AODA Alliance Writes Ontario’s Accessibility Minister to Requested Updated Information on the Wynne Government’s Implementation and Enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

February 1, 2018

SUMMARY

On February 1, 2018, the AODA Alliance wrote Ontario’s Accessibility Minister, Tracy MacCharles. This letter, set out below, asks the Minister to give us updated information on the Government’s implementation and enforcement of the AODA.

As our letter emphasizes, we and the public need this information, as a provincial election is fast approaching. As well, the Government is required to appoint the next Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation and enforcement within the next 13 days, if not sooner. That Independent Review will need the information as we ask for in this letter.

The Government has given us similar information in the past. At times, we have had to resort to a Freedom of Information application to force its disclosure. On other occasions, the Government gave us the requested information without requiring a Freedom of Information application.

The Government now has just 6 years and 11 months to lead Ontario to become fully accessible to people with disabilities. Stay tuned for more AODA Alliance Updates on the accessibility issues that will arise in the upcoming Ontario election. We always welcome your feedback on the issues you think should be raised with the political parties, on the topic of disability accessibility. Email your ideas to us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

MORE DETAILS

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

For More Information About the AODA Alliance

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

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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/

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