. Courthouse Design

There are eleven (11) items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS for courthouse design as follows:

 

  1. All public and staff areas to be accessible as required by the most stringent of OBC, AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), and Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government Facilities

 

  1. Public Service Counters and Reception Counters:
    1. One barrier free service counter for each type of service provided
    2. One barrier free reception counter for each department with reception
    3. If a single queuing line becomes a part of the design for single or multiple counters, all of the service counters for this area shall accommodate a mobility aid
    4. Barrier-free public transaction counter height of maximum 860 mm AFF with clear floor space for an assistive device (more than code)
    5. The private side work surface of all counters at a height of 740 mm AFF (more than code)
    6. Court Services public seating area designed to integrate wheelchair and mobility aid device seating locations (more than code)
    7. Queuing System in Court Services:
      1. Visual displays adhere to accessibility requirements, including the AODA (Information and Communication Standard) and MAG CWSS
      2. Ticket dispensers located in a position visible to customers and in a location and height accessible to all users (more than code)
    8. Where queuing-up guides are provided, they shall accommodate:
      1. a center-to-center width of at least 1550mm (more than code);
      2. have a minimum space of 1670mm x 1670mm at changes in direction;
  • be cane-detectable at or below 680mm above the floor; and
  1. be colour-contrasted from the floor (more than code)

 

  1. Courtroom Waiting Areas:
    1. Integrated 900 x 1525mm clear barrier-free seating spaces where there is one or two-sided access (or 900 x 1220mm with three-sided access) into the overall fixed courtroom waiting area seating design, with at least two spaces placed side-by-side (more than code)
    2. Layouts provide the required accessible seating positions without allowing one user of an accessible space to block the exit of another user of any other accessible space (more than code)
    3. Where fixed seating is used, at least 3% of the seating spaces shall be provided for people using assistive devices to sit in the waiting area.
    4. In no case shall there be fewer than one (1) accessible seating space

 

  1. Courtrooms and Courtroom Millwork:
    1. All courtrooms must have barrier-free access to the judicial dais (more than code)
    2. Public entry doors to courtroom and the Judicial entry door to dais are provided with door operators (more than code)
    3. Designated barrier-free seating positions in public gallery of all courtrooms (user of an accessible space not permitted by layout to block the exit of another user of any other accessible space, accessible seating areas located/positioned to ensure shoulder alignment between the user and the adjacent seat) (more than code)
    4. Minimum 1100 mm wide aisles
    5. Dais, court clerk/ reporter desks, counsel tables, lecterns, and witness boxes all barrier-free accessible (more than code)
    6. A total of nine (9) barrier-free prisoner boxes required to be shared among all courtrooms (Courthouse specific requirement not code related)
    7. Dais and court clerk/ reporter desks to have motorized height adjustable work surface with accessible control switch location (more than code)
    8. Lectern to be height adjustable by electric motor with accessible control switch location (more than code)
    9. All witness boxes barrier-free via a removable chair platform so as to provide wheelchair access and include an electrically-controlled, height adjustable shelf/front panel (more than code)
    10. Court clerk/ reporter desks located such that there is a minimum 1200 mm clear access aisle between the edge of the desk and the dais behind (more than code)
    11. Accessible Telephone Consultation Rooms (more than code)
    12. Accessible Simultaneous Interpretation Rooms (more than code)
    13. IR hearing assistance system (more than code in rooms with less than 75 people)

 

  1. Conference Settlement Rooms:
    1. All Conference Settlement Rooms to be barrier-free accessible (more than code)
    2. Judicial Officer position in Large Conference Settlement Rooms requires motorized height adjustable work surface with accessible control switch location (more than code)

 

  1. Barrier-Free (Courtroom) Interview Rooms:
    1. One (1) accessible interview room per eight (8) courtrooms (more than code)
    2. Minimum one (1) dedicated accessible interview room per floor (more than code)
    3. include an Enhanced Manoeuvring Space (2000 mm by 2000 mm clear floor space for mobility aid device to perform a 180 degree turn) (more than code)

 

  1. Prisoner Handling and Related Areas:
    1. Holding Cells:
      1. Prisoner Handling Component: 2 barrier-free adult male holding cells, 2 barrier-free adult female holding cells, 1 barrier-free youth boys holding cell, 1 barrier-free youth girls holding cell, 1 accessible mental health unisex dry cell, and 4 accessible dry holding cells in the Prisoner Transport and Receiving element (more than code)
      2. Courtrooms Component: 1 barrier-free holding cell in the MAHS Court element, 1 accessible single dry mental health holding cell (more than code)
  • Include a 1500mm clear floor area for wheelchair turning radius, as well as a barrier free detention grade combination WC/ lavatory unit
  1. Lawyer/Prisoner Consulting Cubicles:
    1. 2 barrier-free consulting cubicles in Prisoner Handling component on detention level, 1 barrier-free consulting cubicle per 2 courtrooms on courtroom floors (including 1 designated specifically for Drug Treatment Courtroom and 1 designated for MAHS Courtroom) (more than code)
    2. A non-audio means of communication (such as text) to be provided in addition to direct voice communication (more than code)

 

  1. Barrier-Free Washrooms:
    1. All single occupant, individual washrooms are barrier-free washrooms (more than code)
    2. All barrier-free washrooms have a distress call
    3. All barrier-free washrooms have an auto door operator
    4. Dimensional requirements and design criteria for toilet facilities comply with Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government Facilities
    5. Minimum of one unisex barrier-free public washroom is required on each floor accessible to the public, or as governed by OBC requirements
    6. Universal Washrooms as defined in the OBC allow persons using wheeled mobility aid devices to perform a 3 point turn, provide a clear transfer space on the open side of the toilet with a width no less than 950mm and a length no less than 1500mm, provide a clear turning diameter of not less than 1700mm, and include an emergency call system
      1. Emergency call system linked to the BSCR (more than code)
      2. Universal Washrooms include an adult change table (more than code)
    7. There are two programmed staff Universal washrooms which are not to be used in the public Universal washroom number OBC calculation (more than code)
    8. Washroom accessory mounting heights shall meet the optimal accessibility range between 900 and 1100 mm
    9. All public BF washrooms and public Universal washrooms include an infant change table, a coin operated diaper dispenser and a waste diaper disposal (more than code)
    10. Staff BF washrooms to be located in a manner to ensure that no staff needs to use a public BF washroom or to enter a different component to use a BF Washroom (more than code)

 

  1. First Aid / Restroom: To be barrier-free and to include adult change facilities (more than code)

 

  1. Areas/Spaces where a Specific Quantity/Proportion are Accessible:
    1. Courtroom Interview Rooms (see above)
    2. Lawyer/Prisoner Consulting Cubicles in the Control and Consulting and MAHS Court elements only (all others BF-typical) (see above)
    3. Holding Cells (see above)
    4. Judicial Chambers: 4 of 82 are barrier-free
    5. Crown Attorney Offices: 1 of 4 is barrier-free
    6. Non-Courtroom Interview Rooms: All non-courtroom interview rooms are barrier free with the following exceptions: Youth Probation Interview Rooms, Protected Witness Interview Room in the MAHS Court element, Police Interview Rooms in Prisoner Handling Holding elements, 3 of the 4 Interview Rooms in the Criminal Duty Counsel element, and the Lobby Security Interview Room
    7. Interpreter Booths: 1 of 6 is barrier-free (more than code)
    8. Showers/Changing Area: 1 of 6 Staff Showers is barrier-free; 1 of 2 Judicial Showers is barrier-free

 

  1. Interior Finishes:
    1. Interior design and materials, finishes, texture and colours shall take into consideration the needs of users with vision loss. Throughout the courthouse, there shall be a visual (tonal) contrast between walls and floors, on handrails for ramps and stairs, between doors and door frames and the wall surrounding them, and between the edge of the door and face of the door, for doors with power door operators (more than code)
    2. Alternative design strategies to alert users with vision loss to the location of the courtroom entry from the surrounding walls required (more than code)
    3. Tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) required at the top of all stairs (tactile attention indicators) and barrier-free walkways; doors to hazardous areas with tactile surface indicators
    4. High gloss and highly reflective finishes, which may disorient people with visual or mental impairments, prohibited (more than code)

 

  1. Miscellaneous Items

There are nine (9) items summarizing accessibility requirements in the PSOS for miscellaneous or general accessibility as follows:

 

  1. Signage to the MAG Courthouse Wayfinding Signage Standards (CWSS):
    1. The CWSS thoroughly details technical requirements, including performance standards, for accessible signage
    2. Requirements for typefaces, character size and specifications for tactile characters consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA and AODA Information and Communication Standard)
    3. Signage program incorporates accommodations for accessibility for a variety of users, including those with mobility and sensory disabilities including but not limited to: mounting heights, tactile displays, light levels and text sizes, audible displays, and braille (more than code)
    4. Signage to conform to Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities (more than code)

 

  1. Electronic Court Docket (Main Lobby and at main/public entry to all Courtrooms):
    1. Allocation of space/area required for circulation and viewing of the Court Schedule (court dockets) in the lobby to AODA Information and Communication Standard requirements
    2. Monitor sizes, formats and mountings based on providing clear and legible information that meets MAG CWSS and AODA Information and Communication Standard

 

  1. Self-serve Digital Kiosks (Three in the Main Lobby and one in the public elevator lobby on each courtroom floor):
    1. Fitted with capabilities to serve users with physical disabilities
    2. The centre of the kiosk display per MAG CWSS and AODA Information and Communication Standard
    3. Each kiosk contains a microphone for voice capture (more than code)

 

  1. Vending Machines: Vending machines meet current accessibility standards including:
    1. All consumer access points such as switches, coin slots, outlets, change return and product retrieval located not higher than 1200 mm and not lower than 400 mm
    2. Located in an accessible route of travel
    3. A clear floor space is provided in front of the vending machines to allow for accessibility
    4. Signage on machines in highly contrasting lettering at least 13 mm high (more than code)

 

  1. Mounting Heights:
    1. All manual controls (e.g., light switches, card readers, keypads, etc.) mounted between 900 -1100mm AFF to the location of the operable portion of the device, except in prisoner circulation corridors, in which controls are mounted at standing height of escorting officers, and except for thermostats and manual pull stations (e.g., fire alarm pull stations) which shall be mounted at 1200mm maximum
    2. Card access, keypads and other safety and security devices in all accessible paths of travel to meet Ontario Guidelines for Barrier Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities standard and to be:
      1. mounted adjacent to the door, 600 mm minimum clear from the arc of the door swing
      2. Luminance Contrasted compared to background / mounting surface (more than code)
  • provided with visible and audible cues to indicate activation/release (more than code)
  1. Where required to be provided with signage, signage to be tactile with characters that are without sharp edges, raised at least 0.8 mm, between 16 mm and 50 mm high, in sans serif, with raised graphics/lettering/text, and accompanied by Grade 2 braille (more than code)
  1. Outlets (electrical, data, cable etc.) mounted at a minimum height of 400mm AFF to the base of the outlet (more than code)
  2. Door handles mounted between 900mm and 1100mm AFF
    1. Door handles Luminance Contrasted compared to the door’s mounting surface (more than code)

 

  1. Kitchens/ Kitchenettes:
    1. All counters required to be barrier free accessible with a uniform counter height (more than code)
    2. Microwave to be located at a barrier free height for accessibility (more than code)
    3. All associated under-counter appliances to accommodate barrier free requirements (more than code)

 

  1. Closets/Coat Rooms: Provide with a barrier-free rod (more than code)

 

  1. Public Telephones: At least one telephone of each group of public telephones must be barrier free for users in mobility devices, and must include accessible service for the hearing impaired (a group is required in the main lobby and on every floor containing high volume Courtrooms)

 

  1. Lighting:
    1. Glare and hotspots shall be minimized in accordance with barrier free design requirements for the visually impaired (more than code)
    2. Refer to MAG CWSS for lighting requirements at signage (more than code)

 

 

3. Enclosure #2: Accessibility Shortfalls of the Winning EllisDon Design for the New Toronto Courthouse, Identified by a Report to the Ontario Government

 

Site and Urban Design

 

Creation of significant exterior public spaces, in the courthouse public plaza, as well as in the extended public realm

 

  1. Requirement – The Courthouse Public Realm shall be designed to be a safe, accessible and welcoming pedestrian environment, including a significant Courthouse Plaza. The improvements surrounding the site shall be extended beyond the existing site boundaries. The NTC site design shall improve the connectivity to the immediate streetscape surrounding Civic Precinct.

Comment – Stairs and ramp are not accessible by code or PSOS requirements.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – It is important that the hierarchy and organization of the Courthouse Plaza and circulation creates a clear visual understanding of the space and provides intuitive wayfinding.

Comment – Visually clear and intuitive wayfinding is not demonstrated along Chestnut where location of the ramp is not obvious and requires travelling away from the building to access.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – A complete, universally accessible, public pedestrian route shall allow building occupants and visitors to freely move from the on-street accessible parking, drop-off areas, public transit stops and surrounding areas to the main entrance of the building. A sensitive design response to site gradients shall facilitate barrier-free access throughout the site.

Comment – Drop off areas not OBC compliant. Missing access aisle and curb cuts.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Paths of travel with a slope greater than 5% must be designed as ramps. Where the exterior path is a pedestrian clearway, it can have a slope of greater than 1:20, but it cannot be steeper than the slope of the adjacent roadway. All changes in level along exterior paths of travel shall provide an accessible running slope and transition (e.g., curb ramp or bevel) as per AODA IASR requirements. Where there is any headroom clearance less than 2100 mm, a cane detectable rail or other protective barrier shall be provided. If gates or bollards are required by the design, the minimum clear width shall be 1200 mm face to face.

Exterior ramps shall have a maximum running slope of 6.67% (1:15)

Comment – SE ramp slope not noted. Handrail not compliant with AODA requirements

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Prominence of public entry

  1. Requirement – Within the plaza, a well-proportioned, relatively flat area (not exceeding 2% gradient in any direction) directly outside the main entrance shall be provided to function as an exterior extension of the building lobby and interior public space.

Comment – Not shown on drawings. 00.10.10 Landscape or 00.10.01 Site plan 250. Narrative mentions “un-sloped path” but drainage will be needed so unclear if max 2% provided for slope and cross slope

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – The transition from the exterior public space to the building entry must accommodate barrier-free travel from all approaches, however this is not intended to preclude the incorporation of steps or series of steps leading up to the entry provided that the design fully integrates barrier free paths of travel. The entry design must be carefully composed, and the building entry shall not be dominated by the presence of ramps or stairs.

Comment – Approach from SE corner is dominated by stairs and a ramp that cuts through the stairs which is a barrier and unsafe.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Integration of city street improvements and landscaping initiatives (including lighting, surfacing, street furniture etc.)

  1. Requirement – The landscape designed shall be governed by the New Toronto Courthouse Urban Design Guidelines. Page 68, item 4.5.5. requires that street trees be planted around all three street frontages.

Comment – There are no trees proposed along the Armoury Street frontage, however there is an extensive soft landscape feature: the Puzzle Garden and tree planting on the south side with the EPR proposal.

At the east drop-off on Chestnut street, Barrier-Free circulation is limited to one ramp, further development is required to provide a more universal design solution.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Trees shall be provided in the Public Realm . . . .Openings in tree grates shall be heel proof and meet accessibility requirements..

Comment – 04/L201 Typical tree grate – openings not dimensioned. Unclear if orientation will be compliant with AODA

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Integration of universal design principles and barrier free accessibility into the site design

  1. Requirement – Barrier-free design shall be an integral component of the design of the New Toronto Courthouse.  Accessibility will be treated in a universal way and will extend to all areas of the court-house facility. Refer to section PART 1 – Section 4.9 Interior Accessibility and PART 1 – Section 3.6.3 Exterior Accessibility for specific accessibility design requirements.

Comment – Barrier-free design appears to be an integral component of the overall design. The Proponent has provided an accessibility report that concurs that the design solution is conformant. This will have to be demonstrated in more detail in design development and contract documents.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – The Courthouse Public Realm shall be designed to be a safe, accessible and welcoming pedestrian environment, including a significant Courthouse Plaza. The improvements surrounding the site shall be extended beyond the existing site boundaries. The NTC site design shall improve the connectivity to the immediate streetscape surrounding Civic Precinct.

Comment – The submission is generally conformant.  The Proponent has addressed Accessibility concerns, with gentle slopes and Accessible curb cuts where applicable.

Drop off areas meant to help with distance from public accessible parking and at WheelTrans have stairs immediately adjacent to the drop off but require those who cannot use stairs to go out of their way to the south. Not equitable or respectful. This may require the use of directional signage to the accessible route.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – All exterior ground surfaces shall be firm, stable and slip resistant. Exterior ground surfaces shall have a high visual contrast between the walkway and adjacent areas, and between benches, bollards and edge protections.

Comment – The Proponent has identified that they will be providing visual contrast indicators.  The Requirements should continue to be reviewed in subsequent submissions to ensure final solutions meet the intent.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – The transition from the exterior public space to the building entry must accommodate barrier-free travel from all approaches, however this is not intended to preclude the incorporation of steps or series of steps leading up to the entry provided that the design fully integrates barrier free paths of travel. The entry design must be carefully composed, and the building entry shall not be dominated by the presence of ramps or stairs.

Comment – Stairs are tripping hazards because of the varying riser height

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Formal options for seating as well as informal options shall be provided for people of all ages and abilities. Different seating options shall be provided in a variety of locations to allow users a diverse choice of seating preferences.

Comment – E.g. 90.00.08 Exterior perspective from SW & 00.50.07 Site Details benches missing back or arm rests

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Trees shall be provided in the Public Realm . . . .Openings in tree grates shall be heel proof and meet accessibility requirements.

Comment – 04/L201 Typical tree grate – openings not dimensioned. Unclear if orientation will be compliant with AODA

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Drainage structures shall be of high quality, decorative, heel proof, AODA compliant and meet the loading requirements specific to their location. The design of the grates shall keep with the design language of the site.

Comment – 04/L201 Typical tree grate – openings not dimensioned. Unclear if orientation will be compliant with AODA. Slot drainage design not detailed.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Drainage structures shall be of high quality, decorative, heel proof, AODA compliant and meet the loading requirements specific to their location. The design of the grates shall keep with the design language of the site.

Comment – 00.50.03 Site Details Piazza South East – Unclear if Slot Drain compliant. Drainage grates should be placed outside of public path of travel and slopes should not exceed 2% in any direction to avoid tipping hazard

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – D Six (6) accessible parking spaces are required for the New Toronto Courthouse visitors (outside of the secure parking garage) as per the City of Toronto Zoning By-law 569-2013 and AODA requirements. Two potential locations are being considered within the area’s public parking supply: north side of Armoury Street west of Centre Avenue, and along the west side of Centre Avenue north of Armoury Street. Conversion of available on-street parking supply to six (6) accessible parking spaces shall be discussed with the City of Toronto. The re-designated spaces shall meet the City of Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines for accessible on-street parking.

Comment – Accessibility Diagram 90.30.80 does not show the six required parking spaces, although they are shown on the Site Plan. Diagram does not demonstrate understanding of City of Toronto by-law requirements.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – On-site barrier-free parking within the courthouse surface parking facilities is to be provided in accordance with the Infrastructure Ontario “Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Government Facilities” 2014.

Comment – Provided but not to requirements

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Whichever barrier free parking requirements are more stringent – the standards listed above, the additional requirements described in this document, or municipal requirements – shall apply.

Comment – Judicial parking spaces require accessible parking users to travel along the driveway which is dangerous for those using wheelchairs as it’s harder for cars to see them.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

 

 

 

Public Space design

 

Expression of spatial hierarchy and clarity of interior public spaces and circulation routes

  1. Requirement – Visual and tactile changes in wall and flooring material, textures, colours and patterns shall be judiciously and subtly used to provide orientation cues for natural wayfinding and supplement signage. The consistent use of a colour or a range of colours shall be used as means of promoting natural or intuitive wayfinding.

Comment – The proposed flooring design does not identify/ demonstrate any variation that would promote natural wayfinding.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Interior Planning and Functionality

 

General Interior Planning & Functionality Comments

In general the requirements for the quantity, distribution and integration of accessible seating in courtroom and other waiting areas have not been met. Accessible seating should be distributed evenly throughout the public seating, with at least one accessible seating space per waiting area, and is required to be well-integrated with standard waiting seats so as not to stigmatize or isolate their occupants and such that the spaces do not appear to be gaps when unoccupied.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Resolution of the three major circulation systems – public, private and prisoner

  1. Requirement – Landing dimensions, edge protection, tactile warnings, guards, and railings shall meet the minimum OBC and Infrastructure Ontario standards; as in all cases, the most stringent requirement applies.

[OPS, 2.2.4.3: “Interior ramps shall have: Level area of at least 1670mm by 1670mm at the top and bottom of the ramp”]

Comment – 1670x1670mm landing area has not been provided at top and bottom of many of the interior ramps.

Status – Major Non-Conformance

 

Courtrooms Planning Component

  1. Requirement – Integrate 900 x 1525mm clear seating spaces for designated barrier-free provision where there is one or two-sided access (or 900 x 1220mm with three-sided access) into the overall fixed seating design as per PART 2 – 5.0 Space Layouts. Clear seating spaces shall be fully integrated with the seating design, with at least two of the spaces placed side-by-side, and should not isolate or stigmatize the users of them. However, Public Waiting Seating layouts of seating rows shall be of consistent number of seats in each consecutive beam seating row or configuration so that designated wheelchair spaces, when not occupied, do not appear to be gaps in the beam seating rows. Additionally, adaptable seating should be provided in compliance with the referenced standards

Comment – Barrier-free courtroom public waiting seats are to be integrated with standard courtroom public waiting seating. The current floor plans show barrier-free seating locations isolated from the other seating, hidden behind structural elements, projecting into corridors, drawn over standard seating, etc.

Status – Major Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – 4.3 Courtroom functional Design

Comment – Only 1 of the 2 required BF Staff Washrooms off Private Circulation for the Indigenous and Drug Treatment Courts (1 male and 1 female) is provided.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Interior Accessibility, no wheelchair sitting position may block the access to another sitting position.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative. Several courtrooms have this as a problem but appear in most cases to have room to fix

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Six portable mobile barrier-free prisoner’s boxes must be provided to be shared among all courtrooms exclusive of the MAHS Courtroom.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative. Space shown on plans

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – All Lecterns must be accessible with final design to be determined during Design Development.

Comment –No mention in narrative.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – The [Clerk / Reporters’ Desks] desks shall be located such that there is a minimum 1200mm clear access aisle between the edge of the desk and the furthest projecting edge of the dais behind.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative. Not shown on drawings but appears to have space if use knee space under desk

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – The courtroom waiting area furnishings must include not only fixed waiting area seating, and incidental seating at areas where people may congregate, but also public telephone counters, garbage receptacles and recycling containers. Garbage receptacles and recycling containers shall be custom-designed.  Public Telephones shall be provided on floors with high-volume courtrooms. Refer to PART 1 – Section 5.18 Public Telephones.

Comment – Telephone, garbage and recycling do not indicate if accessible in design and signage at this point. Public telephones required to provide accessibility features. Not mentioned in narrative

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Integrate 900 x 1525mm clear seating spaces for designated barrier-free provision where there is one or two-sided access (or 900 x 1220mm with three-sided access) into the overall fixed seating design as per PART 2 – 5.0 Space Layouts.  Clear seating spaces shall be fully integrated with the seating design and should not isolate or stigmatize the users of them. However, Public Waiting Seating layouts of seating rows shall be of consistent number of seats in each consecutive beam seating row or configuration so that designated wheelchair spaces, when not occupied, do not appear to be gaps in the beam seating rows.

Comment – Clear floor space shown but not dimensioned and appears to be less than required 1525 deep – Will impede seating clearance for others in courtrooms.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Court Services Component

  1. Requirement – Space Layout 3.12

Comment – The copier room (C1.08) in the Criminal Court Management and Administration element is not barrier-free accessible.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Standing and seated public waiting in Component C – Court Services must be accommodated in the Public Service counter waiting area. Refer to PART 2 – Section 3.4 Component C. Court

Services and PART 2 5.0 Space Layouts. Fixed seating shall be provided in multiple banks in a variety of configurations. The automated queuing system (an LED display directing them to specific counter positions) must be visible from the fixed seating area. Refer to PART 3 – Section C1039 Queuing Systems.

Comment – Seating details not provided, Not Observable for variety of configurations. Not mentioned in narrative

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – In Court Services, provide barrier-free public service counters as per Accommodation Schedule. Each barrier-free counter position shall have a public transaction counter height of no higher than 860mm AFF. The private side work surface shall be 740mm AFF

Comment – Court Services, barrier-free public service counters not mentioned in narrative or identified as BF on drawings

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Counters must be ergonomically designed to incorporate keyboards, display screens, cash drawers, debit/credit card machines, storage, form slots, etc. Security glazing must be provided between staff and the public, and the design for each counter position must include a document pass-through and a speaking cut-out.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative or shown in drawings

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – All waiting seats in Component C-Court Services waiting areas shall be fixed-multiple system seating with tables provided at a ratio of one table per four seats. As per the accessibility requirements, all fixed public seating areas must be designed to integrate wheelchair and mobility aid device seating locations within the seating area.

Comment – AODA Design of Public Spaces requires min 3% accessible seating. Not shown. E.g. 10.01.16 public corridor – no AODA accessible seating showing, & 10.01.15 B.04.07 Wait – no AODA accessible seating

Status – Major Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – counters, including keyboard trays, IT and electrical device locations, monitors and the associated millwork items such as the form-filling stations, public information pamphlet displays, etc.

Comment – Not shown yet or mentioned in narrative

Status – Unobservable

 

Prisoner Handling Component

  1. Requirement – Space Layout 5.12

Comment – The In-Custody Video Room (D4.11) located adjacent to the Youth Boys cell cluster is undersized and not barrier-free accessible as required.

Status – Major Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Communications in the cubicles shall be by direct voice only via an approved steel security speaking port panel which has no pass-through capabilities. Telephones shall be installed. A tamperproof signal light above the prisoner door of each cubicle is required to allow the prisoner to notify the escorting officer via a local tamperproof switch, that the prisoner has completed consultations with the lawyer.

Comment – Unclear if design includes accessible control requirements. Not mentioned in narrative

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

Crown Attorney Component

  1. Requirement – Space Layout 3.14v1

Comment – Barrier-free accessibility within a number of Kitchenettes and Photocopier Rooms in the Crown Attorney component still appears to be compromised due room layout or column locations and/or cannot be verified as millwork/FF&E layouts and turning radii are not shown.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Public Services Component

  1. Requirement – Provide a minimum of eight monitors (minimum 65” diagonal, 16:9 format, with minimum resolution of 3840 by 2160, UHD). The bottom of the monitors is to be 2400 mm above the finished floor and mounted from a wall. Each monitor is to be tilted between 20 degrees and 30 degrees down towards the viewer. The intent is to “aim” the display for a viewing position of approximately 3 m to 4.5 m from the wall. The monitors are to be mounted in a portrait orientation with mountings to be concealed as much as possible and to be coordinated with the Courthouse Lobby finishes and design.

For clarification and information, the above monitor sizes, formats and mountings are all based on providing clear and legible information that meets MAG CWSS and AODA standards.

Comment – The court docket displays as shown in the renderings of the Lobby do not appear to conform to the requirements for size, orientation, etc. Based on the required display quantity and size, the information desk appears to obstruct access to the display. Sufficient circulation space in front of the docket for accessibility and approachability needs to be demonstrated.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

 

Work Environment

 

Demonstrated understanding of courthouse accessibility design and issues

  1. Requirement – All single occupant, individual washrooms shall be barrier-free washrooms with appropriate provisions. Refer to PART 1 – Section 5.16 Staff Washrooms and PART 1 – Section 5.17 Public Washrooms.

Comment – Not all compliant eg. Public Washroom X0.23 on the B2 level is not barrier-free.  Most often transfer space is missing beside the toilet e.g. 10.01.16 – Level 16 – B.01.02 BF Chamber NE corner.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – All public waiting areas with fixed seating shall be designed to accommodate and fully integrate wheelchair / mobility aid seating positions within the designated seating area. Care must be taken to not stigmatize or isolate the accessible seating positions. Layouts must provide the required accessible seating positions without allowing one user of an accessible space to block the exit of another user of any other accessible space. Where fixed seating is used, at least 3% of the seating spaces shall be provided for people using assistive devices to sit in the waiting area. In no case shall there be fewer than one (1) accessible seating space.

Comment – Wheelchair / mobility aid seating positions are not integrated in all public waiting areas.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Courtroom layouts must provide the required barrier free seating areas without allowing one user of an accessible space to block the exit of another user of any other accessible space. Access seating areas must be located and positioned to ensure that there is shoulder alignment between the user and the adjacent seat.

Comment – The locations for accessible seating is not compliant in a number of courtrooms (e.g., no shoulder alignment and/or drawn over standard seating).

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Six portable mobile barrier-free prisoner’s boxes must be provided to be shared among all courtrooms exclusive of the MAHS Courtroom.

Comment – It is unclear if there is space in each courtroom to allow for the portable accessible prisoner box as some courtrooms show the clear space for portable prisoner box overlapping with the permanent prisoner box (e.g., courtrooms on floors 11 to 13).

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Any open spaces below stairs and escalators that have less than 2100 mm height AFF shall be demarcated with a fixed barrier. Fixed barrier can be a guard, fixed seating or other built fixed elements. Barrier shall be min 600 mm high.

Comment – No cane detectable guards are shown for the overhead stair and escalator hazards in the Lobby.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – All barrier-free washrooms shall have a distress call.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Dimensional requirements and design criteria for toilet facilities shall comply with Guidelines for Barrier-free Design of Ontario Government Facilities and are to include an auto door operator to the entrance door of each washroom.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Universal Washrooms as defined in the OBC shall allow persons using wheeled mobility aid devices to perform a 3 point turn. Provide a clear transfer space on the open side of the toilet with a width no less than 950mm and a length no less than 1500mm, and a clear turning diameter of not less than 1700mm. The washroom must also include an emergency call system linked to the BSCR and an adult change table.

Comment – Not shown. Most often transfer space is missing beside the toilet e.g. 10.01.13 Level 13 A.05.20 Staff WC FB enters off ramp and no transfer space (NW corner) & A.05.16 Staff BF WC no transfer space

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Barrier Free Public Washrooms shall be as per OBC.

Comment – No accessible urinals. Accessible showers do not show OBC requirements. No accessible stalls provided.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – In all Universal washrooms, programed and non-programed, an adult change table shall be provided. Refer to PART 2 – 6.0 Space Data, and PART 3 – Building Statement.

Comment – Space for and provision of adult change table not shown.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Accessible vending machine requirements are defined in PART 4 Facility Management Statement under Food Services.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Signage and wayfinding at parking lots shall be provided in accordance with the applicable requirements from MAG’s “Wayfinding Signage Standard for Ontario Government Facilities”.

Comment – Signage for parking not included in Wayfinding package

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Adult change facilities shall be accommodated in Court Services First Aid / Restroom. Signage is required to inform the public of the location of this facility.

Comment – Not shown within washroom

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Where possible, it is encouraged that the ramps in accessible paths of travel should have a maximum of 1:15 slope over a maximum of 9 meters. Where due to program and/or other design constraints, the latter cannot be achieved, the ramps may be allowed to a maximum of 1:12 slope over a maximum 9 meter length. Landing dimensions, edge protection, tactile warnings, guards, and railings shall meet the minimum OBC and Infrastructure Ontario standards; as in all cases, the most stringent requirement applies.

Comment – Courtroom floors show ramps marked generally as 1:12 with the only 1:15 along the corridor at the north side of the building. Concern: Some of the ramps do not note the slope. Unclear if this is a drafting error or if the 1:12 slope is not be committed to in these locations.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – The following additional prisoner’s box components shall be supplied and stored in the appropriate courtroom storage rooms:

three (3) Barrier free single occupancy prisoner boxes

Comment – Not Observable – Unclear if space provided in courtroom storage areas. Not mentioned in narrative. Not shown.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – A total of six (6) accessible (barrier free) parking spaces shall be provided. Barrier free parking spaces shall comply with Guidelines for Barrier free Design of Ontario Government Facilities.

Comment – A corridor door opens into one of the accessible spaces (L2.02) in the program parking area.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Feature Stair: Have a comfortable shallow rise and long run with intermediate landings spaced not more than 2750mm vertically, to encourage use.

Comment – No stair details in drawings and not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – For the feature stair, required safety or accessibility features, such as tactile indicators, must be custom designed and fully integrated into the design of the stair. Off-the-shelf applied products are not acceptable for the feature stair.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative or shown in drawings.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – The Component C – Court Services public service counters must be contiguous and define a public area to accommodate the various functions. This public area must be clearly visible from the principal public circulation through a provision of a separating glazed screen, and be capable of being closed-off by glazed doors when Court Services counters are not open to the public.

Comment – 10.01.03 – Level 3 None indicated as accessible in plans or renders. Glass barrier does not indicate speaking port or assistive listening. Not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – The principles of Universal Design shall be employed to increase accessibility of information.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Sudden changes in lighting levels shall be avoided between areas containing signs and adjacent areas. Shading devices shall be provided as necessary to prevent glare and reflectivity on sign surfaces. Glare, reflections and sudden changes in light level are disorienting for people with visual and mental impairments. Utilize high level of lighting in the parking garage. Provide minimum 200 lux at every sign.

Comment – E2B2A Parking level and E102  Site Plan Photometric Calculations significantly lower than 100 lux and 50 lux. Unknown what lighting on signage is as not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – The signage program, including information displays, must incorporate accommodations for accessibility for a variety of users, including those with mobility and sensory disabilities This includes, but is not limited to: mounting heights, tactile displays, light levels and text sizes, and audible displays. Braille is a requirement for the New Toronto Courthouse; refer to the CWSS for further detail on these requirements.

Comment – 2.2.8 NTC Wayfinding – width to height, san serif, forward motion symbol. Problems – list grade 2 braille but should be unconstructed (formerly known as grade 1) for short text and contracted (or UEB formerly known as grade 2) for short paragraphs of text. Unclear if White acrylic is glare free. Symbols outline not solid black. Outlines too narrow to be useful as colour contrast. Building Directory – no braille, unclear if tactile text and text placed too high and too low. No tactile and braille alternative shown

e.g. AV-015 Court in Session signs and electronic docket screen panel

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Card access, keypads and other safety and security devices in all accessible paths of travel shall meet Ontario Guidelines for Barrier Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities standard and shall be

Comment – Security and other devices not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Clearances for maneuvering of wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility aid devices shall follow OBC and IO requirements. Unless otherwise noted, the clear turning space diameter shall be a minimum1500 mm.

Comment – Not shown outside of washrooms but appears to have space.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Provide tactile walking surface indicators (twsi’s) at the top of all stairs, doors to hazardous areas and barrier-free walkways. The flooring design, material and colour of the detectable warning system must be appropriate for its specific application and must not detract from the dignity of the courthouse. Special consideration is required for any feature stair. Standard safety products are not acceptable to meet this requirement for any feature stair. A design and detailing based solution must be provided.

Comment – TWSI not observable at stairs and escalators, and no directional show on barrier-free walkways e.g. drop off to entrance, entrance through security, security to information desk in lobby. Not mentioned in narrative.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – At least one service counter shall accommodate a mobility aid for each type of service that is provided and shall be clearly identified with signage where there are multiple queuing lines and service counters. Refer to PART 2 – 4.0 Accommodation Schedule for dedicated barrier-free public service counters for Court Services with a public transaction counter. The standard public transaction counter height shall be 860mm AFF. The barrier-free public transaction counter height shall be 740mm AFF with clear floor space for an assistive device. At each department’s reception and/or public service counters, provide a minimum of one barrier free public transaction counter also at a height of 740mm AFF. If a single queuing line becomes a part of the design for single or multiple counters, all of the service counters for this area shall accommodate a mobility aid.

Comment – Service counters designed to be accessible not observable. Render does not show AODA required knee space at information counter. Render does not show accessible signage or TWSI to accessible counter.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Kitchenette and Kitchen design requirements shall have all countertops be of consistent height. Countertops segmented into differing heights in order to achieve barrier-free knee space clearances or reach requirements are not acceptable.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative e.g. 1.2 Architectural Response or Barrier Free Compliance Statement.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Interior Stairs: Open risers shall not be used as part of the design of any interior staircase.

Comment – Open risers are shown for the feature stair in the main lobby

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – The overall layout of the building shall be readily comprehensible to both staff and visitors and promote intuitive or natural wayfinding through design. It should be easy for visitors and staff to determine where they need to go for specific purposes without the need for complex signage and directions. In particular, the public entrance must be readily identifiable from both the exterior and interior.

Comment – W-101,Court Signs and Directory, Directional missing braille. No mention of tactile or non-glare

Status – Unobservable

 

Interior Environment

 

Appropriateness of quality in design and finishes in specific key public and administrative functional areas

  1. Requirement – Interior Finishes – luminescence contrast between floor and wall

Comment – Not shown around exterior walls in renders. Low colour contrast only shown in most other renders e.g. Courtrooms (not 50-70% which is industry standard for effective contrast).

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Interior design and materials, finishes, texture and colours shall take into consideration the needs of users with vision loss. Throughout the courthouse, there shall be a visual (tonal) contrast between walls and floors, on handrails for ramps and stairs, between doors and door frames and the wall surrounding them, and between the edge of the door and face of the door, for doors with power door operators. Courtroom entries are excluded from these requirements. Alternative design strategies to alert users with vision loss to the location of the courtroom entry from the surrounding walls must be provided.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative. Not shown in renders.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – High gloss and highly reflective finishes, which may disorient people with visual or mental impairments, shall not be used. Eggshell and matte finish is required on walls where paint is an approved finish, and satin finish for metal doors and trim.

Comment – Renders show floor gloss. Signage and narrative do not mention matte finish

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Visual and tactile changes in wall and flooring material, textures, colours and patterns shall be judiciously and subtly used to provide orientation cues for natural wayfinding and supplement signage. The consistent use of a colour or a range of colours shall be used as means of promoting natural or intuitive wayfinding.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative or shown in renders. No changes in flooring treatment are apparent.

Status – Minor Non-Conformance

  1. Requirement – Where feature wall finishes are applied, such as stone and wood, building system devices, including but not limited to, thermostats, light switches, security devices, receptacles et cetera, shall be discreetly and logically located so that they do not detract from the feature wall finish design. Devices located on feature wall finishes shall have feature/ premium cover plate finishes that are coordinated and complementary.

Comment – Not mentioned in narrative and not shown in renders.

Status – Unobservable

  1. Requirement – Areas of interior glazing (transparent doors and panels) must be designed so that their presence is readily apparent, and to meet all governing codes and regulations regarding safety and accessibility.

Comment – Vision banding not shown.

Status – Unobservable

 

 

4. Text of the April 18, 2018 Letter to the AODA Alliance from the Attorney General of Ontario Yasir Naqvi

 

Attorney General

McMurtry-Scott Building

720 Bay Street

11th Floor

Toronto ON  M7A 2S9

Tel:  416-326-4000

Fax: 416-326-4016

 

Procureur général

Édifice McMurtry-Scott

720, rue Bay

11e étage

Toronto ON  M7A 2S9

Tél.:    416-326-4000

Téléc.: 416-326-4016

 

Our Reference #: MC-2018-2984

 

April 18, 2018

 

Mr. David Lepofsky

Chair

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

1929 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, Ontario

M4G 3E8

 

Dear Mr. Lepofsky:

 

Thank you for your letter of April 6, 2018, outlining further concerns about the accessibility of the new Toronto courthouse. I trust you received the interim communications from Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Chief Administrative Officer Dante Pontone through the past fall and winter regarding the issues raised in your October letter, as well as my April 9, 2018 response to you.

 

Our ministry is strongly committed to creating equal access to people with disabilities in the new Toronto courthouse. We are also committed to working with you and the AODA Alliance to discuss your concerns in support of improving the accessibility of the new courthouse.

 

As the senior ministry executive responsible for the courthouse project, Dante will remain your main point of contact as we continue to work together. I understand that he is currently on vacation, and that staff in his office have already reached out to you about the issues you have raised in your April 6th letter. Dante will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date information as the project progresses. Please feel free to be in touch with him as needed.

 

Thank you again for writing.

 

Sincerely,

 

Yasir Naqvi

Attorney General

 

5. May 22, 2018 Letter from the AODA Alliance to Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dante Pontone

 

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

1929 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

Email: aodafeedback@gmail.com

Visit: www.aodalliance.org

 

 

May 22, 2018

 

To: Dante Pontone, Assistant Deputy Attorney General

Via email: dante.pontone@ontario.ca

 

Dear Sir,

 

Re: Accessibility Problems at the New Toronto Courthouse

 

Thank you for speaking to me by phone on Friday April 20, 2018 about the AODA Alliances concerns regarding accessibility at the New Toronto Courthouse and at other future Ontario courthouse projects. I understand from the most recent April 18, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from the Attorney General of Ontario that we are to follow up on this issue directly with you.

 

Therefore, building on our April 20, 2018 telephone call, we ask you the following:

 

  1. Can you please answer all the various questions that we presented in our April 6, 2018 letter to the Attorney General, which he appears to have delegated to you. We list a few key points, but this is not meant to drop any other questions that we set out in that letter.

 

  1. We are very frustrated at the slow progress towards developing a Ministry of the Attorney General accessibility standard for new courts. Several years ago, we discovered serious accessibility problems at the new Durham Courthouse. Some time after that, also years ago, you had told me that no new courthouses were then in the works, but when the next opportunity comes along to build a new courthouse, you planned to ensure it was done right from an accessibility perspective. Yet here we are, years later, with the New Toronto courthouse already well underway, with years of planning already completed. Even then, serious accessibility problems were easily identified by our disability consultation group within a short few minutes after starting to examine the project design. Moreover, as the Government’s own experts have confirmed, the design which the Ontario Government has approved for the New Toronto Courthouse, by EllisDon, the winning bidder, has a series of accessibility problems.

 

I urged you to personally attend the next meeting of this disability sector consultation group. It is great that you have agreed to do so. This needs your personal and close oversight.

 

  1. Ministry staff have told the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee more than once that there now exists an accessibility standard for courthouses i.e. that an updated one has been created. This appears to be incorrect. The architect for EllisDon, the successful bidder for the New Toronto Courthouse, told us that they used a 1999 courthouse standard. The DesignAble CEO said at the March 20, 2018 disability sector consultation meeting that his firm is working on a new courthouse accessibility standard for the Government.

 

We therefore wish to know the following:

 

  1. a) Who else, if anyone, is working with DesignAble Environments on designing this new courthouse accessibility standard? What expertise do they have on accessibility? We know of DesignAble’s expertise in this area.

 

  1. b) We would like to see a draft of that standard, even if it is a work in progress. We also ask to be consulted on it, along with the broader disability sector.

 

  1. c) When will that accessibility standard be finalized? Will it be mandatory for all future courts? Will this include the new courthouse that the Government is planning for Peel?

 

  1. d) Why is the Government now developing a courthouse accessibility standard, after it has already gone so far in designing the New Toronto Courthouse? I had understood from you years ago that the plan was to ensure that this was to be addressed back then, when there were no new courthouses even on the drawing board.

 

  1. We have now had a chance to make a very preliminary review of the Program Specific Output Specifications (PSOS) for the New Toronto courthouse on accessibility, and the accessibility-based analysis of Ellis Don’s design for this courthouse – the design that the Government has already chosen for this courthouse. These accessibility deficiencies give rise to some serious questions:

 

  1. a) We still do not understand why the accessibility PSOS had to be kept secret until the bid competition was completed. There is nothing secret in them. This information should have been made public much earlier. We would have critiqued them as raising serious accessibility concerns. That could have been addressed before bidders were bidding on the project.

 

  1. b) It is clear (at least in one case) that EllisDon, the successful bidder, presented a project design that directly violates the PSOS accessibility requirements. The Government’s PSOS do not allow for stairs with open risers. Open risers are a tripping hazard.

 

Yet successful bidder EllisDon presented a bid that includes open risers in feature stairs, going up two floors from the main lobby. These feature stairs are not hidden in the building’s inner recesses.

 

This shows that the successful bidder flatly ignored an accessibility requirement in the PSOS. That of itself reflects a worrisome attitude towards accessibility on the part of that company. Even worse, the Government approved this as the successful bid. This suggests that accessibility was not being treated as a sufficient priority when the Government selected the successful bidder in this competition. The signal is clear that bidders need not take accessibility more seriously when they design projects for the Ontario Government.

 

Why did the Government select as a successful bid a design that transparently violates an accessibility PSOS requirement here? We have not had time to closely study these documents, to see if other accessibility PSOS requirements were also ignored by the successful bidder and/or the Ontario Government.

 

  1. The Attorney General has also helpfully provided to us an analysis of the successful bid, from an accessibility perspective. It lists a significant and troubling number of accessibility problems with that design.

 

Which organizations took part in the preparation or finalization of the electronic document which had the file name “EllisDon” and that sets out the accessibility deficiencies in the final successful bid design, relative to the PSOS? Who had final word on its contents?

 

  1. b) That document describes quite a number of accessibility deficiencies with the New Toronto Courthouse and characterizes the severity of each. A good number of them are judged to be a mere “Minor Non-Conformance”. Yet a good number of the deficiencies that are judged to be “minor” in that document are, to us, more serious.

 

For example, the critique labels the use of open risers on the main lobby feature stairs as a “minor” variance. The critique states:

 

“28.      Requirement – Interior Stairs: Open risers shall not be used as part of the design of any interior staircase.

Comment – Open risers are shown for the feature stair in the main lobby

Status – Minor Non-Conformance”

 

This is a total violation of the PSOS requirement, which constitutes a tripping hazard. Surely a total violation that is also safety concern is not “minor”.

 

Please tell us who decided whether a non-conformance was major or minor, and based on what criteria?

 

  1. You have committed that you will endeavour to have fixed as many of the accessibility problems as possible with the New Toronto Courthouse. We appreciate that commitment. Can you let us know the plan of action for doing this? Can we be assured that this will be an open process, so that we know who is deciding on action at each step?

 

  1. We appreciate your commitment that in courthouse projects after this, the PSOS requirements on accessibility will be written in a separate section of the PSOS document, so that they can be easily excerpted and made public before a competitive bid process. Can you commit that these will in fact be made public for all future courthouse competitive bid processes, and that this will be early enough so that the disability community can have input before they are finalized?

 

  1. Even though the PSOS contain accessibility items, we do not know which of these are treated as mandatory, and which are just presented to the successful bidder as preferred, or as guidelines. Can you please advise us which of these specifications are set as mandatory, and let us know in which documents this is specified for the successful bidder. We would welcome a copy of that document or documents.

 

We look forward to working with you on this issue, and hope that the approach to accessibility on this project can be rapidly and effectively re-directed onto the right path.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

 

6. Summary Prepared by DesignAble Environments of the March 20, 2018 Meeting of the Disability Sector Advisory Group on the New Toronto Courthouse

 

Accessibility User Group Meeting #1

 

Date: March 14, 2018

 

Location: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, room OW225

 

Attendees:

Accessibility advisory group participants in attendance:

Debbie Gillespie, Canadian National Institute for the Blind

Bill Phung, BALANCE for Blind Adults

Barry McMahon, Council of Canadians with Disabilities (by phone)

Lorin MacDonald, Lawyer OCAC representative of the OBA

Anne Abbott, Communication Disabilities Access Canada (by phone)

Frances Morton-Chang, BrainXchange Design & Dementia, AdvantAGE Ontario

Iris Kirby-McIntosh, Ontario Autism Coalition

Laura Kirby-McIntosh, Ontario Autism Coalition

David Lepofsky, AODA Alliance

Kathryn Sykanda, Legal Aid Ontario’s lead on Accessibility

 

Accessibility advisory group participants not in attendance:

 

Kathy Chau, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto

Oksana Romanov, Learning disabilities Association Toronto District

Jo-Ann Bentley, Canadian Hearing Society

 

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of the Attorney General:

 

Reza Asadikia, Project Director, Infrastructure Ontario

Natalie Waddington, Senior Project Coordinator, Infrastructure Ontario

James Kuo, AFP Architect, MAG

 

Planning, Design and Compliance (PDC):

 

Jason Witalis, Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects (KMA) Inc.

Kat Granovsky, Montgomery Sisam Architects (MSA) Inc.

Bob Topping, Senior Accessibility Specialist, DesignABLE Environments (DE) Inc.

Sarah Libera, Accessibility Specialist, DE

 

ProjectCo:

 

David Clusiau, Vice-President, Architectural Design – Canada, NORR

Don Squires, Project Manager, NORR

Scott Hunter, Construction Manager, Ellis Don

Terry Petrie, Project Manager, EllisDon

Larissa Pietersen, Project Manager, EllisDon

Andrew Leung, EllisDon

Amy Pothier, Accessibility Consultant, Gensler

Leszek Muniak, Building Life and Fire Safety Design Solutions Consultant, Muniak Enterprises Inc.

 

 

Acronym Guide:

  1. AFP – Alternative Financial Procurement (formerly known as Public-Private partnerships (P3))
  2. DBFM – Design Build Finance Manage
  3. IO – Infrastructure Ontario
  4. MAG – Ministry of the Attorney General
  5. NTC – New Toronto Courthouse
  6. PSOS – Project Specific Output Specifications
  7. RFP – Request for Proposals
  8. PDC – Planning, Design and Compliance

 

Meeting Summary:

  1. Introduction by Infrastructure Ontario
  1. IO introduction to previous AFP courthouses
  2. IO introducing the New Toronto Courthouse which will amalgamate several courts from around Toronto into one state-of-the-art facility
  3. The New Toronto Courthouse is being delivered using the AFP DBFM model
  4. Meeting topics included 8 items: Project Update, Mandate of the Group, Site Feedback, Atrium Feedback, Elevators Feedback, Judge’s Dais Feedback, Courtroom Feedback, and General Comments Feedback

 

  1. Project Update:
  1. RFP phase is now complete
  2. EllisDon Infrastructure was awarded the project on February 22, 2018
  3. Project is currently in the Design Development stage (Design Development is the period when all the issues left unresolved at the end of early design are worked out, and at a scale that minimizes the possibility of major modifications during the Construction Documents phase. It is also the period in which the design itself achieves the refinement and coordination necessary)
  4. Project is scheduled to achieve substantial completion in 2022

 

  1. Mandate of the Group:
  1. To provide recommendations, expertise and practical knowledge to Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) on how to make New Toronto Courthouse more accessible.
  2. To establish that the proposed design will provide a suitable level of accessibility for various persons with disabilities, and, if not, make recommendations on how the design might be improved to be more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities.
  3. The recommendations provided by this Advisory Group will be considered for implementation in various projects, including NTC.
  4. MAG and IO remain committed to pursue enhanced accessibility features at the new Toronto courthouse

 

  1. Site Feedback:
  1. Wayfinding throughout the site, open space is counter to wayfinding
    • it’s about knowing where you’re going but also knowing when you’re not going in the right direction. How is this being addressed on the site?
  2. The distance from the entrance to drop-offs
    • Wheel-Trans drop-off is located further from the entrance and requires using a ramp
      • This Wheel-Trans location was selected during pre-zoning/approval before the building had been designed. Discussions are ongoing with the City to try and get it placed on the other side of the site.
    • Uber, taxi, media vehicles often block accessible drop-off area
    • Group noted that people waiting areas should be provided in proximity to accessible drop off areas. The waiting area should be heated, conveniently located to minimize travel distance and be visible from the drop off area.
  3. Parking issues – only having three municipal accessible parking spots on either side of the courthouse is not enough especially because they are not courthouse specific.
  4. Question raised about the distance of travel for using the stairs vs. the ramp
    • Walking vs. wheelchair routes should be a similar distance – request for a compered measurement
  5. Promote multiple access routes to the main entrance
  6. Public accessible routes should be reviewed from the two closest TTC Subway stations to / from the entry of the courthouse

 

  1. Atrium Feedback:
  1. Full panel glazing
    • The large area of glass is challenging for people with vision loss, due to brightness, light adjustment time and glare.
    • Concern was raised about people walking into the glass (low vision, dementia, someone not paying attention)
    • Adjustment from light to dark spaces is much slower for people with low vision
  2. Ceiling Heights
  • People with autism can have challenges in rooms with tall ceilings and rooms that are overly stimulating, such as this atrium.
    • Will there be a smaller room off of the atrium where people can decompress?
  1. Open riser stairs
    • They are disorienting, can drop things through risers, and they are a tripping hazard. Group strongly advised not to use them in the design.
    • Question was raised about whether the stairs were overhead obstruction/hazard?
  2. Wayfinding in open spaces like an atrium can be challenging
  3. Suggested making an obvious location where someone can go directly for information and/or assistance

 

  1. Elevators Feedback:
  1. Destination dispatch elevators are challenging because:
    • Must learn new/unique configuration for the building (what lift goes where)
    • Must be able to hear direction of recorded voice
    • Controls are often challenging to locate and often not accessible
    • Do not have flexibility to allow any lift to go to any floor, or room for error if wrong floor selected

 

  1. Elevator configuration:
    • Elevators on opposing walls are challenging for people with hearing loss who cannot quickly identify which elevator will be bringing them up or down, often making them miss the elevator.
    • Having elevators on opposing walls is difficult for wayfinding for people who are blind.
  2. Elevator controls:
    • Suggestion that elevator controls should show negative and positives, negatives for floors below ground and positives for above ground Elevator floor numbering button should follow CSA B651 Design Standard

 

  1. Courtroom Feedback
  2. Lighting
  • Dais – The natural backlighting behind the dais will hinder lip reading.
    • The light behind the judge would also be distracting to someone with autism, which would make it hard to focus on the judge.
    • Backlighting bounces off laptops/PCs
    • For people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing it is important to have stable lighting throughout the day, clear sightlines and avoid silhouettes
    • Having too much light can be overwhelming for a person with autism
    • For people with hearing loss visual clutter can be distracting, for example the light behind the judge could be distracting if shadows were cast from people walking in the corridor behind the dais.
    • Glass on prisoner box causes glare
  1. Interpreters
  • Lighting for sign language interpreters? Where would sign language interpreters go? Someone who is deaf and blind needs an interpreter that touches their hand
  • Question about if the courtrooms are large enough to accommodate a sign language interpreter who may need to move around the courtroom depending on where the person is sitting. Comment raised that there may be two people requiring sign language interpreters in the same courtroom
  1. Mobility
  • Question about seating for people with mobility devices in courtroom.
  • Concern raised that witness box appears hard to get into

 

  1. General Comments Feedback:
  1. Consider accessibility in public and staff areas
  2. Decorative aspect of the whole building
    • To avoid sensory overload – avoid high ceilings, prefer small spaces
    • With flooring – avoid patterns and use no-glare materials
    • Consider choosing the right level of contrast of finishing materials to assist visually impaired in orientation, but not overwhelm people with cognitive disabilities.
  3. Renderings do not have any people with disabilities depicted
  4. Once past security, guide dogs may require an animal relief area, will there be one past security?
  5. Use universal design principles as guiding principles in the design
  6. Atrium concerns:
    • Atriums are an acoustic challenge, issues with vertigo, problems for those who are hard of hearing and people with autism
    • Concerns about atrium in a courthouse where people are angry, it could be an easy danger unless there is a barrier up to the ceiling
  7. Concerned about number of elevators in the courthouse and that there are not enough for the amount of people expected to be at the courthouse everyday
  8. Suggested that there should be a universal washroom provided on every floor
  9. Suggested that there should be drive up approaches on all three sides of the building
  10. Concerned about the lack of accessible parking
  11. Question about why aren’t all interview rooms accessible, but only one per floor
  12. Each floor should have the same layout and have straight corridors. Tactile wayfinding should be provided on the floor to find it (courtrooms and other features).
  13. Make sure braille is readable and that the braille on elevator buttons corresponds to the text and voice annunciations.
  14. Braille need to correspond to print signage and be consistent, recommend utilizing CNIB translator for braille building signage text
  15. Waiting area for Wheel Trans – often have to wait at least 30 minutes. Group indicated a waiting area should be provided and should contain the following:
    • Views from interior to transit stop
    • Seating and other amenities
    • Waiting area must be close to wheeltrans stop due to travel time and distance, being able to see the vehicle
    • Be heated
  16. Please provide materials to the participants before the meetings to help them and also to help the CART services
  17. Recommended that animal relief and watering areas are provided throughout the building
  18. Concern about food allergies, if food vendors are in large open areas

 

Wrap Up

Infrastructure Ontario thanked everyone and emphasized that this will be an ongoing process, agenda and information to be discussed will be sent to participants in an accessible format prior to future meetings

 

References provided from attendees:

http://brainxchange.ca/design

 

7. Text of the Infrastructure Ontario PowerPoint for March 20, 2018 Meeting of the Disability Sector Advisory Group on the New Toronto Courthouse

 

Infrastructure Ontario Presentation:

 

Slide 1

Presentation Title:  NEW TORONTO COURTHOUSE. Accessibility Advisory Group. March 14, 2018.

 

Image:

The slide incorporates two photographs of downtown Toronto taken at birds-eye view. The first photo shows Queen’s Park looking South from Queen’s Park to the lake and the CN Tower. The second photograp shows the location of the site in orange of the New Toronto Courthouse North West of City Hall. The slide also incorporates the logos for Infrastructure Ontario and Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General.

Typical Footer:

www.infrastructureontario.ca

 

Slide 2

Presentation Title:  AFP DBFM Courthouses in Operation.

 

Image:

The slide shows five exterior photographs and a timeline of different courthouses in Ontario that were developed in the AFP process. Starting in the top left corner is the Durham Region Courthouse which opened in November 2009, to the right is the Waterloo Region Courthouse which opened in January 2013, then in the top right corner is the Quinte Courthouse which opened in July 2013, the bottom right corner has the Elgin County Courthouse which opened in February 2014, and the bottom right corner shows the Thunder Bay Courthouse which opened in February 2014.

 

 

Slide 3

Presentation Title:  New Toronto Courthouse.

 

Content:

  • The new courthouse will bring together under one roof several of Toronto’s courts currently operating out of several locations.
  • Amalgamating several courts into one state-of-the-art facility will reduce costs, make operations more efficient and effective, provide for equal access to services, and will ensure the province’s real estate portfolio is sustainable, accessible, and efficient.
  • NTC will be located at 10 Armoury Street, with close proximity to Toronto’s City Hall.
  • To be delivered using the AFP Design, Finance, and Maintain (DBFM) model.
  • As a high-rise courthouse, NTC will be the first of its kind in Ontario.

 

Image:

The photo shows the site of the New Toronto Courthouse, taken at aerial/birds-eye view, in relation to City Hall which is to the South East.

 

 

Slide 4

Presentation Title:  MAG/IO Project Team.

 

Content:

IO’s Accessibility Consultant:

  • Bob Topping: DesignABLE Environments Inc., Lead Accessibility Consultant.
  • IO’s Planning Design and Compliance Consultants:
  • Prime Consultant: KMA/MSA JV.
  • Roman Mychajlowycz – Team Lead.

 

Ministry of the Attorney General and Infrastructure Ontario:

  • Anthony Lue Tam – MAG, Manager.
  • Erik Andersen – MAG, Project Lead.
  • James Kuo – MAG, Project Coordinator.
  • Reza Asadikia – IO, Director.
  • Natalie Waddington – IO, Senior Project Coordinator.

 

 

Slide 5

Presentation Title:  Project Update.

 

Content:

  • The RFP phase of the project is now complete.
  • The contract to design, build, finance, and maintain NTC was awarded to EllisDon Infrastructure on February 22, 2018.
  • Project is currently in the Design Development stage.
  • Design for NTC can now be shared with the Accessibility Advisory Group for feedback.
  • Project is anticipated to be completed in 2022.

 

Slide 6

Presentation Title:  The MAG Courthouse Vision.

 

Content:

Design plays a vital role in every project and MAG is implementing its Design Excellence vision into all courthouse projects.

Design Excellence is defined by:

  • Objectives,
  • Priorities,
  • Principles (Accessibility), and

 

 

Image:

The slide shows five images. The top left corner shows a courthouse lobby with tall ceilings and floor to ceiling glass windows. The top middle photo shows a courthouse’s site which shows raised planters and a weathered sheltered entrance. The top right photo shows a lobby with curved walls and floor to ceiling glass. The bottom right image shows the façade of a courthouse with a large grass area in front of it. The bottom middle shows the glass façade of the Durham Courthouse with a paved path leading to the entrance.

 

Slide 7

Presentation Title:  Accessible Design Strategy.

 

Content:

Ministry Commitment *

“The Ministry of the Attorney General is committed to providing equal access to justice for all Ontarians. We are working to ensure that people with disabilities can access, use, and benefit from our goods, services, programs, and facilities equally and free from discrimination.

The Ministry is also working to demonstrate leadership on improving accessibility of our facilities.”

* Note: Excerpt from Ministry of Attorney General Accessible Built Environment Strategy Status Update of September 26, 2016 to OCAC.

 

Slide 8

Presentation Title:  Accessibility Advisory Group: Mandate.

 

Content:

  • To provide recommendations, expertise, and practical knowledge to Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) to make New Toronto Courthouse more accessible.
  • To establish that the proposed design will provide a suitable level of accessibility for persons with disabilities and, if not, make recommendations on how the design might be improved to provide more appropriate solutions to achieve an accessible environment.
  • The advice provided by this Advisory Group will be considered for implementation by the project design team (IO/MAG & PDC).
  • MAG and IO remain committed to pursue enhanced accessibility features at the New Toronto Courthouse.

 

 

 

Slide 9

Presentation Title:  Role of Expert Consultants.

 

Content:

PDC’s Accessibility Consultant:

  • Developed the Project Specific Output Specifications (PSOS) which includes the current project requirements for Accessibility.
  • Will moderate and facilitate discussions for the Accessibility Advisory Group, including recording recommendations for use in New Toronto Courthouse or any other public infrastructure.
  • Will monitor the design development submittals for compliance with the project requirements.
  • Will monitor the construction of the facility for compliance with the project requirements.
  • EllisDon’s Accessibility Consultant:
  • Provide design solution to meet or exceed project requirements
  • To bring an innovative vision to address feedback from the Accessibility Advisory Group
  • To monitor and review construction of the facility to ensure adherence to design

 

Slide 10

Presentation Title:  Ellis Don Infrastructure. Project Co. to Design, Build, Finance, and Maintain the New Toronto Courthouse.

 

EllisDon Presentation:

Slide 1

 

Presentation Title:  NEW TORONTO COURTHOUSE. Accessibility Advisory Consultations.

 

Content:

Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

NORR Architects.

EllisDon.

 

Image:

The slide incorporates a “brainstorming” sketch of the New Toronto Courthouse. The slide also incorporates the logos for Infrastructure Ontario and Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General.

Typical Footer:

Accessibility Advisory Consultations. March 2016.

New Toronto Courthouse. RPBW / NORR / ELLISDON.

 

Slide 2

Presentation Title:  General Introductions.

 

Slide 3

Presentation Title:

The New Toronto Courthouse.

 

Content:

1.0 Architectural Team Presentation

1.1 RPBW

1.2 NORR Architects & Engineers

1.3 Amy Pothier – Gensler

1.4 Leszek Muniak – Muniak Enterprises Inc.

2.0 New Toronto Courthouse

2.1 Project Overview

2.2 Key Public Spaces

2.3 Accessibility Features

3.0 Accessibility Discussion

 

Slide 4

Presentation Title:  1.0 Architectural Team Presentation

 

 

Slide 5

Presentation Title: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

 

Content:

GENOA, PARIS, NEW YORK.

 

Image:

The slide incorporates four photographs of Renzo Piano Building Workshops (RBPW). The top left of the slide shows the interior of the Genoa RBPW which has plants, people working at desks and skylights. The top middle photo shows the interior office of RPBW in Paris which has people working at desks and bookshelves behind them. The top right image shows RPBW’s New York office interior which has a tree, posters on the wall and people working. The fourth image along the bottom of the slide shows a group image of the staff from the Renzo Piano Building Workshops.

 

Slide 6

 

Image:

This photo shows a workshop space. A long wooden work bench is installed against a wooden wall. Various workshop utensils and measuring tools are hung on this wall. A wooden cabinet system is installed along the underside of the work bench.

 

Slide 7

 

Image:

The slide incorporates a photograph of designers and architects brainstorming ideas in a meeting room. This room is filled with architectural site models, sketches, drawings, and rendered images of buildings.

 

Slide 8

 

Image:

The slide incorporates two 3D rendered images of the glass covered courthouse in Paris, which was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The left photo is a computer generated image of the courthouse image is an exterior city view where we see the building at a distance framed by other office towers. The right computer generated image we see the courthouse as four different tiers made up of several floors in each, that starts from a large base rectangle, with each higher tier smaller in size.

 

 

Slide 9

Presentation Title:  NORR Architects and Engineers.

 

Image:

This collage of eight photos is meant to demonstrate the extent of NORR’s courthouse and design experience. Images include exterior and interior photographs of these buildings.

 

Slide 10

 

Image:

This slide shows three images from the Pan Am Aquatics Centre, the Field House and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, which was designed by NORR. The image on the left shows an exterior shot of the building in the distance with trees and a grass field in front of it. The top right photo shows a three storey rock climbing wall. The bottom right image shows a gym with wheelchair basketball being played.

 

Slide 11

Presentation Title:  Amy Pothier – Gensler.

 

Content:

Accessibility Consultant.

Relevant Project Experience:

  • Pan Am/Parapan American Athletes Village – Accessibility Compliance.
  • Milton Velodrome – Accessibility Compliance.
  • Tim Horton’s Field – Accessibility Compliance.
  • AODA Costing Study for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
  • (on-going) Ministry of Attorney General 25 Grosvenor Adjudicative Tribunal Co-Location.

 

Relevant Committee Experience:

  • Committee Member Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Committee Member, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Technical Advisory Committee to OBC 3.8.
  • Committee Member, AODA Design of Public Spaces Illustrated Guide

 

Image:

This photo is of Amy Pothier.

 

Slide 12

Presentation Title:  Leszek Muniak – Muniak Enterprises Inc.

 

Content:

Building Life and Fire Safety Design Solutions Consultant.

 

Project Experience:

Over 35 years providing quality assurance for the application of building codes, fire codes and life safety standards to complex building projects.

Relevant Project Experience:

  • Thunder Bay Courthouse – Building Code Compliance
  • St. Thomas Courthouse – Building Code Compliance
  • St Lawrence Hall North Courthouse – Building Code Compliance
  • Waypoint Mental Health Hospital – Building Code Compliance
  • Bloorview Childrens’ Hospital – Building Code

 

Achievements and Awards:

  • Appointed by Order in Council to serve on the Ontario Building Code Commission 2016.
  • Developed the Building Code Tutor, web-based, e-training course for Part 3 of the Canadian building codes.
  • Louis S. Tregra Award by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, (NCIDQ) Washington D.C. for contributions to the development of knowledge in building codes, fire and life safety. (2004)
  • 2010 Leader Award by Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

 

Slide 13

Presentation Title:  2.0 The New Toronto Courthouse

 

Content:

2.1 Project Overview

 

Image:

The slide incorporates a 2d computer drawn image of the New Toronto Courthouse, where the main entrance and tower above are viewed.

 

 

Slide 14

 

Image:

The slide incorporates a 3-dimensional computer generated image of the New Toronto Courthouse, viewed from street-level with other city buildings surrounding it. The image shows glass walls that appear to rise nearly four storeys from street level with another thirteen storey tall tower above. Silhouettes of people are shown walking through the space.

 

 

Slide 15

Presentation Title: Urban Context.

 

Image:

The slide incorporates a coloured aerial photograph again illustrating the building’s location within the city’s footprint. An additional six smaller images have been placed along the side showing the buildings that will surround the new courthouse.

 

Slide 16

Content:

An urban vision composed of continuities and porosity that weave the NTC into the broader public realm network.

Urban vision for the precinct.

 

Image:

The image shows a coloured sketch, of the site plan. The sketch uses colours and arrows to illustrate the pedestrian path of travel, the main entrance and the walking-distance relationship Nathan Philips Square and the New Toronto Courthouse.

 

 

Slide 17

Presentation Title: 2.0 The New Toronto Courthouse

 

Content:

2.2 key Public Spaces.

  • Entries,
  • Ground Floor,
  • Atrium,
  • Public Corridors / Lookouts, and

 

 

Slide 18

 

Image:

The image shows a coloured site plan view of the site and the ground floor level of the courthouse. There is a height difference at the South East corner that continues along the East side of the building, the image shows that there are stairs along the south side and the east side beside the drop-off area. A switchback ramp that winds through stairs is show. on the east side near the drop-off area. Near the west side drop-off area there appears to be a height change between the site sidewalk and the site bike parking and plaza. A peace garden is located at the South East Corner of the site. Arrows indicate where the main entrance is and pedestrian traffic flow through security.

 

Slide 19

 

Image:

The image shows a ground floor plan of the courthouse. An arrow pointed towards the North-West side of the facility indicates the judges’ entry access. Red arrows at the south-side of the facility show the public entry/exit access point. This entry/exit is followed by a security screening booth. After security and towards the centre of the floorplan an information desk and kiosks are shown. An atrium is shown in the South-East corner of the facility. An indigenous learning centre is labelled on the North-East side of the facility.

 

 

Slide 20

 

Image:

The slide incorporates a three-dimensional computer generated image of the New Toronto Courthouse’s main entrance, viewed at street-level. Three flags, including Canada’s, is mounted on the left-side of the entrance. The image shows a weather protected entrance with the use of a canopy and a sign under the canopy reading “Toronto Court of Justice Ontario”. Silhouettes of people are shown walking throughout the exterior and interior spaces of the facility.

 

 

Slide 21

 

Image:

The image shows a three-dimensional computer generated image of New Toronto Courthouse’s open atrium on the ground floor. The atrium shows a high-ceiling that reaches up to the fourth floor. The surrounding walls, columns, ceilings, floor, stairs, and escalators carry a light-coloured finish. A bright yellow wall contrasts against the light finishes. This yellow wall wraps around the main elevators of the facility. Silhouettes of people can be seen navigating throughout the open space.

 

 

Slide 22

 

Image:

The images shows a floor plan of the main elevator bank and corridor, which is intended to show traffic flow throughout the corridor. A public seating space is provided next to the elevators.

 

 

Slide 23

 

Image:

The image shows a three-dimensional computer generated image of a corridor at a corner of the building. The image shows floor to ceiling windows. The walls and furniture all have a white finish, and the ceiling incorporates a wooden panelling finishes. White pendant lamps slightly hang from the ceiling. A few silhouettes of individuals can be seen using the space.

 

 

Slide 24

 

Image:

The slide shows two images of three-dimensional computer generated images of a typical courthouse room. The left image shows the courtroom from the public’s  point of entry, directly viewing the judge’s dais. Which has a rectangle of windows highlighting the judge’s area. The walls, tables, and stands have a light wooden finish. The ceiling is wrapped by a wooden finish along the edges of the room. The image to the right shows the typical courtroom viewed from the judge’s stand. This angle shows a clear view of the courtroom seats, and a double door. The door has the same wooden finish as the surrounding walls, and vision panels are installed for both doors.

 

Slide 25

Title: 2.0 The New Toronto Courthouse.

 

Content:

2.3 Accessibility Features:

  • Site Access,
  • Typical Floor,
  • Courtrooms, and

 

Slide 26

Title: Site Access.

 

Content:

Level 1.

 

Image:

The image shows the site plan, with areas of interest highlighted in red. A total of six accessible parking spaces are provided on the West and East side of the facility, opposite of the designated drop-off areas. The drop off/pick up zone is provided on the West side of the facility. A note states that Tactile Warning Strips are installed at curbs cuts. Additionally, a dedicated wheel-trans drop off/pick up zone is provided on the East side of the facility. The ramp is also highlighted on the South-East corner of the site, located near the Wheel-Trans drop off area.

 

 

Slide 27

Title: Site Access.

 

Content:

Level 1. Accessible paths of travel.

 

Image:

The image shows an identical image of the site plan from the previous slide. Multiple green arrows demonstrate the typical path of travel from various points of the site, all leading towards the main entrance of the facility. This path of travel also includes the use of the ramp located on the South-East corner of the site.

 

Slide 28

Title: Site Access.

 

Content:

Level 1. Accessible paths of travel.

 

Image:

The slide shows an identical image of the site plan from the previous slides. The ground floor plan is also shown with areas of interest highlighted in red. The entry and exit of the facility is highlighted on the plan, with arrows leading to and from rooms and areas on the ground floor. A “typical accessible courtroom layout” is highlighted on this floor plan and an “accessible interview room” is shown adjacent to this courtroom. An accessible public washroom and a public universal washroom are shown on this floorplan.

 

 

Slide 29

Title: Typical Floor.

 

Content:

Level 9 – Courtroom Floor. Accessible paths of travel.

 

Image:

The slide incorporates shows an image of a typical courtroom floor plan, with various areas of interest highlighted. Multiple arrows demonstrate the path of travel from the elevators to these rooms. Accessible seating spaces are shown in all the designated waiting areas. Accessible public washrooms and public universal washrooms are provided in the middle of the floor plan. Accessible public counters are provided in support suites. An accessible conference settlement room is provided on the West side of the facility. All criminal courtrooms and specialty courts on this typical floor are shown with an accessible layout. An accessible interview room is shown on the North-side of the facility and an accessible witness waiting room are shown on the East-side of the facility, which both note that they are typical on each courtroom floor.

 

 

Slide 30

Title: Courtrooms.

 

Content:

All courtrooms are designed to the following accessibility requirements:

  • Accessible judicial dais with ramp.
  • Designated accessible public seating.
  • Accessible witness box.
  • Accessible mobile prisoner boxes.
  • Accessible clerk/reporter desks.
  • Accessible simultaneous interpretation rooms.
  • Accessible lecterns.
  • Minimum accessible paths of travel.
  • Voice lift hearing assistance.

Image:

The image shows  a detailed room layout of a typical accessible courtroom. The courtroom size is 11,900 millimeters deep and 8,800 millimeters wide. The room incorporates multiple side entry and exit doors beyond the public seating space. An accessible path of travel is highlighted in red dashed lines, starting from the entry and separates throughout various points of the courthouse. The 1,100 millimeter minimum width is highlighted throughout this accessible path of travel.

From the entrance, a public seating space is provided with two wheelchair seating spaces on both sides of the courtroom. Beyond the seating space enclosure is an accessible motorized lectern, with accessible clear floor spaces for the advocate’s and prosecution’s benches. On the left is an accessible prisoner box, and in front is an accessible court clerk/reporter desk. At the back of the room is the accessible judicial dais.

 

 

Slide 31

Title: Washrooms.

 

Content:

All accessible washrooms are designed to meet Ontario Building (OBC) requirements:

 

Image:

The slide incorporates three detailed images of accessible washrooms floor plans, each with unique configurations. These slides are intended to demonstrate the various accessible washroom layouts that will be used within the courthouse including the universal washroom floorplan. All washroom configurations incorporate a 1500 millimeter turn circle, a toilet with a clear transfer space of 920 millimeters wide by 1500 millimeters deep, and a sink with a clear floor space of 920 millimeters wide and 1370 millimeters deep. The universal washroom has a 1700mm turn circle. Additionally, rear and “L”-shaped grab bars are provided. Accessories include a recessed soap dispenser, recessed paper towel dispenser, recessed hand dryer, recessed automatic door operators, and an emergency call button.

 

Slide 32

Title: Accessibility Discussion.

 

8. More Information About the AODA Alliance

 

Learn about the 2018 Ontario election’s disability accessibility issues by visiting:

www.aodaalliance.org/vote2018

 

Learn about our campaign to win the enactment of a strong Built Environment Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, by visiting:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/built-environment/ We are now using a new email server.

Please take steps to ensure you can receive our AODA Alliance Updates. Put updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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.

 

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

 

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

List OfAll the 2018 Ontario Election’s All-Candidates’ Debates We Could Find — Ask the Candidates to Make Strong Commitments on Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

List of Remaining All-Candidates Debates the AODA Alliance Could Find Around Ontario Before the June 7, 2018 Election

Note: This list may not be complete. Also, if you want to go to one of these debates to raise disability issues, be sure to check with one of the candidates’ campaign offices to be sure we have the correct date, time and location.

Burlington

Monday, May 28th – 7pm at Burlington Central High School.

Nipissing

Tuesday, May 29th – All Candidates Debate hosted by OPSEU Nipissing Area Council

7-8:45pm at OPSEU Nipissing Area Council (150 First Ave. West (Suite 101), North Bay)

 

Barrie-Innisfil

Wednesday, May 30th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Barrie Chamber of Commerce.

6-8pm at Georgian Downs (7485 – 5th Side Road, Innisfil) and broadcast on Rogers TV.

 

Ottawa Centre

Monday, May 28th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Carlington Community Association

7pm at St. George’s Parish (415 Piccadilly Avenue, Ottawa).

 

Ottawa-Vanier

Tuesday, May 29th – Candidates Debate hosted by Manor Park Community Association

7:30-9:40pm at Rockcliffe Park Public School in the Queen Juliana Hall (school gym) (350 Buena Vista Road, Rockcliffe Park).

 

Mississauga – Lakeshore

Monday, May 28th – Port Credit Debate hosted by Town of Port Credit Association, Cranberry Cove Ratepayers’ Association & Credit Reserve Association.

7-9pm at Clarke Memorial Hall (161 Lakeshore Road West [at Mississauga Rd.], Port Credit).

 

Waterloo

Wednesday, May 30th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

4-6pm at Rim Park (2001 University Avenue, Waterloo).

 

Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

Tuesday, May 29th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Lanark Federation of Labour.

7pm at Perth Civitan Club (6787 County Road 43, RR #5, Perth).

Wednesday, May 30th – Mississippi Mills All-Candidates Debate hosted by Orchard View by the Mississippi and Randy Hillier.

7-9pm at Orchard View by the Mississippi (219 Paterson Street, Almonte).

 

South Frontenac

Monday, May 28th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Sydenham Legion.

6-8pm at the Royal Canadian Legion (4361 Amelia Street, Sydenham).

 

Ottawa South

Tuesday, May 29th – All Candidates Night Debate hosted by Ottawa South Greens.

7-9pm at Hillcrest High School (1900 Dauphin Road, Ottawa).

 

 

 

Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte

Thursday, May 31st – All Candidates Debate hosted by Barrie Chamber of Commerce.

6-8pm at Casal Catering & Lion’s Gate Banquet Hall (386 Blake Street, Barrie).

 

Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock

Wednesday, May 16th – All Candidates Meeting hosted by the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce.

7pm at Mackey’s Celebrations (35 Lindsay St. N., Lindsay).

Monday, May 28th – All Candidates Meeting hosted by Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce.

7-9pm at Pinestone Resort (4252 Haliburton County Rd. 21, Haliburton).

 

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Monday, May 14thAll Candidates Debate hosted by local youth.

7pm at Launch Pad Youth Activity and Technology Centre, Hanover.

Tuesday, May 15th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce.

7-9pm at Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre (also broadcast on Rogers Television).

Tuesday, May 22nd – All Candidates Session hosted by Grey County Federation of Agriculture.

7:30-9:30pm at Keady Community Centre.

Saturday, May 26th – Youth-focused, non-partisan All Candidates Meeting hosted by Youth Ask Grey-Bruce.

1-3pm at First United Church, Owen Sound (also live-streamed on the group’s Facebook page).

 

Beaches-East York

Thursday, May 24th – All Candidates Meeting hosted by a coalition of district faith communities (Danforth Mennonite Church, Toronto United Mennonite Church, Church of St. Aidan, The Church of the Resurrection, Neighbourhood Utilitarian Universalist Congregation, and Beaches United Church).

7-9pm at Beach United Church (140 Wineva Avenue, Toronto).

 

Algoma-Manitoulin **

Tuesday, May 15th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Manitoulin Expositor.

7-9pm at Manitoulin Secondary School (107 Bay St M’Chigeeng)

 

Brantford-Brant

Monday, May 14th – All Candidates Meeting hosted by Brantford-Brant Chamber of Commerce and Rogers Television.

7pm (Rogers Television Studio).

Tuesday, May 15th  – All Candidates Meeting hosted by Canadian Federation of University Women Brantford.

7pm at the Brant Sports Complex.

Wednesday, May 16th – All Candidates Meeting hosted by Canadian Federation of University Women Brantford.

7-9pm at North Park Collegiate.

 

Dufferin-Caledon

Tuesday, May 15th – All Candidates Forum hosted by the Dufferin Board of Trade & Dufferin Federation of Agriculture.

6:30-9pm at Shelburne Legion.

Thursday, May 24th – All Candidates Forum hosted by the Dufferin Board of Trade & Dufferin Federation of Agriculture.

6:30-9pm at Orangeville District Secondary School.

 

Chatham-Kent-Leamington

*All-Candidates Debate was held on Thursday, May 10th – hosted by The Chatham-Kent Health Coalition and the Chatham-Kent Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

 

Durham

Thursday, May 24th – All Candidates Debate

7-9pm at Scugog Community Centre (1655 Reach Rd., Scugog).

 

Eglinton-Lawrence

Monday, May 14th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Fairlawn’s Social Justice team.

7pm at Fairlawn Avenue United Church (28 Fairlawn Avenue, Toronto).

 

Cambridge

Monday, May 14th – All Candidates Debate hosted by The African Canadian Association of Waterloo Region and Area.

6-8:30pm at Chandler Mowat Community Centre (222 Chandler Drive, Kitchener).

 

Barrie-Innisfil

Wednesday, May 30th – All Candidates Debate hosted by Barrie Chamber of Commerce

6-8pm at Georgian Downs (7495 – 5th Side Road, Innisfil).

 

Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte

Thursday, May 31st – All Candidates Debate hosted by Barrie Chamber of Commerce

6-8pm at Casal Catering & Lion’s Gate Banquet Hall (386 Blake Street, Barrie).

 

Don Valley West

Wednesday, May 23rd – All Candidates Debate hosted by Leaside Property Owners Association.

7:30pm in the Lea Room at Leaside Arena (1073 Millwood Road, Toronto).

 

Davenport

*All Candidates Debate on Transportation was held on May 9th, hosted by Options for Davenport.

 

Etobicoke Centre

*All Candidates Debate was held on Thursday, May 10th.

 

Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Thursday, May 15th – All Candidates Meeting hosted by LAMP Community Health Centre.

7-8:30pm at The Assembly Hall (1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, Toronto).

 

Essex

Thursday, May 17th – All Candidates Debate, hosted by the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and Windsor District Labour Council.

11:30am-1pm at Ciociaro Club (2745 North Talbot Road, Oldcastle).

 

Watch AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on TVOntario’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Tonight at 8 or 11 PM or Later on YouTube, Talking about This Ontario Election’s Accessibility Issues – and — New Captioned Online Lecture on Progress from 2014 to 2018 in Ontario on Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

 

Watch AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on TVOntario’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Tonight at 8 or 11 PM or Later on YouTube, Talking about This Ontario Election’s Accessibility Issues – and — New Captioned Online Lecture on Progress from 2014 to 2018 in Ontario on Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

May 21, 2018

SUMMARY

1. Thirty-Minute Interview Tonight at 8 or 11 PM on TVO’s “The Agenda With Steve Paikin” Or Later on YouTube

Here’s another way you can quickly and easily help us raise accessibility issues during our non-partisan accessibility campaign in connection with the current Ontario election. Please encourage friends, family and total strangers to watch Ontario’s leading public affairs TV program, “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” tonight at 8 or 11 pm, or starting within the next few days on YouTube. Steve Paikin invited AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and Hamilton-based disability advocate Yvonne Felix for a 30-minute interview. It focuses on this election’s disability accessibility issues and on the AODA Alliance’s new captioned video that exposes disability barriers in new and recently-renovated Toronto area public transit stations.

 

We will publicize the Youtube link to this TVO interview when it becomes available. It should be available by Tuesday May 22, 2018, or a little after that.

 

Please use this interview to help our cause:

 

* Contact candidates and their staffs in your riding. Urge them to watch this interview either live or afterwards on Youtube.

 

* Share this TVO interview with others via email and on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

 

* Press your local media to report on this election’s disability issues and on the parties’ positions on those issues. See helpful links at the end of this Update.

 

Check out other great ways you can help raise disability accessibility issues in this election, by reading the AODA Alliance’s brand new 2018 Election Action Kit.

 

2. Check Out a New Captioned Video of a Lecture by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on the Wynne Government’s Record on Accessibility Issues from 2014 to 2018

 

Want to get an overview of the progress on accessibility in Ontario from 2014 to 2018? A new captioned online video lecture has been added to our comprehensive collection of online resources about the history of our accessibility campaign. It’s a lecture that AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky delivered earlier this year at the Osgoode Hall Law School, where he serves as a part-time visiting professor. You don’t need to be a law student or to have any legal training to benefit from this video lecture. To watch it, visit:

https://youtu.be/0HfInCGsN0Y

 

3.  Helpful Background Links

 

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: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

 

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

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/use-and-widely-circulate-our-new-election-action-kit-full-of-tips-on-how-to-raise-disability-accessibility-issues-in-this-ontario-election/

 

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 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/

 

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 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/

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

www.aodaalliance.org

To sign up for or unsubscribe from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Updates, send your request to us at aodafeedback@gmail.com 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.

 

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

 

Use and Widely circulate our new Election Action Kit — Full of tips on how to raise disability accessibility issues in this Ontario election

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

2018 Ontario Election Action Kit

Tell Candidates that In This Election, the Disability Vote Counts!

#DisabilityVoteCounts aodafeedback@gmail.com www.aodaalliance.org Twitter: @aodaalliance

May 19, 2018

It’s Time for Grassroots Action!

This Election Action Kit gives you quick ways to help our non-partisan campaign to get stronger accessibility pledges from the Ontario political parties. They want our votes in the June 7, 2018 Ontario election. You don’t need to be a veteran community grassroots advocate. You just need to spend a few minutes.

You can make a huge difference in our campaign for accessibility for people with disabilities. We’ve done it before. Let’s do it again! Circulate this Action Kit to others. Get them to do the same!

This Action Kit gives you what you need. It includes:

* our non-partisan disability accessibility goal in this election.

* easy-to-use practical action tips you can use in your community.

* At the bottom, links to great resources for anyone who wants to learn more, e.g. links to the major parties’ letters to us listing their disability accessibility pledges, a breakdown and analysis of those pledges, and other helpful tools that we mention throughout this Action Kit.

We are ready for action! Back in April, the AODA Alliance wrote the Ontario parties to list the disability accessibility commitments we need. We recently secured written commitments from the Greens, NDP, Liberals, Conservatives and NDP. On May 16, 2014, we sent out a news release that made these party promises all public. That news release can be a key tool to help you help our blitz. If you need that news release in MS Word format, email a request to: aodafeedback@gmail.com.

For all these key resources, see the links at the end of this Action Kit.

Now it’s time for voters with disabilities and voters without disabilities across Ontario to swing into action. We have less than three weeks until voting day, June 7, 2018.

We’re mounting a “bottom-up” campaign. We need your help to press every candidate to press their party leaders to promise to do more on accessibility than they have committed to do so far. This Action Kit tells you how. The pledges we’ve already gotten from the parties are just the start, the floor. Let’s get them to do better!

Our many successes over two decades on the road to a fully accessible Ontario come from people like you, using action tips like these. Let us know what you can do. Write us at aodafeedback@gmail.com Here’s another brand new resource that can really help you. We have made public a new video on Youtube. It shows new and recently-renovated Toronto area public transit stations were created with public money, and that have serious accessibility problems. This video has gotten great media attention and over 1,000 views in its first three days. It is quickly becoming a central part of our 2018 election blitz.

This Action Kit offers tips on how to use that video. But first, take a look at this captioned, audio-described video!

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

Our Goal

As in the last six elections, our non-partisan coalition does not try to elect or defeat any party or candidate. No matter who is elected, we want Ontario to promptly get back on schedule to become fully accessible by 2025, as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires. You can help us, no matter what party you support, or if you support no party at all.

In this election, the leaders of the Ontario Greens, Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and NDP each made commitments in letters to our coalition. Their commitments vary. The Greens make the strongest commitments. Coming right behind them, making substantial commitments, is the NDP. The Liberals commit to much less. The Conservatives promise the least. Our goal is to get all parties in this election to make strong commitments on accessibility.

We especially aim to get candidates in the Conservative and Liberal Parties to press their leaders to make much stronger commitments on accessibility for people with disabilities. We need to build better support on all sides of the Ontario Legislature, one member of the Legislature at a time.

Help us press candidates, and especially Liberal and Conservative candidates, to go beyond what their leaders have pledged. We want those parties’ back-benches to lead their leaders.

What to Ask the Candidates

Questions for Progressive Conservative Candidates

  1. In this election, PC leader Doug Ford has given us the weakest commitments of all the parties. He has not given a commitment that a Conservative Government won’t cut back on disability accessibility regulations, policies, programs or gains that we have made. We want to be sure our gains are not on any party’s chopping block.

Will you personally commit to oppose any cuts to any disability accessibility regulations, policies, programs or gains we have made? Will you commit to urge Doug Ford to do the same?

  1. Do you agree that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act should be effectively enforced? Will you commit to urge Doug Ford to pledge to effectively enforce this law?
  2. A recent Youtube video shows serious accessibility problems at new Toronto public transit stations. Doug Ford has not promised that under a Conservative Government, no public money would ever be used to create or perpetuate barriers against Ontarians with disabilities. Will you promise to personally oppose public money being used to create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities? Will you commit to press Doug Ford to promise to do the same?

Questions for Liberal Candidates

  1. In this election, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne has not given a commitment that a Liberal Government won’t cut back on disability accessibility regulations, policies, programs or gains that we have made. We want to be sure our gains are not on any party’s chopping block.

When she was running to lead the Liberal Party in 2012, Kathleen Wynne gave us that promise. But she broke it two years ago, when she cut back on the customer service accessibility obligations of some organizations.

Now she won’t promise in this election that she won’t cut back on our regulations, policies or other gains on accessibility that we have won so far.

Will you personally commit to oppose any cuts to any disability accessibility regulations, policies, programs or gains we have made? Will you commit to urge Kathleen Wynne to do the same?

  1. A recent Youtube video shows serious accessibility problems at new Toronto public transit stations. Kathleen Wynne promised in the last election that under a Liberal Government, no public money would ever be used to create or perpetuate barriers against Ontarians with disabilities. After that, we get all these new Toronto area public transit stations, shown in that video to have accessibility problems.

In this election, Kathleen Wynne says a Liberal Government won’t create new barriers using public money. However, she has not promised concrete action to ensure she doesn’t again break that pledge.

Will you promise to personally oppose public money being used to create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities? Will you commit to press Kathleen Wynne to promise real, concrete and specific monitoring and enforcement so that public money is never again used to create or perpetuate disability barriers?

Questions for New Democratic Party Candidates

  1. The NDP has made stronger commitments on accessibility than the Liberals or Conservatives. There is a possibility that we will have a minority Government. In that case, the NDP can really influence what is a priority in the Legislature. If there is a minority Government, whether the NDP is in Government or is in the opposition, do you personally agree that strengthening the implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act should be a major priority, and will you press Andrea Horvath to make it a major priority?

Questions for Green Party Candidates

  1. The Green Party has made the most commitments of all the parties, on disability accessibility. Will you agree to raise disability issues with the candidates from the other parties at each all-candidates’ debate, and to challenge them to meet or exceed the Green Party’s commitments?

Action Tips

Action Tip #1: Raise Our Issues at All Candidates Debates and Other Election Events in Your Community, and Video-Record Candidates’ Answers

As our main or even top strategy, please go to all-candidates debates and other campaign events in your riding. Publicly ask candidates the questions we list earlier in this Action Kit. Ask them to lead their party leaders, and not to just spout their party line!

* If you have a smart phone, video or audio record your question and the candidates’ answers. Ask someone there to help by doing the recording while you are asking your question. Then, share your video or audio recording on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Post it on Youtube. Let us know what you recorded by emailing us at aodafeedback@gmail.com This citizen journalism gives you a fantastic chance to make a permanent record of what candidates say, and to spread the word. This means that we need not depend on the mainstream media for such exchanges to reach the public.

* Search online to find the all-candidates debates in your riding, so you can arrange to attend them. We are trying to compile a list of all candidates’ debates around Ontario. You can email us to see if we have that list ready. Email us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

Otherwise, call a campaign office for a candidate in your riding to find out when and where there will be candidates’ debates and other campaign events that you can attend. Check out our incomplete list of candidates around Ontario and their contact info.

* Bring many copies of the May 16, 2018 AODA Alliance news release on the election’s disability issues to hand out at these events.

* If you hear that an All-Candidates Debate or other campaign event may be held in an inaccessible location, immediately raise it with the campaigns and with the media. Let us know about it. We have tweeted every candidate on Twitter a call for them to pledge not to attend an inaccessible All-Candidates Debate. Email us if this issue arises in your community, at aodafeedback@gmail.com

* If you have more time to help us, organize an All-Candidates’ Debate in your community on disability issues. National Access Awareness Week will be from May 27 to June 2, 2018. This falls right in the midst of this election campaign. It is a great time to schedule an election event on accessibility.

Action Tip#2: Raise Our Disability Accessibility Issues Directly With the Candidates And Their Campaign Offices in Your Community

Supporting our main action tip described above, please also get our message directly to the candidates in your riding, at their offices or at your doorstep. Press them to make stronger commitments on accessibility. If you have a smart phone, use it to record what you ask and what the candidates say. Post that video on Youtube or Facebook or wherever you can and share it with us and the world. Here again, you can become a citizen journalist, creating a record and sharing it with others!

* Contact the campaign offices of the candidates running in your riding. We have posted a riding-by-riding list of their addresses, email addresses, Twitter handles and phone numbers, where we have them.

Email them the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release on the parties’ platforms on disability accessibility. Ask them what their position is on the questions for the parties listed earlier in this Action Kit. Urge them or their campaign workers to support our non-partisan call that the next Ontario Government make faster progress towards full accessibility by 2025, and not cut any gains we’ve made to date. Encourage them to watch our new video on disability barriers at new and recently-renovated Toronto area public transit stations.

Action Tip #3: Widely Circulate to the Public the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 News Release on the Parties’ Platforms on Disability Accessibility, and the AODA Alliance’s New Video on Public Transit Disability Barriers

* Paste the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release about the parties’ disability accessibility platforms, into an email to friends, family members and community organizations to which you are connected. In your email’s subject line, you might say “Read About this Election’s Disability Accessibility Issues.” In your email you could suggest that the recipient forward it on to their friends and family, and that, they watch the AODA Alliance’s new public transit barriers video. The links to that video are in that news release, and are set out near the start of this Action Kit.

* Print up copies of the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release. Give hard copies of it to your friends and family. Keep a pile in a handy place at home to give to visitors.

* Post a copy of the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release, and links to the AODA Alliance’s public transit video, on your Facebook page, or other websites or blogs, or on hard copy bulletin boards (if any of those are still around).

* Bring copies of the May 16, 2018 AODA Alliance news release with you to community organization meetings and social gatherings. Hand them out, or leave them on a table where others make leaflets and other such things available for the public.

* Drop copies of the May 16, 2018 AODA Alliance news release at neighbours’ homes. If you live in an apartment, leave it at neighbours’ doors or in their mail slots.

* If you use public transit, bring copies of the May 16, 2018 AODA Alliance news release to a bus or subway station. Hand it out to passengers while you wait for your bus or subway. If you use para-transit, make copies available in the para-transit vehicle you ride.

Action Tip #4: Bring Our Message to Your Local Media

* Contact your local media. Urge them to cover this issue. Email or fax them the May 16, 2018 AODA Alliance news release and press them to watch the AODA Alliance’s new video on public transit accessibility barriers. Let them know about our grassroots election blitzes that many in the mainstream media often don’t sufficiently cover. Send them the links at the end of this Action Kit. Urge them to cover these election issues that concern over 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities, as well as their families and friends. Remind them that the number of persons with disabilities in Ontario is growing as the population ages. There are at least 1 million voters with disabilities in Ontario right now.

* If you know any reporters, columnists or editors in your community, urge them to cover this.

* Call in to phone-in radio shows. Bring our issue directly to the public. Educate the audience. This Action Kit gives you all you need.

* If a candidate or party leader is on a phone-in program, call to ask the questions for the parties we list earlier in this Action Kit.

* Write a guest column or letter to the editor on our issue for your local newspaper. Feel free to cut and paste as much as you want from this Action Kit, our AODA Alliance Updates, and our website.

Action Tip #5: Use Social Media like Facebook and Twitter to Spread the Word

* If you use Facebook, visit our Facebook page. It is called “Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance.”

* Click on your Facebook page that you “like” our Facebook page, so your Facebook friends will learn more about us.

* Click on your Facebook page that you “like” our specific postings on the Ontario election and click to share them with your Facebook friends.

* Post a direct link on your Facebook wall to our new public transit accessibility video, and our May 16, 2018 news release. Use the key links at the end of this Action Kit.

* If you use Twitter, be sure to follow us. We are at @aodaalliance. Our chair David Lepofsky is at @davidlepofsky. We use both addresses to share the same updates. Following either will ensure that you get the latest news. In addition to tweeting our AODA Alliance Updates that you can also get via email, we also use Twitter to share other quick bits and bytes of information about this election’s disability issues, and about disability issues around the world, that may not find their way into our email AODA Alliance Updates.

* Of great importance, please re-tweet as many of our AODA Alliance tweets as you can, and especially those which we address to candidates in this election.

* Follow the new search term or “hashtag” we’ve invented for this election. #DisabilityVoteCounts. Include it in your tweets.

* Encourage others to follow us on Twitter.

Action Tip #6: Community Organizations — Spread The Word Through Your Networks!

* If you are a staff member, volunteer or board member of a community organization, or are on a Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee or school board’s Special Education Advisory Committee, please use their networks to spread the word on this election’s disability accessibility issues.

* Get your organization to link its website to ours. Make this link directly to: www.aodaalliance.org

Your link might say, “Learn about the non-partisan grassroots campaign to make Ontario fully accessible for 1.9 million people with disabilities.”

* Get your organization to take the steps we list earlier regarding social media.

Links to Key Resources to Help You Join Our Election Campaign Blitz

To read the AODA Alliance’s May 16, 2018 news release, unveiling the Ontario parties’ disability accessibility pledges, visit:  https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/news-release-major-disability-coalition-unveils-the-parties-2018-election-pledges-on-accessibility-for-1-9-million-ontarians-with-disabilities/

For a list of all the candidates, riding by riding, and their email addresses, phone numbers and Twitter handles that we could find, visit: https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

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 www.aodaalliance.org

Wonderful Media Coverage of the AODA Alliance’s New Video on Serious Accessibility Problems at New and Recently-Renovated Toronto Area Public Transit Stations – Our Video Is Quickly Becoming a Key Part of Our Non-Partisan Accessibility Blitz During the 2018 Ontario Election Campaign

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities
www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

Wonderful Media Coverage of the AODA Alliance’s New Video on Serious Accessibility Problems at New and Recently-Renovated Toronto Area Public Transit Stations – Our Video Is Quickly Becoming a Key Part of Our Non-Partisan Accessibility Blitz During the 2018 Ontario Election Campaign

May 17, 2018

SUMMARY

Today is international Global Accessibility Awareness Day, recognized around the world and on Twitter with the hashtag #GAAD. Just two days ago, the AODA Alliance launched its new online video exposing serious new disability barriers, created by our Governments, in new and recently renovated public transit stations around Ontario.

This video has already been viewed over 1,000 times in the two days since it went public. It is quickly becoming a key part of our current non-partisan campaign to raise disability accessibility issues during the campaign that leads up to the June 7, 2018 Ontario general election. Encourage as many people as possible to watch it:

16 minute version:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

30 minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

On May 16, 2018, a fantastic article about our new video appeared in the Toronto Star (See below). The Ontario Government, through its Metrolinx agency, gave a breath-taking explanation for barriers at that station’s recent renovation. The Star quotes a Metrolinx spokesperson as saying:

“Union Station is an historic building, so we have to follow the heritage guidelines and make it accessible, so there’s some challenges for sure.”

Nothing in Union Station’s Heritage or historic past required the Government to build leaning pillars in its major renovation of the Go Transit area of that station, depicted in our video.

Reinforcing and expanding on our message, YorkRegion.com also ran a great online article on May 16, 2018, that highlights further accessibility problems that tenacious and tireless AODA Alliance supporter Randy McNeil brought to the media. That news outlet linked his issues to issues we raised in our video, and to our broader campaign on accessibility issues in this Ontario election. We also set that article out below.

On May 16, 2018, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky was interviewed twice on the topic of our video and our election blitz. One interview was on Toronto’s Talk 640 Radio. The other interview was on CFRB News Talk 1010 Radio.

Capping this off, on Thursday, May 17, 2018, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky taped an interview on the TVO’s flagship public affairs program “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”. We are told that this will air on Monday night, May 21, 2018 at 8 and 11 pm, and will be available shortly afterwards on Twitter. We will let you know if that changes. In that interview (which also included Hamilton area disability rights advocate Yvonne Felix) both our public transit video and the election’s broader disability accessibility issues were addressed.

Finally, on May 16, 2018, several disability community organizations hosted an excellent all-candidates’ debate on disability issues. Accessibility issues, including the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, came up many times. Our new video was referred to directly or indirectly more than once. To watch a recording of that debate, visit:

https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/72/Watch/12595.aspx

We encourage you to:

* Encourage as many people as possible to watch our public transit accessibility video. Share it on Facebook and other social media.

* Urge candidates to watch our video. Ask what they will do if elected, to prevent public money from ever being used again to create or perpetuate disability barriers. Check out our handy list of all the candidates and their Twitter handles, email addresses and phone numbers, that we could find. You can also send them our news release on this video.

* Stay tuned for the AODA Alliance’s forthcoming Action Kit, which will be chock full of ideas on how you can help our non-partisan campaign to raise disability issues in this election.

MORE DETAILS

The Toronto Star May 16, 2018

Originally posted at:

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/05/15/new-ttc-and-go-stations-difficult-dangerous-for-people-with-disabilities-advocacy-group-says-in-new-video.html

Greater Toronto

Video highlights transit flaws; Activist shows difficulty stations present to people with disabilities

Toronto’s subway and train stations, including the TTC’s newest, have design flaws that can make travelling difficult or dangerous for people with disabilities, according to a new video that illustrates the problems.

In a 30-minute video released Tuesday, David Lepofsky, the chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, demonstrates various problems at Union Station, some of the new TTC stations on Line 1 and some GO stations.

At Union Station, Lepofsky, who is blind, shows how a person walking with a white cane can hit their head on angled pillars on the train platforms.

At Bloor GO Station, he points out gaps in the “tactile walking surface indicators” – the bumpy parts of the platform that let blind people know that they’re close to the edge.

At the new York University TTC station, he notes only one entrance has an elevator – and on that elevator the braille is mislabelled and confusing, he says, pointing out how the button for the ground floor reads “main.”

“Accessibility requirements are inadequately enforced,” Lepofsky says in the video, adding that he thinks the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) doesn’t go far enough.

“If you’re going to design a building, do it in a way that everyone can use it,” Lepofsky told the Star. “Everybody gets a disability eventually, if you get older.”

Stuart Green, a spokesperson for the TTC, said some of Lepofsky’s observations are known to the TTC and are being addressed, but the video raised new concerns.

“Mr. Lepofsky’s analysis has raised a few issues regarding the new stations of which we were previously unaware and which will be reviewed by TTC staff for correction or improvement,” he said.

“The TTC is fully committed to meeting or exceeding AODA requirements.”

Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson for Metrolinx, said that the company is working on making GO stations more accessible, but there are roadblocks.

“We know we have a ways to go, we’re committed being AODA compliant … knowing it’s an extensive endeavour working with old infrastructure,” she said.

“Union Station is an historic building, so we have to follow the heritage guidelines and make it accessible, so there’s some challenges for sure.”

Lepofsky also said he made the transportation bodies aware of other accessibility concerns before the stations were finished, but they built them that way anyway.

One example is the platform design at all the new TTC stations, where the platform sits in the middle of the station and passengers can enter a train going either direction.

This gives people who are blind or have low vision no wall to use as a “shoreline” to follow, Lepofsky said, which can be dangerous on a crowded platform.

Jaren Kerr Toronto Star

YorkRregion.com May 16, 2018

Originally posted at:

https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/8611008-vaughan-subway-accessibility-denied-with-elevator-out-of-service-6-months/

Vaughan subway accessibility denied with elevator out of service 6 months

‘This is par for the course for the TTC:’ local accessibility advocate:

News May 15, 2018 by  Tim Kelly   Vaughan Citizen|

Randy McNeil, who has used a wheelchair since he contracted MS just over a decade ago, is not happy that an elevator at the bus station across the street from Vaughan Metropolitan Subway Centre station is not accessible and hasn’t been since it opened. May 14, 2018 – Susie Kockerscheidt/Metroland

A Vaughan resident, who uses a wheelchair, is angry after finding an elevator has been out of service next to the Vaughan Subway Station since it opened.

Randy McNeil, who has long been an advocate for accessibility issues, is frustrated because he says the Vaughan subway station “is not fully accessible and has never been and this is par for the course for the TTC.”

The problem is with an elevator in the York Region Transit terminal off Hwy. 7.

It has not worked for six months now due to an apparent water leak that a spokesperson for the TTC said will require another four to six weeks to repair.

The elevator connects those taking the bus to those linking to the TTC subway and vice versa.

It’s essential especially for those with accessibility issues, McNeil said.

“There has been an ongoing, consistent problem with accessibility from the get-go.”

He is unhappy the TTC system has many stations not fully accessible.

McNeil’s issues with the Vaughan subway station have come out at the same time that the Association for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA) group has come out with new videos and a statement demanding action from the government and political parties for 1.9 million people in Ontario with disabilities.

“With politicians making election promises to spend huge sums on public infrastructure, 1.9 million Ontarians with a physical, mental, sensory or other disability want to know what Ontario’s next government will do to ensure that new public transit stations are never built with accessibility barriers like those we expose in this new video, especially when spending public money,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance, which spearheads advocacy on accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities.

“People cannot believe that in the 21st century, new disability barriers are still being created in our built environment. We’re hoping our new video will help drive candidates in this election to make strong commitments for new action to strengthen and breathe new life into Ontario’s laws on accessibility for people with disabilities.”

As for McNeil, he said he believes a deadline of 2025 for all subway stations to be accessible “does not make Toronto a world-class city.”

by Tim Kelly

Tim Kelly is a reporter for the Markham Economist & Sun, Thornhill Liberal, Vaughan Citizen, YorkRegion.com and their sister papers. He can be reached at tkelly@yrmg.com. Follow him on Twitter and YorkRegion.com on Facebook.

Email: tkelly@yrmg.com  Facebook Twitter

More Information About the AODA Alliance

We are now using a new email server. Please take steps to ensure you can receive our AODA Alliance Updates. Put updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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.

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

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 www.aodaalliance.org/2016

To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to: aodafeedback@gmail.com

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/

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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

News Release: Major Disability Coalition Unveils the Parties’ 2018 Election Pledges on Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

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

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

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:

30-minute version:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

The AODA Alliance’s 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:

AODA Alliance Writes Ontario’s 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

The AODA Alliance’s 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
www.aodaalliance.org

The AODA Alliance’s Party-By-Party Analysis of the 2018 Election Disability Accessibility Commitments of the Major Ontario Political Parties

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

 

The AODA Alliance’s Party-By-Party Analysis of the 2018 Election Disability Accessibility Commitments of the Major Ontario Political Parties

 

May 16, 2018

 

Introduction

 

This is the AODA Alliance’s party-by-party analysis of the election commitments on disability accessibility that we have received. In providing this analysis, we emphasize that we are a non-partisan coalition. We do not urge voters to support or defeat any party or candidate. We provide this information for voters to use as they wish. We offer our analysis of these election commitments, based on our knowledge in this area, and our involvement on the front lines in advocacy on accessibility.

 

All the parties who wrote us demonstrate a commitment to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its goals.

 

Analysis of the Green Party’s Election Commitments

 

The Green Party gives the broadest commitments on the AODA. It is the only party that states that it supports all the specific commitments that we seek. In the rest of its letter, it makes a number of more general commitments along the themes and issues that the AODA Alliance has raised. It specifically commits not to weaken any or repeal any legislation that has been passed.

 

Analysis of the Ontario New Democratic Party’s Accessibility Commitments

 

The Ontario NDP gives by far the second strongest set of commitments on accessibility. These are second only to the Green Party. The NDP commitments are stronger than those of the Liberal or Conservative parties.

 

The NDP specifically committed to stand behind previous accessibility commitments it has given. As such, its May 5, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance is supplemented by commitments it earlier gave, for example, in the NDP’s August 24, 2011 letter to the AODA Alliance (setting out the NDP’s pledges on accessibility in the 2011 election), and the NDP’s May 11, 2014 letter to the AODA Alliance (setting out the NDP’s 2014 accessibility election pledges in the 2014 election). These include the following earlier commitments:

 

2011

 

From the August 24, 2011 letter from NDP leader Andrea Horwath to the AODA Alliance

 

* The Ontario NDP recognizes the vital importance of building a truly accessible Ontario. That is why we have worked to strengthen the AODA and other legislation with accessibility implications, whenever possible. New Democrats are committed to fully implementing the AODA and related initiatives.

 

* In addition to the full implementation of the AODA, New Democrats also support the timely enactment of the Built Environment Accessibility Standard and the accompanying amendments to the Ontario Building Code. We are committed to working with the AODA Alliance and other stakeholders to develop additional accessibility standards in the next session of the Legislature.

 

* Losing rights and protections for persons with disabilities goes against the goal of full accessibility. Therefore, New Democrats do not support any measure that would weaken accessibility protections in Ontario. Charles Beer’s 2010 Report on the AODA included recommendations that, if acted on, would ensure Ontario is able to achieve full accessibility by 2025. New Democrats support the implementation of Beer’s report, especially the recommendations that do not require legislative amendments.

 

* Coordination and clear expectations for the whole of government and the Public Service are necessary for achieving the goals of the AODA. The McGuinty government has ignored recommendations to designate a lead Minister and Ministry and this has come at a cost (i.e. the proposed elimination of the Employment Accommodation Fund). As noted above, the Ontario NDP supports the recommendations of the Beer report and understands the importance of a coordinated approach to fulfilling the requirements of the AODA. Ontario’s New Democrats will oppose any weakening of protections for persons with disabilities and this includes accommodation programs.

 

* New Democrats are committed to the full enforcement of the AODA. The AODA Alliance’s recommendation to allow existing government inspectors to enforce the AODA is a sensible proposal that is supported by the Ontario NDP.

 

* The Ontario NDP is committed to working with all stakeholders to find opportunities to strengthen accessibility requirements in Ontario. Including these requirements in Ontario’s Ten-Year Infrastructure Plan was a step forward. New Democrats would maintain and look for opportunities to strengthen these standards by partnering with the AODA Alliance and other relevant stakeholders.

 

* The Ontario NDP worked closely with the AODA Alliance to bring forward numerous amendments to Bill 231 that would have strengthened its accessibility provisions. We remain committed to these issues and ensuring full accessibility in elections for both voters and candidates. The NDP would be supportive of introducing legislation that implements the substantive issues addressed in our amendments to Bill 231.

 

* A comprehensive review of all Ontario laws for accessibility barriers is long overdue. The Ontario NDP remains committed to this important undertaking, including the introduction of an omnibus Bill, and would accelerate the current review process.

 

* Designating a Minister responsible for accessibility issues in Ontario is a necessary first step in developing a coordinated education strategy.  The public education campaign you described would require input and buy-in from multiple stakeholders. We will engage all relevant stakeholders in order to develop a comprehensive education strategy and meet the goals outlined in your letter.

 

* The Ontario NDP had very serious concerns with the Liberal government’s overhaul of the Human Rights System in Ontario. We will continue to work to improve access to legal services and other human rights protections for persons with disabilities.

 

* The Ontario NDP is committed to fostering our relationship with the AODA Alliance. We would be pleased to meet with your group, as requested in your letter.

2014

 

From the May 11, 2014 letter from NDP leader Andrea Horwath to the AODA Alliance

 

* The Ontario NDP understands that building a truly accessible Ontario is crucial. That is why we have worked to strengthen the AODA and other legislation with accessibility implications, whenever possible.

 

New Democrats have pushed for amendments to strengthen the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act since it was tabled in 2005. We have also pushed for the creation of new accessibility standards in the areas of health, education and residential housing.

 

We remain committed to this and will strengthen the implementation of the AODA and related initiatives.

 

* B. Ensure that all enforceable requirements under the AODA are effectively enforced.

 

Andrea and the Ontario NDP don’t believe that enforcement should happen only when the media is looking. New Democrats are committed to the full enforcement of the AODA and will ensure that all agreements are enforced.

 

A NDP government will make it a priority to issue an enforcement plan that ensures action.

 

* C. Develop the new Accessibility Standards under the AODA needed to achieve full accessibility by 2025

 

The next government will need to determine all accessibility standards to achieve full accessibility in Ontario. New Democrats are committed to doing this as quickly as possible and making Ontario fully accessible for people with disabilities by 2025.

 

* D. Ensure taxpayers’ money is never used to create or buttress disability barriers.

 

New Democrats do not support any measure that would weaken accessibility protections in Ontario. Further, we believe it’s the role of government to reduce barriers, not create more. Public dollars should be spent in ways that promote and ensure accessibility for all Ontarians and always in accordance with provincial legislation and standards.

 

Andrea and the Ontario NDP believe that accessibility for all Ontarians is important. We are committed to meeting with the AODA Alliance and working together to ensure disability barriers are never created.

 

* E. Ensure accessibility of provincial and municipal elections

 

The Ontario NDP brought forward numerous amendments to Bill 231, the Liberal amendment to the Election Act, which would have strengthened its accessibility provisions. We remain committed to the issues raised and to ensuring full accessibility in elections for both voters and candidates. The NDP would introduce legislation that implements the substantive issues addressed in our amendments to Bill 231.

 

* F. Substantially improve how the Ontario Public Service ensures the accessibility of its services, facilities and workplaces

 

Achieving the goals of the AODA requires coordination and clear expectations for the whole of government. Consecutive Liberal governments have ignored recommendations to designate a lead Minister and Ministry to be responsible for accessibility issues in Ontario.

 

Designating a Minister responsible for accessibility issues in Ontario is a necessary first step in developing a coordinated strategy to improve accessibility issues in the Ontario Public Service and in program and service delivery.

 

* The Ontario NDP supports the recommendations of the Beer report and understands the importance of a coordinated approach to fulfilling the requirements of the AODA.

 

* G. Complete the overdue promised review of all Ontario laws for accessibility barriers

 

Andrea and the Ontario NDP believe that a comprehensive review of all Ontario law for accessibility barriers is long overdue.

 

In September 2013, the Liberals made appointments to lead a review of the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It was made clear when the review will be complete. The Ontario NDP remains committed to this important undertaking and will accelerate the review process.

 

* H. Foster our ongoing relationship with your party

 

Andrea and the Ontario NDP hope to continue working with the AODA Alliance and other stakeholders to ensure Ontarians can access services and businesses in their communities.  We would be pleased to meet with your group post-election, regardless of the outcome, to continue working on accessibility issues.

 

 

New Commitments in 2018

 

Specific new actions that the NDP commits to in its May 5, 2018 letter include meeting with the AODA Alliance within the first 100 days of forming Government, establishing strong AODA enforcement (which may include more inspectors and certifying inspectors under other legislation to enforce the AODA), and publicizing ways for the public to report AODA violations.

 

The NDP also commits to reform and speed up the development of accessibility standards under the AODA, and requiring ministries to audit themselves on their progress towards accessibility. The NDP calls for a Built Environment Accessibility Standard. It should deal with new construction, major renovations, retrofits and elevators.

On education for students with disabilities, the NDP says in part:

 

“We understand that the Ministry of Education has been a major barrier to effectively meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and that the responses and supports that students and families receive have varied wildly across the province. We are committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are no longer treated as an afterthought. We will review the funding formula for special education, and will re-structure the way that the Ministry of Education approaches accessibility.”

 

The NDP commits to ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to government services. As part of a broader process of election reform, the NDP commits to an accessible election action plan, supported through legislation, at the provincial and municipal levels.

 

Analysis of the Ontario Liberal Party’s 2018 Election Commitments

 

The Liberal Party makes the second weakest set of 2018 commitments on accessibility, of the four major parties. In some earlier elections, it made stronger commitments than it offers in 2018. Of course, credit goes to the Liberal Party for having developed and enacted the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005, and for having gotten a good start on its implementation in the years right after that.

 

We have more to say about this letter than about the letters from the other parties, in part because the Liberals have been in power since they passed the AODA in 2005. As such, their letter needs to be read in light of their record on the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, to which they refer in their 2018 letter.

 

It is good that the Liberal Party commits to focusing on barriers in the built environment. However, it does not commit to any specific action, beyond further consultation.

 

The Liberal Government has known for years that there is a real need for new action in this area. For example, this was identified as a priority three and a half years ago in the report of the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review, which the Government received in November 2014.

 

It is good that the Government has agreed to ask existing AODA Standards Development Committees to give advice on measures needed to address barriers in the built environment. In the past, the Government had been reluctant to have this addressed. For example, it initially planned to direct the Health Care Standards Development Committee away from considering any built environment barriers in the health care system. We had resisted that position.

 

On new Government projects, the Liberals confirm that they aim to fulfil the Ontario Building Code and AODA standards. The Liberals wrote:

 

“Standards for AFPs differ project to project, but all Project Companies are required to comply with all legislation on AFP projects, including the AODA and accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code. This is the de facto minimum standard.”

 

This falls far short of building Government buildings to the standard of universal design or the Ontario Human Rights Code. We have shown the Government that the Ontario Building Code and AODA standards fall far short of those higher requirements.

 

The Government commits to treat this entire issue in “the next review of the standard”. That would thereby require the Liberals, if re-elected, to treat the next mandatory review of the Public Spaces Accessibility Standard, enacted in 2012, in a way that would address all built environment barriers, and not just those in areas like recreation trails, parking lots, and public service areas, to which that 2012 accessibility standard now is limited.

 

On the need for a Residential Housing Accessibility Standard, the Liberals only commit to consult, before it decides what to do. The Liberals wrote:

 

“Given the complexity of housing construction, building modification, and renovation, we will also work with builders, developers, architects, and other experts before committing to a path forward on residential housing and retrofits.”

 

Yet in July 2009, the Liberal Government committed to address residential housing through the standards development process, once it had addressed new construction and major renovations.

 

It is good that the Liberals promise to work with professional bodies on training on accessibility in the design area. The Liberals wrote:

 

“Getting to an accessible Ontario requires that we also ensure that the professionals most connected to design and construction know about accessibility. To this end, we will work with regulatory bodies, colleges, universities, and professional organisations to ensure that accessibility is included throughout the process. ”

 

 

The Liberals earlier promised action on this back in the 2007 Ontario election. In his September 14, 2007 letter to the AODA Alliance, Dalton McGuinty wrote:

 

“The Government of Ontario does not set the training curriculum for professional bodies such as architects, but we commit to raising this issue with the different professional bodies.”

 

We have repeatedly tried without success to get the Government to take action on that commitment over the past 11 years.

 

On AODA enforcement, the Liberals commit to ” work with obligated organizations and stakeholders to determine what is needed to improve both reporting and compliance rates.” The only specific new enforcement action the Liberals identify is hiring new AODA inspectors (Ontario now only has 3 for the entire economy). It commits to “certify other government inspectors to conduct necessary accessibility enforcement audits while on site.” We have pressed for this for over 7 years. The Liberals promised to explore this four years ago, in its May 14, 2014 letter, which set out its 2014 election pledges. It then wrote:

 

“5. With respect to additional enforcement activities, we commit to investigating the possibility of having government inspectors and investigators enforce the AODA within the context of existing resources and as training capacity exists.”

 

 

In her 2016 Mandate Letter to Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles, Premier Wynne directed the minister to increase by 50% the compliance rate under the AODA of private sector organizations. Yet in 2017 there was no increase in this rate.

 

Also on enforcement, the Liberals promised to “publicize new and existing reporting mechanisms, such as our phone line and social media channels.”

 

In the 2014 election, the Liberal promised action on “establishing and publicizing an accessible toll-free phone number to report violations of AODA requirements.” Yet we have seen no such publicity in the past four years. It has mainly been the AODA Alliance that has publicized the Government’s toll-free AODA violations reporting number.

 

It is good that the Liberals again commit not to use public money to perpetuate barriers. Yet the Liberals also state:

 

“Though there is work to be done to ensure universal application, our success at working together with the AODA Alliance on provincially-funded transit projects and other infrastructure builds shows a path forward.”

 

Yet as the AODA Alliance’s newest online video shows, the Ontario Government has created serious new disability barriers in new Toronto area public transit stations.

 

On improving the standards development process, the Liberals commit that they “look forward to making the process more open and transparent to ensure all voices are heard without compromising necessary privacy and accountability measures.” Standards Development Committee members, taking on the role of serving on a Standards Development Committee, cannot assert that their views on policy issues like accessibility barriers are protected from public scrutiny by privacy concerns.

 

On education for students with disabilities, the Liberals won’t commit to any significant reforms until they receive the advice of the Education Standards Development Committee, appointed under the AODA. That is at least 18 months away.

 

The Liberals commit to none of the other measures in the education context that we requested. Those other measures need not and should not await the final report of the Education Standards Development Committee. The Liberals do agree to continue to review the education funding formula. The Liberals wrote:

 

“We are committed to engaging with our education partners to continue reviewing the funding model for special education to ensure it is responsive to the needs of students, families, school boards, and educators.”

 

The Liberals state: “We care deeply about student mental health and well-being…” Yet they do not commit to reform Ontario’s outdated special education legislation, which does not include students with mental health issues as entitled to special education, unless they become a behaviour problem. This is one of the issues that must await 18 months, while the Education Standards Development decides what it will recommend for inclusion in the promised Education Accessibility Standard.

 

The Liberals are incorrect, in so far as Ontario’s special education legislation is concerned, where they state:

 

“All students with disabilities must be supported by our public education system based on individual assessments of strengths and needs. Specific needs are addressed through students’ Individual Education Plans. The categories of exceptionalities in the Education Act were designed to address the range of conditions that may affect a student’s ability to learn, rather than by condition or diagnosis.”

 

The definition of “exceptionality” in Ontario’s special education does not include all students with disabilities. Moreover, as operationalized in Ontario schools, special education is defined in terms of condition or diagnosis, despite the Liberals’ claim to the contrary.

 

On the need to provide technical advice to obligated organizations, the Liberals commit to strengthen the Government’s internal activity for providing AODA information to obligated organizations, to include technical expertise. This appears to recognize that those within the Government who provide AODA information now do not have technical expertise.

 

On accessibility of provincial and municipal elections for voters with disabilities, it is good that the Liberals state: #

 

“We are committed to safeguarding the interests of Ontarians with disabilities through ease of access to their right to cast a ballot.”

 

The Liberals do not specify what they will do towards this goal, if re-elected. The Liberals say that since 2014, they have made “significant strides” towards accessible elections, indicating:

 

“Since 2014, we made significant strides toward accessible elections by testing new technology in by-elections and the forthcoming increased use of voting machines in June.”

 

As the lead community coalition advocating on accessibility in Ontario generally, including on accessibility of elections, we have not seen or heard anything from the Government about this topic over the past four years. We do not know anything about the “significant strides” towards accessible elections, to which the Liberals refer. The Wynne Government has not consulted us over the past four years on this topic.

 

On the issue of accessible all-candidates debates in this election, it is good that the Liberals commit:

 

“Every effort will be made to help hosts of All Candidates’ Meetings understand the need to choose accessible venues.”

 

The Liberals commit to no new action to tear down the barriers within the Ontario Public Service. They incorrectly claim that the Ontario Public Service is a “world leader” in accessible employment.

 

Contradicting this claim, the 2014 final report of the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review identified the need for significant accessibility reforms within the Ontario Government. Since then, the Wynne Government has announced no major strategy on that front.

 

On the issue of instructing her ministers and senior officials on the Government’s accessibility commitments, it is good that the Liberals promise:

 

“Continuing with her commitment to transparency and open government, Premier Wynne will include accessibility in the mandate letters to her Ministers and make those letters public.”

 

In the Liberals’ May 14, 2014 letter to the AODA Alliance setting out their 2014 election pledges, they committed:

 

“If we win the honour of re-election, our government will continue to implement our accessibility obligations and commitments.  This includes directing Cabinet Ministers and senior public officials to implement accessibility obligations and commitments.”

 

However, when Premier Wynne made public her 2014 Mandate Letters to her ministers, the AODA Alliance publicly documented that they left out many if not most of the Government’s accessibility commitments. If one reads the Liberals’ 2016 Mandate Letters, these suffer from the same deficiency.

 

On the Government’s 2007 promise to review all Ontario laws for accessibility barriers, the Liberals say this:

 

“Earlier this year, the government appointed the Honourable David C. Onley to lead the next review of the AODA. As part of this review, we are asking Mr. Onley to include in his advice the best way forward to both complete the review and provide solutions to accessibility barriers in legislation in a practical and responsible way.”

 

Before receiving the Liberals’ May 14, 2018 letter, the Government had never told us it was deferring action on this, pending the next AODA Independent Review. This delay is a backwards step, that will only further delay action on a 2007 election commitment that was already long-delayed.

 

Eleven years ago, in the 2007 election, Dalton McGuinty promised this in his September 14, 2007 letter to the AODA Alliance:

 

“Review all Ontario laws to find any disability accessibility barriers that need to be removed.

 

The Ontario Liberal government believes this is the next step toward our goal of a fully accessible Ontario. Building on our work of the past four years, we will continue to be a leader in Canada on accessibility issues. For Ontario to be fully accessible, we must ensure no law directly or indirectly discriminates against those with disabilities. To make that happen, we commit to reviewing all Ontario laws to find any disability barriers that need to be removed.”

 

The Government delayed getting started on this review for four years, and only made amendments to a small number of statutes in 2016. Since then, it has announced no plan for further action. In her September 2016 Mandate Letter to the Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles, Premier Wynne gave this priority:

 

“Building on work with the Attorney General and the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, lead the ongoing review of legislation and regulations across government with the goal of eliminating barriers for persons with disabilities and update government on your progress in 2017.”

 

In the following two years, the Government announced no action on this, and reported no progress on it.

 

To now tell Ontarians with disabilities that they must wait another year, for the next AODA Independent Review to finish its work, for the Government to get advice on how to proceed further, serves no purpose except further delay.

 

We have repeatedly given the Government advice on how to proceed. Had the Wynne Government wanted Mr. Onley’s advice on how to proceed with the conduct of its promised review of Ontario laws for accessibility barriers it could have asked Mr. Onley at any time from late 2014 to late 2017. Throughout that period, the Government employed Mr. Onley as its Special Advisor on Accessibility.

 

Analysis of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party’s Election Commitments

 

The PC Party makes the weakest and least specific commitments on accessibility of the four major parties. A number of its key lines appear to be taken verbatim from the May 12, 2014 letter to the AODA Alliance by then-Conservative leader Tim Hudak. That letter set out the PC Party’s 2014 election pledges on accessibility.

 

It is good that the Conservatives commit to working with the AODA Alliance on AODA implementation and enforcement, and voice a commitment to the AODA and its goals. They recognize that people with disabilities face too many disability barriers in various aspects of life. They agree that people with disabilities should be able to cast their own ballot and get a job, without disability barriers.

 

They acknowledge the need for a clear strategy on the built environment, and a need to substantially improve the training of design professionals on accessibility. They recognize the need to remove barriers impeding students with disabilities in our education system. However they do not spell out what specifically they will do in these areas.

 

The Conservatives do not commit that they will not cut back on or repeal any gains we have made under the AODA.

 

The AODA Alliance’s Issue-By-Issue Party Comparison of the Major Parties’ Election Commitments on Disability Accessibility

The AODA Alliance’s Issue-By-Issue Party Comparison of the Major Parties’ Election Commitments on Disability Accessibility

 

May 16, 2018

 

Introduction

 

On April 2, 2018, the AODA Alliance wrote the leaders of the major parties, seeking detailed election commitments on accessibility. Below is an issue-by-issue breakdown of the parties’ responses. The AODA Alliance bases this analysis on the May 4, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from the Green Party of Ontario, the May 5, 2018 letter to the, AODA Alliance from the Ontario New Democratic Party, the May 14, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from the Ontario Liberal Party, and the May 15, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

 

Below, each topic is presented in which the AODA Alliance sought election commitments. Under each topic, we set out the commitments on that issue that the AODA Alliance requested and then a breakdown of what each party committed. This is provided by verbatim quotations from the letters from the parties to the AODA Alliance. The same quote may appear under more than one heading, if it spoke to more than one issue that the AODA Alliance had raised. If a party said nothing about an issue, there is no reference to that party under that issue heading.

 

^Foster and Strengthen Our Ongoing Relationship with Your Party

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#1. as Premier, to periodically meet with us to discuss issues concerning persons with disabilities and accessibility such as the commitments we here seek, including once within the first four months of taking office, and to have a minister responsible for disability issues, and any other minister with responsibility bearing on our issues, meet with us where needed. If your Party does not form the Government, then we seek your commitment to meet with us periodically, and for your Party to be open to raise our concerns in the Legislature, including in Question Period, where appropriate.

 

 

NDP

 

* We are committed to meeting with the AODA Alliance and accessibility advocates within the first 100 days of forming government.

 

* My team and I take your counsel and the issues raised seriously. We have a history of raising issues brought to us by the AODA Alliance in the Legislature on numerous occasions – over the past year alone we have raised questions on the issue of accessibility six times during question period.

I highly value our relationship with the AODA Alliance, and look forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship when we form government on June 7.

 

Liberals

 

* We believe that creating and maintaining constructive dialogues are essential in order to deliver meaningful change. That’s why we have worked closely with the AODA Alliance and many other passionate and knowledgeable stakeholders and individuals in the accessibility field and will continue to do so if re-elected.

 

* Since becoming Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Kathleen Wynne and her Cabinet and caucus colleagues have met regularly with the AODA Alliance and other disability and accessibility advocacy groups. We commit to continuing these meetings if returned to government.

 

Greens

 

* We are committed to a transparent government and welcome open communication with your association, including meetings with Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, candidates, and shadow cabinet. The Green Party looks forward to continued consultation on disability and accessibility issues with your organization and improving access to government services for all Ontarians.

 

Conservatives

 

* An Ontario PC government is committed to working with the AODA Alliance to address implementation and enforcement issues when it comes to these standards.

 

* Building a strong, open dialogue with your organization is most certainly a priority for our party. We encourage you to continue this dialogue and share your ideas and solutions for Ontarians with disabilities.

 

^Substantially Strengthen Implementation of the AODA 2005

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#2. To fully support the AODA and its goals.

#3. to strengthen the implementation of the AODA, and not eliminate, weaken or reduce any provisions or protections in that legislation, in regulations enacted under it, in any policies, practices, strategies or initiatives of or within the Ontario Government that exist to implement it or achieve its objectives, or any rights that persons with disabilities enjoy under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

 

#4. To Stand by your Party’s previous commitments on disability accessibility and the AODA.

 

#5. Within six months of taking office, and after consulting the public including people with disabilities, to announce a comprehensive action plan for ensuring that the Government fulfils its duty to lead Ontario to accessibility by 2025. No such plan now exists.

 

NDP:

 

* Ontario’s New Democrats are committed to the full implementation and enforcement of the AODA, and to removing all forms of barriers, particularly to the job market, and will absolutely stand by our previous commitments on disability accessibility and the AODA.

 

Liberals

 

* We remain committed to achieving an accessible Ontario by 2025.

 

Greens

 

* We have read over your list of election commitments and are supportive of all your requests. Please see our comments below.

 

* The Green Party of Ontario is fully committed to a government that encourages citizens to actively participate in their community and have a say in decisions that affect them. We support strong implementation of the AODA 2005 and will not weaken or repeal any legislation that has already been passed.

 

 

Conservatives

 

* Your issues are close to the hearts of our Ontario PC Caucus and Candidates, which is why they will play an outstanding role in shaping policy for the Ontario PC Party to assist Ontarians in need.

 

 

Too many Ontarians with disabilities still face barriers when they try to get a job, ride public transit, get an education, use our healthcare system, buy goods or services, or eat in restaurants.

 

Whether addressing standards for public housing, health care, employment or education, our goal when passing the AODA in 2005 was to help remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating more fully in their communities.

 

For the Ontario PCs, this remains our goal. Making Ontario fully accessible by 2025 is an important goal under the AODA and it’s one that would be taken seriously by an Ontario PC government.

 

* An Ontario PC government is committed to working with the AODA Alliance to address implementation and enforcement issues when it comes to these standards.

 

^Ensure that All Requirements under the AODA are Effectively Enforced

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#6. To substantially strengthen AODA enforcement, including effectively using all AODA enforcement powers, and to use them to enforce all requirements that are in force under the AODA, and in connection with all classes of organizations that are required to comply.

 

#7. To Transfer AODA enforcement outside the Ministry responsible for the AODA, and assign it to an arms-length public agency to be created for AODA enforcement.

 

#8. To significantly increase the number of inspectors and directors appointed with AODA enforcement powers. As of now, there were only three inspectors and three directors appointed under the AODA to enforce this law across all of Ontario. Among other things, we seek a commitment to immediately give Ontario Government inspectors and investigators under other legislation a mandate to enforce the AODA when they inspect or investigate an organization under other legislation. The Ontario Government has piloted this and had this under study for years.

 

#9. To Have the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario publicly release and promptly post detailed information on AODA enforcement actions at least every three months.  It should report on how many obligated organizations are actually providing accessibility, and not, as too often is the case at present, how many organizations simply tell the Government that they are providing accessibility. This should include prompt reports of quarterly results and year-to-date totals, broken down by sector and size of organization.  At a minimum, it should include such measures as the number of notices of proposed order issued, the total amount of proposed penalties, the number of orders issued and total amounts and number of penalties imposed, the number of appeals from orders and the outcome, the total amount of penalties including changes ordered by the appeal tribunal, and the orders categorized by subject matter. This is what the 2014 final report of Mayo Moran’s second AODA Independent Review recommended.

 

#10. to require obligated organizations to report to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario on accessibility complaints received via their required AODA feedback mechanisms, and on how they were resolved, while protecting individual privacy.

 

#11. To make as a core feature of AODA enforcement the on-site inspection of a range of obligated organizations each year on the actual accessibility of their workplace, goods, services and facilities. It is not good enough for the Government, as at present, to mainly or only aim to ensure that obligated organizations keep good records on accessibility. It is more important that organizations actually achieve accessibility.

 

#12. To expand and widely-publicize the toll-free line for the public to report AODA violations, and to provide and widely-publicize online avenues to report AODA violations, including Twitter, FaceBook and a web page, to publicly account on a quarterly basis on the complaints received and the specific enforcement action taken as a result (including whether the subject of the complaint was notified of it.

 

#13. To create new ways for crowd-sourced AODA monitoring/enforcement, such as the Government beginning to post all online AODA compliance reports from obligated organizations in a publicly-accessible searchable data base, and by requiring each obligated organization to post its AODA compliance report on its own website, if it has one.

 

NDP

 

* We understand that strong accessibility policy means nothing unless it is coupled with strong enforcement. We have repeatedly called on the government to utilize an independent review process and to expand current AODA enforcement activities beyond the assessment of voluntarily submitted accessibility reports. We have lambasted this government for failing to use the powers, authority, and penalties set forth under the act to ensure compliance.

An NDP government will explore options for increased enforcement, including increasing the number of inspectors, and certifying inspectors from other agencies to be able to enforce AODA compliance. An NDP government would commit to publicizing ways for the public and public servants to report AODA violations.

 

Liberals

 

* Ontario Liberals are fully committed to the AODA and enforcing the provisions therein. To this end, we have improved enforcement activities by requiring compliance reports and conducting audits throughout the economy. Despite our progress, we know there is more work to do. We will work with obligated organizations and stakeholders to determine what is needed to improve both reporting and compliance rates. We will also increase the number of inspectors empowered to enforce the AODA and certify other government inspectors to conduct necessary accessibility enforcement audits while on site. We will report on the results of these activities as frequently as practicable, including through aggregate numbers in the AODA Annual Report. In addition, we will also publicize new and existing reporting mechanisms, such as our phone line and social media channels.

 

Compliance and enforcement are only half the story and will not achieve our goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025 without proper public and obligated organisation education. That’s why, if re-elected, Ontario Liberals will mount a public education campaign later this year on obligations under the AODA.

 

Greens

 

We support fully implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by preparing an enforcement plan, allocating resources for enforcement, and supporting a public awareness campaign.

 

Conservatives

 

* An Ontario PC government is committed to working with the AODA Alliance to address implementation and enforcement issues when it comes to these standards.

 

^Develop the New Accessibility Standards under the AODA Needed to Achieve Accessibility by 2025

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#14. to continue the work of the six AODA Standards Development Committees now underway, to enact accessibility standards in the new areas of education and of health care, and to strengthen existing accessibility standards in the areas of transportation, employment, information and communication, and the design of public spaces, promptly after recommendations are received from Standards Development Committees in these areas.

 

#15. To consult over the three months immediately following the June 7, 2018 election, with the public, including the disability community, on all the sectors that other accessibility standards need to address, to ensure that Ontario becomes accessible by 2025, with a decision to be announced on the economic sectors to be addressed in those standards within three months after that consultation.

 

NDP

 

* Public funds should never be used to create or perpetuate disability barriers. This means that processes for developing and reviewing accessibility standards must be reformed and sped up. They must adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code, and each ministry should conduct regular audits of their progress toward becoming fully accessible.

We know that ensuring every government initiative is accessibly designed from the start requires the enactment of accessibility standards and the full implementation of Standards Development Committees. This underscores our commitment to continue the work of the six AODA Standards Development Committees now underway.

In December, we called on the government to immediately establish the as-of-yet undelivered Built Environment Standards. These will include recommendations for retrofits, major renovations, transit and elevators. An NDP government is committed to implementing these recommendations.

 

Liberals

 

* A re-elected Liberal government will build on this progress by:

  • completing the development of new accessibility standards in Health Care and Education
  • building on the early successes of Access Talent and maintaining our commitment to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
  • exploring and determining next steps for preventing and removing accessibility barriers in the built environment

 

* The creation of new standards is a critical element of the Ontario Liberal commitment to an accessible Ontario by 2025. We intend to continue the reviews already underway and continue the work of developing standards in the areas of health care and education. We would welcome advice from these committees on built environment issues and look forward to making the process more open and transparent to ensure all voices are heard without compromising necessary privacy and accountability measures.

 

Greens

 

* We are committed to working with the public following the June 2018 election on new accessibility standards to ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible by 2025.

 

Conservatives

 

* Whether addressing standards for public housing, health care, employment or education, our goal when passing the AODA in 2005 was to help remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating more fully in their communities.

 

For the Ontario PCs, this remains our goal. Making Ontario fully accessible by 2025 is an important goal under the AODA and it’s one that would be taken seriously by an Ontario PC government.

 

* The Ontario PC Party believes our education system must minimize barriers for students with disabilities, providing the skills, opportunities and connections with the business community that are necessary to enter the workforce.

 

^Take Overdue Steps to Ensure the Accessibility of the built Environment, Including Residential Housing

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#16. To publicly recognize that there is now a problem with the inaccessibility of the built environment in Ontario, and to launch a comprehensive strategy that will address both new consultation and the retrofit of existing buildings that are undergoing no major renovations.

 

#17. To ensure that the accessibility of the Built environment is fully and effectively addressed by requirements enacted under the AODA, e.g. by developing and enacting a comprehensive Built Environment Accessibility Standard under the AODA, and to ensure that it effectively addresses accessibility retrofits in existing buildings, as well as accessibility in new construction and major renovations.

 

#18. To direct each Standards Development Committee now in operation to make recommendations on standards for the built environment as it relates to the area that that Standards Development Committee is studying. For example, the Transportation Standards Development Committee should be directed to make recommendations for accessibility in public transit stations and stops.

 

#19. to ensure that a new and comprehensive Built Environment Accessibility Standard will include accessibility requirements for elevators.

 

#20. To create a Residential Housing Accessibility Standard under the AODA, and within six months of taking office, to appoint a Standards Development Committee to make recommendations on what it should include.

 

#21. To announce a comprehensive strategy on accessible housing (apart from an AODA accessibility standard), within six months of taking office, after consulting the public, including people with disabilities. This strategy should aim to effectively increase the supply of accessible housing in Ontario, including supportive housing.

 

#22. To require that before a building permit and/or site plan approval can be obtained for a project, the approving authority, municipal or provincial, must be satisfied that the project, on completion, will meet all accessibility requirements under the Ontario Building Code and in any AODA accessibility standards.

 

#23. To require that post-project completion inspections include inspecting for compliance with accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code and AODA accessibility standards.

 

#24. To require professional bodies that regulate or licence key professionals such as architects and other design professionals, to require adequate training on accessible  design to qualify for a license, and to require existing professionals, where needed to take continuing professional development training on accessible design.

 

#25. To require, as a condition of funding any college or university that trains key professions, such as design professionals (like architects), that they include sufficient training on meeting accessibility needs, in their program’s curriculum.

 

#26. To substantially reform the way public sector infrastructure projects are managed and overseen in Ontario, including a major reform of Infrastructure Ontario, to ensure that accessibility is addressed far earlier, and more effectively in the project. This should include a requirement that accessibility advice be obtained on all major projects starting at the very beginning, with input being required from the outset obtained from people with disabilities. Any accessibility advice from people with disabilities or accessibility consultants should be promptly made public. Any decisions by the Government or by project teams it hires to reject any accessibility advice should promptly be publicly reported, identifying who made that decision, and the reasons for it. The accessibility requirements for any infrastructure should be made public as soon as possible, and well before a bidding competition is closed.

 

#27. To require that when public money is used to create public housing, principles of universal design will be employed in the design of that public housing.

 

#28. To create a fund to increase the number of accessible public premises, which would be available to public buildings that agree to make their property available to the public, in the case of emergency.

 

NDP

 

* In December, we called on the government to immediately establish the as-of-yet undelivered Built Environment Standards. These will include recommendations for retrofits, major renovations, transit and elevators. An NDP government is committed to implementing these recommendations.

 

* There is an accessible housing crisis in Ontario. To begin to address this, we will earmark affordable housing units for Ontarians with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Our investment in 30,000 units of supportive housing will give adults who have developmental disabilities access to housing that ensures they can live rich lives with more independence.

We are proponents of universal design and will ensure that accessibility standards are considered and met before, during, and after any major reforms or infrastructure projects are undertaken by the government.

 

Liberals

 

* A re-elected Liberal government will build on this progress by: …

  • exploring and determining next steps for preventing and removing accessibility barriers in the built environment

 

*  We intend to continue the reviews already underway and continue the work of developing standards in the areas of health care and education. We would welcome advice from these committees on built environment issues and look forward to making the process more open and transparent to ensure all voices are heard without compromising necessary privacy and accountability measures.

 

Beyond ongoing work, we know that there are barriers in the province that need to be addressed through standards. Earlier this year, former Minister Tracy MacCharles publicly stated that the standards governing the built environment need to be strengthened to achieve our goal. That’s why she convened a summit on the subject attended by many impacted stakeholders, including the AODA Alliance. We will use the feedback gleaned from this summit and further consultation with stakeholders to determine the best path forward as we track toward the mandated review of the standard. Given the complexity of housing construction, building modification, and renovation, we will also work with builders, developers, architects, and other experts before committing to a path forward on residential housing and retrofits.

 

Getting to an accessible Ontario requires that we also ensure that the professionals most connected to design and construction know about accessibility. To this end, we will work with regulatory bodies, colleges, universities, and professional organisations to ensure that accessibility is included throughout the process.

 

Standards for AFPs differ project to project, but all Project Companies are required to comply with all legislation on AFP projects, including the AODA and accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code. This is the de facto minimum standard. Issues related to accessibility in AFP projects are therefore related to the content of the standards. On built environment issues specifically, that’s why we have committed to working with stakeholders toward the next review of the standard.

 

Greens

 

* We support accessibility as an essential component of any new building project or retrofit. Training in accessible design should be a requirement across all licensing and educational institutions in Ontario, and all new building projects should meet standard accessibility requirements before approval. A strategy must be developed both to increase the supply of accessible housing within Ontario and to undertake the retrofitting of existing buildings in order for them to meet accessibility standards.

 

Conservatives

 

* Ontario needs a clear strategy to address AODA standards and the Ontario Building Code’s accessibility provisions. We need Ontario’s design professionals, such as architects, to receive substantially improved professional training on disability and accessibility.

 

^Substantially Reform How the Ministry of Education Deals with the Needs of Students with Disabilities

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#29.  To create a new associate Deputy Minister and Division at the Ministry of Education, to be called the Full Participation Inclusion of Students with Disabilities Division. This division should have lead responsibility for ensuring that all planning and programming at the Ministry is designed and operated to ensure that students with disabilities  can fully participate in and be fully included in schools and education services. To avoid this becoming an irrelevant, isolated  silo within the Ministry, this Division should have a mandate to oversee and ensure the work of all other divisions in the Ministry in this regard, so that no new initiatives in education will go forward unless this Division approves it as fully including students with disabilities without barriers.

 

#30. To amend Ontario’s Education Act and special education regulations, to eliminate the unfairly restrictive definition of “exceptional pupil” and “exceptionality,” and to replace it with a definition of students with disabilities that covers all disabilities covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The current out-dated terms “exceptional pupil” and “exceptionality” now leave out  mental health conditions that have not become a behaviour issue).

 

#31. To independently review the Ministry’s programming and funding formula for special education, to be renamed funding for students with disabilities, in order to ensure it is sufficient to meet their needs, and to ensure that funding is based on the actual number of students with disabilities  in a school board, not some mathematical formula of how many students with disabilities  there hypothetically should be at that school board.

 

NDP

 

* We understand that the Ministry of Education has been a major barrier to effectively meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and that the responses and supports that students and families receive have varied wildly across the province. We are committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are no longer treated as an afterthought. We will review the funding formula for special education, and will re-structure the way that the Ministry of Education approaches accessibility.

We are proud of the advocacy we have done to push the government to establish an Education Standards Committee.

 

Liberals

 

* The Ontario Liberal Party believes that every student must have access to the support they need to reach their full potential. We will ensure that we have the appropriate structures in place to continue to make progress in removing barriers and supporting full inclusion for students with disabilities. This includes working with all of the divisions of the Ministry of Education in developing a new Education Accessibility standard to remove accessibility barriers for students. The advice of the Education Standards Development Committees will be key in charting our next steps on improving accessibility in schools and post-secondary institutions, and we look forward to receiving that advice before committing to significant reforms in the sector.

The Ministry of Education recently undertook an organizational realignment that placed an increased focus on supporting student success. The Student Support and Field Services Division is responsible for supporting the achievement of students with disabilities and working across divisions and ministries to support children and youth with special needs, while the Education Equity Secretariat supports all of the ministry in building capacity for equity and human rights. This happened in 2017, and we expect improved results as a result of this realignment.

 

We care deeply about student mental health and well-being, because we know how many of our young people are facing mental health challenges and needs support both in their schools and broader communities. Up to 70 per cent of mental health and addictions challenges begin in childhood or adolescence. That’s why we recently announced we are supporting quicker access to better care for mental health and addiction services for people of all ages through a historic $2.1 billion investment over the next four years. This is the largest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions care.  On top of the Mental Health Leads that we created in every school board, this investment means an additional 400 mental health workers to support every high school across the province dedicated to supporting continued and expanded mental health awareness and education, earlier identification and assessment, and improved timely referrals to community mental health services. This investment will also support enhanced mental health literacy for our educators and school staff, and social emotional learning skills embedded in the curriculum.

This is all in addition to our government’s investment of $49 million over the next three years to promote and support the well-being of Ontario’s students, which includes doubling funding to school boards for locally-determined priorities including mental health.

All students with disabilities must be supported by our public education system based on individual assessments of strengths and needs. Specific needs are addressed through students’ Individual Education Plans. The categories of exceptionalities in the Education Act were designed to address the range of conditions that may affect a student’s ability to learn, rather than by condition or diagnosis. Our government will continue to work with our partners to address barriers to helping students reach their full potential.

After inheriting an education system that was severely underfunded and in complete disrepair, Liberal governments have made historic investments in our public education system. This has enabled hiring more than 40,000 additional teachers and education workers into the system to support student success during a period of declining enrolment. It has also contributed to caps on K-3 class size, reduced average class size for grades 4 to 8 from 26 to 24 and the complete roll-out of full-day kindergarten for every four and five-year-old in Ontario.

 

These investments are contributing to the high school graduation rate reaching an all-time high of 86.5 per cent, up more than 18 percentage points compared to the rate when we took office. Today, Ontario’s students consistently rank at or near the top in national and international student achievement results in reading, math and science, and we are the only jurisdiction in the world to achieve this feat in a diverse context. Gaps in achievement for students with special needs are closing, and we are confident that our new investments will further this success.

 

We also know that there is more to do. Our 2018 Budget announced another $300 million over the next three years to support students with disabilities, bringing total funding for special education to $3 billion next year. This funding will eliminate the waitlists for professional assessments of student needs and means 600 additional staff forming multidisciplinary teams of social workers, psychologists, behavioural specialists and speech-language pathologists to build board capacity and help teachers, education assistants and other staff better understand and adapt to the unique needs of their students. Our Budget also includes an additional $30 million per year for 500 more Education Assistants who will support our highest needs students. All of these investments are critical to our plan and are at risk in this election.

 

We have changed about 90% of the education funding formula since 2013 and are committed to continuing to review the formula to advance student achievement, well-being and equity. We made changes several years ago to the way that special education funding is allocated to be more responsive to the needs of students. The prior model that the PCs developed was inequitable and rewarded school boards that could fill out paperwork rather than meeting students’ needs. We are committed to engaging with our education partners to continue reviewing the funding model for special education to ensure it is responsive to the needs of students, families, school boards, and educators. The formula is just one part of the story – and the Ontario Liberal Party is the only party proposing to increase investment to support students with disabilities.

 

Greens

 

* The Green Party is committed to changing outdated and restrictive terminology related to students with disabilities in the province’s Education Act so as to be inclusive of the full range of disabilities covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code. In addition, funding for students with disabilities should be determined based on the actual number of students within a particular school board.

 

Conservatives

 

* The Ontario PC Party believes our education system must minimize barriers for students with disabilities, providing the skills, opportunities and connections with the business community that are necessary to enter the workforce.

 

^Reform and Speed Up the Process for Developing and Reviewing Accessibility Standards.

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#32. Ensure that the Standards Development Committees, appointed under the AODA to make recommendations on what an accessibility standard should include, can operate in a more open manner and are fully independent of Government. These should not be shrouded in secrecy and non-disclosure requirements. An independent Ontario Access Board should be created to oversee this work, that is independent of and arms-length from the Ontario Government.

 

#33. To direct each Standards Development Committee that is now developing recommendations for a new accessibility standard or that is reviewing an existing standard, or that is appointed in the future, to make recommendations on accessibility that live up to the Ontario Human Rights Code. To assist with this, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario should give each SDC up-to-date information on relevant rulings by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and courts, and should centrally involve the Ontario Human Rights Code in each Standards Development Committee.

 

NDP

 

* This means that processes for developing and reviewing accessibility standards must be reformed and sped up. They must adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code, and each ministry should conduct regular audits of their progress toward becoming fully accessible.

 

Liberals

 

* We intend to continue the reviews already underway and continue the work of developing standards in the areas of health care and education. We would welcome advice from these committees on built environment issues and look forward to making the process more open and transparent to ensure all voices are heard without compromising necessary privacy and accountability measures.

 

Greens

 

* We support the creation of a non-governmental body to develop and review accessibility standards in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code so as to quicken this process and render such information more easily available to the public.

 

Conservatives

 

* An Ontario PC government is committed to working with the AODA Alliance to address implementation and enforcement issues when it comes to these standards.

 

^Establish Free Independent Technical Accessibility Advice for Obligated Organizations Akin to Successful US Programs

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#34. To establish a publicly-funded centre, arms-length from the Ontario Government, to provide expert detailed technical advice on accessibility to the public, including obligated organizations, modelled after successful US programs. For example, an Ontario “Job Accommodation Network”, designed to operate like the successful US service bearing that name, could help employers and employees in the public and private sectors.

 

Liberals

 

* The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario already provides significant advice and guidance to obligated organisations seeking guidance on how to properly implement requirements under the AODA. Moving this function outside government would incur further expense, and pull resources away from other key functions, such as enforcement and compliance audits. If re-elected, Ontario Liberals would strengthen this internal function to include technical expertise and work with stakeholders to develop better technical expertise networks to support implementation.

 

Greens

 

* The Green Party supports the development of publicly-funded initiatives to offer high quality knowledge related to accessibility to the public.

 

^Ensure Taxpayers’ Money is Never Used to Create or Perpetuate Disability Barriers

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#35. To set standards for, implement, widely publicize, monitor, enforce and publicly report on a comprehensive strategy to ensure that public money is never used by anyone to create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities, for example, in capital or infrastructure spending, or through procurement of goods, services or facilities, or through business development grants or loans, or research grants.

 

NDP

 

* Public funds should never be used to create or perpetuate disability barriers.

 

Liberals

 

* We stand by our earlier commitments to never use public money to perpetuate barriers. Though there is work to be done to ensure universal application, our success at working together with the AODA Alliance on provincially-funded transit projects and other infrastructure builds shows a path forward.

 

Greens

 

* The Green Party will not use taxpayers’ money to create, perpetuate, or exacerbate barriers against persons with disabilities. To this end, we will ensure that our plans meet the accessibility standards set out in the Human Rights Code and make sure that independent contractors are aware of these standards.

 

^Make Provincial and Municipal Elections Truly Accessible to Voters with Disabilities 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#36. To consult with voters with disabilities by the end of 2018and then introduce in the Legislature within 9 months, with a view to passing a bill that comprehensively and effectively addresses accessibility needs of voters and candidates with disabilities in provincial and municipal elections.

 

#37. To commit that your candidates will not take part in any all-candidates’ debate during the June 7 2018 election campaign if the location is not accessible to people with disabilities.

 

NDP

 

* For the NDP, creating an accessible Ontario means ensuring accessibility at every level. This means creating more opportunities for civic engagement. We will create an Election Finances Commission to review and provide regular recommendations on updating Ontario’s election law, with a primary focus on electoral fairness. The commission will include representation from Elections Ontario, members of civil society such as academia, law and civic organizations, and nominees from major political parties.

We will ask the Commission to deliver recommendations on improving Ontario democracy and increasing citizen participation and engagement in the political process – both during and between elections. This includes the full implementation of an Accessible Elections Plan that will be supported through legislation.

We agree that these reforms should take place at the municipal level as well, and will work with municipalities to ensure this happens.

 

Liberals

 

* Ensuring accessibility of elections is essential to participation in our democracy and maintaining the universal franchise. We are committed to safeguarding the interests of Ontarians with disabilities through ease of access to their right to cast a ballot.  Since 2014, we made significant strides toward accessible elections by testing new technology in by-elections and the forthcoming increased use of voting machines in June. The Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and Elections Ontario are committed to providing the best possible experience to make sure every Ontarian is able to vote.

 

Similarly, the Ontario Liberal Party is committed to accessibility in the conduct of our election campaign. Every effort will be made to help hosts of All Candidates’ Meetings understand the need to choose accessible venues.

 

Greens

 

* We support enforcing strict accessibility standards at voting locations to ensure that people with physical disabilities or other mobility issues are able to vote without barriers. We also need to increase the number of mobile polls at hospitals and residences for seniors and people living with disabilities who have difficulty leaving their homes.

 

Conservatives

 

* There’s no good reason why a person with a disability should not be able to cast a vote in an election.

 

^Substantially Improve How the Ontario Public Service Works to Make its Services, Facilities and Workplaces Accessible to Customers and Employees with Disabilities

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#38. After promptly consulting with people with disabilities within the Ontario Public Service and in the general public for no more than 2 months, to announce and implement a plan to substantially re-engineer how the Ontario Public Service discharges its duty to ensure that its own services, facilities and workplaces are fully accessible. This should include, among other things, ensuring that the accessibility of its services, facilities and workplaces is regularly and comprehensively audited and that public servants are made accountable for ensuring their accessibility.

 

#39. To ensure that in Mandate Letters, the Premier promptly directs the appropriate cabinet ministers and senior public officials to implement the Government’s accessibility obligations and commitments, and to make this direction public, once given.

 

#40. To establish a full-time Deputy Minister or associate deputy minister, who is responsible for ensuring the accessibility of the Ontario Government’s services, facilities and workplaces, to be called the Ontario Public Service Chief Accessibility Officer. Similar positions have been successfully established in leading large businesses such as IBM, Apple and Microsoft.

 

#41. To ensure that in each Ontario Government Ministry, there is a position, now called “Accessibility Lead.” This position should be made in all cases a full-time position if it is not now. It should be designated to directly report to that Ministry’s deputy minister, rather than remaining buried lower down within the ministry, as is the current practice. This should also include establishing an Accessibility Lead position in Cabinet Office, which reports directly to the Secretary of Cabinet, to ensure that accessibility is considered in all work of the Cabinet Office, and to ensure that all Cabinet Submissions are vetted in advance to ensure they do not create or perpetuate any barriers against people with disabilities.

 

#42. To include in the annual performance reviews of each deputy minister, assistant deputy minister and director below them, where feasible, specific annual commitments relating to their mandate on accessibility for people with disabilities. In 2007, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered this for senior management at the Toronto Transit Commission.

 

NDP

 

* We’re committed to ensuring that every government initiative is designed from the start to allow people of all abilities to access government services and programs. This commitment will begin from the moment we take office, and will include comprehensive consultation.

 

* An NDP government will also create Accessibility leads within Ministries as part of an all-government approach to achieving full accessibility.

 

* each ministry should conduct regular audits of their progress toward becoming fully accessible.

 

* We’re committed to ensuring that every government initiative is designed from the start to allow people of all abilities to access government services and programs.

We will invest $67 million annually in increasing support for agencies that provide services to adults with developmental disabilities so they can participate in their communities, have options for public services, and have a great quality of life. We are committed to substantially improving how Ontario Public Services work, ensuring that customers and employees with disabilities have full access to all public services.

 

Liberals

 

* The Ontario Public Service is a world leader in accessible employment practices and was recognized this year as one of Canada’s top Diversity Employers due to part to smart accessibility practices. The Secretary of Cabinet has developed a detailed plan to improve accessibility in the OPS and we look forward to continuing to support him in this work.

 

Continuing with her commitment to transparency and open government, Premier Wynne will include accessibility in the mandate letters to her Ministers and make those letters public.

 

Greens

 

* We support the development of a plan to ensure the full accessibility of the Ontario Public Service’s services, facilities, and workplaces, including the creation of new governmental positions in order to properly implement such a plan.

 

^Speed Up and Complete the Promised Review of All Ontario Laws for Accessibility Barriers

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#43. To announce, within four months of taking office, a detailed plan for completing this review of all Ontario laws, and for ensuring that new legislation and regulations will be screen in advance to ensure that they do not authorize, create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities.

 

#44. To complete a review of all legislation for accessibility barriers by the end of 2019, and all regulations by the end of 2020, and to introduce into the Legislature, with the intent of passing it, an omnibus bill or bills to amend any legislation as needed a result of this review, along time lines that the Government would announce by the end of March 2019.

 

#45. That Cabinet will amend any regulations that the government deems necessary as a result of the accessibility review, by the end of 2021.

 

Liberals

 

* Earlier this year, the government appointed the Honourable David C. Onley to lead the next review of the AODA. As part of this review, we are asking Mr. Onley to include in his advice the best way forward to both complete the review and provide solutions to accessibility barriers in legislation in a practical and responsible way.

 

Greens

 

* We support an immediate and thorough review of legislation and regulations as quickly as possible. The Green Party supports ensuring there is a specified team with clear responsibility for addressing disability and accessibility issues.

 

^Reform the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#46. In consultation with the AODA Alliance, to

review the operations of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and to make public the review of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario which was conducted in 2016-2017 by the Leadership Intelligence consulting firm. On February 1, 2018, the AODA Alliance asked the Government to disclose that report. To date, it has not agreed to do so.

 

Liberals

 

* The third-party review of the Directorate helped shape the recent re-organisation and restructuring of the operation. We look forwarding to continuing to improve Directorate as we work toward our goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.

 

Greens

 

* The Green Party supports a review of the operations of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and the public disclosure of recent reviews of this body.

 

^Ensure Effective Independent Reviews of the AODA’s Implementation and Enforcement

 

Commitments the AODA Alliance Requested

 

#47. To ensure that any person, appointed to conduct an Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, not be a person who worked for the Government on any aspect of accessibility or of the AODA during the period material to the review.

 

#48. To release the report of the Third AODA Independent Review, due by the end of 2018,

within four weeks of the Government receiving it.

 

NDP

 

* We will quickly release the results of the AODA Independent Review, due at the end of 2018.

 

Liberals

 

* We are proud of the Ontario Liberal government decision to appoint Mr. Onley to lead to the review of AODA implementation and enforcement. He is a well-respected leader in the disability community with invaluable experience on the file. His review will be independent of government, and will be informed by public and stakeholder input, including from the AODA Alliance. We will release Mr. Onley’s report to the public within a month of receipt.

 

Greens

 

* To ensure effective independent reviews of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, we agree that no review of the AODA should be conducted by an individual who worked for the government on any aspect of accessibility or the AODA during the time period of the material under review.

 

Read the May 15, 2018 Letter from the Progressive Conservative Party to the AODA Alliance, Setting Out Its 2018 Election Commitments on Accessibility

 

May 15, 2018

 

 

David Lepofsky, Chair
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA Alliance)

 

Dear David,

The Ontario PC Party is pleased to respond to the AODA Alliance’s survey for the 2018 Ontario election. Our team is focused on providing a clear alternative to voters. After 15 years of high taxes and government mismanagement under the Wynne Liberals, the people of Ontario are ready for change.

Your issues are close to the hearts of our Ontario PC Caucus and Candidates, which is why they will play an outstanding role in shaping policy for the Ontario PC Party to assist Ontarians in need.

 

Too many Ontarians with disabilities still face barriers when they try to get a job, ride public transit, get an education, use our healthcare system, buy goods or services, or eat in restaurants.

Whether addressing standards for public housing, health care, employment or education, our goal when passing the AODA in 2005 was to help remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating more fully in their communities.

For the Ontario PCs, this remains our goal. Making Ontario fully accessible by 2025 is an important goal under the AODA and it’s one that would be taken seriously by an Ontario PC government.

 

Christine Elliott, our former Health Critic and Deputy Leader, has been a tireless advocate for Ontarians with disabilities. Ms. Elliott called to establish the Select Committee on Developmental Services, with a mandate to develop a comprehensive developmental services strategy for children, youth and adults in Ontario with an intellectual disability or who are dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental illness.

When it comes to people with disabilities, we have a moral and an economic responsibility to focus on their abilities and not just on what holds them back. Our family members, friends and neighbours who have a disability of some kind are a wellspring of talent and determination.
There’s no good reason why a person with a disability should not be able to cast a vote in an election. It’s also completely unacceptable that someone should be passed over for a job because of the myth that people with disabilities can’t do the work. We have a moral and social responsibility to change this.

This is why we’re disappointed the current government has not kept its promise with respect to accessibility standards. An Ontario PC government is committed to working with the AODA Alliance to address implementation and enforcement issues when it comes to these standards.

Ontario needs a clear strategy to address AODA standards and the Ontario Building Code’s accessibility provisions. We need Ontario’s design professionals, such as architects, to receive substantially improved professional training on disability and accessibility.

The Ontario PC Party believes our education system must minimize barriers for students with disabilities, providing the skills, opportunities and connections with the business community that are necessary to enter the workforce.

Building a strong, open dialogue with your organization is most certainly a priority for our party. We encourage you to continue this dialogue and share your ideas and solutions for Ontarians with disabilities.
When I am elected Premier on June 7th, I promise I will focus on investing in the priorities that matter most to the people of Ontario. Jobs and economic development will be a key focus, and Ontario will be open for business again.

In the coming weeks, our team will be releasing our platform of policies and priorities and a clear vision for a prosperous Ontario.

If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out at any time.

Sincerely,
Doug Ford

Leader, Ontario PC Party

 

Read the May 14, 2018 Letter from the Liberal Party to the AODA Alliance, Setting Out Its 2018 Election Commitments on Accessibility

May 14, 2018

Mr. David Lepofsky
Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians for Disabilities Act Alliance
1929 Bayview Ave
Toronto, ON
M4G 3E8
aodafeedback@gmail.com

Dear David,

Thank you very much for providing us with the opportunity to respond to the AODA Alliance Questionnaire. Please find attached our completed response.

In 2014, the people of Ontario elected a Liberal government that promised to build Ontario up. We promised to create jobs and growth, improve retirement security for workers and build the next generation of infrastructure.

And we delivered. We made historic investments in hospitals, schools, transit, roads and bridges. We strengthened the economy, leading to the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years and economic growth that outpaces the United States and Europe. We made university and college tuition more affordable for the middle class and completely free for 235,000 students.

But we have more to do. 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.

So we’ve made a deliberate choice to invest in more care and opportunity. We’re investing in more health care, more child care and more support for people where they tell us they are falling behind. And we’re making sure people can take advantage of every opportunity to get a good job and get ahead in life.

Thank you again for your strong advocacy and I look forward to speaking soon.

Sincerely,

 

Kathleen Wynne

Leader, Ontario Liberal Party

 

 

Ontario Liberal Party Response to the

AODA Alliance Election Questionnaire

May 13, 2018

 

The Ontario Liberal Party is proud of the progress we’ve made to date to improve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. We remain committed to achieving an accessible Ontario by 2025.

 

We believe that creating and maintaining constructive dialogues are essential in order to deliver meaningful change. That’s why we have worked closely with the AODA Alliance and many other passionate and knowledgeable stakeholders and individuals in the accessibility field and will continue to do so if re-elected.

 

Since 2014, Premier Wynne and the Liberal government have:

  • appointed Ontario’s first ever Minister Responsible for Accessibility
  • begun the process to create new accessibility standards under the AODA in Health Care and in Education
  • launched Access Talent, Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities
  • appointed the Honourable David C. Onley to review the AODA and its standards
  • convened a forum to discuss accessibility challenges and opportunities in the built environment

 

A re-elected Liberal government will build on this progress by:

  • completing the development of new accessibility standards in Health Care and Education
  • building on the early successes of Access Talent and maintaining our commitment to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
  • exploring and determining next steps for preventing and removing accessibility barriers in the built environment

 

Foster and Strengthen Our Ongoing Relationship with the Ontario Liberal Party

 

Since becoming Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Kathleen Wynne and her Cabinet and caucus colleagues have met regularly with the AODA Alliance and other disability and accessibility advocacy groups. We commit to continuing these meetings if returned to government.
Implementation and Enforcement of the AODA

 

Ontario Liberals are fully committed to the AODA and enforcing the provisions therein. To this end, we have improved enforcement activities by requiring compliance reports and conducting audits throughout the economy. Despite our progress, we know there is more work to do. We will work with obligated organizations and stakeholders to determine what is needed to improve both reporting and compliance rates. We will also increase the number of inspectors empowered to enforce the AODA and certify other government inspectors to conduct necessary accessibility enforcement audits while on site. We will report on the results of these activities as frequently as practicable, including through aggregate numbers in the AODA Annual Report. In addition, we will also publicize new and existing reporting mechanisms, such as our phone line and social media channels.

 

Compliance and enforcement are only half the story and will not achieve our goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025 without proper public and obligated organisation education. That’s why, if re-elected, Ontario Liberals will mount a public education campaign later this year on obligations under the AODA.

 

We stand by our earlier commitments to never use public money to perpetuate barriers. Though there is work to be done to ensure universal application, our success at working together with the AODA Alliance on provincially-funded transit projects and other infrastructure builds shows a path forward.

 

New and Existing Accessibility Standards

 

The creation of new standards is a critical element of the Ontario Liberal commitment to an accessible Ontario by 2025. We intend to continue the reviews already underway and continue the work of developing standards in the areas of health care and education. We would welcome advice from these committees on built environment issues and look forward to making the process more open and transparent to ensure all voices are heard without compromising necessary privacy and accountability measures.

 

Beyond ongoing work, we know that there are barriers in the province that need to be addressed through standards. Earlier this year, former Minister Tracy MacCharles publicly stated that the standards governing the built environment need to be strengthened to achieve our goal. That’s why she convened a summit on the subject attended by many impacted stakeholders, including the AODA Alliance. We will use the feedback gleaned from this summit and further consultation with stakeholders to determine the best path forward as we track toward the mandated review of the standard. Given the complexity of housing construction, building modification, and renovation, we will also work with builders, developers, architects, and other experts before committing to a path forward on residential housing and retrofits.

 

Getting to an accessible Ontario requires that we also ensure that the professionals most connected to design and construction know about accessibility. To this end, we will work with regulatory bodies, colleges, universities, and professional organisations to ensure that accessibility is included throughout the process.

 

Standards for AFPs differ project to project, but all Project Companies are required to comply with all legislation on AFP projects, including the AODA and accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code. This is the de facto minimum standard. Issues related to accessibility in AFP projects are therefore related to the content of the standards. On built environment issues specifically, that’s why we have committed to working with stakeholders toward the next review of the standard.

 

Accessibility in Education

 

The Ontario Liberal Party believes that every student must have access to the support they need to reach their full potential. We will ensure that we have the appropriate structures in place to continue to make progress in removing barriers and supporting full inclusion for students with disabilities. This includes working with all of the divisions of the Ministry of Education in developing a new Education Accessibility standard to remove accessibility barriers for students. The advice of the Education Standards Development Committees will be key in charting our next steps on improving accessibility in schools and post-secondary institutions, and we look forward to receiving that advice before committing to significant reforms in the sector.

The Ministry of Education recently undertook an organizational realignment that placed an increased focus on supporting student success. The Student Support and Field Services Division is responsible for supporting the achievement of students with disabilities and working across divisions and ministries to support children and youth with special needs, while the Education Equity Secretariat supports all of the ministry in building capacity for equity and human rights. This happened in 2017, and we expect improved results as a result of this realignment.

 

We care deeply about student mental health and well-being, because we know how many of our young people are facing mental health challenges and needs support both in their schools and broader communities. Up to 70 per cent of mental health and addictions challenges begin in childhood or adolescence. That’s why we recently announced we are supporting quicker access to better care for mental health and addiction services for people of all ages through a historic $2.1 billion investment over the next four years. This is the largest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions care.  On top of the Mental Health Leads that we created in every school board, this investment means an additional 400 mental health workers to support every high school across the province dedicated to supporting continued and expanded mental health awareness and education, earlier identification and assessment, and improved timely referrals to community mental health services. This investment will also support enhanced mental health literacy for our educators and school staff, and social emotional learning skills embedded in the curriculum.

This is all in addition to our government’s investment of $49 million over the next three years to promote and support the well-being of Ontario’s students, which includes doubling funding to school boards for locally-determined priorities including mental health.

All students with disabilities must be supported by our public education system based on individual assessments of strengths and needs. Specific needs are addressed through students’ Individual Education Plans. The categories of exceptionalities in the Education Act were designed to address the range of conditions that may affect a student’s ability to learn, rather than by condition or diagnosis. Our government will continue to work with our partners to address barriers to helping students reach their full potential.

After inheriting an education system that was severely underfunded and in complete disrepair, Liberal governments have made historic investments in our public education system. This has enabled hiring more than 40,000 additional teachers and education workers into the system to support student success during a period of declining enrolment. It has also contributed to caps on K-3 class size, reduced average class size for grades 4 to 8 from 26 to 24 and the complete roll-out of full-day kindergarten for every four and five-year-old in Ontario.

 

These investments are contributing to the high school graduation rate reaching an all-time high of 86.5 per cent, up more than 18 percentage points compared to the rate when we took office. Today, Ontario’s students consistently rank at or near the top in national and international student achievement results in reading, math and science, and we are the only jurisdiction in the world to achieve this feat in a diverse context. Gaps in achievement for students with special needs are closing, and we are confident that our new investments will further this success.

 

We also know that there is more to do. Our 2018 Budget announced another $300 million over the next three years to support students with disabilities, bringing total funding for special education to $3 billion next year. This funding will eliminate the waitlists for professional assessments of student needs and means 600 additional staff forming multidisciplinary teams of social workers, psychologists, behavioural specialists and speech-language pathologists to build board capacity and help teachers, education assistants and other staff better understand and adapt to the unique needs of their students. Our Budget also includes an additional $30 million per year for 500 more Education Assistants who will support our highest needs students. All of these investments are critical to our plan and are at risk in this election.

 

We have changed about 90% of the education funding formula since 2013 and are committed to continuing to review the formula to advance student achievement, well-being and equity. We made changes several years ago to the way that special education funding is allocated to be more responsive to the needs of students. The prior model that the PCs developed was inequitable and rewarded school boards that could fill out paperwork rather than meeting students’ needs. We are committed to engaging with our education partners to continue reviewing the funding model for special education to ensure it is responsive to the needs of students, families, school boards, and educators. The formula is just one part of the story – and the Ontario Liberal Party is the only party proposing to increase investment to support students with disabilities.

 

Free Independent Technical Accessibility Advice for Obligated Organizations

 

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario already provides significant advice and guidance to obligated organisations seeking guidance on how to properly implement requirements under the AODA. Moving this function outside government would incur further expense, and pull resources away from other key functions, such as enforcement and compliance audits. If re-elected, Ontario Liberals would strengthen this internal function to include technical expertise and work with stakeholders to develop better technical expertise networks to support implementation.

 

Accessibility in Provincial and Municipal Elections

 

Ensuring accessibility of elections is essential to participation in our democracy and maintaining the universal franchise. We are committed to safeguarding the interests of Ontarians with disabilities through ease of access to their right to cast a ballot.  Since 2014, we made significant strides toward accessible elections by testing new technology in by-elections and the forthcoming increased use of voting machines in June. The Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and Elections Ontario are committed to providing the best possible experience to make sure every Ontarian is able to vote.

 

Similarly, the Ontario Liberal Party is committed to accessibility in the conduct of our election campaign. Every effort will be made to help hosts of All Candidates’ Meetings understand the need to choose accessible venues.

 

Ontario Public Service

 

The Ontario Public Service is a world leader in accessible employment practices and was recognized this year as one of Canada’s top Diversity Employers due to part to smart accessibility practices. The Secretary of Cabinet has developed a detailed plan to improve accessibility in the OPS and we look forward to continuing to support him in this work.

 

Continuing with her commitment to transparency and open government, Premier Wynne will include accessibility in the mandate letters to her Ministers and make those letters public.

 

Review of All Ontario Laws for Accessibility Barriers

 

Earlier this year, the government appointed the Honourable David C. Onley to lead the next review of the AODA. As part of this review, we are asking Mr. Onley to include in his advice the best way forward to both complete the review and provide solutions to accessibility barriers in legislation in a practical and responsible way.

 

Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and Legislated Review

 

The third-party review of the Directorate helped shape the recent re-organisation and restructuring of the operation. We look forwarding to continuing to improve Directorate as we work toward our goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.

 

We are proud of the Ontario Liberal government decision to appoint Mr. Onley to lead to the review of AODA implementation and enforcement. He is a well-respected leader in the disability community with invaluable experience on the file. His review will be independent of government, and will be informed by public and stakeholder input, including from the AODA Alliance. We will release Mr. Onley’s report to the public within a month of receipt.

Read the May 5, 2018 Letter from the New Democratic Party to the AODA Alliance, Setting Out Its 2018 Election Commitments on Accessibility

May 5, 2018

Dear AODA Alliance,

Thank you for your letter dated April 3, 2018 regarding our election commitments on accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities.

Ontario is at its best when everyone is able to reach their full potential and people of all abilities feel included and see themselves in Ontario’s future. People of all abilities must have the opportunity and lifelong supports to succeed and thrive.

Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals have had 15 years to make life better for people with disabilities. Despite this, disability advocates, including AODA Alliance, have consistently faulted the Liberals for not having a plan for full implementation of AODA, and regularly highlight where the Liberal government commitments have fallen short.

Ontarians deserve better. Ontario’s New Democrats are committed to the full implementation and enforcement of the AODA, and to removing all forms of barriers, particularly to the job market, and will absolutely stand by our previous commitments on disability accessibility and the AODA. We will make sure government initiatives are designed to help people of all abilities access government services.

We’re committed to ensuring that every government initiative is designed from the start to allow people of all abilities to access government services and programs. This commitment will begin from the moment we take office and will include comprehensive consultation.

Consultation with the AODA Alliance

We are committed to meeting with the AODA Alliance and accessibility advocates within the first 100 days of forming government. An NDP government will also create Accessibility leads within Ministries as part of an all-government approach to achieving full accessibility. We will quickly release the results of the AODA Independent Review, due at the end of 2018.

Enforcement

We understand that strong accessibility policy means nothing unless it is coupled with strong enforcement. We have repeatedly called on the government to utilize an independent review process and to expand current AODA enforcement activities beyond the assessment of voluntarily submitted accessibility reports. We have lambasted this government for failing to use the powers, authority, and penalties set forth under the act to ensure compliance.

An NDP government will explore options for increased enforcement, including increasing the number of inspectors, and certifying inspectors from other agencies to be able to enforce AODA compliance. An NDP government would commit to publicizing ways for the public and public servants to report AODA violations.

Developing and Implementing Accessibility Standards

Public funds should never be used to create or perpetuate disability barriers. This means that processes for developing and reviewing accessibility standards must be reformed and sped up. They must adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code, and each ministry should conduct regular audits of their progress toward becoming fully accessible.

We know that ensuring every government initiative is accessibly designed from the start requires the enactment of accessibility standards and the full implementation of Standards Development Committees. This underscores our commitment to continue the work of the six AODA Standards Development Committees now underway.

In December, we called on the government to immediately establish the as-of-yet undelivered Built Environment Standards. These will include recommendations for retrofits, major renovations, transit and elevators. An NDP government is committed to implementing these recommendations.

Education

We understand that the Ministry of Education has been a major barrier to effectively meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and that the responses and supports that students and families receive have varied wildly across the province. We are committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are no longer treated as an afterthought. We will review the funding formula for special education, and will re-structure the way that the Ministry of Education approaches accessibility.

We are proud of the advocacy we have done to push the government to establish an Education Standards Committee.

 

 

Accessible Communities and Housing

There is an accessible housing crisis in Ontario. To begin to address this, we will earmark affordable housing units for Ontarians with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Our investment in 30,000 units of supportive housing will give adults who have developmental disabilities access to housing that ensures they can live rich lives with more independence.

We are proponents of universal design and will ensure that accessibility standards are considered and met before, during, and after any major reforms or infrastructure projects are undertaken by the government.

Government Services

We’re committed to ensuring that every government initiative is designed from the start to allow people of all abilities to access government services and programs.

We will invest $67 million annually in increasing support for agencies that provide services to adults with developmental disabilities so they can participate in their communities, have options for public services, and have a great quality of life. We are committed to substantially improving how Ontario Public Services work, ensuring that customers and employees with disabilities have full access to all public services.

Elections

For the NDP, creating an accessible Ontario means ensuring accessibility at every level. This means creating more opportunities for civic engagement. We will create an Election Finances Commission to review and provide regular recommendations on updating Ontario’s election law, with a primary focus on electoral fairness. The commission will include representation from Elections Ontario, members of civil society such as academia, law and civic organizations, and nominees from major political parties.

We will ask the Commission to deliver recommendations on improving Ontario democracy and increasing citizen participation and engagement in the political process – both during and between elections. This includes the full implementation of an Accessible Elections Plan that will be supported through legislation.

We agree that these reforms should take place at the municipal level as well, and will work with municipalities to ensure this happens.

Conclusion

Thank you once again for reaching out to me regarding the NDP’s commitments for creating an Ontario that is accessible for everyone.

My team and I take your counsel and the issues raised seriously. We have a history of raising issues brought to us by the AODA Alliance in the Legislature on numerous occasions – over the past year alone we have raised questions on the issue of accessibility six times during question period.

I highly value our relationship with the AODA Alliance, and look forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship when we form government on June 7.

Sincerely,

Andrea Horwath

Leader, Ontario’s New Democrats

 

Read the May 4, 2018 Letter from the Green Party to the AODA Alliance, Setting Out Its 2018 Election Commitments on Accessibility

David Lepofsky, CM, O.Ont.

Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

1929 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

Dear Mr.Lepofsky:

Thank you for giving the Green Party of Ontario an opportunity to speak about issues of

importance to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance. We have read over your list of election commitments and are supportive of all your requests. Please see our comments below.

a) Foster and Strengthen Our Ongoing Relationship with Your Party

We are committed to a transparent government and welcome open communication with your association, including meetings with Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, candidates, and shadow cabinet. The Green Party looks forward to continued consultation on disability and accessibility issues with your organization and improving access to government services for all Ontarians.

b) Substantially Strengthen Implementation of the AODA 2005

The Green Party of Ontario is fully committed to a government that encourages citizens to actively participate in their community and have a say in decisions that affect them. We support strong implementation of the AODA 2005 and will not weaken or repeal any legislation that has already been passed.

c) Ensure that All Requirements under the AODA are Effectively Enforced

We support fully implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by preparing an enforcement plan, allocating resources for enforcement, and supporting a public awareness campaign.

d) Develop the New Accessibility Standards under the AODA Needed to Achieve Accessibility by 2025

We are committed to working with the public following the June 2018 election on new accessibility standards to ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible by 2025.

e) Take Overdue Steps to Ensure the Accessibility of the built Environment, Including Residential Housing

We support accessibility as an essential component of any new building project or retrofit. Training in accessible design should be a requirement across all licensing and educational institutions in Ontario, and all new building projects should meet standard accessibility requirements before approval. A strategy must be developed both to increase the supply of accessible housing within Ontario and to undertake the retrofitting of existing buildings in order for them to meet accessibility standards.

f) Substantially Reform How the Ministry of Education Deals with the Needs of Students with Disabilities

The Green Party is committed to changing outdated and restrictive terminology related to students with disabilities in the province’s Education Act so as to be inclusive of the full range of disabilities covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code. In addition, funding for students with disabilities should be determined based on the actual number of students within a particular school board.

g) Reform and Speed Up the Process for Developing and Reviewing Accessibility Standards

We support the creation of a non-governmental body to develop and review accessibility standards in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code so as to quicken this process and render such information more easily available to the public.

h) Establish Free Independent Technical Accessibility Advice for Obligated Organizations Akin to Successful US Programs

The Green Party supports the development of publicly-funded initiatives to offer high quality knowledge related to accessibility to the public.

i) Ensure Taxpayers’ Money is Never Used to Create or Perpetuate Disability Barriers

The Green Party will not use taxpayers’ money to create, perpetuate, or exacerbate barriers against persons with disabilities. To this end, we will ensure that our plans meet the accessibility standards set out in the Human Rights Code and make sure that independent contractors are aware of these standards.

j) Make Provincial and Municipal Elections Truly Accessible to Voters with Disabilities  

We support enforcing strict accessibility standards at voting locations to ensure that people with physical disabilities or other mobility issues are able to vote without barriers. We also need to increase the number of mobile polls at hospitals and residences for seniors and people living with disabilities who have difficulty leaving their homes.

k) Substantially Improve How the Ontario Public Service Works to Make its Services, Facilities, and Workplaces Accessible to Customers and Employees with Disabilities

We support the development of a plan to ensure the full accessibility of the Ontario Public Service’s services, facilities, and workplaces, including the creation of new governmental positions in order to properly implement such a plan.

l) Speed Up and Complete the Promised Review of All Ontario Laws for Accessibility Barriers

We support an immediate and thorough review of legislation and regulations as quickly as possible. The Green Party supports ensuring there is a specified team with clear responsibility for addressing disability and accessibility issues.

m) Reform the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

The Green Party supports a review of the operations of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and the public disclosure of recent reviews of this body.

n) Ensure Effective Independent Reviews of the AODA’s Implementation and Enforcement

To ensure effective independent reviews of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, we agree that no review of the AODA should be conducted by an individual who worked for the government on any aspect of accessibility or the AODA during the time period of the material under review.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any further questions or clarifications.

Sincerely,

Samantha Bird
Director of Operations
Green Party of Ontario

 

News Release: Grassroots Disability Coalition’s Powerful New Video Shows Serious Accessibility Problems at New and Recently Renovated Public Transit Stations in Toronto, As the Future of Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities Looms as an Ontario Election Issue

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Grassroots Disability Coalition’s Powerful New Video Shows Serious Accessibility Problems at New and Recently Renovated Public Transit Stations in Toronto, As the Future of Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities Looms as an Ontario Election Issue

 

May 15, 2018 Toronto: As part of its effort to raise disability issues in the Ontario election, the AODA Alliance today makes public a striking new online video that reveals serious disability accessibility barriers in several new and recently renovated Toronto-area public transit stations, built with public money. This includes the six new TTC stations from Downsview Park to Vaughn Metropolitan Centre, the new Union-Pearson Express line’s Weston and Bloor stations, and the new Go Transit concourse at Union Station.

 

AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky guides you on a tour of barriers that hurt people with blindness, low vision, mobility disabilities, dyslexia, balance issues, fatiguing conditions, cognitive disabilities and more. These include problems with such things as train platforms, stairs, elevators, doors, ramps, signage, and more.

 

Short 16 minute version:

https://youtu.be/za1UptZq82o

 

Long 30 minute version:

https://youtu.be/2VZLGGfFg1g

 

“With politicians making election promises to spend huge sums on public infrastructure, 1.9 million Ontarians with a physical, mental, sensory or other disability want to know what Ontario’s next Government will do to ensure that new public transit  stations are never built with accessibility barriers like those we expose in this new video, especially when spending public money,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance which spearheads advocacy on accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. “Last year, our last online video went viral, which exposed serious accessibility problems at the new Ryerson University Student Learning Centre. People cannot believe that in the 21st century, new disability barriers are still being created in our built environment. We’re hoping our new video will help drive candidates in this election to make strong commitments for new action to strengthen and breathe new life into Ontario’s laws on accessibility for people with disabilities. ”

 

Most people mistakenly think all new buildings in Ontario must be accessible to people with disabilities, and that design professionals like architects must be properly trained on accessible design. This video disproves both.

 

In the June 7 Ontario election, the AODA Alliance is pressing the parties for pledges on disability accessibility, not just in the built environment but in all aspects of Ontario life. The AODA Alliance will soon make public the responses received.

 

“We’re poised to leap into social media like Twitter to spread the word on our new video, as part of our election blitz, using the hashtag #DisabilityVoteCounts,” said Lepofsky “Ontario is now behind schedule for becoming fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025, the deadline that Ontario’s Disabilities Act requires. We’re asking candidates for Premier to tell us what they will do to get Ontario back on schedule. This video shows in jaw-dropping detail why this is important for all Ontarians. Everyone has a disability now or is bound to get one later, as they age!”

 

All, including the media, are free to link to or broadcast this video. This video has audio description for persons with vision loss and captioning for persons with hearing loss.

 

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

 

Helpful Background Links

 

2017 AODA Alliance video on accessibility problems at Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre:

12 minute version:

https://youtu.be/4oe4xiKknt0

30 minute version:

https://youtu.be/uqUZ6gK9N9k

 

2016 AODA Alliance video on accessibility problems at the new Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre

5 minute version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRmVBmOy6xg&t=28s

18 minute version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgfrum7e-_0&t=87s

 

More on the AODA Alliance’s non-partisan blitz to raise disability accessibility issues in the June 2018 Ontario election is available at:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/2018vote/

 

More on the AODA Alliance’s campaign for accessibility in the built environment is at:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/built-environment/

 

More on the AODA Alliance’s efforts to make transportation accessible in Ontario is at

https://www.aodaalliance.org/category/transportation/

 

All the news on the AODA Alliance’s multi-year campaign for accessibility in Ontario is at:

www.aodaalliance.org

 

Use Our List of Provincial Candidates’ Contact Info to Press Candidates for Strong Commitments on Accessibility – and – Watch Online the May 16, 2018 Provincial Candidates’ Debate on Disability Issues – and Other News

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

 

Use Our List of Provincial Candidates’ Contact Info to Press them for Strong Commitments on Accessibility – and – Watch Online the May 16, 2018 Provincial Candidates’ Debate on Disability Issues – and Other News

 

May 11, 2018

 

SUMMARY

 

Here is a short grab-bag of important information on the accessibility front, which has accumulated as our AODA Alliance email server woes have been getting resolved. We let you know about

 

* how to use our new list of provincial candidates’ contact information, so you can tweet, email or phone them to press them for strong commitments on disability issues, like accessibility for people with disabilities.

 

* The chance to watch online the May 16, 2018 provincial all-candidates’ debate on disability issues.

 

* How to help us by letting us know the date, time and location of any all-candidates’ debates in your riding, on any topic.

 

* Your chance to organize a disability issues candidates’ debate in your community.

 

* The troubling decision by Mr. David Onley not to invite the AODA Alliance to take part in his May 2, 2018 community consultation on how to conduct the third Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which the Wynne Government appointed him to conduct.

 

* Links to helpful background information on our non-partisan campaign for accessibility for people with disabilities.

 

Please expect more than the usual number of Updates from us over the next little while. The election campaign is upon us, with important accessibility issues to share. As well, there have been some important developments over the last weeks of the current term of government.

 

MORE DETAILS

 

1. Please Reach Out to Candidates Now to Press for Strong Election Commitments on Disability Issues, Including on the Implementation and Enforcement of the AODA

 

Now that Ontario’s election campaign is underway, please reach out to candidates, whether you are doing so as individual voters or as community organizations. Press them to make strong commitments on accessibility for people with disabilities, and on any other disability issues you wish to raise. Our forthcoming Election Action Kit will offer you tips on how to do this. But here is a new resource that will help you get started right now.

 

The AODA Alliance has posted on line a list of all the nominated candidates in each riding that could be found, along with their Twitter handle, website, email address and phone number. We extend a huge thank-you to our volunteers who spent hours putting this together. You can find this list at:

 

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/riding-by-riding-list-of-contact-information-for-the-major-parties-candidates-in-the-june-7-2018-ontario-general-election-as-of-may-2-2018/

 

This list is incomplete. Some candidates were still not nominated. Some did not have all the information available that we wanted to list.

 

You should phone, email, or tweet candidates to press them for their commitments. Let them know that in this election, disability vote counts! For that matter, use our new hashtag term in your tweets. It is:

#DisabilityVoteCounts

 

Please also re-tweet the tweets you find that use that hashtag term, including those by the AODA Alliance. This helps amplify our message.

 

For those who use Twitter (and everyone should sign up to do so during this election), here’s another great short-cut that can help you. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has, attached to his personal Twitter handle, a list of all the Ontario election candidates he could himself reach on Twitter. Go to his Twitter feed @davidlepofsky and look for his list entitled “Candidates”. You can then quickly use that list to tweet to the candidates on that list. It is incomplete, and will get more names on it over time.

 

Many candidates follow tweets addressed to them. It is a way for them to find out what voters consider to be priority issues. Especially when the mainstream media is pre-occupied with other issues, we find that social media is our most effective way to reach candidates and the public.

 

Stay tuned for our Election Action Kit.

 

2. Let Us Know About the Date, Time and Location of Any All-Candidates Debates in Your Ontario Riding

 

In our forthcoming Election Action Kit, we will be encouraging you and everyone to go to all-candidates debates in your riding, so you can ask the candidates for strong commitments on disability issues. In preparation for this, we would love to get any information we can on the dates, times and locations, riding by riding, of any all-candidates debates. These are not centrally listed anywhere.

 

We need your help. Please contact the candidates in your riding. Use our list of nominated candidates and their contact information. Ask them for the dates, times and locations of any all-candidates debates. Email the information you get to us at aodafeedback@gmail.com We will try to accumulate this information and make it available at a few key points during the weeks of the election campaign.

 

It would just take you a few minutes to reach out to one or more of the candidates’ campaign offices in your riding. Any help is really appreciated.

 

3. Watch the Live-Streamed of the May 16, 2018 All-Candidates’ Debate in Toronto on Disability Issues

 

We encourage you to use a computer, smart phone, tablet or smart TV to tune in and watch live the Wednesday, May 16, 2018 provincial all-candidates’ debate on disability issues that a number of community organizations have arranged. It is taking place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. eastern time. Tickets are all gone for attending the event in person, but it is going to be streamed live.

 

You can tweet questions for the candidates! In your tweet include this hashtag:

#disabilitydebate2018

 

Here is the link to watch the event live:

https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/72/live/1807.aspx

 

 

The event’s co-Moderators are Mark Wafer and Michelle McQuigge. According to the organizers’ website, the following candidates/representatives are confirmed to attend:

 

Progressive Conservative Party – Christine Elliott, Newmarket-Aurora

 

Green Party – Dr. Teresa Pun, Toronto-St. Pauls

 

Liberal Party – (to be confirmed)

 

New Democratic Party – Monique Taylor, Hamilton Mountain

 

ASL English Interpreting, real time captioning and attendant services will be provided at the event. Do not attend the event in person unless you have already secured a ticket. Tickets are all gone.

 

4. Organize An All-Candidates Debate on Disability Issues in Your Community

 

 

We encourage community organizations to organize a disability issues all-candidates’ debate in communities around Ontario. If you arrange to live-stream these events, then you can reach even more people. If you organize such an event, let us know. We’d be happy to help publicize it. Contact us if you want some helpful tips on how to organize an event like this. If you want to arrange one, you need to get started right away! Contact us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

5. David Onley’s Third Independent Review of the AODA’s Implementation and Enforcement Did not Invite the AODA Alliance to Take Part in a Consultation Meeting on How the Review Should Be Conducted

 

Earlier this year, the Ontario Government appointed David Onley to conduct the third Independent Review of the implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The AODA requires the Government to appoint an Independent Review of this law, on a fixed schedule, which works out to be about every four years.

 

We have learned that on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, Mr. Onley invited a number of community representatives to a consultation meeting, to give him input on the focus of this Independent Review, and on how this Independent Review should be conducted.

 

It is good that Mr. Onley reached out to the community for this input. However, Mr. Onley did not invite the AODA Alliance to take part in that community consultation. This is deeply troubling.

 

It is well-known that the AODA Alliance plays a leading role in advocacy on accessibility in Ontario, including on the implementation and enforcement of the AODA. In every election since 2003, political parties have made their election pledges on this topic in letters to the AODA Alliance. In the case of both prior AODA Independent Reviews, the 2010 review by Charles Beer and the 2014 review by Mayo Moran, we were included in any such community consultation. Indeed both of those earlier Independent Reviews recognized the AODA Alliance’s role in the community on this issue. We played a central role in giving those earlier reviews advice on how to conduct their reviews.

 

We understand that as part of this consultation meeting, Mr. Onley played the AODA Alliance’s video on accessibility problems at the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre. We appreciate this implicit recognition that the AODA Alliance has something worthwhile to say in this area. However, it makes it even more troubling that we were not invited to take part in this consultation meeting.

 

The AODA Alliance raised serious concerns when the Wynne Government appointed Mr. Onley to conduct this AODA Independent Review earlier this year. We recognized that Mr. Onley has a great deal of experience with accessibility issues and a strong and passionate commitment to accessibility. However, we concluded that it was inappropriate for him to conduct this AODA Independent Review, because he was a clear and highly visible part of the Wynne Government’s AODA strategy, from late 2014 to late 2017.

 

Throughout those three years, he worked for the Wynne Government as the minister’s special advisor on accessibility. In that capacity, he was able to advise the minister on the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. He also gave a good many speeches to public groups, conferences and meetings, on the topic of accessibility, as part of the Government’s public education strategy. He should not in effect be reviewing his own work.

 

We have never said or implied that we would not take part in this AODA Independent Review. No matter who is conducting it, we have every intention of doing so. Our exclusion from this event was inappropriate and should not have taken place

 

6. More Information About the AODA Alliance

 

We are now using a new email server. Please take steps to ensure you can receive our AODA Alliance Updates. Put updates@aodaalliance.org 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 aodafeedback@gmail.com 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.

 

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

Have you taken part in our “Picture Our Barrier” campaign? If not, please join in! You can get all the information you need about our “Picture Our Barriers” campaign by visiting www.aodaalliance.org/2016

 

To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to: aodafeedback@gmail.com

 

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:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/the-aoda-alliance-launches-part-2-of-its-series-of-online-videos-on-the-campaign-for-accessibility-to-mark-the-23rd-anniversary-of-ontarios-grassroots-campaign-for-disability-accessibility/

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/user/aodaalliance

 

Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates: https://www.facebook.com/Accessibility-for-Ontarians-with-Disabilities-Act-Alliance-106232039438820/
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

https://www.aodaalliance.org

 

 

Riding-by-Riding List of Contact Information for the Major Parties’ Candidates in the June 7, 2018 Ontario General Election As Of May 2, 2018

Riding-by-Riding List of Contact Information for the Major Parties’ Candidates in the June 7, 2018 Ontario General Election As Of May 2, 2018

 

Prepared by AODA Alliance volunteers as of May 2, 2018

 

Note: We cannot vouch for the completeness of this information. This is the results of the best efforts of dedicated volunteers, whose efforts we very much appreciate. We apologize if there is any incomplete or inaccurate information here.

 

EAST:

 

OTTAWA:

 

Carleton:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Goldie Ghamari

Twitter: @gghamari

Website: votegoldie.ca

Email: info@votegoldie.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Theresa Qadri

Twitter: @TheresaQadri

Website: http://theresaforcarleton.com

Email: theresaqadri@gmail.com

Phone: (613) 831-7199

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Kanata-Carleton:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Merrilee Fullerton

Twitter: @doctorfullerton

Website: www.merrileefullerton.com AND www.votemerrileefullerton.ca

Email: info@votemerrileefullerton.ca

Phone: 613-435-1716

Office: 11-300 Earl Grey Dr., Suite #433, Kanata, ON K2T 1C1

 

Liberal

 

Name: Stephanie Maghnam

Twitter: @Maghnam_2018

Website: https://votestephaniemaghnam.ca/

Email: votestephaniemaghnam@gmail.com

Phone: 613-265-0698

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Andrew West

Twitter: @greenandrewwest

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/andrew-west/

Email: andrewwest@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Nepean:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Karma Macgregor

Twitter: @KarmaMacgregor

Website: www.KarmaMacgregor.ca

Email:

Phone: 613-981-3696

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Lovina Srivastava

Twitter: @VoteForLovina

Website: voteforlovina.com

Email: lovina.nepean@gmail.com

Phone: 613-790-6066

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: James O’Grady

Twitter: @james_ogrady

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/james-ogrady-2/

Email: jamesogrady@gpo.ca

Phone: 613-883-7386

Office:

 

Orleans:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Cameron Montgomery

Twitter: @CamMontgomeryPC

Website: Orleans.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone: 613-866-8497

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Marie-France Lalonde

Twitter: @mflalonde

Website: mariefrancelalonde.onmpp.ca

Email: mflalonde.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 613-834-8679

Office: 206-250 Centrum Boulevard, Orleans, K1E3J1

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Nicholas Lapierre

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Ottawa Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Colleen McCleery

Twitter: @MccleeryPc

Website: https://ottawacentrepc.nationbuilder.com

Email: mccleerypc@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Yasir Naqvi

Twitter: @Yasir_Naqvi

Website: yasirnaqvimpp.ca

Email: ynaqvi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 613-722-6414

Office: 109 Catherine Street, Ottawa, K2P0P4

 

NDP

 

Name: Joel Harden

Twitter: @JoelHardenONDP

Website: http://www.joelharden.ca

Email: joel@joelharden.ca

Phone: 613-859-5952

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Cherie Wong

Twitter: @chercywong

Website: cheriecywong.com

Email: cherie.wong@greenparty.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Ottawa South:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Karin Howard

Twitter: @karinottawa

Website: karinhoward.ca

Email: karinottawapc@outlook.ca

Phone: 613-702-2183

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: John Fraser

Twitter: @JohnFraserOS

Website: johnfraser.onmpp.ca

Email: jfraser.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 613-736-9573

Office: 1828 Bank Street, Ottawa, K1V7Y6

 

NDP

 

Name: Elanor Fast

Twitter: @Eleanor_Fast

Website: https://eleanorfast.ontariondp.ca

Email: eleanor.fast@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Les Schram

Twitter: @Les4OS

Website: https://greensofottawasouth.businesscatalyst.com/les-schram.html

Email: LesSchram@gpo.ca

Phone: 613-614-6774

Office:

 

Ottawa-Vanier:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Fadi Nemr

Twitter: @FadiNemr

Website: www.fadinemr.ca

Email:

Phone: 613-416-8365

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Nathalie Des Rosiers

Twitter: @ndesrosiers

Website: nathaliedesrosiers.onmpp.ca

Email: ndesrosiers.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 613-744-4484

Office: 237 Montreal Rd, Ottawa, K1L6C7

 

NDP

 

Name: Lyra Evans

Twitter: @Lyra_NDP

Website: https://lyraevans.ontariondp.ca

Email: lyra.evans@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Sheilagh Mclean

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/sheilagh-mclean/

Email: sheilaghmclean@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Ottawa West-Nepean:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jeremy Roberts

Twitter: @JR_Ottawa

Website: www.jeremyroberts.ca

Email: http://www.jeremyroberts.ca/contact-usßCan e-mail through a contact form here

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Bob Chiarelli

Twitter: @Bob_Chiarelli

Website: http://bobchiarelli.com

Email: bchiarelli.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Chandra Pasma

Twitter: @ChandraPasma

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Patrick Freel

Twitter: @Freel_Green

Website:

Email: patrick.freel@greenparty.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

EASTERN ONTARIO:

 

Bay of Quinte:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Robert Quaiff

Twitter: @RQuaiff

Website: http://www.thecounty.ca/county-government/mayors-office/

Email: rquaiff@pecounty.on.ca

Phone: 613-476-7201

Office: 47 York Street, Picton, K0K2T0

 

NDP

 

Name: Joanne Belanger

Twitter:

Website: https://joannebelanger.ontariondp.ca

Email: joanne.belanger@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Amanda Simard

Twitter: @ASimardL

Website: http://russell.ca/town_hall/municipal_government/council/councillor_amanda_simard/

Email: amandasimard@russell.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Grant Crack

Twitter: @GrantCrack

Website: grantcrack.onmpp.ca

Email: gcrack.rockland@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 613-446-4010

Office: 345A Laurier Street, Rockland, K4K1K4

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Hastings-Lennox and Addington:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Daryl Kramp

Twitter: @darylkramp

Website: electKramp.ca

Email: Team2018@electKramp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Tim Rigby

Twitter:

Website: http://votetimrigby.ca

Email: timrigby2018@gmail.com

Phone: 1-866-298-2368

Office: 8 Bridge St. East, Napanee, ON, K7R 1J6

 

NDP

 

Name: Nate Smelle

Twitter: @Nate_Smelle

Website: https://natesmelle.ontariondp.ca

Email: nate.smelle@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Kingston and the Islands:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Gary Bennett

Twitter: @garybennettpc

Website: http://www.kati.ontariopc.com/Candidate

Email: gary@garybennettpc.com

Phone: 613-531-1042

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Sophie Kiwala

Twitter: @SophieKiwala

Website: sophiekiwala.ca, sophiekiwala.onmpp.ca

Email: info@sophiekiwala.ca, skiwala.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 613-547-5001

Office: 2-303 Bagot St. Kingston, K7K5W7

 

NDP

 

Name: Ian Arthur

Twitter: @YGKIanArthur

Website: https://ianarthur.ontariondp.ca

Email: ian.arthur@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Robert Kiley

Twitter: @robert_kiley

Website: robertkiley.ca

Email: robertkiley@gpo.ca

Phone: 613-483-2811

Office: 781 Station Main, Kingston

 

Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Amanda Pulker-Mok

Twitter: @PulkerMokLFK

Website: amandapulkermok.com

Email: info@amandapulkermok.com

Phone: 1-855-663-3010

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Ramsey Hart

Twitter: @RamseyLFKNDP

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Anita Payne

Twitter: @AnitaPayne111

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/anita-payne/, http://www.anitapayne.ca/

Email: lfkgreens@rideau.net

Phone:

Office:

 

Leeds-Greenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: David Henderson

Twitter: @hendersonforLG

Website: http://votedavidhenderson.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Michelle Taylor

Twitter: @M_TaylorNDP

Website:

Email: mtaylor_ndp@outlook.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jackie Lee Agnew

Twitter: @jackieagnew2018

Website: http://jackieagnew.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter.:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Heather Megill

Twitter: @hmegill

Website: http://heathermegill.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Elaine Kennedy

Twitter:

Website:

Email: elainekennedy@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

CENTRAL ONTARIO:

 

CENTRAL ONTARIO

 

Barrie-Innisfil:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Andrea Khanjin

Twitter: @Andrea_Khanjin

Website: www.andreakhanjin.ca

Email: voteandreapc@gmail.com

Phone: 705-881-1519

Office: 150 Collier Street, PO Box 1209, Barrie ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Ann Hoggarth

Twitter: @AnnHoggarthMPP

Website: annhoggarth.onmpp.ca

Email: ahoggarth.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 705-726-5538

Office: 20 Bell Farm Road, Unit #14, Barrie, L4M6E4

 

NDP

 

Name: Pekka Reinio

Twitter: @BI_NDP

Website: https://pekkareinio.ontariondp.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Bonnie North

Twitter: @BonnieNorthGP

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/bonnie-north/

Email: bonnienorth@gpo.ca

Phone: 705-252-8900

Office:

 

Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Doug Downey

Twitter: @douglasdowney

Website:

Email: doug@dougdowney.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Keenan Aylwin

Twitter: @KeenanAylwin

Website: keenan.ca

Email: keenan@barriegreens.ca

Phone: 795-321-8505

Office:

 

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Bill Walker

Twitter: @billwalkermpp

Website: billwalkermpp.com

Email: bill.walkerco@pc.ola.org

Phone: 519-371-2421

Office: 100-920 1stAvenue West, Owen Sound, ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Francesca Dobbyn

Twitter: @team_francesca

Website: http://francescadobbyn.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Karen Gventer

Twitter: @KarenGventerNDP

Website: https://karengventer.ontariondp.ca

Email: karen.gventer@ontariondp.ca

Phone: 519-379-3924

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Dufferin-Caledon:

 

Conservative

 

NOTE: Sylvia Jones is an MPP, but not actually listed as a current candidate on the party’s website.

Name: Sylvia Jones

Twitter: @sylviajonesmpp

Website: http://sylviajonesmpp.ca/

Email: Sylvia.jones@pc.ola.org

Phone: 519-942-0790

Office: Room 443, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A8

 

Liberal

 

Name: Bob Gordanier

Twitter: @BobGordanier

Website: BobGordanier.ca

Email:

Phone: 519-942-7652

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Laura Campbell

Twitter: @laura_DCgreens

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/laura-campbell/

Email: lauracampbell@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Northumberland-Peterborough South:

 

Conservative

 

Name: David Piccini

Twitter: @DavidPiccini

Website: www.davidpiccini.ca

Email: david@davidpiccini.ca

Phone: 905-373-6331

Office: 3-148 Walton, St. Port Hope, ON L1A 1N6

 

Liberal

 

Name: Lou Rinaldi

Twitter: @LouRinaldiMPP

Website: lourinaldi.onmpp.ca

Email: lrinaldi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-372-4000

Office: 513 Division Street, Unit 7, Cobourg, K9A 5G6

 

 

NDP

 

Name: Jana Papuckoski

Twitter: @JanaPapuckoski

Website: https://janapapuckoski.ontariondp.ca

Email: jana.papuckoski@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Jeff Wheeldon

Twitter: @Jeff_Wheeldon

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/jeff-wheeldon/

Email: jeffwheeldon@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Peterborough-Kawartha:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Dave Smith

Twitter: @davesmithPTBO

Website: www.davesmithptbo.com

Email: https://www.davesmithptbo.com/contactdavesmith

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jeff Leal

Twitter: @JeffLeal_MPP

Website: jeffleal.ca

Email: jleal.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 705-742-3777

Office: 236 King Street, Peterborough, K9J7L8

 

NDP

 

Name: Sean Conway

Twitter: @seanconwayndp

Website: https://seanconway.ontariondp.ca

Email: sean.conway@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Gianne Broughton

Twitter: @GianneBroughton

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/gianne-broughton/

Email: giannebroughton@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Simcoe-Grey:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Dan Hambly

Twitter: @HamblyDan

Website: danhambly.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Jesseca Perry

Twitter: @GPSimcoeGrey

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/jesseca-perry/

Email: jessecaperry@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Simcoe North:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jill Dunlop

Twitter: @JillDunlop1

Website: www.jilldunlop2018.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Gerry Marshall

Twitter: @Gerry4MPP

Website: votegerrymarshall.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Elizabeth Van Houtte

Twitter: @EVanHoutteSN

Website: https://elizabethvanhoutte.ontariondp.ca/#bio-container

Email: evanhoutte@ontariondp.ca

Phone: (705) 955-4530

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Valerie Powell

Twitter: @valerieisgreen

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/valerie-powell/

Email: valeriepowell@gpo.ca

Phone: 705-326-4392

Office:

 

York-Simcoe:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Roman Baber

Twitter: @Roman_Baber

Website: www.romanbaber.ca

Email: roman@romanbaber.ca

Phone: 416-619-4560

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Loralea Carruthers

Twitter: @LoraleaC

Website: loralea.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Alexandra /Zalucky

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/alexandra-zalucky/

Email: alexandrazalucky@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

905 BELT:

 

DURHAM AND YORK:

 

Ajax:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Rod Phillips

Twitter: @RodPhillips01

Website: www.rodphilips.ca

Email:

Phone: 289-275-2443

Office: PO Box 31004 Westney Heights RPO, Ajax, ON,

 

Liberal

 

Name: Joe Dickson

Twitter: @MPPJoeDickson

Website: http://joedickson.onmpp.ca/

Email: jdickson.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-427-2060

Office: 201A-50 Commercial Avenue, Ajax, L1S2H5

 

NDP

 

Name: Monique Hughes

Twitter: @monique4ajax

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Michael Parsa

Twitter: @MichaelParsa

Website: aaorrh.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone: 905-962-0900

Office: 13035 Yonge Street, PO Box 2062, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4E 1A3

 

Liberal

 

Name: Naheed Yaqubian

Twitter: @yaqubian

Website: votenaheed.ca

Email:

Phone: 289-809-3600

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Sonetta Duncan

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/sonetta-duncan/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Durham:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Lindsey Park

Twitter: @lparkpc

Website: www.lindseypark.ca

Email:

Phone: 905-419-0212

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Granville Anderson

Twitter: @GranvilleMPP

Website: http://www.granvilleanderson.onmpp.ca/

Email: ganderson.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-697-1501

Office: 23 King Street West, Bowmanville, L1C1R2

 

NDP

 

Name: Joel Usher

Twitter: @joel_usher

Website: https://joelusher.ontariondp.ca

Email: joel.usher@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

King-Vaughan:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Stephen Lecce

Twitter: @Sflecce

Website: www.stephenlecce.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Marilyn Iafrate

Twitter: @mayilyniafrate

Website: marilyniafrate.ca

Email: Marilyn.iafrate@vaughan.ca

Phone: 905-832-2281 ext 8344

Office: Vaughan City Hall, Level 400, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., Vaughan, L6A1T1

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Greg Locke

Twitter: @VoteGrnVoteGreg

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/greg-locke/; http://greglocke.ca

Email: greglocke@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Markham-Stouffville:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Paul Calandra

Twitter: @PaulCalandra

Website: www.calandra.ca

Email:

Phone: 905-205-0492

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Helena Jaczek

Twitter: @HelenaJaczek

Website: http://votehelena.ca/

Email: hjaczek.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-294-4931

Office: 137 Main Street North, Suite 204, Markham, L3P1Y2

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Jose Etcheverry

Twitter: @josegpo2018

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/jose-etcheverry/

Email: jose@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Markham-Thornhill:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Logan Kanapathi

Twitter: @LoganKanapathi

Website: www.logankanapathi.com

Email:

Phone: 905-479-7748

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Juanita Nathan

Twitter: @JuanitaNathan

Website: http://juanitanathan.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Markham-Unionville:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Amanda Yeung Collucci

Twitter: @Amanda_Collucci

Website: http://voteamanda.ca/

Email: acollucci@markham.ca, amanda@voteamanda.ca

Phone: 1-647-278-2189

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Newmarket-Aurora:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Charity McGrath

Twitter: @CharityMcGrath1

Website: www.charitymcgrath.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Chris Ballard

Twitter: @ChrisBallardMPP

Website: chrisballard.onmpp.ca

Email: cballard.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-750-0019

Office: 238 Wellington Street East, Suite 203, Aurora

 

NDP

 

Name: Melissa Williams

Twitter: @NdpMelissa

Website: https://melissawilliams.ontariondp.ca

Email: melissa.williams@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Michelle Bourdeau

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/michelle-bourdeau/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Oshawa:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Bob Chapman

Twitter: @BobforOshawa

Website: www.bobchapman.ca

Email: http://www.oshawa.ontariopc.com/ContactßCan contact through e-mail here

Phone:

Office: PO Box 31011, 1300 King St E, Oshawa, ON L1H 8N9

 

Liberal

 

Name: Makini Smith

Twitter: @MakiniSmith

Website: makinismith.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Jennifer French

Twitter: @jennkfrench

Website: https://www.jenniferfrench.ca

Email: jfrench-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (905) 723-2411

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Pickering-Uxbridge:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Peter Bethlenfalvy

Twitter: @PBethlenfalvy

Website: www.peterbethlenfalvy.ca

Email: peterbethlenfalvy@gmail.com

Phone: 905-706-8873

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Ibrahim Daniyal

Twitter: @VoteDaniyal2018

Website: http://votedaniyal.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Adam Narraway

Twitter: @Adoom74

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/adam-narraway/

Email: adamnarraway@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Richmond Hill:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Daisy Wai

Twitter: @Daisy_Wai_PC

Website: www.daisywai.ca

Email:

Phone: 416-543-7700

Office: 9665 Bayview Ave, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 9V4

 

Liberal

 

Name: Reza Moridi

Twitter: @rezamoridi

Website: rezamoridi.onmpp.ca

Email: rmoridi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-884-8080

Office: 9555 Yonge Street, Suite 311, Richmond Hill, L4C9M5

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Walter Bauer

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/walter-bauer/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Thornhill:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Ezra Tanen

Twitter: @EzraTanenNDP

Website: https://ezratanen.ontariondp.ca

Email: ezra.tanen@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Caryn Bergman

Twitter: @carynbergmann

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/caryn-bergmann/

Email: carynbergmann@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Vaughan-Woodbridge:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Michael Tibollo

Twitter: @MichaelTibollo

Website: https://www.votetibollo.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Steven Del Duca

Twitter: @StevenDelDuca

Website: http://www.stevendelduca.onmpp.ca

Email: sdelduca.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Michael DiPasquale

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/michael-dipasquale/

Email: michaeldipasquale@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Whitby:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Leisa Washington

Twitter: @LeisaforWhitby

Website: leisawashington.ca

Email: leisaforwhitby@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Niki Lundquist

Twitter: @niki_lundquist

Website: http://lundquistndp.ca

Email: niki.lundquist@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Stacey Leadbetter

Twitter: @SLeadbetter_GPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/stacey-leadbetter/; http://www.staceyleadbetter.ca

Email: staceyleadbetter@gpo.ca

Phone: 905 – 391- 4681

Office:

 

PEEL:

 

Brampton Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Safdar Hussain

Twitter: @safdarhussain14

Website: http://safdarhussain.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Sara Singh

Twitter: @SaraSinghNDP

Website: https://sarasingh.ontariondp.ca

Email: sara.singh@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Laila Zarrabi Yan

Twitter: @LailaZarrabiYan

Website:

Email: lailazarrabiyan@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Brampton East:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Simmer Sandu

Twitter: @simmer_sandhu

Website: https://www.simmersandhu.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Dr. Parminder Singh

Twitter: @parmindersingh

Website: http://voteparmindersingh.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Gurratan Singh

Twitter: @GurratanSingh

Website: https://gurratansingh.ontariondp.ca/

Email: gurratan.singh@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Raquel Fronte

Twitter: can’t find any!

Website:

Email: Randi Ramdeen, Staff Organizer: randiramdeen@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Brampton North:

 

Conservative

 

*Not listed as a riding on Conservative Party website, and candidate listed here is not named*

Name: Jass Johal

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone: 905-497-7766

Office: 109-2250 Bovaird Drive East, Brampton ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Harinder Malhi

Twitter: @Harindermalhi

Website: http://harindermalhi.onmpp.ca

Email: hmalhi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-495-8030

Office: 10215 Kennedy Road N., Unit 7, Brampton, L6Z0C5

 

NDP – riding not listed on website

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Pauline Thornham

Twitter: @fiodor2

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/pauline-thornham/

Email: paulinethornham@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Brampton South:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Prabmeet Sarkaria

Twitter: @PrabSarkaria

Website: www.parbmeetsarkaria.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Sukhwant Thethi

Twitter: @SukhwantThethi

Website: http://www.bramptonsouth.candidate.liberalonline.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP – riding not listed on website

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: (candidate’s name not listed online)

Twitter:

Website:

Email: Randi Ramdeen, Staff Organizer: randiramdeen@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Brampton West:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Amarjot Singh Sandhu

Twitter: @sandhuamarjot1

Website: https://bramptonwest.ontariopc.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Sukhwant Thethi

Twitter: @SukhwantThethi

Website: thethi.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP – riding not listed on website

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green – not listed on website

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Mississauga Centre:

 

Name: Natalia Kusendova

Twitter: @NatKusendova

Website: https://mississaugacentre.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Bobbie Daid

Twitter: @BobbieDaid

Website: http://votedaid.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Laura Kaminker

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Mississauga East-Cooksville:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Kaleed Rasheed

Twitter: @krasheedpc

Website: kaleedrasheed.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Dipika Damerla

Twitter: @DipikaDamerla

Website: dipikadamerla.onmpp.ca

Email: ddamerla.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-238-1751

Office: 1420 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Unit 315, Mississauga, L4X2Z9

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Basia Krzyzanowski

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/basia-krzyzanowski/

Email: basiakrzyzanowski@gpo.ca

 

Phone:

Office:

 

Mississauga-Erin Mills:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Sheref Sabawy

Twitter: @SSabawy

Website: https://mississaugaerinmills.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Imran Mian

Twitter: @imranmian

Website: http://imranmian.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Libby Yuill

Twitter: @BodaciousLib

Website: libbyyuill@gpo.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Mississauga-Lakeshore:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Rudy Cuzzetto

Twitter: @RudyCuzzetto

Website: mississaugalakeshore.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone: 416-277-9432

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Charles Sousa

Twitter: @SousaCharles

Website: charlessousa.onmpp.ca

Email: csousa.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-274-8828

Office: 120 Lakeshore Road West, Mississauga, L5H1E8

 

NDP

 

Name: Boris Rosolak

Twitter: @brosolak

Website: https://borisrosolak.ontariondp.ca/

Email: boris.rosolak@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Noah Gould

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/noah-gould/

Email: noahgould@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Mississauga-Malton:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Deepak Anand

Twitter: @Deepak_anand

Website: deepakanand.ca

Email: votedeepakanand@gmail.com

Phone: 647-382-1010

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Amrit Mangat

Twitter: @AmritMangat_

Website: amritmangat.onmpp.ca

Email: amangat.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-696-0367

Office: 7045 Edwards Blvd., Suite 203, Mississauga, L5S1X2

 

NDP

 

Name: Nikki Clarke

Twitter: @nikkiclarkendp

Website: http://www.nikkiclarke.ca

Email: nikki.clarke@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Simmy Saini

Twitter: @simsai16

Website: https://gpo.ca/riding/mississauga-malton-64/

Email: simmysaini@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Mississauga-Streetsville:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Nina Tangri

Twitter: @ninatangri

Website: www.ninatangri.ca

Email: tangrimail@gmail.com

Phone: 416-720-9519

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Abhijeet Manay

Twitter: @AbhijeetMonet

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/abhijeet-manay/

Email: abhijeetmanay@gpo.ca

Phone: 647-909-2590

Office:

 

TORONTO:

 

SCARBOROUGH:

 

Scarborough-Agincourt:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Aris Babikian

Twitter: @Aris_Babikian

Website: https://sapc.ontariopc.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Soo Wong

Twitter: @SooWongMPP

Website: votesoowong.com

Email: swong.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-297-6568

Office: 2245 Kennedy Road, Unit 3, Toronto, M1T3G8

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Scarborough Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Christina Mitas

Twitter: @Christina_Mitas

Website: https://scarboroughcentrepc.nationbuilder.com/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Mazhar Shafiq

Twitter: @mazharshafiq

Website: http://mazharshafiq.ca

Email:

Phone: 416-907-1385

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Sanjin Zeco

Twitter: @SanjinZeco

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/sanjin-zeco/

Email: sanjinzeco@gpo.ca

Phone: (647) 880-5898

Office:

 

Scarborough-Guildwood:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Roshan Nallaratnam

Twitter: @RoshanNalla

Website: https://scarboroughguildwoodpc.nationbuilder.com/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Mitzie Hunter

Twitter: @MitzieHunter

Website: mitziehunter.onmpp.ca

Email: mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-281-2787

Office: 4117 Lawrence Avenue East, Unit 109

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Linda Rice

Twitter: @lindagailrice

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/linda-rice/

Email: lindarice@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Scarborough North:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Raymond Cho

Twitter: @RaymondChoPC

Website: https://www.electraymondcho.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Chin Lee

Twitter: @ChinLeeTO

Website: chinlee.ca

Email: info@chinlee.ca

Phone: (416) 291-2808

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Dwayne Morgan

Twitter: @dwayne_morgan

Website: https://dwaynemorgan.ontariondp.ca/

Email: dwayne.morgan@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Scarborough-Rouge Park:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Vijay Thanigsalam

Twitter: @vijaythani

Website: www.vijaythani.ca

Email: info@vijaythani.ca

Phone: 647-367-9179

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Sumi Shan

Twitter:@SumiShan1

Website: http://sumishan.ca/

Email: info@sumishan.ca

Phone:

Office: 4679 Kingston Rd. Unit 3B, Scarborough M1E 2P8

 

NDP

 

Name: Felicia Samuel

Twitter: @Felicia_NDP

Website: https://feliciasamuel.ontariondp.ca

Email: feliciandp@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Priyan De Silva

Twitter: @PriyanGPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/profile/priyan-de-silva/

Email: priyandesilva@gpo.ca

Phone: (416) 977-7476

Office:

 

Scarborough Southwest:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Gary Ellis

Twitter: @GaryEllisPC

Website:https://www.garyellis.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Lorenzo Berardinetti

Twitter: @LBerardinetti

Website: http://lorenzoberardinetti.onmpp.ca/

Email: lberardinetti.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-261-9525

Office:  3090 Kingston Road, Scarborough, M1M1P2

 

NDP

 

Name: Doly Begum

Twitter: @DolyBegum

Website: https://dolybegum.ontariondp.ca

Email: doly.begum@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: David Del Grande

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/david-del-grande/

Email: daviddelgrande@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

NORTH YORK AND NORTH TORONTO:

 

Don Valley East:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Denzil Minnan-Wong

Twitter: @DenzilMW

Website: www.ward34.com

Email: councilor_minnan-wong@toronto.ca

Phone: 416-397-9256

Office: PO Box 62003, Victoria Terrace PO, North York ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Michael Coteau

Twitter: @coteau

Website: http://michaelcoteau.com

Email: mcoteau.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-494-6856

Office: 1200 Lawrence Avenue East, Suite L02, Toronto, M3A1C1

 

NDP

 

Name: Khalid Ahmed

Twitter: @Khalidndp

Website: http://khalidahmed.ndp.ca

Email: khalid.ahmed@hotmail.com

Phone: (647) 938-9063

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Mark Wong

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/mark-wong/

Email: markwong@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Don Valley North:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Vincent Ke

Twitter: @Vincentke2018

Website: vincentke.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Shelly Carroll

Twitter: @shelleycarroll

Website: voteshelleycarrol.ca

Email: shelley@voteshelleycarroll.ca

Phone: 416-392-4101

Office: 100 Queen Street West, Suit A4

 

NDP

 

Name: Akil Sadikali

Twitter: @akilsadikali

Website: https://akilsadikali.ontariondp.ca/

Email akil.sadikali@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Janelle Yanishewski

Twitter: @Janelle4Green

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/janelle-yanishewski/

Email: janelleyanishewski@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Don Valley West:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jon Kieran

Twitter: @jonwkieran

Website: www.jonkieran.ca

Email: info@jonkieran.ca

Phone:

Office: Box 22177, 45 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1N9

 

Liberal

 

Name: Kathleen Wynne (leader)

Twitter: @Kathleen_Wynne

Website: http://www.kathleenwynne.onmpp.ca/

Email: kwynne.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-425-6777

Office: 795 Eglinton Ave East, Unit 101, Toronto, M4G4E4

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Morgan Bailey

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/morgan-bailey/

Email: morganbailey@gpo.ca

Phone: 647-207-8107

Office:

 

Eglinton-Lawrence:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Robin Martin

Twitter: @RobinMartinPC

Website: www.robinmartin.ca

Email:

Phone: 647-367-3810

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Mike Colle

Twitter: @MikeTColle

Website: http://mikecolle.onmpp.ca

Email: mcolle.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-781-2395

Office: 2992 Dufferin Street, Toronto, M6B3S6

 

NDP

 

Name: Robyn Vilde

Twitter: @RobynVilde

Website: https://robynvilde.ontariondp.ca/

Email: robyn.vilde@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Reuben Deboer

Twitter: @Reuben_Deboer (private)

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/reuben-deboer/

Email: reubendeboer@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Willowdale:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Stan Cho

Twitter: @VoteStanCho

Website: www.stancho.ca

Email:

Phone: 647-560-9224

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: David Zimmer

Twitter: @DavidZimmerMPP

Website: davidzimmer.onmpp.ca

Email: dzimmer.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-733-7878

Office: 5801 Yonge Street, Unit 3, North York, M2M3T9

 

NDP

 

Name: Saman Tabasinejad

Twitter: @samantabasi

Website: https://samantabasinejad.ontariondp.ca/

Email: saman.tabasinejad@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Randi Ramdeen

Twitter: @RandiRamdeen

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/randi-ramdeen/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

York Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Roman Baber

Twitter:@Roman_Baber

Website: www.romanbaber.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Ramon Estaris

Twitter: @voteramon

Website: http://voteramon.ca/

Email: info@voteramon.ca

Phone:  416-848-4318

Office: 951 Wilson Ave, Unit 20

 

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Romana Lyon

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/romana-lyon/

Email: romalyon@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

TORONTO AND EAST YORK:

 

Beaches-East York:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Sarah Mallo

Twitter: @sarah_mallo

Website: www.sarahmallo.ca

Email: sarah@sarahmallo.ca

Phone:

Office: 4 Welby Circle, Toronto ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Arthur Potts

Twitter: @apottsmpp

Note: Uncertain if that Twitter handle works.

Website: http://arthurpotts.ca/

Email: apotts.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-690-1032

Office: 1821 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, M4V1J2

 

NDP

 

Name: Rima Berns McGown

Twitter: @beyrima

Website: https://www.beyrima.ca

Email: info@beyrima.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Debra Scott

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/debra-scott/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Davenport:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Federico Sanchez

Twitter:

Website: https://davenportpc.nationbuilder.com

Email: Vote4Fed@FedSanchez.com

Phone: 647.563.4333

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Marit Stiles

Twitter: @maritstiles

Website: https://maritstiles.ontariondp.ca

Email: marit.stiles@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Kirsten Snider

Twitter: @ksniderGPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/kirsten-snider/

Email: kirstensnider@gpo.ca

Phone: (647) 849-9289

Office: 523 Bloor St W

 

Parkdale-High Park:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Adam Pham

Twitter: @changethatworkz

Website: www.adampham.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Nadia Guerrera

Twitter: @nadia_guerrera

Website: http://www.nadiaguerrera.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Bhutila Karpoche

Twitter: @BhutilaKarpoche

Website: http://www.bhutilakarpoche.ca

Email: bhutila.karpoche@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Halyna Zalucky

Twitter: @halynazalucky

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/halyna-zalucky/

Email: halynazalucky@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Spadina-Fort York:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Iris Yu

Twitter: @irisyu10

Website: www.irisyu.ca

Email: irisyu0618@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Han Dong

Twitter: @HanDongOntario

Website: handong.onmpp.ca

Email: hdong.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-603-9664

Office: 226 Bathurst Street, Unit A, Toronto, M5T2R9

 

NDP

 

Name: Chris Glover

Twitter:

Website: https://chrisglover.ontariondp.ca/

Email:chris.glover@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Rita Bilerman

Twitter: @RitaBilerman

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/rita-bilerman/

Email: ritabilerman@gpo.ca

Phone: 647-740-4812

Office:

 

Toronto Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Meredith Cartwright

Twitter: @meredithcartwri

Website: https://torontocentrepc.nationbuilder.com/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: David Morris

Twitter: @David4TC

Website: http://david4torontocentre.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Suze Morrison

Twitter: @DelSuze

Website: https://suzemorrison.ontariondp.ca/

Email: suze.morrison@ontariondp.ca

Phone: (647) 557-6435

Office: 194A Carlton St

 

Green

 

Name: Adam Sommerfeld

Twitter: possibly @commodified

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/adam-sommerfeld/

Email: adamsommerfeld@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Toronto-Danforth:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Patricia Kalligosfyris

Twitter: @PKalligosfyris

Website: www.kalligosfyris.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Li Koo

Twitter: @LiKoo_TO

Website: likoo.ca

Email: hello@likoo.ca

Phone: 437-886-5435

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Peter Tabuns

Twitter: @Peter_Tabuns

Website: https://www.petertabuns.ca

Email: tabunsp-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: 416-325-3250

Office: Room 165, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5

 

Green

 

Name: Mark Fernandez

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/mark-fernandez/

Email: markfernandez@gpo.ca

Phone: Office:

 

Toronto-St Paul’s:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Andrew Kirsch

Twitter @AndrewSKirsch

Website: https://stpaulspc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:Jessica Spindler

Twitter: @votespindler

Website: http://jessspindler.ca/

Email:

Phone: (416)489 8683

Office: 661 St. Clair Avenue West

 

NDP

 

Name: Jill Andrew

Twitter: @JILLSLASTWORD

Website: https://jillandrew.ontariondp.ca

Email: jill.andrew@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Teresa Pun

Twitter: @DoctorAndGreen

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/teresa-pun/

Email: teresapun@gpo.ca

Phone: Main Ont. Green Office (416)977-7476  Fax (416)977-5476

Office: PO Box 1132 Station F Toronto,  ON M4Y 2T8

(note almost all Green Candidates have addresses and phone numbers listed at central green office  unless otherwise  indicated. Few have Twitter.

 

University-Rosedale:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Gillian Smith

Twitter: @gilliansmith73

Website: www.gilliansmith.ca

Email: Gillian@gilliansmith.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jo-Ann Davis

Twitter: @Jo_AnnDavis

Website: http://votejoanndavis.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Jessica Bell

Twitter:  @JessicaBellTO

Website: https://jessicabell.ontariondp.ca

Email: jessica.bell@ontariondp.ca

Phone: 647-345-2763

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Tim Grant

Twitter: @UniRoseGreens

Website: voteTimGrant.ca

Email: unirose@gpo.ca

Phone: 647-706-4980

Office:

 

ETOBICOKE AND YORK:

 

Etobicoke Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Kinga Surma

Twitter: @KingaSurma2018

Website: www.kingasurma.com

Email: info@kingasurma.com

Phone: 416-316-3039

Office: Richview Square Shopping Centre, 250 Wincott Drive #42

 

Liberal

 

Name: Yvan Baker

Twitter: @YvanBaker4EC

Website: yvanbaker.onmpp.ca

Email: ybaker.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-234-2800

Office: 4800 Dundas Street West, Suite 106, M9A1B1

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Shawn Rizvi

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/shawn-rizvi/

Email: shawnrizvi@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Etobicoke North:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Doug Ford (leader)

Twitter: @fordnation

Website: https://www.dougfordcampaign.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Shafiq Qaadri

Twitter: @ShafiqQaadriMPP

Website: http://voteqaadri.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Mahamud Amin

Twitter: @MahamudAminNDP

Website: https://mahamudamin.ontariondp.ca

Email: mahamud.amin@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Nancy Ghuman

Twitter: @ghumanancy

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/nancy-ghuman/

Email: nancyghuman@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Etobicoke-Lakeshore:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Christine Hogarth

Twitter: @CHogarthPC

Website: voteChristineHogarth.ca

Email: http://etobicokelakeshore.ontariopc.ca/contactßCan contact through email form here

Phone: 647-549-7235

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Peter Milczyn

Twitter: @PeterMilczyn

Website: http://petermilczyn.onmpp.ca; http://petermilczyn.onmpp.ca

Email: pmilczyn.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Phil Trotter

Twitter: @PhilTrotterNDP

Website: https://philtrotter.ontariondp.ca

Email: phil.trotter@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Chris Caldwell

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/chris-caldwell/

Email: christophercaldwell@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Humber River-Black Creek:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Cyma Musarat

Twitter: @cmusarat

Website: www.cymamusarat.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Deanna Sgro

Twitter: @Deannasgro

Website: vote-sgro.com

Email:

Phone:657-957-2283

Office: 2201 Finch Avenue W, Suite 5, Toronto, ON M9M 2Y9

 

NDP

 

Name: Tom Rakocevic

Twitter: @RakocevicT

Website: https://tomrakocevic.ontariondp.ca

Email: info@tomrakocevic.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

York South-Weston:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Mark DeMontis

Twitter: @MarkDeMontis

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Laura Albanese

Twitter: @Laura_Albanese

Website: lauraalbanese.onmpp.ca

Email: lalbanese.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 416-243-7984

Office: 99A Ingram Drive, Toronto, M6M2L7

 

NDP

 

Name: Faisal Hassan

Twitter: @FaisalHassanNDP

Website: http://www.faisalhassan.ndp.ca

Email: faisal.hassan@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Grad Murray

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/grad-murray/

Email: gradmurray@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

HAMILTON, HALTON AND NIAGARA:

 

HAMILTON, HALTON AND NIAGARA:

 

Burlington:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jane McKenna

Twitter: @janemckennapc

Website: www.ontariopc.ca/jane_mckenna

Email: jane.mckenna@pc.ola.org

Phone: 905-527-4030

Office: Appleby Postal Outlet, PO Box 8007, Burlington ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Eleanor Mcmahon

Twitter: @EMcMahonBurl

Website: eleanormcmahon.onmpp.ca

Email: emcmahon.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-639-7924

Office: 472 Brock Avenue, Suite 104, Burlington, L7S1N1

 

NDP

 

Name: Andrew Drummond

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Vince Fiorito

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/vince-fiorito/

Email: vincefiorito@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Flamborough-Glanbrook:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Donna Skelly

Twitter: @SkellyHamilton

Website: www.skellyward7.ca

Email: Donna.skelly@hamilton.ca

Phone: 905-546-2535

Office: 71 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4Y5

 

Liberal

 

Name: Judi Partridge

Twitter: @judipartridge

Website: judipartridge.ca

Email: judi.partridge@hamilton.ca

Phone: 905-546-2713

Office: 71 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P4Y5

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Janet Errygers

Twitter: @JanetGPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/janet-errygers/

Email: janeterrygers@gpo.ca

Phone: 289-460-0488

Office:

 

Hamilton Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Dionne Duncan

Twitter: @DrDionneDuncan

Website: https://hamiltoncentrepc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Deirdre Pike

Twitter: @deirdrepike

Website: http://www.deirdrepike.ca

Email: deirdrepikehc@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Andrea Horwath (leader)

Twitter: @AndreaHorwath

Website:http://www.ontariondp.ca

Email: ahorwath-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Jason Lopez

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/jason-lopez/

Email: jasonlopez@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Akash Grewal

Twitter:

Website: https://hescpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jennifer Stebbing

Twitter: @Jen_Stebbing

Website: http://www.jenniferstebbing.ca

Email: jennifer@jenniferstebbing.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Paul Miller

Twitter: @PaulMillerMPP

Website: https://paulmiller.ontariondp.ca

Email: pmiller-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (905) 545-0114

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Brian Munroe

Twitter: @BrianJMunroe

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/brian-munroe/

Email: brianmunroe@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Hamilton Mountain:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Esther Pauls

Twitter: @EstherPaulsPC

Website: www.estherpauls.ca

Email: esther@estherpauls.ca

Phone: 905-966-9933

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Monique Taylor

Twitter: @MTaylorNDP

Website: https://www.moniquetaylormpp.ca

Email: mtaylor-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (905) 388 9734

Office: Constituency Assistants – Sandra Troulinos and Alissa Watt, 555 Concession Street, 2nd Floor – Unit 202, Hamilton, Ontario, L8V 1A8

 

Green

 

Name: David Urquhart

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/david-urquhart/

Email: davidurqhart@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Ben Levitt

Twitter: @BenLevitt2018

Website: https://hwad.ontariopc.ca

Email: benlevitt2018@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Ted McMeekin

Twitter: @TedMcMeekin

Website: tedmcmeekin.onmpp.ca

Email: tmcmeekin.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-690-6552

Office: 299 Dundas Street East, Waterdown, L0R2H0

 

NDP

 

Name: Sandy Shaw

Twitter: @shaw_sandy

Website: https://sandyshaw.ontariondp.ca

Email: sandy.shaw@ontariondp.ca

Phone: (905) 978 – 7429

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Peter Ormond

Twitter: @Peter_Ormond

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/peter-ormond/

Email: peterormond@gpo.ca

Phone: 289-260-1151

Office:

 

Milton:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Parm Gill

Twitter: @ParmGill

Website: https://milton.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone: (289) 409-9498

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Indira Naidoo Harris

Twitter: @Indira_NH

Website: indiranaidooharris.onmpp.ca

Email:  inaidoo-harris.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 905-878-1729

Office:  450 Bronte Street S, Unit 115, Milton, L9T5B7

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Niagara Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: April Jeffs

Twitter: @April_Jeffs

Website: www.apriljeffs.com

Email: ajeffs@wainfleet.ca

Phone:

Office: 11425 Morgan’s Point Road, Port Colbourne, ON L3K 5V4

 

Liberal

 

Name: Benoit Mercier

Twitter: @Benoit_Mercier

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Jeff Burch

Twitter: @JeffBurch_

Website: https://jeffburch.ontariondp.ca

Email: jeff.burch@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Joe Dias

Twitter: @joedias_GPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/joe-dias/

Email: joedias@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Niagara Falls:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Chuck McShane

Twitter: @mcshane_chuck

Website: chuckmcshane.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Dean Demizio

Twitter: @votedeandemizio

Website: http://deandemizio.ca

Email: votedeandemizio@gmail.com

Phone: (289) 296-4866

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Wayne Gates

Twitter: @Wayne_Gates

Website: https://www.waynegates.com

Email: wgates-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (905) 357-0681

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Karen Fraser

Twitter: @karenfraser52

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/karen-fraser/

Email: Karen.fraster7@gmail.com

Phone: 905-357-2932

Office:

 

Niagara West:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Curtis Fric

Twitter: @CurtisFricNDP

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Jessica Tillmanns

Twitter: @JessTillmannsNW

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/jessica-tillmanns/

Email: jessicatillmanns@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Oakville:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Stephen Crawford

Twitter: @stcrawford2

Website: www.stephencrawford.ca

Email: Stephen.crawford@ontariopc.net

Phone: 905-338-0878

Office: 67 Lakeshore Road West

 

Liberal

 

Name: Kevin Flynn

Twitter: @KFlynnOakville

Website: http://www.kevinflynn.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Emily DeSousa

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/emily-desousa/

Email: emilydesousa@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Oakville North-Burlington:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Effie Triantafilopoulos

Twitter: @Effie_ONB

Website: www.effie.ca

Email: hello@effie.ca

Phone: 905-371-8829

Office: 2525 Old Bronte Rd Suite 160, Oakville L6M 4J2.

 

Liberal

 

Name: Alvin Tedjo

Twitter: @Alvin Tedjo

Website: alvintedjo.ca

Email: team@tedjo.ca

Phone: 905-580-2344

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Marianne Workman

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/marianne-workman/

Email: marianneworkman@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

St. Catharines:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Sandie Bellows

Twitter: @SandieBellows

Website: https://stcatharinespc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Colin Ryrie

Twitter: @ColinRyrie

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/colin-ryrie/

Email: colinryrie@gpo.ca

Phone: 289-968-5967

Office:

 

MIDWESTERN ONTARIO:

 

MIDWESTERN ONTARIO:

 

Brantford-Brant:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Will Bouma

Twitter: @WillBoumaBrant

Website: www.willboumaforbrant.ca

Email: will@willbouma.ca

Phone: 519-761-2439

Office: 26 Cambridge Drive, Brantford ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Ruby Toor

Twitter: @ruby_toor

Website: http://rubytoor.ca/

Email:

Phone: (519) 802-8887

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Alex Fesky

Twitter: @alexfelsky

Website: https://alexfelsky.ontariondp.ca

Email: alex.felsky@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Cambridge:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Rob Leone

Twitter: @robleone

Website: www.robleone.com

Email:

Phone: 519-342-3691

Office: PO Box 847, Cambridge ON

 

Liberal

 

Name: Kathryn McGarry

Twitter: @Kathryn_McGarry

Website: http://kathrynmcgarry.onmpp.ca/

Email: kmcgarry.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 519-623-5852

Office: 498 Eagle Street North, Cambridge, N3H1C2

 

NDP

 

Name: Marjorie Knight

Twitter: @KnightmjaKnight

Website: https://marjorieknight.ontariondp.ca

Email: marjorie.knight@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Michele Braniff

Twitter: @MicheleBraniff

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/michele-braniff/

Email: michelebraniff@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Guelph:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Ray Ferraro

Twitter:@RayJFerraro

Website: https://guelphpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Sly Castaldi

Twitter: @slycastaldi

Website: http://slycastaldi.ca

Email: voteslycastaldi@gmail.com

Phone: 519-341-6069

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Agnieszka Mlynarz

Twitter: @akmlynarz

Website: https://agnieszkamlynarz.ontariondp.ca

Email: agnieszka.mlynarz@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Mike Schreiner (leader)

Twitter: @MikeSchreiner

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/mike-schreiner/

Email: MikeForGuelph@gpo.ca

Phone: 519-265-6453

Office: 163 Suffolk Street West, Guelph

 

Haldimand-Norfolk:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Dan Matten

Twitter: @DanMatten

Website: http://danmatten.ca/

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Anne Faulkner

Twitter: @alivegreen

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/anne-faulkner/

Email: annefaulkner@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Huron-Bruce:

 

Conservative

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Don Matheson

Twitter: @hbontliberal

Website: donmatheson.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Jan Johnstone

Twitter: @janfromthebruce

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Nicholas Wendler

Twitter: @Nick4Kitchener

Website:

Email: nicholaswendler@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Kitchener Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Mary Henein Thorn

Twitter: @HeneinThorn

Website: www.marykitchenercentrepc.com

Email: marykitchenercentrepc@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Daiene Vernile

Twitter: @Daiene Vernile

Website: daienevernile.onmpp.ca

Email: dvernile.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 519-579-5460

Office: 379 Queen St S, Unit 3, Kitchener, N2G1W6

 

NDP

 

Name: Laura Mae Lindo

Twitter: @LauraMaeLindo

Website: https://lauramaelindo.ontariondp.ca

Email: lmmlinspires@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Stacey Danckert

Twitter: @StaceyDanckert

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/stacey-danckert/

Email: staceydanckert@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Kitchener-Conestoga:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Mike Harris

Twitter: @mikeharrisjrpc

Website: http://mikeharrispc.ca

Email: info@mikeharrispc.ca

Phone: 519-749-8874

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Joe Gowing

Twitter: @joegowing

Website: joegowing.com

Email: Electjoegowing@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Kelly Dick

Twitter: @KDDicker

Website: https://kellydick.ontariondp.ca

Email: kelly.dick@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Bob Jonkman

Twitter: @BobJonkmanGPC

Website: https://bobjonkman.ca/

Email: bob.jonkman@greenparty.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Kitchener South-Hespeler:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Amy Fee

Twitter: @AmyFeePC

Website: www.amyfee.ca

Email: amy.fee@ontariopc.net

Phone: 519-594-2220

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Surekha Shenoy

Twitter: @votesurekha

Website: surekhashenoy.ca

Email: info@votesurekha.ca

Phone: 519-654-3298

Office: 2-808 Cortland Avenue East, Kitchener N2C 1K3

 

NDP

 

Name: Fitzroy Vanderpool

Twitter: @FitzroyTheWhip

Website: https://fitzroyvanderpool.ontariondp.ca

Email: fitzroy.vanderpool@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: David Weber

Twitter: @davidwebergreen

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/david-weber/

Email: davidweber@gpo.ca

Phone: 226-476-4529 ext. 6

Office:

 

Oxford:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Ernie Hardeman

Twitter:

Website: https://oxfordpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Tara King

Twitter: @TaraKingNDP

Website: https://taraking.ontariondp.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Perth-Wellington:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Randy Pettapiece

Twitter: @RandyPettapiece

Website: https://perthwellingtonpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Michael O’Brien

Twitter: @MichaelOBrienON

Website: http://michaelobrien.ontariondp.ca

Email: michael.obrien@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Lisa Olsen

Twitter: @lisaolsenwrites

Website: http://gpo.ca/candidate/lisa-olsen/

Email: lisaolsen@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Waterloo:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Dan Weber

Twitter: @DanWeberPC

Website: danweberpc.ca

Email:

Phone: 519-772-5766

Office: 209 Lexington Road

 

Liberal

 

Name: Dorothy McCabe

Twitter: @DorothyMcCabe

Website: dorothymccabe.ca

Email: info@dorothymccabe.ca

Phone: 519-342-4052

Office: 486 Weber St N, Unit 105 Waterloo N2L 4E7

 

NDP

 

Name: Catherine Fife

Twitter: @CFifeKW

Website: https://catherinefife.ontariondp.ca

Email: catherine.fife@ontariondp.ca

Phone: (519) 725-3477

Office: 100 Regina St South, Suite 220, Waterloo ON N2J 4P9

 

Green

 

Name: Zdravko Gunjevic

Twitter: @zdravko_g

Website: zdravko.ca

Email: zdravkogunjevic@gpo.ca

Phone: 226-476-4529

Office:

 

Wellington-Halton Hills:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Ted Arnott

Twitter: @TedArnottMPP

Website: https://whhpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jon Hurst

Twitter:

Website: http://jonhurst.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Dave Rodgers

Twitter: @DaveDaverodgers

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/dave-rodgers/

Email: daverodgers@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO:

 

SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO:

 

Chatham-Kent-Leamington:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Rick Nicholls

Twitter: @RickNichollsCKL

Website: https://cklpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Margaret Schleier Stahl

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Jordan McGrail

Twitter: @JMcGrailONDP

Website: https://jordanmcgrail.ontariondp.ca

Email: jordan.mcgrail@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Mark Vercouteren

Twitter: @MarkVGreenParty

Website: gpo.ca/candidate/mark-vercouteren

Email: markvercouteren@gpo.ca

Phone: 519-437-0264

Office:

 

Elgin-Middlesex-London:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jeff Yurek

Twitter: @JeffYurekMPP

Website: https://emlpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Carlie Forsythe

Twitter: @VoteForsythe

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Amanda Stratton

Twitter: @AmandaStratton

Website: amandastratton.ontariondp.ca

Email: amanda.stratton@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Branagh Morgan

Twitter: @GreenPartyBro

Website: goo.ca/candidate/bronagh-morgan/

Email: bronagh@bell.net

Phone: 519-439-9306

Office: 603 Ross Street

 

Essex:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Chris Lewis

Twitter:

Website: essexpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Taras Natyshak

Twitter: @TarasNatyshak

Website: https://tarasnatyshak.com

Email: tnatyshak-qp@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (519) 776-6420

Office: 316 Talbot Street North, Essex ON N8M 2E1

 

Green

 

Name: Nancy Pancheshan

Twitter: @liatrisspicata

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/nancy-pancheshan/

Email: nancypancheshan@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Monte McNaughton

Twitter: @MonteMcNaughton

Website: https://lkmpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Todd Case

Twitter: @ToddCaseLKM

Website: https://toddcase.ontariondp.ca

Email: todd.case@ontariondp.ca

Phone: 519-205-0571

Office: E11-51 Front St E, inside the Kenwick Mall, Strathroy

 

Green

 

Name: Anthony Li

Twitter:

Website: goo.ca/candidate/anthony-li/

Email: anthonyli@gpo.ca

Phone: 613-618-9163

Office:

 

London-Fanshawe:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Eric Weniger

Twitter:

Website: londonfanshawe.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone: 519-520-8612

Office: London Fanshawe PC Association, PO Box 25682, London ON, N6C 6B3

 

Liberal

 

Name: Lawvin Hadisi

Twitter: @LawvinforLondon

Website: lawvinhadisi.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Teresa Armstrong

Twitter: @TArmstrongNDP

Website:http://www.teresaarmstrong.ca ; https://teresaarmstrong.ontariondp.ca

Email: tarmstrong-qp@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (519) 668-1104

Office: 155 Clarke Rd London ON N5W 5C9

 

Green

 

Name: Lisa Carriere

Twitter: @lisac_gpo

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/lisa-carriere/

Email: lisacarriere@gpo.ca

Phone: 226-224-4259

Office:

 

London North Centre:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Susan Truppe

Twitter: @SusanTruppe

Website: lncpc@nationbuilder.com

Email: susan.truppe@parl.gc.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Kate Graham

Twitter: @KateMarieGraham

Website: votekate.ca

Email: info@votekate.ca

Phone: 226-213-7060

Office: 931 Oxford St East London ON N5Y 3K1

 

NDP

 

Name: Terence Kernaghan

Twitter: @kernaghant

Website: https://www.terencekernaghan.ca ; https://terencekernaghan.ontariondp.ca

Email: terence.kernaghan@ontariondp.ca

Phone: 519-601-6673

Office: 1050 Kipps Lane, Unit 10 London N5Y 4S5

 

 

Green

 

Name: Carol Dyck

Twitter: @CarolDyckGPC

Website: gpo.ca/candidate/carol-dyck

Email: caroldyck@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

London West:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Andrew Lawton

Twitter: @AndrewLawton

Website: londonwestpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jonathan Hughes

Twitter: @jmwhughes

Website: johnathanhughes.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Peggy Sattler

Twitter: @PeggySattlerNDP

Website: peggysattler.ca

Email: psattler-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: 519-657-3120

Office: 106-240 Commissioners Road W, London, ON, N6J 1Y1

 

Green

 

Name: Pamela Reid

Twitter:

Website: gpo.ca/candidate/pamela-reid

Email: pamelareid@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Sarnia-Lambton:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Bob Bailey

Twitter: @BobBaileyPC

Website: https://www.votebobbailey.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Kathy Alexander

Twitter:

Website: kathyalexander.ontariondp.ca

Email: kathy.alexander@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Kevin Shaw

Twitter: @Kev__Shaw

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/kevin-shaw/

Email: kevinshaw@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Windsor-Tecumseh:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Mohammad Latif

Twitter: @mlatifawan

Website: www.votelatif.com

Email: latif@votelatif.com

Phone: 226-536-9888

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Remy Boulbol

Twitter: @RemyBoulbol

Website: remyboulbol.ca

Email: info@voteremy.ca

Phone:

Office: 4749 Wyandotte Street East Windsor N8Y 1H8

 

NDP

 

Name: Percy Hatfield

Twitter: @PercyHatfield

Website: https://www.percyhatfield.com

Email: phatfield-co@ontariondp.ca

Phone: (519) 251-5199

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Henry Oulevey

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/henry-oulevey/

Email: henryoulevey@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Windsor West:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Adam Ibrahim

Twitter: @AGIbrahim7

Website: windsorwest.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Rino Bortolin

Twitter: @votebortolin

Website: rinobortoli.ca

Email: votebortolin@gmail.com

Phone: 519-419-1433

Office: 1501 Howard Avenue, Unit 102 Windsor N8X 3T5

 

NDP

 

Name: Lisa Gretzky

Twitter: @LGretzky

Website: http://www.lisagretzkympp.ca

Email: lgretzky-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: (519) 977-7191

Office: 321 Tecumseh Road E, Unit 5, Windsor ON N8X 2R5

 

Green

 

Name: Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale

Twitter: @Krysta_g_rGPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/krysta-glovasky-ridsdale/

Email: krystaglovaskyridsdale@gpo.ca

Phone: 519-250-7876

Office:

 

NORTHERN ONTARIO:

 

NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO:

 

Algoma-Manitoulin:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jib Turner

Twitter: @JibTurnerPC (seems inactive)

Website: algomamanitoulinpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone: 705-348-2400

Office: 17 Water Street East, Little Current ON

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Michael Mantha

Twitter: @M_Mantha

Website:https://www.michaelmantha.com

Email: mmantha-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: 705-461-9710

Office: 18 Mary Walk, Elliot Lake, Ontario, P5A 2A1

 

Green

 

Name: Justin Tilson

Twitter: @justintilson

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/justin-tilson/

Email: justintilson@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Mushkegowuk-James Bay:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Andre Robichaud

Twitter: @AndreRobichaud1

Website: www.andrerobichaud.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Gaëtan Baillargeon

Twitter: @gaets2018

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Guy Bourgouin

Twitter:

Website: guybourgouin.ontariondp.ca

Email: guy.bourgouin@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Nickel Belt:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Jo-Ann Cardinal

Twitter:

Website: nickelbeltpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Tay Butt

Twitter: @tayyabutt

Website: taybutt.ca

Email: elect@taybutt.ca

Phone: 705-586-3033

Office: 2008 Lasalle Blvd, Sudbury, P3A 2A5

 

NDP

 

Name: France Gelinas

Twitter: @NickelBelt

Website:FranceGelinas.com

Email: fgelinas-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: 705-969-3621

Office: Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre 15- 5085 Hwy 69 N Hanmer, ON  P3P 1P7

 

Green

 

Name: Bill Crumplin

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/bill-crumplin-2/

Email: billcrumplin@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Nipissing:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Vic Fedeli

Twitter: @VictorFedeli

Website: https://nipissingpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Henri Giroux

Twitter:

Website: henrigiroux.ontariondp.ca

Email: henri.giroux@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Kris Rivard

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/kris-rivard/

Email: krisrivard@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Parry Sound-Muskoka:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Norm Miller

Twitter: @normmillerpc

Website: https://psmpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Brenda Rhodes

Twitter: @brenda4PSM

Website: brendarhodes.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Matt Richter

Twitter: @MattRichterGPO

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/matt-richter/

Email: mattrichter@gpo.ca

Phone: 705-380-8620

Office:

 

Sault Ste. Marie:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Ross Romano

Twitter: @RossRomanoSSM

Website: https://ssm.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Jaclynne Hamel

Twitter: @Vote4Jaclynne

Website: http://jaclynnehamel.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Kara Flannigan

Twitter: @Kara_SSM

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/kara-flannigan/

Email: karaflannigan@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Sudbury:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Troy Crowder

Twitter: @TroyCrowder

Website: sudbury.ontariopc.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Glenn Thibeault

Twitter: @GlennThibeault

Website: glennthibeault.onmpp.ca

Email: gthibeault.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 705-675-1914

Office: 555 Barrydowne Rd. Suite 4, Sudbury, P3A3T4

 

NDP

 

Name: Jamie West

Twitter: @jamiewestndp

Website:https://jamiewest.ontariondp.ca

Email: jamiewestndp@gmail.com

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: David Robinson

Twitter:

Website: gpo.ca/candidate/david-robinson

Email: davidrobinson@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Timiskaming-Cochrane:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Margaret Williams

Twitter: @MargaretforMPP

Website: www.margaretwilliams.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: John Vanthof

Twitter: @john_vanthof

Website: http://johnvanthof.com

Email: jvanthof-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: 416.325.2000 (Queens Park), 705.647.5995 (New Liskeard), 705.567.4650 (Kirkland Lake), 705.753.0200 (Sturgeon Falls)

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Casey Lalonde

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/casey-lalonde/

Email: caseylalonde@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Timmins:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Yvan Genier

Twitter: @YvanGenier

Website: https://tjbpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Gilles Bisson

Twitter: @BissonGilles

Website: gillesbisson.com

Email: gilles@gillesbisson.com

Phone: 705-268-6400

Office: gilles@gillesbisson.com

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO:

 

Kenora-Rainy River:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Greg Rickford

Twitter: @GregRickford

Website: www.krr.ontariopc.com; www.gregrickford.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Glen Archer

Twitter: @glenkarcher

Website: https://glenarcher.ontariondp.ca

Email: glen.archer@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Ember McKillop

Twitter: @EmberMcKillop

Website: gpo.ca/candidate/ember-mckillop

Email: embermckillop@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Kiiwetinoong:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Clifford Bull

Twitter: @VoteBull2018

Website: www. cliffordbull.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Doug Lawrence

Twitter: @doug_lawrance

Website: douglawrence.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name: Christine Penner Polle

Twitter:

Website: https://gpo.ca/candidate/christine-penner-polle/

Email: Christinepolle@gpo.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Thunder Bay-Atikokan:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Brandon Postuma

Twitter: @BPostuma

Website: www.brandonpostuma.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Bill Mauro

Twitter: @BillMauroMPP

Website: supportbillmauro.ca; www.billmauro.onmpp.ca

Email: bmauro.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: 807-597-2629

Office: 205 Main Street West, PO Box 1780 Atikokan P0T1C0

 

NDP

 

Name: Judith Monteith-Farrell

Twitter: @Judith_NDP

Website: judithmonteithfarrell.ontariondp.ca

Email: judith.monteithfarrell@ontariondp.ca

Phone:

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Thunder Bay-Superior North:

 

Conservative

 

Name: Derek Pak

Twitter:

Website: tbsnpc.nationbuilder.com

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

Liberal

 

Name: Michael Gravelle

Twitter: @MichaelGravelle

Website: http://votegravelle.ca

Email:

Phone:

Office:

 

NDP

 

Name: Lise Vaugeois

Twitter: @LiseVaugeois

Website: http://lisevaugeois.ontariondp.ca

Email: lise.vaugeois@ontariondp.ca

Phone: 807-344-0707

Office:

 

Green

 

Name:

Twitter:

Website:

Email:

Phone:

Office:

News Release: Grassroots Disability Coalition’s New Report Reveals Five Consecutive Years of Rampant Violations of Ontario’s Disabilities Act, Known to the Wynne Government, And Ineffective Provincial Enforcement, Despite Unkept Government Promises to Effectively Enforce this Law

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Grassroots Disability Coalition’s New Report Reveals Five Consecutive Years of Rampant Violations of Ontario’s Disabilities Act, Known to the Wynne Government, And Ineffective Provincial Enforcement, Despite Unkept Government Promises to Effectively Enforce this Law

 

April 18, 2018 Toronto: The Wynne Government has known of five consecutive years of rampant violations of Ontario’s disability accessibility law, but still hasn’t taken the effective enforcement action that 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities need. This is so, even though each year it leaves unspent large amounts of budgeted funds that could have been used to beef up this legislation’s enforcement. That is the conclusion of a detailed report, set out below, on the enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which has just been released by the AODA Alliance, a widely-respected non-partisan disability coalition that spearheads the campaign in Ontario for accessibility for people with disabilities.

 

In 2005, after a decade of grassroots non-partisan campaigning by Ontarians with disabilities, the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). It requires the Ontario Government to lead Ontario to become fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. Yet Ontarians with disabilities still face too many disability barriers in Ontario when they try to get a job, ride public transit, get an education, use our health care system, buy goods or services, or eat in restaurants.

 

Drawing on public Government reports and on information that the AODA Alliance unearthed from the Government (including by its resort to Freedom of Information applications), today’s new blistering report’s key findings include:

 

* Government records confirm that as of the start of 2018, a staggering 57% of private sector organizations with at least 20 employees had failed to even file their mandatory accessibility compliance self-report with the Ontario Government.

 

* the Government knew of similar or worse reporting rates in each year since 2013. Yet rather than effectively enforcing this legislation throughout, the Government eventually abandoned any further enforcement efforts regarding the duty to make 2012 and 2014 filings. This rewarded those long-term repeat violators, against whom the Government had taken no enforcement steps, with an undeserved free pass.

 

* In 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined, for the thousands of private sector organizations known to have violated this legislation, the Government only imposed a total of five monetary penalties. That’s less than two monetary penalties for each of those years. That conveys the clear message to violators that their risk of a monetary penalty is extremely slim.

 

* As for the small number of organizations against whom the Government directs enforcement action, (numbers addressed further below), the main enforcement tool that the Government appears to deploy was for public officials to audit an obligated organization’s files or records on accessibility. As long as an obligated organization’s paper trail or records looked good, it did not matter whether the organization was actually providing accessibility to employees or customers with disabilities.

 

* When the Government annually reports to the public on its enforcement efforts under the AODA, it in large part reports on how many obligated organizations tell the Government that they are obeying the AODA. For example, the Government’s 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report states:

 

“An encouraging sign is that 94% of the organizations that submitted an accessibility compliance report indicated that they are in full compliance with the act and its associated accessibility standards.”

 

Yet imagine how effective any law enforcement would be if Government simply takes on faith when an organization says it has paid all its taxes, or has never discharged any pollutants into the environment, or has properly paid all its employees.

 

* Over the past five years during which the AODA became fully enforceable, the Government has only selected a very small number of private sector obligated organizations to audit or inspect. Until we made the Government’s total lack of private sector enforcement public in November 2013, no private sector organizations were subject to such enforcement action. After our expose of this failure, the Government set about auditing just under 2,000 private sector organizations in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

 

Then without any explanation, it cut the number of private sector organizations to be audited in 2015 by over one third. After we exposed this cut in 2015, the Government announced on June 3, 2015 that it would launch a major new crackdown on AODA violators, starting in 2016, with the number of obligated organizations to be audited to eventually ramp up to 4,000. Yet today’s Analysis reveals that this new enforcement plan, which the Government leaked to the Toronto Star to secure a front page headline on June 3, 2015, never actually materialized. There was no such new detailed AODA enforcement plan, as far as we have been able to discover. In fact, the number of obligated organizations the Government has annually audited since 2014 has never even reached the numbers the Government initially audited in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The numbers are as follows:

 

2013: 1,906

2014: 1,954

2015: 1,324

2016: 1,604

2017: 1,746

 

* Premier Wynne’s September 23, 2016 Mandate Letter directs Accessibility Ministry Tracy MacCharles to increase by 50% the private sector organizations that are complying with the AODA in 2017. Yet the Government’s own progress report shows that in 2016, 57% of private sector organizations with at least 20 employees were not in compliance. In 2017, the rate remained at 57%. There is no indication that the Premier is calling on the Minister to take bold new enforcement action, to fulfil her assigned priorities.

 

* Even though the Government has power to do on-site accessibility inspections, we have only unearthed one instance of the Government conducting an on-site inspection. In 2015, one Government ministry inspected another Government ministry under the AODA, after writing to give the target ministry advance notice of the inspection. This shows the fatal weakness of the Government investigating itself.

 

* Ontario currently has a minuscule 3 inspector and 3 directors to discharge enforcement powers under the AODA for the entire province, including both the public and private sectors. Some of their functions can also be delegated to others.

 

In contrast, the much smaller State of Israel has double this number of enforcement officials. In Israel, unlike in Ontario, enforcement routinely involves on-site inspection of an organization’s actual accessibility.

 

* This lack of effective enforcement is not due to a lack of available budget for enforcement. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario was operating under budget in every year from 2005 to 2016. Together across all those years combined, it left $28.1 million budgeted dollars unspent. That could have bought a significant increase in AODA enforcement.

 

* When the Wynne Government actually takes AODA enforcement action it can have an impact.

 

* Three years later, the Wynne Government has still not implemented a key 2014 recommendation on effective reporting to the public on the Government’s AODA enforcement. The Government’s annual Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Reports fall well short of what a Government-appointed AODA Independent Review had recommended in late fall 2014.

 

* The Wynne Government has failed to effectively publicize the Government’s toll-Free number for the public to report AODA violations, for purposes of AODA enforcement.

 

Less than seven years remain for the Ontario Government to lead Ontario to become fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025, the deadline that the AODA imposes. For over one million voters with disabilities, this will be an important issue in the June 2018 Ontario general election. We are seeking election commitments on AODA enforcement from all the parties. Without strong and effective enforcement, the Government cannot expect that the thousands of non-complying organizations will take this legislation seriously now, after so many years of its disregard. The AODA Alliance does not claim that enforcement is the only way to make progress. However, in the absence of effective enforcement, progress on accessibility has been far too slow.

 

On May 10, 2005, the historic day that the Legislature unanimously passed the Disabilities Act, the Government proudly proclaimed at a Queen’s Park news conference that there would be spot audits, inspections, and available monetary penalties and enforcement for violators. Then-Minister Marie Bountrogianni, who led the AODA’s development and passage through the Legislature, reiterated why it is important for the AODA to be effectively enforced, not voluntary, referring to the previous Mike Harris Conservative Government’s weak and unenforceable disability law:

 

“They will be given of course chances to remedy their situation. It’s not about punishment. It’s about doing the right thing. However if they do not comply, there is a fine — fifty thousand dollars for individuals and a hundred thousand dollars for corporations. So we’re serious. That was missing in the previous act. That was one of the things that was missing in the previous act. And without that enforcement compliance, when you just leave it to the good will of the people, it doesn’t always get done. And so we know that we know that from the psychology of human nature. We know that from past research in other areas, like the environment, like seatbelts, like smoking. And so we acted on the research in those areas.”

 

Contact:  AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, aodafeedback@gmail.com

Twitter: @aodaalliance

All the news on the AODA Alliance’s campaign for accessibility in Ontario is available at: www.aodaalliance.org

 

The Toronto Star April 18, 2018

 

Originally posted at:

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/04/18/activists-push-for-independent-enforcement-of-ontarios-accessibility-law.html

 

Note: The Toronto Star’s headline incorrectly states that the AODA Alliance seeks private enforcement. As the article itself correctly states, we seek public enforcement, but through a public agency that is independent of the Government.

Disability activists seek private enforcement; Advocates unhappy with government’s lack of action on accessibility

 

Graphic: Lawyer David Lepofsky, who is blind, is chair of the AODA Alliance, a non-partisan coalition that monitors progress on the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Bernard Weil/Toronto Star File Photo

 

After five years of lax enforcement of Ontario’s groundbreaking accessibility legislation, disability activists want Queen’s Park to hand over enforcement responsibilities to an independent public agency.

 

The call comes in the wake of a new report that shows a 2015 government crackdown on accessibility scofflaws never really happened and that the government has imposed just six monetary penalties despite thousands of known violations.

 

“We need enforcement taken out of the government’s belly and assigned to an independent, arms-length public agency,” said lawyer David Lepofsky, chairperson of the AODA Alliance, a non-partisan coalition that monitors progress on the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA.)

 

“The government should not be investigating itself,” he added.

 

The alliance has asked all party leaders to commit to moving enforcement of the AODA to an independent public agency, if elected premier in June.

 

Under the 2005 legislation, the first of its kind in Canada, Queen’s Park is responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards for Ontario’s 1.8 million people with disabilities to ensure the province is fully accessible by 2025. The act covers goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment and buildings.

 

For example, the customer service standard requires restaurants to welcome service animals when accompanied by people with disabilities. Under the employment standard, employers must provide an accessible desk and washroom for an employee who uses a wheelchair.

 

A spokesperson for Tracy MacCharles, minister responsible for accessibility, said the government recognizes “there is more to do” and reorganized the ministry last fall “to focus solely on compliance and enforcement.”

 

A newly-created compliance and enforcement branch of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario operates call centres to respond to consumer complaints and requests from organizations for help to meet reporting requirements, said Mahreen Dasoo. The branch is also responsible for “compliance outreach activities” and audits of organizations most likely to neglect their duties.

 

“To support the government’s efforts to increase reporting rates among businesses in Ontario, we launched a digital media marketing campaign targeting businesses and raised awareness about the deadline,” Dasoo said in an email. “We also connected directly with businesses, sending 70,000 emails, phone calls and letters reminding them of their requirement to report.”

 

But Lepofsky, who is blind, says Ontarians with disabilities still face too many barriers when they try to get a job, ride public transit, get an education, use the health care system, buy goods and services or eat in restaurants.

 

A big part of the problem, Lepofsky says, is that “a staggering” 57 per cent of Ontario’s 56,000 private and non-profit sector organizations with at least 20 employees have failed to file mandatory reports to the government declaring they have met current accessibility requirements.

 

“If they can’t even bother to file a report, what does that say about the priority they are giving to accessibility?” he said.

 

Lepofsky began highlighting the government’s lack of enforcement action in 2013 when some 70 per cent of mandated organizations had failed to file their reports. As a result, the government began conducting compliance audits of about 2,000 organizations a year.

 

In 2015, after annual compliance audits had dropped to 1,324 and a legislative review found the government needed to step up enforcement, former minister Brad Duguid told the Star he would take action to double the number of audits to 4,000 – or 1 per cent of Ontario’s 400,000 private businesses – starting in 2016.

 

But Duguid’s crackdown never happened, Lepofsky says. In 2016, the government initiated only 1,604 “compliance activities.” But these were, at most, a review of the documents and not an examination of an organization’s actual practices, he said.

 

A year later, there were 1,746 compliance activities, but still fewer than in 2013 and 2014, according to Lepofsky’s report.

 

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s September 2016 mandate letter directed MacCharles, the current minister responsible for accessibility, to “take steps” to increase by 50 per cent the number of private sector organizations in compliance with the act by 2017.

 

And yet, the government’s progress report for 2017 shows the non-compliance rate has remained unchanged at 57 per cent. It means 32,000 private sector companies required to file accessibility compliance reports have failed to do so, Lepofsky said.

 

Dasoo, in the minister’s office, said the directorate’s outreach and compliance team will “continue to work with organizations that missed their deadline and it is expected that the submission rate for the 2017 version of the report will continue to grow over the next two years.”

 

Robert Lattanzio, executive director of ARCH Disability Law centre, a specialty legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario, called Lepofsky’s latest report “concerning.”

 

“If the government is serious about meeting its goal and serious about giving meaning to the AODA, there needs to be some very clear action. And a big part of that is enforcement,” he said in an interview.

 

“Enforcement is part of education,” Lattanzio said. “And compliance orders are part of that education process because they tell companies what they should be doing.”

 

Laurie Monsebraaten Toronto Star

 

 

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

An Analysis of the Wynne Government’s Enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act from 2013 to 2018 – Protracted Inadequate Government Action in the Face of Known Rampant Violations of the Law

 

April 18, 2018

 

  1. Introduction

 

This is the AODA Alliance’s detailed analysis and report card on the Wynne Government’s efforts at enforcing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act from 2013 to the present. This analysis draws on earlier AODA Alliance Updates on this topic, on news reports, on the Government’s annual Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report that it posts on line, on correspondence from the Government to the AODA Alliance on this topic, and on the results of Freedom of Information applications that AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has brought to unearth information on this topic. Key documents on which we rely, and which have not previously been made public, are posted at the end of this Analysis.

 

Our conclusion is that the Government has not kept its promise to effectively enforce the AODA. It has taken far too few steps and has made it difficult to keep track on a current basis of what it is doing in this regard. This analysis explores these topics:

 

* Years of Rampant AODA Violations, Well Known To The Wynne Government, Continue To Persist In The Private Sector Even In 2015, 2016 And 2017

 

* The Wynne Government Imposed a Meagre Five Monetary Penalties under the AODA for 2015, 2016 and 2017 Combined

 

* The Wynne Government’s June 3, 2015 Headline-Grabbing Crackdown on AODA Violators Did Not Materialize Over Two and a Half Years Since the Government Promised It

 

* Troubling Levels of AODA Violations Among the Small Number of Organizations that the Wynne Government Examined More Closely

 

* There’s Been Only One On-Site AODA Inspection Since the AODA Was Enacted in 2005?

 

* There are A Minuscule Number of AODA Inspectors and Directors for All of Ontario.

 

* The Government Had Funds on Hand for More AODA Enforcement

 

* If and When the Wynne Government Actually Takes AODA Enforcement Action It Can Have an Impact

 

* Three Years Later, the Wynne Government has Still Not Implemented a Key 2014 Recommendation on Effective Reporting to the Public on the Government’s AODA Enforcement. The Government’s Annual Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Reports Fall Well Short of What a Government-Appointed AODA Independent Review Had Recommended in Late fall 2014.

 

* The Government has Failed to Effectively Publicize the Government’s Toll-Free Number for Reporting AODA Violations

 

The AODA Alliance expresses its gratitude to an excellent team of law students at the Osgoode Hall Law School who volunteered their time to assist with this project. Errors, if any, are the responsibility of the AODA Alliance and not of those wonderful volunteers.

 

  1. Years Of Rampant AODA Violations, Well Known To The Wynne Government, Continue To Persist In The Private Sector Even In 2015, 2016 And 2017

 

Over four years ago, back on November 18, 2013, the AODA Alliance first made public the fact that the Government knew of rampant AODA violations in the private sector. We now make public the fact that this has continued to persist, to the Government’s knowledge, for four and a half years since then. In the face of the huge number of AODA violations, Government efforts to combat this through AODA enforcement have been a mere drop in the bucket.

 

A period of over a half decade of rampant law-breaking began back in 2012. According to Government records, fully 65% of obligated organizations did not file with the Ontario Government a mandatory AODA 2012 accessibility self-report. Some two years after those reports were due, the Wynne Government just gave up on getting that 2012 report filed. The Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter to the AODA Alliance, set out below, states:

 

“At the closing of the 2012 reporting period in September 2014, 33,285 or 65 per cent of obligated organizations had not filed the 2012 Accessibility Compliance Report. This statistic will not change as the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) then moved on to tracking submissions for the more recent compliance reports, and consequently removed the option to file the 2012 version.”

 

Since then, a massive 57% of obligated organizations had not filed their mandatory 2014 accessibility self-report even as long as some two years after it was due. The Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter to the AODA Alliance states:

 

“By December 31, 2016, 30,152 or 57 per cent of obligated private sector organizations had not filed the 2014 Accessibility Compliance Report. As with the 2012 version of the report, this statistic will not change. Organizations could not file a 2014 report beyond December 31, 2016 because the 2017 reporting window had opened. As an updated version of the report is now expected, the ADO has removed the option to file the older 2014 version.”

 

This means that the Wynne Government also gave up on getting known delinquent organizations to comply with their obligation to file 2014 AODA compliance self-reports. We were never consulted on that decision. We had not learned about it before receiving the documents on which this analysis relies. We would have objected to the Government rewarding law-breakers with such an obvious free pass.

 

Through the back door, the Wynne Government has administratively created an inappropriate statute of limitations on AODA compliance. If an organization does not file a mandatory accessibility self-report, after two years, the Government will just give up on enforcing it for that year. Imagine if the Government decided that if an organization doesn’t file its tax returns, it need not worry after two years, because the Government won’t bother tracking it after those two years, or asking it to file for the year that the organization missed.

 

The Government’s 2015 and 2016 reports to the public on its AODA enforcement, set out below, do not admit that the Government has in effect abandoned any enforcement of the duty to file 2012 and 2014 AODA compliance self-report. Had we not made our inquiries of the Wynne Government and analyzed the results as we do here, the public would not know that the Government had taken the wrong-headed step of rewarding massive AODA violations with an undeserved free pass. This is hardly the effective AODA enforcement that the Ontario Government promised 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities.

 

Government records also reveal a similarly-troubling level of AODA violations in 2017. Regarding the duty of obligated organizations to file accessibility self-reports by the end of year, fully 57% of private sector organizations with at least 20 employees were in violation, known to the Government. Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy’s March 7, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance included this:

 

“2017 was a reporting year for every sector, including roughly 56,000 business/non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario.

o          Over 24,000 reports were submitted from business/non-profit sector organizations by the December 31 deadline, representing an increase of roughly 4,000 reports over the last reporting year in 2014.

o          By the reporting deadline, roughly 32,000 business/non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario (roughly 57%) had not filed an accessibility report.

o          Eighty-six per cent (692 of 806) of the designated public sector organizations submitted their accessibility compliance report by the reporting deadline.”

 

The fact that 14% of public sector organizations had not complied with the requirement to file their 2017 AODA compliance self-report is also troubling. In past years, the Ontario Government has trumpeted higher levels of public sector AODA compliance. In her May 14, 2014 letter to the AODA Alliance, setting out her party’s 2014 election pledges on accessibility, Premier Wynne wrote:

 

“To speak to our track record, 99 per cent of Designated Broader Public Sector Organizations have submitted their reports by the deadline to date. If I am elected, I will see to it that this becomes 100 per cent.”

 

Four years after writing that, and with the AODA already over 12 years on the books, this public sector backsliding cried out for more substantial enforcement action.

 

Viewed from another perspective, did the Accessibility Minister achieve the progress on AODA enforcement and compliance that the Premier directed her to achieve? The answer is a clear “no”.

 

Premier Wynne’s September 23, 2016 Mandate Letter to Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles set this as a priority for the minister:

 

“Taking steps to increase compliance reporting rates among private/not-for-profit sector organizations by an additional 50 per cent in 2017.”

 

As of the end of 2016, 57% of private sector obligated organizations with at least 20 employees had not filed their required 2014 AODA self-report. the Government reported the same 57% of non-complying private sector organizations with at least 20 employees that had not filed their required 2017 AODA self-report. This was certainly not the 50% increase in private sector reporting that the Premier directed the minister to achieve.

 

  1. Wynne Government Imposes a Meagre Five Monetary Penalties under the AODA for 2015, 2016 and 2017 Combined

 

Despite these large numbers of ongoing, known rampant AODA violations, the Wynne Government only imposed a paltry three monetary penalties on AODA violations in 2017, and two monetary penalties on AODA violators in 2016. It did not report to us imposing any in 2015.

 

This sends a loud, clear message to obligated organizations that they need not worry about serious financial penalties if they violate the AODA. This is so, even though the AODA includes strong monetary penalty provisions.

 

  1. Wynne Government’s June 3, 2015 Headline-Grabbing Crackdown on AODA Violators Did Not Materialize Over Two and a Half Years Since the Government Promised It

 

Three years ago, in the first half of 2015, the Wynne Government was under a great deal of criticism. This is because in February 2015, the Government cut back by over one third on its already-weak AODA enforcement. In his February 19, 2015 letter to the AODA Alliance, Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid announced this massive enforcement cut. He did this, even though one week earlier, the second AODA Independent Review, conducted by Mayo Moran, had recommended strengthened AODA enforcement.

 

Weeks later, in June 2015, the Wynne Government decided to do something about all the bad press it was getting about AODA enforcement in the 2015 spring. It chose to make a splashy announcement about a new AODA enforcement crack-down, as part of its June 3, 2015 celebration of the AODA’s tenth anniversary.

 

The Wynne Government therefore fed this story as an exclusive “leak” to the Toronto Star. That led the Star to run a front page headline on June 3, 2015:

 

“Ontario to crack down on accessibility violators”

 

Among other things, that article led with this key passage:

 

“Queen’s Park is beefing up compliance and enforcement measures in response to criticism that it has been treating accessibility scofflaws with kid gloves.

 

Starting next year, Ontario’s economic development ministry will move to double compliance audits to 4,000, or 1 per cent of Ontario’s 400,000 businesses.

 

Under the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, businesses with 20 or more employees were supposed to have filed customer service plans with the government by the end of 2012. But to date, only about 40 per cent have submitted the necessary reports on how they accommodate customers with disabilities, train staff and receive customer feedback.

 

Accessibility advocates have criticized the government’s weak response to businesses that continue to flout the law.”

 

We were encouraged by that announced new AODA enforcement plan. However, we were also troubled by the fact that the Government had announced no enforcement specifics. In contrast, at the same time as this announcement, the Government released a detailed package of new initiatives regarding other aspects of the AODA’s implementation. Why was such an important part of the Government’s announcement missing from its entire package of released materials?

 

Therefore, the next day, June 4, 2015, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky filed a Freedom of Information application. Among other things, he asked the Government to hand over the new enforcement plan that it had announced the day before with so much fanfare, on the Toronto Star’s front page.

 

If there was in reality a new AODA enforcement plan, it should have been easy for the Government to find it. After all, the Government just announced it in the media.

 

Yet the Government didn’t turn it over to Lepofsky. Instead, the Government mounted an incredible effort to put barriers in the way of the Lepofsky Freedom of Information application. Lepofsky had to appeal to the Information and Privacy Commission over several issues, including this one. Eventually last summer, two years after this announcement, the Government was ordered to hand over the new AODA enforcement plan that it announced on June 3, 2015.

 

There’s only one problem. It does not appear that there actually was a detailed specific new AODA enforcement plan. No specific new June 3, 2015 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act enforcement plan was turned over, with time lines for ramped up enforcement leading to a total of 4,000 obligated organizations to be annually audited.

 

Normally, when the Government works up a new plan or policy like this, and then announces it with much media flourish, there is a robust paper trail within the Government, as it works its way through the policy process. Under the Lepofsky Freedom of Information application we obtained from the Government various documents from that spring, but no detailed plan on ramping up AODA enforcement to 4,000 organizations, and no time lines or specifics. There was a record of the Government considering hiring an outside organization to do enforcement work. However, the Government had been looking at that idea for years.

 

Out of an abundance of caution, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky wrote Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy on September 13, 2017, to find out if there was such a specific plan among the documents the Government disclosed to him after he partially won his Freedom of Information appeal. That email is set out below. He asked:

 

“On June 3, 2015, the Ministry was reported in the Toronto Star to have announced a new AODA enforcement program to crack down on AODA violators. It announced that starting in 2016, the Government would increase the number of obligated organizations it would audit for AODA compliance, to increase eventually (no date specified) to double the number annually audited previously, namely 4,000.

 

I write to ask if among the documents that the Ministry released to me earlier this week in response to my Freedom of Information application, there is any document or documents that sets out the new AODA enforcement program or plan represented in the June 3, 2015 announcement. If so, can you specify which document or documents?”

 

On October 3, 2017, Assistant Deputy Minister Hoy responded. We set her response out below. It did not point to any specific document setting out the new enforcement plan that the Government announced to the Toronto Star on June 3, 2015. Rather, she pointed to the fact that internally the Government had been talking about aiming for enforcement with 4,000 organizations as far back as 2011. She talked vaguely and generally about efforts to improve enforcement and compliance. However, she clearly did not identify a document dated on or near June 3, 2015, that lays out some new specific AODA enforcement plans akin to the Government’s announcement in the June 3, 2015 Toronto Star.

 

Beyond this, we also have further proof from the Government’s own records, that shows that the Wynne Government’s June 3, 2015 announcement in the Toronto Star of an AODA enforcement crackdown plan was more smoke than reality. This comes from looking at the actual number of obligated organizations that the Government says it has annually audited under the AODA over the past years since making that announcement.

 

As we earlier made public, in 2013 and 2014 each, the Government audited just short of 2,000 obligated organizations each year. Yet in February 2015, the Government cut that number for the 2015 year by over one third, revealing its target of a mere 1,200 in a February 19, 2015 letter from the Economic Development Minister to the AODA Alliance. The Government was blasted for this in the media. That is what led the Government to announce on June 3, 2015 that it would start increasing AODA audits in 2016, to rise to the goal of 4,000.

 

Yet in the ensuing period of almost three years, the number of annually audited obligated organizations has never even returned to the 2013-2014 levels of about 2,000 audited organizations per year, much less has it come anywhere near close to the promised goal of 4,000 audited obligated organizations per year.

 

The numbers of organizations audited since 2014 total:

 

2013: 1,906

2014: 1,954

2015: 1,324

2016: 1,604

2017: 1,746

 

The following analysis of Government records shows how we arrived at this:

 

* As for 2015, the Accessibility Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter says the Government conducted “1,324 compliance activities.” The Government does not say what a “compliance activity” is. It could be something much less than an all-out “audit by an authorized public servant”. It could be something as simple as a form letter or phone call from a Government employee, reminding an obligated organization to file its overdue AODA Accessibility self-report.

 

The Government’s 2015 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report, set out below, only uses the word “audit” to refer to 324 obligated organizations.

 

* The Government’s 2015 and 2016 enforcement reports and the Accessibility Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter to the AODA Alliance never refer to conducting any on-site inspections. The Government’s 2015 enforcement report only refers explicitly to one instance of visiting an obligated organization. It referred to conducting a site visit to the Ontario Public service. It did not indicate how much of, or what parts of that huge organization it physically visited, or what it physically examined there, if anything. This is further addressed later in this analysis.

 

* The AODA Alliance’s June 12 2017 letter had asked the minister how many “audits” and “inspections” had been conducted in 2015 and 2016. The Minister’s letter, by talking only of “compliance activities”, does not give a direct and clearly responsive answer.

 

* The minister’s July 20 2017 letter tried to make the Government’s action on enforcement in 2015 look like a positive improvement. It stated:

 

“In 2015, we conducted 1,324 compliance activities, surpassing our public commitment of 1,200.”

 

Yet 1,324 compliance activities in 2015(even if all were audits, which we do not know to be the case) falls well short of the almost 2,000 organizations audited in each of 2013 and 2014.

 

* As for 2016, the Accessibility Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter stated:

 

“In 2016, the ADO achieved this by completing 1,604 compliance activities, exceeding 2015’s total by 280.”

 

Again, this number fell well short of the almost 2,000 organizations audited in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Here again, the Minister used the term “compliance activities”, but did not specify any number of audits or inspections. Here again, we do not know from the Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter how many of those compliance activities amounted to a full audit.

 

We tried to decipher these figures by also looking to the Government’s 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report. It referred to the Accessibility Directorate conducting 1,205 “phase 1 audits in 2016. Phase 1 audits only appear to focus on an obligated organization’s duty to file a 2012 and 2014 accessibility self-report. They do not appear to focus on how accessible the organization actually has become. That report describes these audits as follows:

 

“Phase 1 audits focus on an organization’s requirement to submit a self-certified accessibility compliance report online.”

 

The Government’s 2016 AODA enforcement report referred to conducting 361 Phase 2 audits. That report stated:

 

“In 2016, 361 audits were closed at the Phase 2 level.”

 

The report defines a Phase 2 audit as also just an audit of an obligated organization’s records on steps that AODA accessibility standards may require. That report defines a Phase 2 audit as follows:

 

“In a Phase 2 audit, documents are requested and reviewed for the purposes of verifying compliance with other requirements beyond reporting.”

 

Here again, the only reasonable conclusion is that the Government was only here looking at an obligated organization’s records, and not at what is going on site at the organization, regarding accessibility. An obligated organization could presumably write up excellent documents and tell the Government that it is doing what it is supposed to do, without the Government checking to see if an obligated organization took any actual required steps to remove or prevent accessibility barriers. It is not clear if any of the conclusions in any of the Government’s AODA enforcement reports include any Government –verified findings, or if they are just summarizing how compliant obligated organizations claim to be.

 

The Government’s 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report claims it audited a “selection” of small private sector organizations, but it tellingly never disclosed how many organizations were subject to this. Nothing suggests it went beyond a paper audit.

 

The Government’s 2016 AODA enforcement report also referred to an additional 498 AODA audits that a private sector firm conducted on the Government’s behalf, in addition to the foregoing numbers. The Government’s 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report states:

 

“In addition to the 1,604 compliance activities conducted internally, the pilot resulted in 424 Phase 1 audits among organizations that failed to meet their reporting requirements and 74 Phase 2 audits among organizations that had submitted accessibility reports indicating compliance. The service provider also conducted 700 outreach calls reminding organizations of their compliance requirements.”

 

The Government appeared to consider this a pilot project. The 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report says the Government is assessing the data from that private firm’s work. The Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter does not appear to include this test activity in the Government’s enforcement for the 2016 year. Absent a showing that this was as effective as a Government audit, we feel that the Minister was correct not to include these added compliance activities in her July 20, 2017 letter to us.

 

* In 2017, the total number of “compliance activities” that the Government undertook was 1,746. The March 7, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance from Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy included this:

 

“1,746 compliance activities were conducted in 2017. These activities included Phase 1 and Phase 2 audits (described in the ACER), as well as enforcement activities conducted by an inspector.”

 

Over the past two and a half years, the Government has referred to some enforcement blitzes, focuses on specific sectors. However these do not change the fact that what was announced on June 3, 2015 has in fact not materialized, as far as we can discover.

 

  1. Troubling Levels of AODA Violations among the Small Number of Organizations that the Wynne Government Examined More Closely

 

The Government’s 2015, 2016 and 2017 AODA enforcement reports are written in a way that can create the positive impression that of the small number of organizations that the Government examined more closely, the Government found a high level of AODA compliance. However, a slightly closer look shows quite the opposite.

 

The Government’s 2015 AODA enforcement report states:

 

“The Directorate issued compliance plans to 31% of the 324 organizations selected for audit. A compliance plan lays out the steps an organization must take to come into compliance.”

 

The Government’s 2016 AODA enforcement report states:

 

“We issued compliance plans to 45% (164) of the 361 organizations selected for Phase 2 audit in 2016.”

 

The Wynne Government’s 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report includes further troubling information on known levels of AODA violations:

 

“In 2016, a selection of small organizations from the business/non-profit sector was audited on three foundational requirements. Their rates of compliance were:

  • develop accessibility policies: 64%
  • provide accessibility training: 63%
  • establish a method to receive and respond to public feedback on accessibility: 92%

In 2016, organizations from the designated public sector were audited on the foundational requirement to develop a multi-year accessibility plan. Their rate of compliance was 66%.

In 2017, a selection of large organizations from the business/non-profit sector was audited on three foundational requirements. Their rates of compliance were:

  • provide accessibility training: 63%
  • establish a method to receive and respond to public feedback on accessibility: 87%
  • develop a multi-year accessibility plan: 67%

In 2017, organizations from the designated public sector were audited on the foundational requirement to develop accessibility policies. This marked the first year in which organizations from this sector were required to have accessibility policies in place that address each of the accessibility standards. In many cases, organizations audited on this requirement had policies in place that needed to be updated to include the requirements of standards that had only recently taken effect, which resulted in a 40% compliance rate overall.”

 

  1. Only One On-Site AODA Inspection Since the AODA Was Enacted in 2005?

 

We have been asking the Ontario Government over and over about its efforts to inspect obligated organizations on-site. If the Government does not go to the site of an obligated organization, it won’t be able to get a good picture of how accessible that organization is to customers and employees with disabilities. To simply audit an obligated organization’s paper trail or record-keeping on accessibility falls far short of effective enforcement.

 

As far as we can tell from the information the Government has released to us, we only know of one on-site AODA inspection taking place. In that instance, it was the Ontario Government inspecting itself in 2015!

 

Among the documents which the Ontario Government was forced to disclose to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky as a result of his June 4, 2015 Freedom of Information application was a December 22, 2014 memo from the deputy minister responsible for the AODA’s enforcement to the deputy minister responsible for the operations of the Ontario Public service. In it, one deputy lets another deputy minister that they are about to be inspected. That December 22, 2014 memo from Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister of Economic Development to Wendy Tilford, Deputy Minister of Government and Consumer Services, included:

 

“I am writing to let you know that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (the Directorate) intends to conduct a site visit on the Ontario Public Service in the Greater Toronto Area.

 

As you know, the Directorate oversees compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the Act), and has developed a compliance assurance framework to fulfill this mandate. The framework’s progressive approach enables the Directorate to confirm an organization’s compliance through the filing of accessibility compliance reports, audits and site visits.

 

Site visits represent an opportunity to:

  1. Provide hands-on, in-person assistance, while helping the Directorate ensure that organizations are complying with their accessibility obligations.
  2. Discuss and review any questions organizations may have with respect to accessibility requirements and how they relate to their business.

 

In line with a progressive approach to overseeing compliance and implementing accessibility requirements, the Directorate will be conducting the first site visit on the Ontario Public Service.

 

This is consistent with past practice and will provide an opportunity to show that the government is a committed champion of accessibility in Ontario.

 

During the site visit, compliance staff from the Directorate will conduct a facility tour, ask to see documentation that is required under the Act, and interview a representative from the selected location. Staff may also, at their discretion, choose to interview employees.

 

The site visit will help to verify the government’s compliance with the Act and will be conducted under Section 19 of the Act.

 

The Directorate will be contacting the Diversity Office to notify them of the selected location and date for the site visit, and to finalize the logistics of the visit itself. At that time, the Directorate will be able to answer any questions that the Diversity Office may have.”

 

Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy’s somewhat non-specific March 7, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance seems in effect to imply that no on-site inspections have occurred in 2016 or 2017, and that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario hopes to be able to do some (not indicating how many) in 2018. Almost two third’s into the AODA’s 20 year event horizon, the chief law enforcement officials are still figuring out how to do an on-site inspection, it seems. Assistant Deputy Minister Hoy’s March 7, 2018 letter to the AODA Alliance includes:

 

“Pertaining to your request for updates regarding AODA-related site visits, I can provide that in 2015-16 the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario continued to develop its inspections framework by designing and carrying out an on-site inspections pilot, further testing its processes and protocols.

 

In 2017, the directorate applied the lessons learned from the inspections pilot and continued to seek additional resources that would allow it to conduct further on-site inspections. In 2018, we look forward to having the capacity to conduct on-site inspections among non-compliant organizations.”

 

  1. A Minuscule Number of AODA Inspectors and Directors for All of Ontario.

 

Ever since the AODA became enforceable, the Government has had a tiny number of directors and inspectors appointed with enforcement powers under that legislation. As of the 2017 fall, the Wynne Government had only 2 inspectors and 3 directors appointed under the AODA to deploy AODA enforcement powers. The Minister’s July 20, 2017 letter to the AODA Alliance states:

 

“Regarding directors and inspectors working within the Government of Ontario, there are currently three directors and two inspectors appointed under the AODA. Further to that, no activities are taking place regarding recruitment or appointment for these positions at this time.”

 

As of March 7, 2018, this number had increased by one, so that there are now three directors and three inspectors for the entire province.

 

In sharp contrast, the State of Israel has 12 inspectors, which do on-site inspections, not just audits of an organization’s files or paper trail on accessibility. In other words, Israel has twice the inspection force that Ontario does, for a country that is far smaller and has far fewer people.

 

Moreover, Israel’s inspectors go into the field and inspect organizations themselves, not just their paper trail or their files on accessibility. In sharp contrast, the Wynne Government’s approach to AODA enforcement has largely if not entirely been, at most, to audit an organization’s documentary paper trail on accessibility, but not to conduct an on-site audit or inspection of the organization’s measures in place to ensure accessibility to customers and employees with disabilities. This makes a big difference. An organization in Ontario can readily fill a file with great documents saying great things on accessibility, without needing to ever actually do much if anything to be accessible to customers and employees with disabilities.

 

For some seven years, the AODA Alliance has urged the Ontario Government to give AODA inspection powers to investigators, inspectors and other officials authorized under other Ontario laws. It costs little if anything to simply add this mandate to the wide range of other enforcement officials that the Ontario Government already deploys around Ontario.

 

In the 2014 election, Premier Wynne promised to consider this. Despite many efforts, we have not been able to get the Government to make public detailed information on what it has tried, and how it has worked.

 

The Government’s 2015 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report makes brief reference to this. It shows only very modest efforts, and little information on how it has worked or what exactly the Government is doing now, if anything, or plans to do in the future, on this front. The Government’s 2015 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report states:

 

“Finally, in 2015 we: …continued our partnerships with the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Labour to conduct 50 audits respectively, on a pilot project basis:

o          Ministry of Labour inspectors collected documentation that organizations are required to produce under the Customer Service Standard.

o          Ministry of Transportation’s Carrier Safety & Enforcement Branch and Regional Operations Branch similarly helped the Directorate in conducting audits among businesses that have a trucking component to their operations”

 

That Report also states that in 2016, the Government will:

 

” continue to work with the Ministry of Transportation to complete the compliance pilot project that began in 2015″

 

The Government’s 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report says nothing about doing anything further on this front. It announces no plans to do anything further in 2017.

 

  1. Government Had Funds on Hand for More AODA Enforcement

 

Is this protracted inadequate AODA enforcement due to a lack of funds on hand for the Wynne Government to enforce the AODA? The answer remains a resounding “No!”

 

Every Year Since the AODA was Enacted in 2005 for which we have been able to obtain budget numbers from the Government, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has left unspent ample budgeted funds. These funds could have beefed up AODA enforcement.

 

The most recent budget information that we obtained from the Wynne Government reveals that for over a decade, the Accessibility Directorate has left a significant amount of its annual allocated budget unspent. This means that the Wynne Government had money on hand, that it could have used for more AODA enforcement.

 

In her September 1, 2017 email to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy said that in fiscal 2015, a total of $15,071,800 was budgeted for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. However, all the Accessibility Directorate spent in that year was $14,433,598

 

That means $638,202 was available but was not spent.

 

The AODA Alliance earlier showed that from 2005 to 2014-2015, the Accessibility Directorate left a total of $27.5 million of its allocated budget unspent. When we add this new figure of unspent money to that earlier figure, we conclude that from 2005 to 2015-2016, the Accessibility Directorate has left a total of $28.1 million unspent of its allocated budget over those years. That could buy a lot of AODA enforcement.

 

We also asked the Government how much it allocated to the Accessibility Directorate for the last complete fiscal year, namely 2016-2017. We were told that the Accessibility Directorate was allocated $15,071,800. However, in her September 1, 2017 email to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy declined to tell us how much the Accessibility Directorate spent in that year. She stated:

 

“The actual results for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for the fiscal period 2016-17 are not available for this table as at September 1, 2017. These results will be made available upon the tabling of the 2016-17 Public Accounts with the Legislature.”

 

The Government has never given us that requested information over the intervening half year since then. It is hard to believe that as of September 2017 the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario did not know how much her own division has spent in the previous fiscal year.

 

  1. If and When the Wynne Government Actually Takes AODA Enforcement Action, It Can Have an Impact

 

The Government’s efforts at taking direct enforcement actions, set out in the Government’s 2015, 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Reports, show that enforcement can have a positive impact, when the Government actually tries it. the Government reported that its enforcement interventions got those organizations that they approached to at least say that they took action to get themselves into compliance. This proves what we have said all along, and what the Government said when it enacted the AODA in 2005. When organizations know there is real and imminent enforcement, they are far more likely to comply.

 

This reinforces the AODA Alliance’s call for the Government to beef up its AODA enforcement. The more non-complying organizations that the Government addresses with real enforcement teeth, the more compliance it can produce.

 

  1. Three Years Later, Wynne Government Has Still Not Implemented the 2014 Recommendation on Effective Public Reporting to the Public on Its AODA Enforcement

 

Over four years ago, in late 2014, the second Government-appointed Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement, conducted by Mayo Moran, submitted its final report to the Wynne Government. It called for beefed-up AODA enforcement. Among its recommendations were the following:

 

“A.       Prepare and make public an enforcement plan.

Because of the uncertainty that has existed concerning the enforcement of the AODA, it is especially important for the Government to develop and make public an enforcement plan in a timely way. If the enforcement plan has not been released by the time this Report is published, I urge the Government to release it immediately. I emphasize that the credibility of the AODA regime at this juncture depends to a significant extent on confidence in the enforcement plan. Timeliness and public release of this plan are key factors in building the credibility that the AODA requires to achieve its crucial goals.

 

  1. Build transparency into the enforcement plan.

Since sharing information can among other things help to enhance compliance, transparency is an increasingly significant feature of modern regulatory systems. Indeed, transparency is a common practice within the Government of Ontario itself. For example, the Ministry of Labour posts the number of employment standards inspections, investigations and prosecutions as well as lists of employers convicted, nature of offences and fines. It also identifies the top five complaints for each year. Similarly, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has a searchable online public record that lists businesses that have been charged and/or convicted under consumer protection legislation or that have not responded to the Ministry regarding a complaint. The Ontario Energy Board website posts annual complaints data for electricity retailers and natural gas marketers, by company (number of complaints per 1000 contracts).

 

In this context, it is important for the AODA enforcement plan to incorporate transparency. Making the results of AODA enforcement activities known in a timely way will achieve key accessibility objectives including encouraging greater compliance as well as enabling consumers and others to direct their choices to organizations that support accessibility.

 

I emphasize that timeliness is a key aspect of transparency. While time frames vary widely across government, some regulators post enforcement information on a quarterly basis or even more frequently. Given that enforcement was a top issue raised during the consultations for this Review, I recommend that the ADO release information on AODA enforcement actions at least every three months. This information should be posted promptly and should reflect quarterly results as well as year-to-date totals, broken down by sector and size of organization. At a minimum, it should include such measures as:

  • Number of notices of proposed order issued
  • Total amount of proposed penalties
  • Number of orders issued and total amount of penalties imposed
  • Number of appeals from orders and the outcome
  • Total amount of penalties including changes ordered by the appeal tribunal
  • Orders categorized by subject matter.”

 

The Government has left the clear majority of this recommendation unimplemented. It only makes public an Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report annually. This is often posted weeks or months late. Those reports don’t include the totality of the information that the Mayo Moran Report recommended.

 

Therefore, on June 4, 2015, AODA Alliance chair David Lepofsky submitted a Freedom of Information application to the Government. In it, he sought, among other things, the specific information that the final report of the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review had recommended. Specifically, he asked for this:

 

“5.       Please provide information on enforcement action under the AODA taken in 2014 on a quarterly basis, and as an annual total, and for the current year on a quarterly basis to date, and as an aggregated total, broken down by sector (private sector versus public sector) and size of organization, including, e.g.

 

  1. a) The number of organizations audited for compliance with the AODA and any accessibility standards enacted under it.

 

  1. b) The number of organizations that were the subject of an inspection of their premises for compliance with the AODA and any accessibility standards enacted under it, by an inspector, appointed under s. 18 of the AODA, pursuant to s. 19 of the AODA. Included within this is a request to know the number of organizations that an inspector, appointed under s. 18 of the AODA, has physically visited to discharge the powers of conducting an inspection under the AODA.

 

  1. c) The number of notices of proposed compliance orders issued under the AODA, also broken down by the AODA requirement with which there was a lack of compliance.

 

  1. d) Numbers and amounts of proposed monetary penalties under the AODA, also broken down by AODA requirement with which there was a lack of compliance.

 

  1. e) The number of compliance orders issued and numbers and amounts of monetary penalties imposed, each also broken down by AODA requirement with which there was a lack of compliance.

 

  1. f) The number of appeals to the appeal tribunal designated under the AODA, from any AODA orders, and the outcome, also broken down by AODA requirement with which there was a lack of compliance. Please also provide copies of, or links to accessible postings of all appeal tribunal decisions.”

 

The Government insisted on a huge $4,250 fee for fulfilling his overall Freedom of Information application. He had to appeal to the Information and Privacy Commission. The Government fought him every step of the way. The Information and Privacy Commission knocked that fee down by over 80%, holding that the Government had substantially overcharged David Lepofsky. Nevertheless a fee remained in place for this part of Lepofsky’s request, among other things. The Wynne Government has refused to waive that fee, even though an August 6, 2017 Toronto Star editorial slammed the Government for insisting on that fee.

 

  1. Failure to Effectively Publicize the Government’s Toll-Free Number for Reporting AODA Violations

 

In the 2014 election, Premier Wynne promised to establish and publicize a toll-free number for the public to report AODA violations, in connection with AODA enforcement. It took months of our advocacy to get this started. While it exists, there is no indication it has been effectively publicized. In fact the AODA Alliance appears to have done more than the Government to publicize it.

 

As a result of the Government’s poor effort on this, the Government’s 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report states that a meagre 203 reports have been received on that hotline. We know from our contact with the public that far more AODA infractions are being experienced.

 

  1. Conclusion: A Pressing Need for Prompt New Government Action on AODA Enforcement

 

Since we first made this issue public in the 2013 fall, the public and media have focused again and again on the Ontario Government’s having repeatedly fallen down on the job of AODA enforcement. This has led to media reports and newspaper editorials blasting the Government for its inadequate enforcement action.

 

What Ontario needs now is real action, such as the ramped-up enforcement and serious crackdown on AODA violators that the Government promised back on June 3, 2015. We also need AODA enforcement taken out of the Government’s belly and assigned to an independent arms-length public agency. The Government should not be investigating and enforcing against itself. Its efforts on enforcement should not be subject to so much political constraint.

 

When running for leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party, Kathleen Wynne wrote the AODA Alliance on December 3, 2012, commendably pledging that as Premier, she would ensure that Ontario is on schedule for accessibility by 2025. It is clear to all, including to Ontarians with disabilities, that Ontario is behind schedule for reaching full accessibility by 2025. The lack of effective AODA enforcement has been a major contributing cause.

 

Key Background Documents

 

  1. Excerpt from Premier Wynne’s May 14, 2014 Letter to the AODA Alliance, Setting Out Her Government’s Disability Accessibility Promises in the 2014 Ontario Election

 

Originally posted at:

https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/new2015-whats-new/may-14-2014-letter-from-liberal-party-leader-premier-kathleen-wynne-on-her-partys-2014-disability-accessibility-election-pledges/

 

“B. Ensure that all enforceable requirements under the AODA are effectively enforced

 

  1. The Ontario Liberal Party is dedicated to pursuing compliance and enforcement action to bring more private sector organizations into compliance with AODA. To speak to our track record, 99 per cent of Designated Broader Public Sector Organizations have submitted their reports by the deadline to date. If I am elected, I will see to it that this becomes 100 per cent.

 

We will ensure that organizations that fail to comply with AODA requirements are met with monetary penalties and be subjected to prosecution, where necessary. Under my government, we issued the first monetary penalties. I am committed to using all enforcement provisions under the AODA to ensure that organizations that do not comply with the law are penalized and to encourage compliance. To date, my government has issued over 500 Notices of Director’s Orders and we will continue to send more out monthly. Paired with enforcement activities, we are actively reaching out to businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help them understand and follow their obligations under the AODA.

 

  1. With respect to additional enforcement activities, we commit to investigating the possibility of having government inspectors and investigators enforce the AODA within the context of existing resources and as training capacity exists.

 

  1. We will make a detailed plan on all enforcement activities available, along with establishing and publicizing an accessible toll-free phone number to report violations of AODA requirements. Unfortunately, communication of the enforcement plan is on hold during the writ period. I look forward to releasing it promptly should we win the honour of re-election.

 

  1. To ensure increased transparency going forward, we will make an annual report publicly available on levels of compliance including the effectiveness of our enforcement measures.”

 

  1. June 12, 2017 Letter from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles

 

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

1929 Bayview Avenue,

Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

Email aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance www.aodaalliance.org

 

June 12, 2017

 

Via Email Tracy.MacCharles@ontario.ca

The Honourable Tracy MacCharles,

Minister of Accessibility and Minister of Government and Consumer Services

Office of the Minister Responsible for Accessibility

6th Floor, Mowat Block

900 Bay St,

Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

 

Dear Minister,

 

Re Updated Information on the Government’s Enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

 

We would very much appreciate it if you could send us specific updated data on compliance with and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). In the past, the Government has given us the kinds of data we request below. This is a request to get that information updated.

 

Specifically, we would welcome the following. It should be readily available to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario with minimal effort. It also should be helpful for you and your staff, in your work overseeing the AODA’s implementation and enforcement:

 

  1. By December 31, 2012, private sector organizations in Ontario with at least 20 employees had to file a first Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Accessibility Report with the Government under s. 14 of the AODA.

 

  1. a) As of the time you answer this letter, how many private sector organizations, that were required to file an AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2012, had still not filed the required AODA Accessibility Report?

 

  1. b) What percentage of the total number of private sector organizations which had been required to file an AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2012 had not filed one as of the date of your response to this letter?

 

  1. By December 31, 2014, private sector organizations in Ontario with at least 20 employees had to file a second AODA Accessibility Report with the Government under s. 14 of the AODA.

 

  1. a) As of the time you answer this letter, how many private sector organizations, that were required to file an AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2014, had still not filed the required 2014 AODA Accessibility Report?

 

  1. b) What percentage of the total number of private sector organizations which had been required to file an AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2014 had not filed one as of the date of your response to this letter?

 

  1. As of the date of your response to this letter, how many private sector organizations that were required to file a first AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2012, and a second AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2014, had not filed either required report? Please state this as a number of organizations, and as a percentage of the organizations which were required to so file.

 

  1. I understand from the Government’s AODA toll free line that designated public sector organizations were all required to file their most recent AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2015.

 

  1. a) What number and percentage of all designated public sector organizations had filed their most recent AODA compliance report by December 31, 2015?

 

  1. b) As of the date of your response to this letter, if all had still not filed them, how many have not filed them? And what percent of designated public sector organizations that were required to file then?

 

  1. What number of specific enforcement actions has the Government taken in 2015, or 2016, or in 2017 up to now, broken down by year. to deploy its enforcement powers under the AODA, in relation to private sector organizations or in relation to public sector organizations, including how many audits, inspections, compliance orders imposed, or monetary penalties imposed, or other enforcement/compliance efforts (excluding efforts to inform or educate obligated organizations). We are eager to know this:

 

  1. a) regarding private sector with under 20 employees

 

  1. b) regarding private sector organizations with 20-50 employees

 

  1. c) regarding private sector organizations with over 50 employees, and

 

  1. d) regarding designated public sector organizations.

 

  1. How many AODA audits or inspections did the Government plan to undertake for 2016? For 2017?

 

  1. How many times have any compliance orders or monetary penalties, imposed under the AODA, been appealed to the License Appeal Tribunal, in 2015 or 2016 or in 2017 up to now? We would appreciate a copy in an accessible format or a link to any and all decisions, and a list of the tribunal’s decision or order or any settlement that is not confidential.

 

  1. How many AODA compliance orders, monetary penalties or other enforcement efforts have been appealed to court in 2015, or 2016, or up to now in 2017? Please provide specifics of any such case or links to accessible postings of any decisions. How many such appeals or court proceedings are now pending?

 

  1. How many times in 2015, or 2016 or 2017 to date has a compliance order or an administrative penalty order been filed with a local Registrar of the Superior Court of Justice under s. 23 of the AODA?

 

  1. In the years 2016, and up to now in 2017, what are the numbers of:

 

  1. a) Directors appointed under s. 30 of the AODA working within the Ontario Government or under its authority;

 

  1. b) Inspectors appointed under s. 18 of the AODA employed in or on behalf of the Ontario Government;

 

  1. c) Inspectors that the Government plans in the next six months to appoint under s. 18 of the AODA; and

 

  1. d) Directors that the Government plans to appoint in the next six months under s. 30 of the AODA.

 

  1. What is the budget that was appropriated for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for the fiscal year 2014-15? How much of that amount did the Directorate spent in that fiscal year?

 

We would be happy to do whatever your Ministry may need us to do, to help clarify these questions, and to make it as easy as possible for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to promptly provide the answers. If some questions can quickly be answered, and others will take more time, we would welcome receiving it in stages, rather than having to wait until it is all assembled before we see any answers.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

 

cc: Premier Kathleen Wynne, premier@ontario.ca

Marie-Lison Fougère, Deputy Minister of Accessibility, marie-lison.fougere@ontario.ca

Ann Hoy, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate, ann.hoy@ontario.ca

Steve Orsini, Secretary to Cabinet steve.orsini@ontario.ca

 

  1. July 20, 2017 Letter from Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles to the AODA Alliance

 

Minister Responsible
for Accessibility

 

6th Floor, Mowat Block

900 Bay Street

Toronto ON M7A 1L2

 

Ministre responsable
de l’Accessibilité

 

Édifice Mowat, 6e étage

900, rue Bay

Toronto ON M7A 1L2

 

 

 

July 20, 2017

 

Dear Mr. Lepofsky:

 

Thank you for your email regarding our government’s enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). It’s always nice to hear from you.

 

Our government remains committed to implementing and enforcing the AODA, as well as other initiatives, such as Access Talent, our recently released Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, that help promote a more accessible and inclusive Ontario. Currently, we are continuing to build momentum in the development and review of new and existing standards, with a new Health Standards Development Committee meeting and recruitment of Standards and Development Committee members for new Education Standards.

 

Of course, implementing and enforcing the AODA remains the foundational element in our plan to create an accessible province by 2025. And I am pleased to provide you with updated statistics in that regard where they are available.

 

At the closing of the 2012 reporting period in September 2014, 33,285 or 65 per cent of obligated organizations had not filed the 2012 Accessibility Compliance Report. This statistic will not change as the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) then moved on to tracking submissions for the more recent compliance reports, and consequently removed the option to file the 2012 version.

 

By December 31, 2016, 30,152 or 57 per cent of obligated private sector organizations had not filed the 2014 Accessibility Compliance Report. As with the 2012 version of the report, this statistic will not change. Organizations could not file a 2014 report beyond December 31, 2016 because the 2017 reporting window had opened. As an updated version of the report is now expected, the ADO has removed the option to file the older 2014 version.

 

As for the number of obligated organizations required to file reports, these figures are obtained annually through information published by Statistics Canada. As this information does not specify which organizations have merged, opened, or closed within the last 12 months, it is not possible to compare data sets from one year to another.

 

As noted earlier, the total number of non-filers for the 2012 version of the report was 33,285 or 65 per cent based on the number of obligated organizations from Statistics Canada in 2012. Also, as of the end of 2016, the total number of non-filers for the 2014 version of the report was 30,152 or 57 per cent based on the number of obligated organizations from Statistics Canada in 2014.

 

Our government is committed to raising awareness about the AODA and the need for compliance and reporting, and we continue to reach out to organizations in a variety of ways. For instance, when the accessibility compliance reporting rate was under 100 per cent at the end of 2015, the ADO’s compliance assurance units proactively contacted all remaining public sector non-filers in early 2016 in order to offer assistance. Thanks to these efforts, the 2015 version of the accessibility compliance report reached a 100 per cent filing rate.

 

The ADO views compliance activities, like audits, as opportunities to identify challenges and help organizations overcome them. The idea is to offer compliance assistance to help more organizations to come into compliance. In cases where non-compliance persists, the ADO will exercise its authority to enforce the law by issuing Director’s Orders, which may include an administrative monetary penalty. The ADO also has the authority to recommend that organizations who have committed an offence under the AODA be prosecuted through the courts.

 

As the government has indicated in its public reports on AODA compliance, the majority of the ADO’s compliance activities are organized and tracked based on the requirement being audited rather than employee size. Although organizations being audited on the requirement to file an accessibility compliance report could fall into any of the employee categories listed in your question, the ADO groups and tracks them together under the single requirement to file.

 

In 2015, the ADO’s compliance activities focused on business/non-profit sector (BNP) organizations. There were 1,324 compliance activities that year, with 26 files escalated to the inspector for review. Additional information about these activities can be found in the government’s 2015 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report.

 

In 2016, the ADO conducted compliance activities among 250 designated public sector organizations and 1,354 BNP organizations. There were 1,604 compliance activities that year, including two Director’s Orders that involved a requirement to pay an administrative monetary penalty. Furthermore, an additional 498 compliance activities among BNP organizations were conducted in 2016 through a pilot program by a third-party service provider. Among these 498 activities, zero files required escalation to the inspector. Additional information about these activities can be found in the government’s 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report.

 

Over the last few years, the ADO has aimed to enlarge its compliance footprint in the province by increasing the number of activities undertaken year over year, while still maintaining its modern, assistive approach to compliance assurance. In 2016, the ADO achieved this by completing 1,604 compliance activities, exceeding 2015’s total by 280. In 2017, the ADO will aim once again to expand its compliance activities, supporting the Minister’s mandate letter priority to take progressive steps to increase compliance and enforcement.

 

In 2015, 2016, and 2017, no Director’s Orders (with or without monetary penalties) were appealed to the License Appeal Tribunal. No Director’s Orders (with or without monetary penalties) were appealed to the court in these years. And no Director’s Orders (with or without monetary penalties) were filed with a local Registrar of the Superior Court of Justice during this same timeframe.

 

Regarding directors and inspectors working within the Government of Ontario, there are currently three directors and two inspectors appointed under the AODA. Further to that, no activities are taking place regarding recruitment or appointment for these positions at this time.

 

As for budget, we’re happy to share with you information from the government’s 2014-15 printed estimates and public accounts, volume 1. This indicates that the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario had a budget of $15,071,800 and actual spending of $13,758,104. The budget breakdown is noted in the cart below.

 

Accessibility Directorate of Ontario Allocation  Budget  Actual
 Salaries and wages 5,690,900 5,595,957
 Employee benefits  815,400 731,060
 Transportation and communication 143,000 151,981
 Services 6,683,700 4,431,711
 Supplies and equipment 238,800 107,714
 Transfer payments  
 EnAbling Change 1,500,000 2,739,681
Total Operating Expense Allocation 15,071,800 13,758,104

 

 

I trust that you will find this update helpful. And I would like to thank you, once again, for your continued support. The feedback we receive from Ontarians helps inform our collaborative approach to accessibility. I look forward to continuing our work with organizations, businesses, stakeholders, and members of the public, so that we stay on track to becoming an accessible province by 2025.

 

Sincerely,

 

Original signed by

 

Tracy MacCharles

Minister

 

 

c:      The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier

Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service

Marie-Lison Fougère, Deputy Minister of Accessibility, Francophone Affairs and

Senior Affairs

Ann Hoy, Assistant Deputy Minister, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

Susan Picarello, Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment Division, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

 

 

  1. The Ontario Governments 2015 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report

 

Ontario Government Public 2015 Report on Its Efforts or Plans on the Enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

 

Originally posted at

https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-compliance-and-enforcement-report

 

Top of Form

 

The Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report

This report outlines how the Government of Ontario built awareness, promoted compliance and enforced the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the Act) in 2015.

 

On this page

  1. Getting to compliance
  2. Building awareness
  3. Encouraging compliance
  4. Verifying and enforcing compliance
  5. Compliance and enforcement going forward

 

Getting to compliance

2015 was another busy year for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. As we hit the half-way point in our goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025, we continued in our efforts to:

  • build awareness of the Act and the five accessibility standards
  • encourage compliance reporting through submission of self-certified reports
  • enforce compliance of the Act

 

Building awareness

In 2015, we continued to work hard to build awareness of accessibility requirements and the many tools and resources we offer to help organizations fulfill their obligations.

 

We launched a marketing campaign focused on the accessible employment standard and the need for businesses and non-profits with 50+ employees to comply with it starting January 1, 2016. The standard requires that organizations make their employment practices accessible to people with disabilities. The campaign, which ran into the early part of 2016, encouraged affected businesses to visit the government webpage for accessibility information, and take advantage of the free templates and other compliance resources.

 

As part of the campaign, advertisements were placed:

  • in elevators in office buildings of larger organizations
  • as radio and print ads placed in major urban centers
  • in publications such as The Globe and Mail

 

Encouraging compliance

To encourage compliance, we continued to reach out to the 400,000 companies, non-profits and public sector organizations across the province required to meet the accessibility standards. Our message was clear. You need to:

  • understand your legal obligations
  • make sure you are in compliance with the standards applicable to your organization
  • submit a self-certified report

 

In 2015, we continued our efforts to get the word out across the province. Our activities included:

  • 254 outreach opportunities across the province such as community fairs, trade shows, and business conferences
  • speaking with 27,547 people and distributing information on accessibility
  • 31 webinar presentations

 

We also launched a new website to make it easier to understand and complete compliance requirements. The website includes a new online feedback page which will help us improve accessibility in Ontario.

 

In addition, our dedicated help desk provided one-on-one assistance to thousands of organizations.

 

We also continued to expand our reach through our EnAbling Change program. This program funds projects with industry leaders to support organizations in their compliance with the Act. Through EnAbling Change, we empower organizations to become champions of accessibility by connecting them with partners in a variety of sectors who demonstrate a commitment to accessibility. In 2015, we worked with 18 partners on projects that ranged from supporting employers in complying with the accessible employment standard to promoting a cultural shift for organizations to move beyond the requirements of the Act.

 

A particular emphasis in 2015 was put on providing information and support to broader public sector organizations that were required to file compliance reports by December 31, 2015. These include school boards, colleges and universities, hospitals, provincial agencies and municipalities.

 

To remind them of their obligations – and the free online tools and resources we provide to help them comply – we delivered tailored presentations and webinars, sent out emails and made phone calls to senior officials in the broader public sector.

 

By the December 31, 2015 deadline, 91% of broader public sector organizations had submitted their reports. Since the deadline that number has climbed to 99%.

 

Verifying and enforcing compliance

In addition to building awareness and helping organizations comply with the Act, the Directorate also verifies and enforces compliance.

 

In 2015, we conducted 1,324 compliance activities, surpassing our public commitment of 1,200. We reached out to organizations that had either:

  • never filed an accessibility compliance report
  • not met their requirements under the law
  • filed a report in 2012 but not in 2014

 

As part of these activities, we audited 324 organizations that had filed a fully compliant report in order to verify they were in compliance. Organizations were audited on a variety of requirements across the standards and not all organizations were audited on the same set of requirements.

 

Our audits revealed that, for the most part, organizations across Ontario are fulfilling the core requirements. Specifically:

  • 93% of 224 organizations audited on the requirement to have accessible customer service policies, practices and procedures in place were compliant
  • 91% of 202 organizations audited on providing individualized workplace emergency response information were compliant
  • 90% of 224 organizations audited on providing a feedback process on accessible customer service were compliant

 

Where they fell down was in fulfilling some of the sub-sections of the standards. For instance, when it came to the requirement to have in place a multi-year accessibility plan:

  • 31% of the 150 organizations audited had not posted their plan on their website
  • 22% of the 150 organizations audited had not included a commitment to review and update their plan at least every 5 years
  • 18% of the 150 organizations audited didn’t include a commitment to provide their plan in an accessible format upon request

 

In addition, 16% of 50 organizations audited on customer service training didn’t include at least one of the mandatory subjects, such as how to interact with persons who use assistive devices.

The number of audits, types of organizations and requirements reviewed vary from year to year. As a result, compliance rates are not directly comparable across years. For example, the variability in compliance in 2015 versus 2014 is illustrated in the table below. Future compliance rates will also vary, and it is possible that the rate of compliance may decrease in 2016 as organizations may be less familiar with new requirements that are audited.

 

 

Compliance Rates in 2015 versus 2014
Year Sectors Requirements Audits Compliance Rate
2014 Private sector (41 organizations with 20-49 employees, 56 with 50+ employees)
Broader public sector
Customer Service Standard –Sections 3(5), 6(5), 7(4)
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation – Sections 4(1), 5(1-2), 7(1-4), 11(1), 16, 22, 23(1-2), 27(1), 34 (1-2), 36 (1-2), 41(1,2), 42(1),43(1)
197 46%
2015 Private sector (focus on organizations with 500+ employees) Customer Service Standard – 3(5), 6(5), 7(4)
Integrated Accessibility Standards – 4(1), 11(1), 27(1)
324 69%

 

The Directorate issued compliance plans to 31% of the 324 organizations selected for audit. A compliance plan lays out the steps an organization must take to come into compliance. These plans are only considered closed once the Directorate has confirmed that the steps required to become compliant have been met by the organization. A compliance plan is ranked according to the severity of non-compliance, from low to high. The vast majority of the plans issued were of low to moderate severity, and all but one of the organizations that received a plan were brought into compliance without the involvement of an Inspector.

 

Organizations that are uncooperative in responding to the requests of the Directorate, including meeting compliance plan due dates, are referred to an inspector. An Inspector can recommend enforcement measures to the AODA director. These measures may include a director’s order to comply, a monetary penalty, and prosecution. The Directorate has issued director’s orders to non-compliant organizations ordering them to pay monetary penalties.

 

Of the 1,324 compliance activities that took place in 2015, 26 files in total were sent to an inspector. Of these escalated files, 84% were resolved in 2015. The Directorate will continue to pursue enforcement with the remaining 16%.

 

Included in these compliance activities was a targeted audit blitz among 100 large retail organizations. The blitz focused on encouraging organizations to meet their obligations and verify that they are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that their workplaces and employment practices are accessible. The blitz helped to gauge organizations’ preparedness to meet requirements of the employment standard coming into effect in 2016. In particular, the blitz looked at the requirements to develop a multi-year accessibility plan, and to prepare for emergency situations by providing employees with disabilities with individualized workplace emergency response information.

 

The results were encouraging. Out of 100 organizations:

  • 86 had a multi-year accessibility plan in place
  • 91 had individualized workplace emergency response information in place
  • 34 compliance plans were issued. The majority were ranked as low severity. Only 2 organizations required enforcement measures involving the inspector.

 

Finally, in 2015 we:

  • conducted a site visit to verify compliance within the Ontario Public Service (OPS). As a result of the tools and assistance offered, the OPS is now in compliance with the audited requirements
  • continued our partnerships with the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Labour to conduct 50 audits respectively, on a pilot project basis:
    • Ministry of Labour inspectors collected documentation that organizations are required to produce under the Customer Service Standard.
    • Ministry of Transportation’s Carrier Safety & Enforcement Branch and Regional Operations Branch similarly helped the Directorate in conducting audits among businesses that have a trucking component to their operations
  • promoted and monitored our feedback phone line and webpage, and received 58 comments about the standards by phone and email. These comments may inform future outreach activities, audits, and legislative reviews. Out of these interactions the top 3 categories for feedback were the:
    • customer service standard
    • design of public spaces standard
    • information and communications standard

 

Compliance and enforcement going forward

Overall, many organizations are incorporating accessibility into their daily business practices.

Our 2015 public education initiatives clearly show that organizations benefit from practical and tailored information about accessibility compliance. Going forward, we will continue to provide this help to our stakeholders via:

  • webinars
  • a regular e-newsletter
  • targeted partnerships to reach specific sectors

 

In 2016, we will continue to encourage and verify compliance by:

  • connecting via phone, email and/or direct mail with those that didn’t file a 2014 compliance report or have never filed one
  • helping those whose 2014 reports show they are not in compliance
  • auditing those that filed a report indicating they are in full compliance

 

In 2016, we will continue our focus on the accessible employment standard to create inclusive workplaces that are accessible and which allow employees to reach their full potential.

We will:

  • increase our compliance efforts across private, non-profit, and public sectors
  • conduct another sector-specific audit blitz to verify compliance with the employment standard, with a focus on the new requirements that have come into effect in 2016
  • audit organizations that need to comply with the Act, but are not required to submit reports because they have fewer than 20 employees
  • audit “high-risk” organizations (ones with a history of non-compliance)
  • continue to work with the Ministry of Transportation to complete the compliance pilot project that began in 2015
  • work with a third-party service provider on a pilot project to complete up to 500 compliance activities

 

In short, we will continue to work hard to build awareness of the Act, and encourage and enforce compliance with it.

 

In presenting the report, we want to remind those who are experiencing challenges with compliance to visit Ontario.ca/Accessibility to find information on your obligations, and have access to multiple tools and resources to help you comply with the law.

 

We thank the many thousands of organizations that have embraced the vision of an accessible Ontario. We’re confident you’re seeing the benefits of your actions, and encourage you to continue to spread the word.

Frequently asked questions

Next

Updated: June 20, 2017

 

  1. Ontario Government’s 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report

 

Accessibility compliance and enforcement report 2016

 

Originally posted at:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-compliance-and-enforcement-report-2016

 

Accessibility compliance and enforcement report 2016

 

This report outlines the activities undertaken by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2016 to oversee compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the act) and its accessibility standards.

 

  1. On this page Overseeing compliance Building awareness
  1. Encouraging compliance
  2. Verifying and enforcing compliance
  3. Compliance and enforcement going forward

 

Overseeing compliance

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario continued its compliance efforts in the following key areas:

  • Building awareness
    • Strategic marketing campaigns that remind organizations of their requirements
  • Encouraging compliance
    • Conducting education and outreach activities among the 400,000 obligated organizations across the province
  • Verifying and enforcing compliance
    • Undertaking 1,604 compliance activities that help organizations understand and meet their requirements
  • Compliance and enforcement going forward
    • Identifying compliance goals for 2017 that will help support the priorities outlined in the Premier’s 2016 Mandate Letter to the Minister

 

Building awareness

Timelines for compliance with the requirements of the accessibility standards are being phased-in until 2021 and vary depending on an organization’s size (i.e., “small” being 49 employees or less and “large” being 50 employees or more) and its sector (i.e., private/non-profit, public sector, or government of Ontario).

 

This past year we re-launched the marketing campaign on the employment standards for accessibility, highlighting the January 2017 compliance deadline for businesses and non-profits with 1-49 employees. The employment standards are fully in effect and require obligated organizations with one or more employees in Ontario (the standards do not apply to the federal government or providers of goods, services and facilities that are under federal jurisdiction) to meet accessibility requirements in their employment practices.

 

The campaign, which began in the fall of 2016, encouraged obligated businesses to visit the government webpage for accessibility information, and take advantage of the free templates and other compliance resources.

 

As part of the campaign, advertisements were placed:

  • as print ads in newspapers
  • on English, French and multicultural radio stations in major urban centres
  • as banner ads on websites

 

Encouraging compliance

We continued to reach out to the over 400,000 businesses, non-profits and public sector organizations across the province required to meet the accessibility standards. Our message was clear. You need to:

  • understand your legal obligations
  • make sure you are in compliance with the standards applicable to your organization
  • make sure you have submitted your most recent self-certified report

 

Our activities in 2016 included:

  • participating in over 80 events across the province such as community fairs, trade shows, and business conferences
  • launching two updated newsletter formats reaching over 6,000 subscribers:
    • a quarterly edition about what’s new in our accessibility work
    • a monthly bulletin that highlights helpful tools and tips to meet accessibility requirements
  • 18 webinars delivered to all obligated sectors providing additional information and answering questions on the requirements of the standards
  • sending over 30,000 reminder emails to organizations about their upcoming requirements

 

In addition, our dedicated help desk provided assistance through thousands of one-on-one interactions with organizations and individuals. Our agents offered support by answering questions about the act and its standards, providing assistance to encourage compliance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.

 

We also continued to expand our reach through our EnAbling Change program. This program funds projects with industry leaders to support organizations in their compliance with the act. Through EnAbling Change, we empower organizations in a variety of sectors to become champions of accessibility. In 2016, we worked with partners on projects that ranged from supporting employers in complying with the employment standards to promoting a cultural shift to move Ontario organizations beyond the minimum requirements of the act.

 

Verifying and enforcing compliance

In addition to building awareness and helping organizations comply with the act, we also verify and enforce compliance. In 2016, we conducted 1,604 compliance activities, including Phase 1 and Phase 2 audits. Phase 1 audits focus on an organization’s requirement to submit a self-certified accessibility compliance report online. In a Phase 2 audit, documents are requested and reviewed for the purposes of verifying compliance with other requirements beyond reporting.

 

Accessibility compliance reporting activities and trends for 2016

The requirement to submit accessibility compliance reports is established under the act and the calendar year of 2017 is the next reporting year for all obligated organizations. While organizations can be selected for audit whether they submit a report or not, a large component of compliance activities center around organizations that have failed to file their most recent report.

For example, in 2016, 1,205 audits were completed at the Phase 1 level among organizations that had either:

  • never filed an accessibility compliance report
  • reported they had not met their requirements under the law
  • filed a report in 2012 but not in 2014

 

In conducting these activities we observed a number of trends in compliance:

  • of the Phase 1 audits initiated in 2016, 95% were completed without requiring escalation to Phase 2 or enforcement, aligning with our overall compliance assurance approach
  • a progressive approach to compliance reduces the need for punitive, enforcement measures by providing upfront education, resources and 1:1 compliance improvement opportunities that help organizations understand and meet their requirements
  • 93% answered “yes” to providing emergency procedure plans or public safety information to the public in an accessible format, when asked
  • 89% responded that they provided tailored emergency response information for their employees who had disabilities, when asked
  • 81% were complying with the requirements of the Customer Service Standards that came into effect prior to the reporting year, according to their submitted accessibility compliance reports

 

We reached out to business and non-profit organizations that had never filed accessibility compliance reports. These activities continue to fulfill our commitment to increasing compliance reporting rates. By December 31, 2016, 43% of business/non-profit sector organizations had submitted their most recent version of the accessibility compliance report, up from 38% in 2014.

In 2015, 91% of designated public sector organizations submitted their accessibility reports. In 2016, we continued to work with the remaining organizations until 100% of all public sector organizations had met their reporting requirement.

 

2017 marks the first year where every sector (government, public, business/non-profit) is required to submit an accessibility compliance report. Approximately 56,000 organizations have until December 31, 2017 to submit their reports.

 

Phase 2 audits

In 2016, 361 audits were closed at the Phase 2 level. These audits requested evidence to either confirm compliance from organizations that had filed a fully compliant report or assist those that had failed to come into compliance at Phase 1. They were audited on a variety of requirements across the standards and not all organizations were audited on the same set of requirements.

Among Phase 2 organizations, the following trends were found:

  • 92% notified employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in their recruitment process
  • 90% provided individualized workplace emergency response information for employees with disabilities
  • 68% provided accessibility training to staff, volunteers and contract workers as soon as practicable

 

In general, the number of audits, types of organizations, and requirements reviewed vary from year to year. There are, however, four accessibility requirements that are verified year-over-year in order to identify trends in compliance across all types of organizations. These requirements have been selected because they speak to the spirit of the act and are best suited to gauge the progress being made in establishing an accessible Ontario by 2025:

  • compliance in establishing accessibility policies, developing a multi-year accessibility plan and training staff suggests that an organization has a broad understanding of their requirements and what it means to provide goods, services or facilities in an accessible way
  • establishing a system for receiving and responding to public feedback related to accessibility reflects an organization’s preparedness and willingness to improve accessibility to goods, services or facilities in Ontario

 

In 2015, a selection of large organizations from the business/non-profit sector was audited on one or more of the four foundational requirements. Their rates of compliance were:

  • Develop accessibility policies: 93%
  • Provide accessibility training: 80%
  • Establish a method to receive and respond to public feedback on accessibility: 90%
  • Develop a multi-year accessibility plan: 65%

 

In 2016, a selection of small organizations from the business/non-profit sector was audited on three foundational requirements. Their rates of compliance were:

  • Develop accessibility policies: 64%
  • Provide accessibility training: 63%
  • Establish a method to receive and respond to public feedback on accessibility: 92%

In 2016, organizations from the designated public sector were audited on the foundational requirement to develop a multi-year accessibility plan. Audits completed among these public sector organizations with this particular requirement resulted in a compliance rate of 66%.

 

Compliance plans

We issued compliance plans to 45% (164) of the 361 organizations selected for Phase 2 audit in 2016. A compliance plan lays out the steps an organization must take to come into compliance. It is confirmed that an organization has put these prescribed steps in place before the plan is considered closed or completed.

 

Organizations that are uncooperative in responding to our requests, including meeting compliance plan due dates, are referred to an inspector. An inspector can either conduct an on-site inspection or recommend enforcement measures to the Director appointed under the act. Enforcement may include a Director’s Order to comply, a monetary penalty, and prosecution. 84% (138) of 164 organizations that received a plan were brought into compliance without the involvement of an inspector.

 

Of the 1,604 compliance activities that took place in 2016, 38 were sent to an inspector with only two requiring monetary penalties.

 

Targeted audit blitz

Each year we conduct a targeted audit blitz intended to focus on a specific sector, verifying compliance with specific requirements. The 1,604 compliance activities included a targeted Phase 2 audit blitz of 125 large organizations from Ontario’s hospitality sector.

 

The blitz focussed on the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation employment standards requirements to:

  • notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process
  • notify successful applicants of policies for accommodating employees with disabilities when making offers of employment

 

These requirements are valuable indicators of an organization’s commitment to accessibility as they require employers to actively promote those policies to the public and to staff.

 

The results were encouraging. Out of 125 organizations audited as part of the blitz:

  • 109 or 87% notified their employees of available accommodations for applicants with disabilities during the recruitment process
  • 101 or 81% notified the successful applicants of their policies for accommodating employees with disabilities

 

22 compliance plans were issued. All compliance plan deadlines were met and no organizations required enforcement measures.

 

Public feedback

We continued to promote and monitor the single point of contact phone number that the public can use to receive information about the act, request assistance and provide feedback or complaints. The accessibility-related feedback was recorded and is used to identify trends and inform official legislative reviews, as well as outreach and compliance activities. In 2016, we received 103 comments about the act.

 

Out of these interactions the top three categories related to the standards were:

  • customer service
  • transportation
  • design of public spaces

 

Pilot project to increase enforcement capacity

As outlined in Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan, the government is committed to collaborating with service providers on pilot projects to enhance our compliance and outreach activities. In 2016, we secured a service provider to increase our capacity to verify and enforce compliance with the act to more than 400,000 obligated organizations in Ontario.

 

To ensure consistency, the service provider was trained using the same processes that were developed for, and used by, our own compliance and enforcement staff.

 

In addition to the 1,604 compliance activities conducted internally, the pilot resulted in 424 Phase 1 audits among organizations that failed to meet their reporting requirements and 74 Phase 2 audits among organizations that had submitted accessibility reports indicating compliance. The service provider also conducted 700 outreach calls reminding organizations of their compliance requirements.

 

We are currently assessing the data received from these additional compliance activities. Further opportunities to work with service delivery partners may be explored next year.

 

Compliance and enforcement going forward

Compliance activities conducted in 2016 reveal that overall many organizations are incorporating accessibility into their daily business practices.

 

Our 2016 public education initiatives show that organizations benefit from practical and tailored information about accessibility compliance. We will continue to provide this help to our stakeholders through:

  • webinars
  • regular monthly bulletins
  • targeted partnerships to reach specific sectors

 

In 2017, we will conduct compliance and enforcement activities that will:

  • help increase compliance reporting rates among business/non-profit sector organizations
  • raise awareness among obligated organizations of their requirements under the act
  • allow us to verify compliance and conduct enforcement activities among a greater number of organizations
  • support the implementation of a Provincial Employment Strategy for people with disabilities

 

In order to achieve these goals, we will:

  • help organizations submit their accessibility reports using our new, easier to use reporting process
  • increase our compliance efforts across public, business/non-profit sectors (including those that are not obligated to submit accessibility reports)
  • increase to two targeted audit blitzes instead of one
  • explore opportunities to work with a third party service provider to conduct additional compliance activities on our behalf
  • continue to audit the requirements of the employment standards to help ensure that organizations are establishing a baseline level of accessibility in their employment practices

 

The results of these activities will be made available in the next Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report. We are committed to report annually on our compliance activities as well as any observable trends.

 

In presenting the report, we want to remind those who are experiencing challenges with compliance to visit Ontario.ca/Accessibility to find information on your obligations, and access multiple tools and resources to help you comply with the law.

 

We thank the many thousands of organizations that have embraced the vision of an accessible Ontario. We’re confident you’re seeing the benefits of your actions, and encourage you to continue to spread the word.

 

Updated: June 28, 2017

Published: June 21, 2017

 

  1. September 1,2017 Email to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky from Ann Hoy, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

 

Dear David,

 

Per your request, please find attached a Word document with the budget information available to date.

 

Yours,

Ann

 

From: David Lepofsky

Sent: August 14, 2017 10:55 AM

To: Fougère, Marie-Lison (OFA)

Cc: Hoy, Ann (MEDG/MRIS); Pretlove, David (MGCS)

Subject: An on-the-record request

 

What is the budget that was appropriated for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for the fiscal year 2015-16 and the budget that was appropriated for the fiscal year 2016-17? For each of those years, how much of that amount did the Directorate spent in that fiscal year?

 

Enclosure

 

Accessibility Directorate of Ontario Historical Financial Information for the fiscal periods of 2015-16 and 2016-17

 

The following table contains the budget that was appropriated for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and the actual results for the fiscal year 2015-16. The table also includes the budget that was appropriated for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for the fiscal period 2016-17. The actual results for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for the fiscal period 2016-17 are not available for this table as at September 1, 2017. These results will be made available upon the tabling of the 2016-17 Public Accounts with the Legislature.

 

Standard Account 2015-16 Appropriation 2015-16 Actual 2016-17 Appropriation 2016-17 Actual
Salaries and wages 5,690,900 6,116,845 5,690,900 Not available
Employee benefits 815,400 835,617 815,400 Not available
Transportation and communication 143,000 151,446 143,000 Not available
Services 6,683,700 5,076,118 6,683,700 Not available
Supplies and Equipment 238,800 106,199 238,800 Not available
Transfer payment: Enabling Change 1,500,000 2,147,373 1,500,000 Not available
Total 15,071,800 14,433,598 15,071,800 Not available

 

2015-16 Appropriation (Source: 2015-16 Printed Estimates, Volume 1)

2015-16 Actual (Source: 2015-16 Public Accounts, Volume 1)

2016-17 Appropriation (Source: 2016-17 Printed Estimates, Volume 1)

 

  1. October 3, 2017 Email from Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

Good afternoon, David

 

The responsive documents provided as Phase One of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Order PO-3755, contain plans, policies, directives or instructions for enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), or of any accessibility standards enacted under it.

 

These documents include foundational materials that reference an ongoing commitment to exploring opportunities to increase compliance activities.

 

The concept of conducting compliance activities among 1% of the obligated universe per year was first outlined in the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario’s (the Directorate) Integrity Model Strategy (IMS).

 

The IMS was developed in 2011 and was provided to you as part of a similar request for information in 2013. As this document was already provided in 2013, it was not included in the package that was released under the June 2015 Freedom of Information request.

 

The IMS is intended to help ensure integrity in the framework used to oversee compliance with the AODA by outlining goals and priorities that help:

 

Use resources efficiently;

Respond to changing compliance risks effectively; and

Address varied compliance risks between sectors, sizes of organizations, etc.

 

As outlined in the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario’s 2014 Accessibility Compliance Action Plan, the government is committed to collaborating with partners on pilot projects that can enhance our compliance and outreach activities. The 2016 calendar year marked the first step in piloting an Augmented Service Delivery program with a third party service provider. The 2016 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report highlights the results of the Directorate’s pilot, securing a service provider to increase the capacity to verify and enforce compliance with the AODA and the accessibility standards.

 

The strategy of progressively working towards conducting compliance activities among 1% of the obligated universe, as well as using a third party to assist in that work, are concepts that are reflected in responsive documents that were provided as part of Phase One of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Order PO-3755 (e.g., slides 6 and 7 of Compliance MO Briefing Deck -v 2 (Mar 30 2015) (2)).

 

As you are aware, through the recent ADO organizational realignment, a new and dedicated compliance and enforcement branch within the ADO has been created to enable a more robust and strategic focus on activities in this area.

 

This realignment, combined with our ongoing strategy to strengthen our compliance footprint, will reinforce our ability to advance accessibility and make meaningful progress towards assuring compliance with the AODA across Ontario.

Yours,

 

Ann Hoy

Assistant Deputy Minister

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Division

Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

416 325-5247

www.ontario.ca/accessibility

 

  1. February 1, 2018 Letter from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

1929 Bayview Avenue,

Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

Email aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance www.aodaalliance.org

 

February 1, 2018

 

Via Email Tracy.MacCharles@ontario.ca

 

The Honourable Tracy MacCharles,

Minister of Accessibility and Minister of Government and Consumer Services

Office of the Minister Responsible for Accessibility

6th Floor, Mowat Block

900 Bay St,

Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

 

Dear Minister,

 

Re Seeking Updated Information on the Government’s Enforcement and Implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

 

We would appreciate specific updated data on compliance with and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, to supplement information your Ministry provided in the past.

 

This information is readily available to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario with minimal effort. This information should be helpful for you, in your work overseeing the AODA’s implementation and enforcement.

 

The information we seek will be important for the person whom your Government appoints to conduct the next Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. As you know, you are required to appoint that next AODA Independent Review within the next 12 days or less. We urge your Government to appoint this AODA Independent Review by the AODA’s deadline. Your Government failed to meet the mandatory deadline in 2013 for appointing the last AODA Independent Review. That had set a poor example for other obligated organizations who must meet AODA deadlines.

 

The June 7, 2018 Ontario election is fast approaching. We will again be raising disability accessibility issues in that election, in our non-partisan way. We would appreciate as prompt a response from you as possible, so that this information will be available to the Ontario public well before the election.

 

We would welcome the following.

 

  1. Your Government promised to make public annual AODA Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement reports. We have been unable to find an Accessibility compliance and enforcement report for 2017. The Government’s 2016 report was posted in June 2017.

 

Has the Government prepared an Accessibility compliance and enforcement report for 2017? If so, please provide it to us. If not, when will it be made public?

 

  1. By December 31, 2017, private sector organizations in Ontario with at least 20 employees had to file a third AODA Accessibility Report with the Government under s. 14 of the AODA.

 

  1. a) As of December 31, 2017, how many private sector organizations in Ontario had at least 20 employees?

 

  1. b) As of the time you answer this letter, how many private sector organizations that were required to file an AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2017, had still not filed the required 2017 AODA Accessibility Report?

 

  1. c) What percentage of the total number of private sector organizations which had been required to file an AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2017 had not filed one as of the date of your response to this letter?

 

  1. d) As of the date of your response to this letter, how many private sector organizations that were required to file an AODA accessibility report by December 31, 2017, had failed to do so, and had also failed to file a required AODA accessibility report either by December 31, 2012 or by December 31, 2014 (i.e. two-time violators)? Please state this as a number of organizations, and as a percentage of the organizations which were required to so file.

 

  1. e) As of the date of your response to this letter, how many private sector organizations that were required to file a first AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2012, a second AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2014, and a third AODA accessibility report by December 31, 2017, had not filed any of these three required reports? (i.e. three-time violators) Please state this as a number of organizations, and as a percentage of the organizations which were required to so file.

 

  1. Designated public sector organizations were all required to file their most recent AODA Accessibility Report by December 31, 2017.

 

  1. a) What number and percentage of all designated public sector organizations had filed their most recent AODA compliance report by December 31, 2017?

 

  1. b) As of the date of your response to this letter, if all had still not filed them, how many have not filed them? And what percent of designated public sector organizations that were required to file then?

 

  1. In 2016, how many private sector organizations had their place of business subject to an on-site inspection under the AODA by or on behalf of the Ontario Government? Of those:

 

  1. a) How many had under 20 employees?

 

  1. b) How many had 20-49 employees?

 

  1. c) How many had 50 or more employees?

 

  1. In 2016, how many private sector organizations were subject to an audit under the AODA by or on behalf of the Ontario Government, but with no on-site inspection of their place of business? Of those organizations:

 

  1. a) How many had under 20 employees?

 

  1. b) How many had 20-49 employees?

 

  1. c) How many had 50 or more employees?

 

  1. In 2016, how many public sector organizations were subject to an audit under the AODA by or on behalf of the Ontario Government, but with no on-site inspection of their place of business?

 

  1. In 2016, how many public sector organizations had their place of business subject to an on-site inspection under the AODA by or on behalf of the Ontario Government?

 

  1. In 2017, how many private sector organizations had their place of business subject to an on-site inspection under the AODA, by or on behalf of the Ontario Government? Of those private sector organizations:

 

  1. a) How many had under 20 employees?

 

  1. b) How many had 20-49 employees?

 

  1. c) How many had 50 or more employees?

 

  1. In 2017, how many private sector organizations were subject to an audit under the AODA by or on behalf of the Ontario Government, but with no on-site inspection of their place of business? Of those organizations:

 

  1. a) How many had under 20 employees?

 

  1. b) How many had 20-49 employees?

 

  1. c) How many had 50 or more employees?

 

  1. In 2017, how many public sector organizations had their place of business subject to an on-site inspection by or on behalf of the Ontario Government under the AODA?

 

  1. In 2017, how many public sector organizations were subject to an audit under the AODA by or on behalf of the Ontario Government, but with no on-site inspection of their place of business?

 

  1. In 2016 and in 2017 (broken down by year), for how many obligated organizations, has all or part of their website been audited or inspected by or on behalf of the Ontario Government, for compliance with AODA accessibility standards?

 

  1. a) for private sector organizations with under 50 employees

 

  1. b) for private sector organizations with 50 or more employees, and

 

  1. c) for public sector organizations.

 

  1. In 2018, at the place of business of how many obligated organizations does the Ontario Government plan to have an on-site AODA inspection?

 

  1. In 2018, how many obligated organizations does the Ontario Government plan to audit for AODA compliance, without conducting an on-site inspection of the organization’s place of business?

 

  1. In 2017, how many compliance orders were issued under the AODA?

 

  1. In 2017, how many monetary penalties were imposed under the AODA? What were their amounts? How many were against private sector organizations? How many were against public sector organizations?

 

  1. In 2017, how many times were AODA compliance orders or monetary penalties appealed to the License Appeal Tribunal?

 

  1. In 2017, how many AODA compliance orders, monetary penalties or other enforcement efforts were appealed to court? Please provide specifics of any such case or links to accessible postings of any decisions. How many such appeals or court proceedings are pending?

 

  1. In 2017, how many times has an AODA compliance order or an administrative penalty order been filed with a local Registrar of the Superior Court of Justice under s. 23 of the AODA?

 

  1. As of now, what are the numbers of:

 

  1. a) Directors appointed under s. 30 of the AODA working within the Ontario Government or under its authority?

 

  1. b) Inspectors appointed under s. 18 of the AODA employed in or on behalf of the Ontario Government?

 

  1. c) Inspectors the Government plans in the next six months to appoint under s. 18 of the AODA?

 

  1. d) Directors that the Government plans to appoint in the next six months under s. 30 of the AODA?

 

  1. What is the budget that was appropriated for the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for the fiscal year 2017-18? How much of that amount has the Directorate spent so far?

 

  1. The June 3, 2015 Toronto Star included an article, on new plans for AODA enforcement. Among other things, it stated the following, regarding complaints of AODA violations which the Government receives on its toll-free line, which the Government promised to provide for the public to report AODA violations:

 

“New monthly reports to the minister’s office on complaints will ensure systemic problems are addressed promptly, officials say.”

 

We would welcome a chance to receive copies of those monthly reports since the Government made that commitment. If it would be burdensome to receive them for that entire period, please let us know what shorter period would be feasible. If any reports contain any personal information, we do not seek access to that personal information.

 

  1. In 2016-2017, the Government hired the Leadership Intelligence consulting firm to conduct a review of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. The Accessibility Directorate is the lead Government office for the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. We request a copy of the report which Leadership Intelligence submitted on the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.

 

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not exempt from mandatory public disclosure, the advice to a minister or ministry, if, according to s. 13 (2) (f), it is:

 

”          (f)        a report or study on the performance or efficiency of an institution, whether the report or study is of a general nature or is in respect of a particular program or policy;”

 

As the chair of the AODA Alliance, the Leadership Intelligence consulting firm consulted me in late fall 2016, as part of this study. The focus of that consultation was on the performance and efficiency of the Accessibility Directorate.

 

As always, we are happy to do whatever we can, to make it as easy as possible for you to promptly provide answers. If some questions can quickly be answered, and others will take more time, we would welcome receiving the requested information in stages, rather than having to wait until it is all assembled before we see any answers.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

 

cc: Premier Kathleen Wynne, premier@ontario.ca

Marie-Lison Fougère, Deputy Minister of Accessibility, marie-lison.fougere@ontario.ca

Ann Hoy, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Accessibility Directorate, ann.hoy@ontario.ca

Steve Orsini, Secretary to Cabinet steve.orsini@ontario.ca

 

  1. March 7, 2018 Letter from Assistant Deputy Minister Ann Hoy to AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

 

DATE: March 7, 2018

 

Mr. David Lepofsky
Dear David:

 

Thank you for your February 1, 2018 email related to updates on the government’s enforcement and implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Accessibility, provided your email to me for further response. I appreciate your continued interest in making our province accessible for Ontarians with disabilities.

 

The government remains committed to providing as much information as possible to Ontarians in a timely manner. But, as you know, occasionally some information requests require further research and dedicated resources which, as a result, can take longer to compile. However, I am able to provide you with many of the updates you have requested.

 

You will be pleased to know that we published the 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report (ACER) to the government’s website at:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/about-accessibility-laws

 

ACER includes some of the information you requested in your email regarding compliance and enforcement activities undertaken in 2017, including:

 

  • Compliance reporting analysis
    • 2017 was a reporting year for every sector, including roughly 56,000 business/non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario.
    • Over 24,000 reports were submitted from business/non-profit sector organizations by the December 31 deadline, representing an increase of roughly 4,000 reports over the last reporting year in 2014.
    • By the reporting deadline, roughly 32,000 business/non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario (roughly 57%) had not filed an accessibility report.
    • Eighty-six per cent (692 of 806) of the designated public sector organizations submitted their accessibility compliance report by the reporting deadline.
  • Information about compliance activities
    • 1,746 compliance activities were conducted in 2017. These activities included Phase 1 and Phase 2 audits (described in the ACER), as well as enforcement activities conducted by an inspector.
    • Of the 1,746 overall compliance activities that took place in 2017, 16 were closed by an inspector.
      • 10 were closed without requiring enforcement measures
      • 6 Director’s Orders were issued
      • 3 of these orders contained a requirement to pay an administrative monetary penalty
      • None of these orders were appealed at the License Appeal Tribunal, in court, or filed with the local Registrar of the Superior Court of Justice.Should you have any questions about our Annual Compliance and Enforcement Report, I would be pleased to discuss.

        I believe you may find the following information, which reflects the type of breakdown of compliance and enforcement data we gather and manage, helpful. Specifically, you requested information regarding the number of audits conducted in 2016 and 2017 among designated public sector organizations (250 and 31, respectively), as well as the number of inspectors (three) and directors (three) currently appointed under the AODA.Additionally, you requested information about the budget that was appropriated for the directorate for the fiscal year 2017-18. The 2017-2018 expenditure estimates set out details of the operating and capital spending requirements of the directorate for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2017. The estimates are available online at:     Assistant Deputy MinisterAccessibility Directorate of Ontario10. Ministry 2017 Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report Posted online on March 6, 2018

      • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Division
      • Ann Hoy
      • Sincerely,
      • Again, thank you for your commitment to enhancing accessibility and promoting an inclusive Ontario.
      • I hope this letter is helpful, however I am available to discuss the items in your letter in greater detail, as well as the appropriate process for response.
      • As reflected in the 2017 ACER, the directorate continues to explore opportunities to increase its capacity and to encourage and verify compliance among obligated organizations across Ontario. To this end, the Directorate has launched a new, easier-to-use compliance reporting system. We have also put in place a contract with a third party to conduct up to 900 compliance activities in 2018.
      • https://www.ontario.ca/page/expenditure-estimates-accessibility-directorate-ontario-2017-18
      • Your email also included a request for information that, while not reflected in the 2017 ACER, includes data that is currently gathered and managed by the directorate.
      • In 2017, the directorate applied the lessons learned from the inspections pilot and continued to seek additional resources that would allow it to conduct further on-site inspections. In 2018, we look forward to having the capacity to conduct on-site inspections among non-compliant organizations.
      • Pertaining to your request for updates regarding AODA-related site visits, I can provide that in 2015-16 the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario continued to develop its inspections framework by designing and carrying out an on-site inspections pilot, further testing its processes and protocols.

Accessibility compliance and enforcement report 2017

 

 

Table of Contents

Overseeing compliance. 3

Building awareness. 3

Encouraging compliance. 3

Verifying and enforcing compliance. 5

Accessibility compliance reporting statistics for 2017. 5

Phase 1 (P1) audits. 6

Phase 2 (P2) audits. 6

Compliance plans. 8

Targeted audit blitzes. 9

Tourism blitz. 9

Manufacturing sector blitz. 9

Public feedback. 10

Pilot project to expand enforcement capacity. 10

Compliance and enforcement going forward. 10

 

 

This report outlines the activities undertaken by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2017 to oversee compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its accessibility standards.

 

Overseeing compliance

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario continued its compliance efforts in the following key areas:

  • Building awareness
    • Strategic marketing campaigns that remind organizations of their requirements.
  • Encouraging compliance
    • Conducting education and outreach activities among the 400,000 obligated organizations across the province.
  • Verifying and enforcing compliance
    • Completing compliance activities that help organizations understand and meet their requirements.
  • Compliance and enforcement going forward
    • Identifying compliance goals for 2018 that will help support the directorate’s mandate to oversee compliance and enforcement of the act and the accessibility standards.

 

Building awareness

Ontario’s accessibility laws require organizations to file accessibility compliance reports to confirm that they have met their requirements. Organizations in all sectors (i.e. businesses/non-profits with 20 or more employees, all designated public sector organizations, as well as the Ontario Public Service/Ontario Legislative Assembly) were required to submit an accessibility compliance report by December 31, 2017. This marks the first time that both private and public sectors have been required to file reports in the same year.

 

During 2017, outreach and education efforts focused on reminding businesses and non-profits with 20 or more employees and all public sector organizations of the December 31, 2017 reporting deadline. Awareness was also raised among small businesses and non-profits about their January 2018 deadline to meet their accessibility requirements under the design of public spaces standards.

 

Encouraging compliance

In 2017, the directorate also focused on helping organizations to comply with their requirements under the act, and file their accessibility compliance reports by the December 31 deadline. In the Fall, a marketing campaign targeting businesses was launched in order to raise awareness about the reporting deadline. Advertisements on business-oriented websites encouraged organizations to visit the government webpage for information on submitting an accessibility compliance report. The campaign also included search engine marketing, as well as posts on social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The directorate also communicated to organizations by:

  • Reminding businesses about the compliance reporting deadline:
    • sending over 37,000 reminder emails
    • mailing over 20,000 letters
    • making over 15,000 phone calls

 

  • Delivering 37 webinars to all obligated sectors to provide additional information and answer questions about how to submit an accessibility compliance report

 

  • Participating in over 90 events across the province such as community fairs, trade shows and business conferences

 

  • Publishing regular newsletters reaching over 7,200 subscribers:
    • a quarterly edition about what’s new in the directorate’s work
    • a monthly bulletin that highlights helpful tools and tips to meet accessibility requirements

 

In 2017, the directorate continued to work with industry/trade organizations and professional associations to generate further outreach opportunities. Thirty-one organizations worked with the directorate to circulate reminder emails, articles and other notices in various trade publications and newsletters.

 

The directorate’s dedicated help desks continued to provide assistance to the public by answering questions about the act and the accessibility standards. A large component of the assistance provided to organizations in 2017 pertained to filing accessibility compliance reports. The help desks are an important resource that thousands of organizations and individuals have used to increase their understanding of and compliance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.

 

The directorate continued to expand its reach through the EnAbling Change program in 2017. This program funds projects with industry leaders to support organizations in their compliance with the act. Through EnAbling Change, organizations from a variety of sectors are empowered to become champions of accessibility. In 2017, the directorate worked with partners on projects that ranged from promoting the compliance reporting deadline and supporting employers to comply with the accessible employment standards to fostering a cultural shift to move Ontario organizations beyond the minimum requirements of the act.

 

An additional effort undertaken in 2017 to encourage compliance was the launch of a new, easier-to-submit accessibility compliance report. The new report form was made available to the public on March 20, 2017 and was promoted to organizations throughout the year using the directorate’s regular communication channels to encourage filing. The new reporting process reduced the administrative burden on businesses by decreasing the number of steps required to file a report, and making it a downloadable form that could be shared.

 

The new form includes links to resources to help organizations understand and report on their compliance requirements. Organizations are able to access the report directly from the Government of Ontario’s Central Forms Repository or via a link on the updated Accessibility Report webpage.

 

Verifying and enforcing compliance

In addition to building awareness and helping organizations comply with the act, the directorate also verifies and enforces compliance to it. In 2017, 1,746 compliance activities were conducted. These activities included Phase 1 and Phase 2 audits, as well as enforcement activities conducted by an inspector. Phase 1 audits focus on an organization’s requirement to submit a self-certified accessibility compliance report. Phase 2 audits focus on verifying compliance with other requirements beyond reporting.

 

Accessibility compliance reporting statistics for 2017

As 2017 was a reporting year for every sector, roughly 56,000 organizations were required to submit accessibility compliance reports. Over 24,000 reports were submitted from business/non-profit sector organizations by the December 31 deadline. This represents an increase of roughly 4,000 reports over the last reporting year in 2014. The increase aligns with the directorate’s compliance and outreach efforts to work towards increasing reporting rates leading up to 2025.

 

The 2017 Accessibility Compliance Report questions asked organizations to confirm compliance with all provincial accessibility requirements. An encouraging sign is that 94% of the organizations that submitted an accessibility compliance report indicated that they are in full compliance with the act and its associated accessibility standards.

 

Among those that filed, the sectors that had the highest submission rates were:

  • manufacturing (e.g. chemical, mechanical, electrical, food and beverage)
  • retail trade
  • accommodation and food services (e.g. hotels, restaurants)

 

The sectors that had the lowest submission rates were:

  • management of companies and enterprises
  • mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction
  • utilities (e.g. electric, gas and water)

 

In 2018, the directorate will also undertake compliance activities targeting business/non-profit organizations that missed the 2017 reporting deadline.

 

Eighty-six per cent (692) of the designated public sector organizations submitted their accessibility compliance report. Reports have been received from 100% of the Government and Legislative Assembly offices required to file, including the Ontario Public Service. The directorate will continue to work with the remaining designated public sector organizations until all have met their reporting requirement.

 

Phase 1 (P1) audits

The directorate applies an assistive, progressive approach to compliance and this framework is reflected in the audits that are conducted. Organizations are provided with tools and resources to help them understand and meet their requirements through one-on-one interactions.

 

Organizations can be selected for audit whether they submit a report or not, but P1 audits centre on helping the selected organization file a compliance report. The directorate works with the organizations to ensure they understand the requirements they are being asked about in the report and provides resources if needed. Only if organizations prove uncooperative or unwilling to file would they then be escalated for additional compliance assurance activities.

 

In 2017, 1,254 audits were closed at the P1 level without needing to be escalated.

 

In conducting the P1 activities, a number of compliance trends were observed in the accessibility compliance reports, including:

  • 100% of organizations answered “yes” to providing emergency procedure or safety information to the public in an accessible format, when asked
  • 99% indicated they provide tailored emergency response information for their employees who had disabilities, when asked
  • 99% responded that they were compliant with all requirements of the Customer Service Standards

 

These compliance trends suggest that organizations are not only incorporating accessibility requirements into their general customer service, but into their health and safety practices as well.

 

Phase 2 (P2) audits

In 2017, 476 audits were closed at the P2 level. P2 audits are conducted to confirm compliance with accessibility requirements beyond the requirement to submit a compliance report. In 2017, organizations were audited on a variety of requirements across the accessibility standards. Not all organizations were audited on the same set of requirements.

 

As a modern regulator, the directorate applies a risk-based approach to regulatory oversight by focusing its compliance resources on both large and small high-risk organizations. The database considers a number of organizational factors, including previous instances of non-compliance, when assessing the risk of an organization failing to comply with the act or its related standards.

 

In 2017, P2 audits focused on the accessible employment standards listed under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, targeting many of the new requirements that came into force in 2016 for large businesses and non-profit organizations, and in 2017 for small ones.

 

Among P2 audits conducted in 2017, compliance trends identified included:

  • 93% of organizations audited demonstrated that they notify their employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in their recruitment process
  • 85% demonstrated that they provide individualized workplace emergency response information for employees with disabilities
  • 84% demonstrated that they notify successful applicants when making offers of employment of their policies for accommodating employees with disabilities

 

These audits supported Access Talent: Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities by reinforcing a foundation of accessibility in the employment and hiring practices of businesses in Ontario. The data collected was also used to help inform the legislative review of the accessible employment standards.

 

The number of audits, types of organizations and requirements reviewed vary from year to year. There are, however, four accessibility requirements that are verified year-over-year in order to identify long-term trends in compliance across all types of organizations. These requirements have been selected because they speak to the spirit of the act and are best suited to gauge the progress being made in establishing an accessible Ontario by 2025:

  • Compliance in establishing accessibility policies, developing a multi-year accessibility plan and training staff suggests that an organization has a broad understanding of its requirements and what it means to provide goods, services or facilities in an accessible way
  • Establishing a system for receiving and responding to public feedback related to accessibility reflects an organization’s preparedness and willingness to improve accessibility to goods, services or facilities in Ontario

 

In 2016, a selection of small organizations from the business/non-profit sector was audited on three foundational requirements. Their rates of compliance were:

  • develop accessibility policies: 64%
  • provide accessibility training: 63%
  • establish a method to receive and respond to public feedback on accessibility: 92%

 

In 2016, organizations from the designated public sector were audited on the foundational requirement to develop a multi-year accessibility plan. Their rate of compliance was 66%.

 

In 2017, a selection of large organizations from the business/non-profit sector was audited on three foundational requirements. Their rates of compliance were:

  • provide accessibility training: 63%
  • establish a method to receive and respond to public feedback on accessibility: 87%
  • develop a multi-year accessibility plan: 67%

 

In 2017, organizations from the designated public sector were audited on the foundational requirement to develop accessibility policies. This marked the first year in which organizations from this sector were required to have accessibility policies in place that address each of the accessibility standards. In many cases, organizations audited on this requirement had policies in place that needed to be updated to include the requirements of standards that had only recently taken effect, which resulted in a 40% compliance rate overall.

 

In 2018, the directorate will work with organizations from the designated public sector to increase their rate of compliance with this requirement.

 

Compliance plans

When organizations selected for audit are found to be non-compliant, the directorate negotiates a compliance plan that outlines the steps the organizations must take, and the timelines for completion. In 2017, 9% (115) of the 1,254 P1 audits that were closed involved a negotiated compliance plan. Twenty-six per cent (125) of 476 P2 audits that were closed included a negotiated compliance plan.

 

Organizations selected for a P2 audit that are found to be non-compliant and that fail to implement the steps outlined in their compliance plan are referred to an inspector. An inspector gathers information from the organization for the purposes of recommending enforcement measures to a director. Enforcement measures established under the act include executing search warrants, issuing Director’s Orders to comply, levying administrative monetary penalties and prosecution.

 

Of the 1,746 overall compliance activities that took place in 2017, 16 were closed by an inspector. Of those organizations:

  • 10 were closed without requiring enforcement measures
  • 6 Director’s Orders were issued
  • 3 of these orders contained a requirement to pay an administrative monetary penalty
  • none of these orders were appealed

 

Targeted audit blitzes

Targeted audit blitzes are conducted each year to verify compliance with specific requirements in a particular sector. In 2017, the directorate met its goal of conducting two targeted audit blitzes. These included 149 organizations from the tourism sectors (arts/entertainment/food services) and 142 organizations from the manufacturing sector.

 

Tourism blitz

In anticipation of Ontario businesses experiencing an increase in tourism resulting from Canada’s 150 anniversary activities, a review of the accessibility compliance in the arts/entertainment/food services sector was conducted. Organizations from these sectors contributed to the tourist experience and helped ensure that people of all abilities could participate in the province’s celebrations.

 

This blitz focused on three customer service-related Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation requirements and brought encouraging results.

 

Out of 149 organizations audited as part of this blitz:

  • 91% indicated compliance with the requirement to establish a process for reviewing and responding to feedback and ensuring that the process was accessible to people with disabilities
  • 70% indicated compliance with the requirement to provide staff with training on the accessibility standards and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to people with disabilities
  • 92% indicated compliance with the requirement to provide service to people using a service animal and/or support person

 

Manufacturing sector blitz

A targeted blitz among organizations from the manufacturing sector was conducted in 2017. This sector was selected due to the concentration of organizations that have both a high number of employees and have been identified as higher risk of non-compliance with the act and the accessibility standards due to previous incidents of non-compliance.

 

This blitz focused on three of the requirements of the accessible employment standards, in order to help support a foundation of accessibility being established in the manufacturing sector’s employment practices.

 

Out of 142 organizations audited as part of this blitz:

  • 95% were found compliant with the requirement to notify their employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the staff recruitment process
  • 87% were found compliant with the requirement to inform employees of their policies to support employees with disabilities
  • 91% were found compliant with the requirement to provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who had a disability

 

Public feedback

The directorate continues to promote and monitor the single point of contact phone number that the public can use to receive information about the act, request compliance assistance and provide feedback or complaints related to the act. This feedback is recorded, and while the directorate does not specifically investigate individual complaints, the information is used to identify trends and inform official legislative reviews, as well as outreach and compliance activities. In 2017, 203 comments related to the act were received.

 

Out of these interactions the top three categories were:

  • customer service
  • design of public spaces
  • employment

 

Pilot project to expand enforcement capacity

In 2017, the directorate explored options to expand our capacity to verify and enforce compliance with the act. The directorate is committed to building new and innovative ways to enhance our compliance and outreach activities among the more than 400,000 obligated organizations in Ontario. A service provider was successfully identified in 2017 that will provide support services in 2018 to help expand the directorate’s compliance activities.

 

Compliance and enforcement going forward

Compliance activities conducted in 2017 show that organizations continue to embrace the message of accessibility. The activities continued a growth in awareness and willingness to comply with the act and the accessibility standards on the part of obligated organizations across the province.

 

Public education initiatives conducted in 2017 once again demonstrated that organizations benefit from practical and tailored information about accessibility compliance. The directorate will continue to provide this help to its stakeholders through:

  • webinars
  • regular monthly bulletins
  • targeted partnerships to reach specific sectors

 

In 2018, compliance and enforcement activities will be conducted for the purposes of:

  • increasing the rate of accessibility compliance report filing among organizations with 20 or more employees
  • raising awareness among obligated organizations of their requirements under the act
  • verifying compliance and conducting enforcement activities among a greater number of organizations

 

To achieve these goals, the directorate will:

  • continue to promote the availability of free compliance resources
  • increase its compliance efforts across public and private sectors
  • work with a third-party service provider to expand compliance activities
  • continue to audit the four foundational accessibility requirements in order to identify trends in compliance across all types of organizations

 

In publishing this Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report, the directorate is demonstrating its commitment to communicate the results of its efforts to increase compliance with the act and the provincial accessibility standards. If you have any questions about the details outlined in this report, please refer to the contact information link on this webpage to connect with compliance staff at the directorate who can assist you.

 

Organizations that are experiencing challenges complying with the act are reminded to visit Ontario.ca/Accessibility to find information on obligations, and access multiple tools and resources to help with compliance.

 

Thank you to the many thousands of organizations that have worked with the directorate to make accessibility part of their business practices. Please continue to spread the word to help reach the goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.

 

 

The Wynne Government’s Plan for a New Courthouse in Downtown Toronto Has Significant Accessibility Problems – Yet In the 2014 Election, the Wynne Government Promised Never to Use Public Money to Create New Disability Barriers

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

 

The Wynne Government’s Plan for a New Courthouse in Downtown Toronto Has Significant Accessibility Problems – Yet In the 2014 Election, the Wynne Government Promised Never to Use Public Money to Create New Disability Barriers

 

April 9, 2018

 

          SUMMARY

 

Here is more proof that Ontario needs strong new action now to ensure that our built environment becomes accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Back on October 5, 2017, the AODA Alliance wrote Ontario’s Attorney General, to raise serious concerns about the Wynne Government’s plans to build a huge new courthouse in the middle of downtown Toronto, without effectively ensuring that this facility has full accessibility for court participants and attendees with disabilities. As a result of our efforts, on March 14, 2018, the Government commendably held a consultation on the proposed design for this courthouse, with representatives from the disability community, including from the AODA Alliance. At this meeting, the Government shared the drawings for this new courthouse which the Government has selected after a competitive bidding process.

 

At this meeting, the disability community representatives quickly identified a number of significant accessibility problems with the proposed design of the building. On April 6, 2018, the AODA Alliance again wrote the Attorney General for Ontario. We set out that letter below. In it, we describe a number of the serious accessibility problems that the Government was told about at this consultation meeting. The Attorney General has not yet responded to our earlier October 5, 2017 letter. We await word from the Government on what it plans to do to alter the design of the New Toronto Courthouse to address our accessibility concerns. Our feedback is now being studied.