September 13, 2016
Below is TTC’s web announcement of its 2016 Annual Public Forum on Accessible Transit. It will be held on the evening of September 15, 2016. We encourage anyone in the Toronto area to come to this event and raise accessibility problems you have experienced on the TTC. With the Federal and Ontario Governments promising to spend more and more public money on infrastructure, including on public transit, it is important to shine the light on accessibility issues that continue to plague people with disabilities on public transit in Canada’s biggest city.
Also, contact your local media and encourage them to attend. Video record or photograph barriers on TTC you have experienced. Send them to the media. Publicize them on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Use the ever-popular hashtag #AODAfail in tweets about these barriers, as part of our “Picture Our Barriers” campaign.
Commendably, TTC is also streaming the event live, but only for those who pre-register for this event. Check out details below in the TTC announcement.
We plan to attend this event and to “live tweet” during it. We will use the hashtag #TTCAccess. That is the hashtag TTC has used in recent years. You can search on that phrase on Twitter and follow all the tweets that evening, if you can’t yourself attend.
This TTC Public Forum originated in 2008 as a result of the 2007 Human Rights Tribunal order in Lepofsky v. TTC #2. The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ordered TTC to hold one such event per year for the three years after the Tribunal ruled against TTC in Lepofsky v. TTC #2.
After starting to hold these events, to its credit, TTC decided to keep holding these events once per year, even though TTC originally opposed David Lepofsky when he asked the Tribunal to make this order. Below we set out more background on that case.
Since 2011, TTC and all public transit providers in Ontario are required by law to hold a similar event each year in your community under section 41(2) of the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation, enacted under the AODA. Ask your public transit provider when they are planning to hold their annual public forum on accessible transit. If your public transit authority has not done so, please contact Tracy MacCharles, the Ontario cabinet minister responsible for enforcing the AODA, to ask that this provision be strictly enforced. That section provides:
“41(2) Every conventional transportation service provider shall annually hold at least one public meeting involving persons with disabilities to ensure that they have an opportunity to participate in a review of the accessibility plan and that they are given the opportunity to provide feedback on the accessibility plan.”
Let us know if your public transit authority in Ontario is holding a similar event this year, or did so last year. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There has always been a great turnout of hundreds of people at TTC’s public forums on accessible transit. Each wants a chance at the microphone to tell their story. Unfortunately, TTC each year uses up far too much time, as much as a third of the time in some instances, making speeches on what a great job TTC says it’s doing on accessibility. We have urged TTC to keep those speeches down to five or ten minutes, maximum, to give as much time as possible to the attendees to speak, since they made the effort to come to this event. We hope TTC will listen this time.
Under the Human Rights Tribunal’s order, all TTC Commissioners were required to attend each public forum. Since that order expired, many if not most TTC Commissioners have skipped these events. This is wrong. TTC set the forum’s date. Its Commissioners should be able to make it. If hundreds of people with disabilities take the time out of their busy day to come to speak to the Commissioners, the least that those TTC Commissioners can do is to themselves take the time to show up to this TTC community event and listen to the front-line experiences of TTC riders with disabilities.
Also, remember to plan to attend one of the upcoming Accessibility Public Forums in your community including:
* Ottawa Monday, September 19, 2016 from 1:30 to 3:30
* London Friday, September 30, from 2 to 4 pm, and
* Whitby/Durham region from 10 a.m. to noon.
For more information about these events, and how to RSVP and request any needed accommodations.
You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at email@example.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.www.aodaalliance.org/2016
To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Please “like” our Facebook page and share our updates.
Follow us on Twitter. Get others to follow us. And please re-tweet our tweets!! @AODAAlliance
Please also join the campaign for a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act, spearheaded by Barrier-Free Canada. The AODA Alliance is proud to be the Ontario affiliate of Barrier-Free Canada. Sign up for Barrier-Free Canada updates by emailing info@BarrierFreeCanada.org