October 19, 2016
1. Come to Upcoming Accessibility Public Forums in St. John’s Newfoundland (November 4), Burlington (November 6), and Whitby (November 12)
The grassroots AODA Express is continuing to blaze its tireless community-organizing trail across the land! Here is what is coming next. If you are in the neighbourhood, please plan to climb aboard. Help us press to make Ontario fully accessible to all people with disabilities by 2025, as the AODA requires. The announcements set out below list the accommodations such as American Sign Language to be provided at these events, and how to RSVP.
* On Friday, November 4, 2016 from 2 to 4 pm, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky will speak at a public forum on the need for strong provincial and federal accessibility in St. John’s Newfoundland. In October 2015, a similar presentation in Vancouver BC led to the launch of the highly-successful Barrier-Free BC. See the announcement for this event, below.
* On Sunday, November 6, 2016, from 2 to 4pm, an AODA accessibility public forum will be held in Burlington Ontario. Below is the announcement for this event.
* On Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon, an AODA accessibility public forum will take place at the Abilities Centre in Whitby Ontario. The announcement for this event is also set out below.
Please spread the word about these events on the internet, by social media, and even by talking in person to people!
So how has the AODA Express been doing so far? Last month, two new regional groups of the AODA Alliance were born, as a result of highly successful accessibility public forums. On September 19, 2016, the Ottawa Region of the AODA Alliance was launched. On September 30, 2016, the London Region of the AODA Alliance got its official send-off. These add to the AODA Alliance ‘s Kingston, Windsor, Peel and Toronto/York University Regions that were launched at other accessibility public forums earlier this year.
We extend a huge thank-you to all those who have helped us organize these public forums, who came to these forums, and who have signed up to become active in our various regions of the AODA Alliance.
2. Tell Us About Accessibility Barriers You Face Using Public Transportation Services in Ontario
The Wynne Government is currently conducting a review of the Transportation Accessibility Standard that it enacted in June 2011. The AODA requires the Government to appoint a new Standards Development Committee to review that accessibility standard within five years after it was first enacted, to recommend any improvements needed.
Last year, the Wynne Government appointed a new Transportation Accessibility Standard to get input from the public and develop recommendations for any needed improvements to the Transportation Accessibility Standard. We learned about this from the grapevine, not from the Wynne Government. We understand that the Transportation Accessibility Standard has been working over this past year, but it has not reached out to us, or to our knowledge, to the disability community at large, to get input on the accessibility barriers that people with disabilities still face in public transportation in Ontario.
Even though it has not asked us for our input, we plan to prepare a brief on accessibility barriers in public transportation in Ontario. We want your input to help with this.
Please email us at email@example.com Tell us if you still face any accessibility barriers in Ontario when using conventional public transit, para-transit, taxi services or any other public transportation that the Ontario Government can regulate. This does not include air travel. The Federal Government is responsible for air travel.
Tell us if you have found that public transportation in Ontario has become fully accessible and barrier-free since the Government enacted the Transportation Accessibility Standard back in 2011. Let us know any ideas you have on how it could be improved. Please send us your thoughts by email by November 15, 2016.
This past summer we learned through an odd series of events that in March 2015, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, part of the Ontario Government, hired the KPMG consulting firm to do a study on accessibility barriers in three areas, transportation, health care and education in Ontario. We got the Wynne Government to give us copies of those reports. You can find them on the AODA Alliance website. They are very long.
To download the KPMG 2015 report on accessibility barriers in public transportation in Ontario in an accessible MS Word format.
We have not yet completed an analysis of that report. However, we disagree with the conclusion in its executive summary, which KPMG expresses as follows:
“This report highlights emerging trends, issues and priority issues that have been identified as the key topics to shape accessible transportation policy in the years ahead. While many of these issues are not covered by Ontario’s current AODA transportation standard, research related to the other jurisdictions examined illustrates that Ontario is either a leader or on par amongst its peers.”
In fact, public transportation accessibility in Ontario lags behind the U.S., and is certainly not on par with those south of our border.
3. Remember to Take Part in the Federal Government’s Public Consultation Now Underway on What to Include in the Promised Canadians with Disabilities Act
It is important for as many individuals and community organizations as possible to take part in the current public consultation that the Federal Government is conducting up to the end of February, 2017, on what to include in the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act. For details on the locations, dates and times of these events, check out the Federal Government’s website.
Also, keep up to date on the efforts of Barrier-Free Canada, advocating for a strong, effective Canadians with Disabilities Act.
Please widely distribute and make lots of use of the two great new easy-to-use summaries that Barrier-Free Canada has produced, on what we need the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act to include. We apologize that an earlier AODA Alliance Update had incorrect links for these documents. Here are links that, we pray, will work quite well!
First, for those of you who want ideas at a quick glance, Barrier-Free Canada has written a short 2-page leaflet. It gives you a punchy easy-to-use list of the most important ideas.
The second document is a more detailed 12-page Tip sheet. It gives more ideas. If you don’t have much time, or just want the key points, we encourage you to use the shorter 2-page leaflet. You can download these two documents as accessible MS Word documents.
To download Barrier-Free Canada’s new 2-page leaflet on what the promised new federal accessibility law should include, in an accessible MS Word format.
To download Barrier-Free Canada’s 12-page Tip sheet on the Canadians with Disabilities Act.
The AODA Alliances the provincial affiliate in Ontario of Barrier-Free Canada. We encourage you to feel free to use Barrier-Free Canada’s ideas, and even borrow their words, if you want.
You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to: email@example.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.
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
Announcement of the November 4, 2016 Accessibility Public Forum in St. John’s Newfoundland
Originally posted at https://www.facebook.com/events/1189043204502109/
Forum on Disability Accessibility in Our Community
Hosted by CNIB Atlantic INCA atlantique
Friday, November 4 at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM in UTC-02:30
70 the Blvd, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador A1A 1K2
Would you like to help four million Canadians with disabilities tear down the many accessibility barriers that impede them from getting full access to jobs, public transit, education and all that our society has to offer its residents?
Join David Lepofsky, life-long disability rights advocate, blind lawyer, and chair of the non-partisan grassroots Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, for a public discussion. Everyone is welcome!
David is also a member of the steering committee and former co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, a non-partisan coalition now campaigning to win the Canadians with Disabilities Act. From 1994 to 2005, He led the fight to win enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Announcement of the November 6, 2016 Burlington Ontario Accessibility Public Forum
Questions, or for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Town Hall/Public Forum on Disability Accessibility in Our Community
Ramping Up Action on Disability Accessibility
When: Sunday November 6, 2016 2 to 4 pm.
Where: Burlington Lions Club, 471 Pearl St. Burlington
Would you like to help four million Canadians with disabilities tear down the many accessibility barriers that impede them from getting full access to jobs, public transit, education and all that our society has to offer its residents? We encourage all to attend. This event is open to the general public. We want you to come, whether you have a disability, or know someone who has a disability, or could get a disability later in life. That includes everyone!
Mr. David Lepofsky, life-long disability rights advocate, blind lawyer, and chair of the non-partisan grassroots Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance. He is also a member of the steering committee and former co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, a non-partisan coalition now campaigning to win the Canadians with Disabilities Act. From 1994 to 2005, David Lepofsky led the fight to win enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). In the early 1980s, he took active part in successful campaigns to get disability equality included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code. As well, he is chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Toronto District School Board. He is now a visiting professor of legal ethics and public interest advocacy at the Osgoode Hall Law School.
“It was through grassroots public forums and meetings like this that we won the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005, and it will be through these kinds of events, and the tenacious energy that bursts from them, that we will get action moving for full accessibility,” says David Lepofsky. “Each person can help, and we’ll give you the action tips so you can quickly make a real difference.”
At this event, you can:
- Learn what progress has been made in Ontario, and why Ontario is lagging behind schedule for reaching full accessibility by 2025, the deadline that Ontario law requires
- Find out about the campaign for the Canadians with Disabilities Act, a national law which Canadians with disabilities promised by the Federal Government
- Explore the priorities for action on accessibility in the next months
- Share your experience with accessibility barriers
- Find out how you can get involved, and help the cause, while meeting others who are fired up about this important issue!
RSVP: While not required in order to attend, we would appreciate it if you would Please RSVP to email@example.com
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The venue is wheelchair accessible, and American Sign Language Interpreters will be in attendance.
If you need any accommodation, we will do our best to help. Please contact us to notify us of any accommodation requests no later than October 28 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcement of the November 12, 2016 Durham Region AODA Accessibility Public Forum in Whitby, Ontario
Durham Region Accessibility Forum – BE THERE!
It’s time to get active
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, AODA, must get back on track. Progress is currently sluggish. The legislation was passed in 2005 and while there have been some successes, unless the government moves more quickly and effectively to implement and enforce this Act, Ontario will not reach its target of full accessibility by 2025, as mandated in the legislation.
This event will be hosted by Scott Bremner, former host of “DurAbility” and David Lepofsky, AODA Alliance Chair.
At this gathering, you will learn how to take part in the campaign to get things moving again.
We will also discuss efforts to help the federal government keep its promise to enact the Canadians with Disabilities Act.
When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Where: Abilities Centre – 55 Gordon Street
Whitby, Ontario L1N 0J2
Time: 10am – 12pm
Other: Multi-Purpose Room, 2nd floor; Real-time captioning, ASL interpreters and Personal Care attendants will be available for those who need these services.
R.S.V.P to DRaccessforum@yahoo.com