AODA Alliance Writes Premier Ford to Ask for a Meeting and AODA Alliance to Appear Tomorrow on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

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

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

AODA Alliance Writes Premier Ford to Ask for a Meeting and AODA Alliance to Appear Tomorrow on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”

November 27, 2019

          SUMMARY

1. AODA Alliance Seeks a Meeting with Premier Doug Ford

On November 26, 2019, the AODA Alliance wrote Premier Doug Ford to ask for a meeting with him. That letter is set out below.

We have never before met with Premier Ford. We are eager to ask him to speed up action on the AODA’s implementation. We wish to emphasize that there is a pressing need for his leadership on the accessibility issue. We had meetings with each of the past Ontario premiers who have been in power since the AODA Alliance was formed in 2005, Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.

2. Tune Into TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Tomorrow Night to See an Interview Focusing on the 25th Anniversary of the Birth of the Grassroots AODA Movement

We encourage you to watch TVO’s leading public affairs show “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” at 8 or 11 pm on November 28, 2019. Get others to watch!

The program will include a 20 minute interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and Thea Kurdi, an expert accessibility consultant who is the vice president of DesignAble Environments. The interview was recorded on November 26, 2019.

Based on past practice, we expect that this interview will be posted on Youtube shortly after it goes to air, and will eventually have captioning. We will circulate the link once we get it.

We thank TVO, including The Agenda with Steve Paikin, for again focusing attention on our accessibility campaign. The “hook” for this story is the fact that this Friday is the 25th anniversary of the birth of the grassroots movement that has campaigned for strong accessibility for people with disabilities in Ontario.

As of today, 300 days have passed since the Ontario Government received the final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. We are still waiting for the Ontario Government to announce a plan to implement that report.

          MORE DETAILS

Text of the November 26, 2019 Letter from the AODA Alliance to Premier Doug Ford

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

1929 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

Email: aodafeedback@gmail.com

Visit: www.aodalliance.org

November 26, 2019

Via Email: doug.ford@ontariopc.com

To: Hon. Doug Ford, Premier

Room 281, Legislative Building

Queen’s Park

Toronto, Ontario

M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Ford,

RE: Ensuring Ontario Becomes Fully Accessible to Over 2 Million Ontarians with Disabilities by 2025

I write on behalf of the AODA Alliance. We are a widely-recognized non-partisan grassroots community coalition that advocates for accessibility for over 2 million Ontarians with disabilities.

We write to request a meeting with you. We seek your help.

Ontario is now falling further and further behind the goal of becoming accessible to Ontarians with disabilities by 2025. That is the deadline that all Ontario’s political parties voted to enshrine in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005. Ontarians with disabilities are too often losing out, as do Ontario’s businesses that lose the chance to benefit from Ontarians with disabilities as their customers and employees.

This troubling state of affairs is amply documented in the Government-appointed Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. He found that Ontario remains full of “soul crushing” barriers facing people with disabilities, and that the goal of full accessibility is nowhere in sight.

Your Government received Mr. Onley’s report on January 31, 2019, ten months ago. It has announced no plan to implement that report’s constructive recommendations.

When we have written you over the past months, your office has referred us back to the Accessibility Minister, Raymond Cho. We have met a number of times with Minister Cho and his officials. He and his ministry do not have the responsibility and authority to take a good number of the key actions that are needed. It is the Premier whose action and leadership we need.

Three successive Independent Reviews of the AODA’s implementation have been conducted. The first reported in 2010. The second reported in 2014. The third, by David Onley, reported earlier this year. They all called for Ontario’s Premier to show new leadership on this issue. We regret that neither of the two previous premiers showed the leadership that over 2 million Ontarians with disabilities need. We are turning to you to make the difference we need.

We are eager to meet with you to discuss this, and offer constructive ideas on how to make the progress that Ontarians need. Everyone in Ontario either has a disability now, or is bound to get one later in life as they age. They all need your leadership and your help on this important issue.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to an opportunity to meet in person. We would be delighted if you wished Minister Cho or any other of your colleagues to be part of a meeting with us.

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

The Hon. Raymond Cho Minister for Accessibility and Seniors Raymond.cho@ontario.ca

Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Christine.elliott@ontario.ca