Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance
United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Five Different Disability Barriers in the Recent Media – But Where is Premier Ford?
November 18, 2022
In any week, the AODA Alliance gets a call, email, text message or tweet from a news reporter, who is working on a story about yet another disability barrier. Here are five examples from just the past few weeks, including:
The November 15, 2022 report on Global News about the mother of a student with disabilities who still must sit in her car all day, parked in front of her child’s school, to help her daughter go to the bathroom, because her school board has not effectively accommodated her child’s obvious disability-related needs. The Ford Government has announced no actions whatsoever to implement any of the reforms recommended in the final report of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee which the Government received fully 294 days ago.
The October 30, 2022 report on CBC’s flagship nationwide news report “The National” on the failure of some drug stores to provide accessible prescription drug labels for customers with vision loss. The Ford Government has been sitting for years on the final report of the Information and Communication Standards Development Committee on the need to strengthen the Information and Communication Accessibility Standard enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
The November 4, 2022 report in the online news publication “Capital Current” on the dangers to people with disabilities which the Ford Government created by allowing cities like Ottawa to unleash the silent menace of electric scooters, driven by unlicensed, untrained and uninsured joy-riders.
The September 17, 2022 City News report on Canada’s Wonderland charging a customer with a disability for renting a power wheelchair on the park grounds. The Ford Government has been in direct violation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act for almost one and a half years. It has not fulfilled its duty under the AODA to appoint a Standards Development Committee to review the weak Customer Service Accessibility Standard that is in place in Ontario. For more in this, take a look at the AODA Alliance website’s customer service page.
The October 6, 2022 City news report on the danger to pedestrians in Toronto posed by the city’s ongoing failure to fix a sign pole that was leaning at head level into ta sidewalk pedestrian’s path of travel. The Ford Government’s ongoing failure to enact a comprehensive Built Environment Accessibility Standard contributes to the presence of dangerous disability barriers like this in the built environment. Drop in on the AODA Alliance website’s built environment page to get more on this issue.
One troubling theme cuts across all these stories: The Ford Government is failing to effectively live up to its duty to lead Ontario to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. That deadline is only 775 days away. We are still waiting for some sort of plan of action from the Ford Government. Premier Ford’s Minister for Accessibility Raymond Cho, and Ford himself, have never even answered our requests since the June 2022 election for a meeting. Premier Ford has refused every request from us to meet since he took office in 2018.
Send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org Let the media know about the disability barriers you face. Reports like these help us keep up the pressure for reform.
Global News November 15, 2022
Originally posted at https://globalnews.ca/news/9281262/toronto-mother-van-school-accessibility/
Toronto mother spends days in van outside school in effort to provide accessibility
By Caryn Lieberman Global News
Action at last for a Toronto family. Last month, Global News brought you the story of a student with disabilities requiring special assistance while at school. Her mother stepped in, and, as Caryn Lieberman reports, there is finally hope for change.
For nearly three months, Toronto mother Michelle Cousins has spent her days outside her daughter’s high school inside the family van in case she is needed to help out with a trip to the bathroom.
“She just wanted a normal experience and a part of that is using the elevator, a part of that is going to the bathroom without it being a big deal and preserving her own safety and her dignity as well,” said Cousins.
Fourteen-year-old Colette Cousins has arthrogryposis, which causes joint stiffness. She uses a wheelchair.
Cousins spends six hours a day, Monday to Friday, in the van parked around the corner and Colette sends her a text message when she needs assistance.
“I think she’s the best mom in the world because no other parent would do this for their child,” said Colette.
As Cousins explained it, educational assistants should be helping Colette in the bathroom, but it is not always possible if there is not a sufficient number of staff on hand.
In addition, Cousins said the mechanical lift, which is available in the school bathroom, is not the best option for her daughter.
“Someone has to remove her undergarments for her. She’s exposed. If we were in a situation where she had to do that for sure, we would come to terms with that but she she’s never known that,” she explained.
The teen attends Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School.
Her mother told Global News in October that for two years she researched schools in Toronto in order to ensure they found the right one for Colette.
“The whole thing is maintaining my daughter’s dignity and if she can do this, going to the bathroom, if she can do it, maintaining her dignity and her modesty while keeping herself safe and her caregivers safe, that is what we should be doing,” she said.
Despite first sharing her story publicly last month, Cousins said no one from the school board reached out to her.
“When you have a mom that’s digging in her heels, that’s a sign that something’s wrong and if something’s wrong, they should have said, ‘OK, let’s put the brakes on here and find out what’s wrong’,” she said, adding, “Nobody contacted me, not even my trustee contacted me.”
In an email last month, a spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic District School Board stated, “While we are unable to speak to the specifics of individual cases due to privacy laws, the school has an elevator, accessible washroom and an operable hoyer lift. Support staff are also available and assigned as needed to assist any student that may require accommodations.”
One disability advocate called this a “classic case of government inaction.”
David Lepofsky, the chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, said he gives a failing grade to both the education ministry and the school boards in Ontario for insufficient accommodations for students with disabilities.
“It’s outrageous. Too many parents of students with disabilities have to battle school boards one at a time just to get basic accommodations,” said Lepofsky.
“Our government has in hand a comprehensive road map and report on how to make our school system effectively serving students with disabilities … and yet parents have to battle these barriers.”
Lepofsky was on the provincially-appointed Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) Education Standards Development Committee that, he said, “wrote the road map for how to fix this.”
“The Ford government has had our report in its hands and our roadmap for over half a year and they’ve done nothing with it. They have announced nothing and the result is that moms like this are left to have to battle one school board at a time, one barrier at a time and kids with disabilities deserve better,” he said.
Lepofsky is calling for an internal appeal system in every school board that can intervene and fix accessibility problems and he would like to see the Ministry of Education prepared to intervene when needed.
“School boards need the leadership of the ministry. But even if the Ministry of Education fails to show leadership and that’s what’s happening with Stephen Lecce right now, school boards should show their own leadership by taking this comprehensive blueprint and reform report and implementing it themselves,” he added.
Grace Lee, spokesperson for Education Minister Stephen Lecce, told Global News in a statement the government has funded the hiring of nearly 7,000 additional education workers and increased funding for special education “to the highest levels ever recorded.”
“While resources, funding and staffing is increasing, we expect all boards to ensure students are accommodated and respected while in Ontario schools,” said Lee in her statement.
Despite not receiving a call from the school board, or her school trustee, Cousins said there is progress and she is hopeful her daughter will soon have the appropriate accommodation in the school bathroom.
“I was on a call with the school and superintendent of special education and part of it was an update to sort of see where we’re at and where we’re going. I updated them on my pursuit, if you will, of the appropriate commode and transfer board for Collette and I’ve managed to identify that and I’ve been working to get it ready,” she explained.
Cousins will then move on to training the staff to help Colette use the new equipment.
That could take another three weeks.
“By the time it gets handed off to the school, it’ll be Dec. 5,” said Cousins, who intend to remain in her van until the process is complete.
After that, she said, she plans to tackle elevator accessibility issues at the school.
“As of right now, she can’t use it because it’s not updated to like a fob system … that was something that was recommended back on June 21 and by the sounds of it, nothing was done.”
Colette said her mother is fighting this battle, not only for her, but for all children living with disabilities.
“To make sure that disabled kids get the education and the freedom that they need to be more independent in the future because school is all about learning independence,” she said.
CBC National News October 30, 2022
Originally posted at https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/audio-drug-prescription-labels-1.6629460
This blind man has been fighting for years to get ‘talking prescriptions’ at his local pharmacy | HealthGO PUBLIC
After hearing from Go Public, Rexall says it will provide audio drug labels on ‘case by case basis’
Carolyn Dunn CBC News
A man, standing in a bathroom, holds open the door to a medicine cabinet, revealing about a dozen bottles and packages of prescription drugs.
Dean Steacy, who is blind, shows an array of medications he takes daily. He is lobbying Rexall to provide audible prescriptions for those with vision loss and other print-reading disabilities. (Stephane Richer/CBC)
Dean Steacy has been fighting for five years to get his local Rexall drugstore to adopt “talking prescription label” technology.
The Gatineau, Que., man has been blind for 17 years, takes insulin and up to 10 pills daily for diabetes and related conditions.
He sometimes has to rely on others to help him manage his medications. The lack of independence “kind of takes away part of your dignity,” he told Go Public.
And, because he can’t see his prescriptions, he’s always at risk of taking too much, too little, or even the wrong medications. An insulin mistake, Steacy says, can have grave consequences.
“If I take too much of that, or not enough of it, I can go into diabetic shock or hypoglycemia.”
He says it’s also a struggle to make sure he gets and can reorder the right medication.
That’s where ScripTalk comes in; a technology that uses a radio frequency chip attached to the bottom of a prescription bottle. It has the same information as a prescription label, including dosage, instructions, warnings and the number of refills, which can be read aloud by a reader or smartphone.
It has been available in Canada since 2010.
Steacy has been lobbying Rexall to adopt the technology since 2017.
Though he was repeatedly assured the chain was considering his request, Rexall didn’t make any progress for five years. By June, Rexall had informed ScripTalk it would not be adopting its technology after all, which Steacy heard about through his involvement in an advocacy group for people with sight loss.
After Go Public got involved, Rexall changed its position, saying in a statement its handling of Steacy’s request “fell short” of its standards and vowing to renew its efforts.
“We are currently working with Mr. Steacy to implement a solution. Rexall is reviewing the use of this technology on a case by case basis,” the company said.
A ScripTalk reader is seen with an assortment of prescription bottles and the box it is sold in.
ScripTalk uses radio frequency chips to read prescription information aloud through a reader or smartphone. (En-Vision America)
Separately, in late August, the chain promised Steacy that his local Rexall — on Laurier Avenue West in Ottawa — would be accommodating his request for ScripTalk.
Twelve weeks later, he is still waiting. Rexall did not respond to further questions from Go Public about the delay.
Disability rights expert and lawyer David Lepofsky is frustrated by the situation.
“I am appalled, but not surprised that it takes the media to focus the spotlight before somebody decides that this practice needs to be fixed.”
Steacy’s fight has been waged elsewhere in Canada.
In 2014, the B.C. advocacy group Access for Sight Impaired Consumers (ASIC) filed a human rights complaint against Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart.
A man with thinning grey hair, in a polo shirt, stands in front of wooden kitchen cabinets.
Rob Sleath is the chairman of Access for Sight Impaired Consumers, which filed a human rights complaint against Shopper’s Drug Mart in B.C. (CBC)
The group accused the pharmacy chains of dispensing prescription medication in a non-accessible format, because they were using printed labels only.
Rob Sleath, the group’s chair, is a kidney transplant recipient and blind. The issue was personal for him; he was taking more than a dozen medications and was struggling to keep them all straight.
He headed ASIC’s complaint, which settled in 2016 with a compromise.
A new technology is making medication safer for patients who have trouble reading the small print on their prescription labels, but not all pharmacies are offering it to customers who say they want it and need it.
Shoppers Drug Mart agreed to offer talking prescriptions via a “central fill” system which means, instead of the medications being prepared on demand at the local pharmacy, they are filled off site with the talking prescription technology. That can take up to two business days. Then they can be picked up or delivered.
Because of that delay, Sleath considers the settlement only a “partial victory” — and still discriminatory.
“If you have some sort of an infection or you’re in pain and you need the prescription right away, it’s not really inclusive. It’s not equitable,” he said.
A man wearing a white button-up shirt with a black patterned cardigan sweater looks directly at the camera.
Lawyer David Lepofsky says he’s ‘appalled, but not surprised’ by Steacy’s struggles with Rexall. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)
Following ASIC’s complaint, Walmart also made ScripTalk available on a “central fill” basis in its B.C. pharmacies.
It’s not clear how much it costs to implement ScripTalk technology. The company says that’s proprietary information and won’t reveal what pharmacies pay.
But Lepofsky says there’s no excuse for major chains not to offer talking prescriptions — on demand, at the counter, in every pharmacy location.
He paints a picture with the situation reversed: “If the pharmacist handed you a bottle with a label in braille, you’d say, ‘I can’t read this. How many pills do I take? What can I mix it with?'”
In Lepofsky’s opinion, not providing timely and accessible labels is a “glaring violation of human rights codes” across Canada.
As the battle for wider accessibility continues, the 1.5 million Canadians — who, according to the CNIB, experience sight loss — now face a patchwork of pharmacies offering different access to talking prescriptions.
Steacy, meanwhile, is clear in his conviction that talking prescriptions should be available for those who need them, whenever and wherever they need them.
“To me, it’s a right of access. It’s a right to have independence. It’s a right to have security that everybody else gets. Why should I be left out?”
Capital Current November 4, 2022
Originally posted at https://capitalcurrent.ca/e-scooters/
Put it in Park: Ottawa’s e-scooter rental program is wrapping up, some hope for good – Capital Current e-scooters
Two Neuron Mobility e-scooters are parked on the sidewalk on Bronson Avenue. [Photo Claire Hutcheon]
By Claire Hutcheon,
The City of Ottawa’s third e-scooter pilot program took place this summer and fall — and it’s still not known when or even if the rentals will become a permanent part of commuting in the capital.
The latest trial wraps up Nov. 14 and will be assessed by the new city council amid mixed reviews about whether, after three years of experience, complaints about the rentals have been resolved. Advocates for people with disabilities say the scooters present more hazards than benefits. They want to pump the brakes on the program.
This year, 900 rental scooters have been rolling around streets and sidewalks. Two companies are participating — Neuron Mobility and Bird.
David Lepofsky, chair of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, says e-scooters are a hazard to public safety. “Our position is that these should be illegal in public spaces and as for anybody who rides them in public spaces, they should be confiscated,” he said.
E-scooters, while a fun, convenient and emissions-free form of transit, do not require insurance or a licence to rent and drive. The danger is increased when they are ridden on sidewalks, repeatedly going 20 mph,” Lepofsky said. “Even in cities like Ottawa where riding on sidewalks is prohibited, they have proven themselves, unsurprisingly, to be ridden regularly on sidewalks.”
Lepofsky said that for blind pedestrians, the scooters are tripping hazards and are a barrier for wheelchair users. “Now they can’t access sidewalks or go around them. Are they expected to wheel onto the road?”
Defeated mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney told the Ottawa Citizen’s editorial board earlier this fall that the rental program could become permanent, given the companies’ technical ability to limit where they travel. “Based on what we saw this year, absolutely. I could see making it more permanent,” said McKenney, the former councillor for Somerset Ward.
“This summer … the launch was pushed back until they really were able to geofence the sidewalks and it’s worked. I haven’t had many complaints about them.” McKenney also noted at the time that the requirement this year that the rental scooters be parked in specific areas and said they are not seeing people riding them on sidewalks.
E-scooters have designated parking ares where riders must drop off their vehicles. If the scooters are incorrectly parked, the driver continues to be charged until the scooter is properly parked. Some officially designated parking areas are on sidewalks that are at least two metres wide. City rules for e-scooters explain
the vehicles must be in areas “out of the path of travel, in line with bike racks and benches.” “You can park it on the sidewalks, if anything you are supposed to park on the sidewalks because there are [very little] parking areas on the actual road,” said Gillian Carey, a uOttawa student who uses e-scooters.
the City of Ottawa. Candidate Brandon Russell, who ran unsuccessfully to replace McKenney in Somerset Ward, says that he believes changes must be made before e-scooters become a permanent fixture in Ottawa.
“If the city is going to go ahead and make them permanent we have to make sure we have the infrastructure to make them permanent, whether that is putting in more designated parking areas or geo-blocking them so they can’t be parked in certain areas,” said Russell. “If we are going to move forward with the program we have to make sure we are doing so responsibly.”
Since the introduction of the program in 2020, changes to enforcement, geofencing, and technological updates to the scooters have been made, according to one of the provider companies, Neuron Mobility. “Neuron e-scooters offer geofencing control capabilities in Ottawa, which allows the city to implement slow zones, no-go zones, no-parking zones among
other rules,” said Ankush Karwal, Head of Market for Canada, Neuron Mobility, in an emailed statement. “These technologies enable the city to work alongside Neuron to ensure rider and pedestrian safety.
“Neuron works closely with disability and accessibility communities, cities, councils, riders and all citizens, associations and governments to create a micromobility ecosystem that meets the needs of all,” Karwal said.
An Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System was added to each scooter last year by Neuron mobility that emits a consistent noise, alerting pedestrians of incoming e-scooters. Lepofsky said this is not enough.
“Ottawa city staff recommended adding a beeping sound to the silent scooters,” said Lepofsky. “Only, the beeping sound they tried out, they held a disability consulting group who said ‘not loud enough.’ They still went ahead and did it.”
Improvements made by the city and the e-scooter providers have been insufficient, Lepofsky says. He said the concerns of disabled people are still seen as an afterthought, even after three years. “The problems that we warned the mayor of in 2022 have all materialized,” said Lepofsky. “It is treating people with disabilities as second-class citizens.”
City News September 17, 2022
Man with disability disappointed Canada’s Wonderland charged for services he requires
A Hamilton man says he’s “disappointed” after learning Canada’s Wonderland charged him for use of an electric wheelchair during a recent visit to the park.
By Erick Espinosa
Jasen Prince says was looking forward to spending the day with his children at Canada’s Wonderland. He knew that accessing rides and services would be limited because of his disability, but was surprised when he was charged for the one service he needed the most – an electric wheelchair.
“It’s bad enough I’m paying full-rate and now you’re telling me I have to pay $50 every time I come, on top of this,” Prince tells CityNews.
The father of three has a condition that limits his ability to walk long distances.
Prince says that when he arrived at the park he was asked to make a deposit in order to access an electric wheelchair.
“I used it in the park for the day and I brought it back,” said the Hamilton resident. “I asked if they were going to put the deposit credit back to my card and he said it was a non-refundable deposit.”
Prince says he was baffled that he would be required to pay for a wheelchair, a service that is commonly provided free of charge and in some cases with a returned deposit at locations like malls and airports.
“And you figure, how many people are disabled out there. That’s quite the profit you’re making on someone that’s bringing half the amount of income each month as the average person.”
Charging for wheelchairs ‘unacceptable’
David Lepofsky, the chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, agrees that charging for such services is unacceptable.
“If Canada’s Wonderland or any other organization that’s open to the public and charges admission, charges an added fee for a person with a disability to use a wheelchair, that is inexcusable and outrageous,” says Lepofsky.
Lepofsky adds these services are needed to be able to fully enjoy and participate in those facilities, highlighting that there is a duty to accommodate the need of people with disabilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code in accessing goods, services or facilities.
“Disproportionately people with disabilities, not all of them, but disproportionately they live below the poverty line and on social assistance. And so disproportionately if there is a disability tax, they are not going to be able to pay it,” explains the Osgoode Law professor. “It just adds cruelty to cruelty.”
“Guests who require a wheelchair or electric convenience vehicle are welcome to bring their own to the park at no cost,” Grace Peacock, Director of Communications for Canada’s Wonderland writes in an email to CityNews.
“Canada’s Wonderland does provide rentals of these devices as a convenience on a first-come first-served basis,” she said referencing the Accessibility page on their website, along with the specific services they offer, including wheel chairs and ECV rentals – the cost of which is displayed on a separate page.
Petitions created for Canada’s Wonderland to be more accessible
In recent years, petitions have popped up highlighting the barriers people with disabilities face at the park.
For example, one woman shared her family’s experience after her brother who is paraplegic was not permitted on the rides due to his disability.
“We proceeded to get his ‘boarding pass’ which gives him certain time slots to go on rides without having to be in lineups that aren’t accessible for him,” writes Sarah Nasser in a petition that has now garnered over 11,000 signatures.
“To our shock, his boarding pass, specific to his case, had every single ride crossed out. In other words, he was not allowed to go on ANY of the rides!”
Another petition organizer expressed frustration after learning that the boarding passes limited access to three guests per pass holder.
“In a group of five young adults, one of which using a wheelchair, we were split up,” writes Griffin, describing that a group of more than 10 of her friends who do not require mobility devices, were placed in one line, while the remainder were placed in another.
“For many of us the boarding pass is necessary as the regular entrance is not wheelchair accessible,” explained Griffin. “We spent over an hour trying to get on a ride because of this policy, uneducated staff and being forced to walk across the park to fix staff mistakes.”
Prince says that he has no intention of returning to Canada’s Wonderland following what he refers to as a belittling experience.
“I’m really disappointed because I’ve been going to Wonderland all of my life and I have never felt so centred out and degraded as a human for the situation that I’m in. I didn’t ask for this. I’m just trying to get by.”
CityNews October 6, 2022
Toronto election 2022: How will the mayoral frontrunners help persons with disabilities?
How will Toronto’s mayoral frontrunners address disability concerns?
Nick Westoll looks at how the two Toronto mayoral frontrunners say they’ll address the issues being raised by persons with disabilities.
By Nick Westoll
With the Toronto election less than three weeks away, advocates for persons with disabilities want to ensure issues affecting them and the community are front of mind for city council candidates.
“There is no excuse for Ontario, for Toronto to lag decades behind. We didn’t just invent people with disabilities last week,” David Lepofsky, the chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance and a visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, said.
CityNews recently met with Lepofsky on Roselawn Avenue in Toronto’s Forest Hill area to look at an example of his advocacy efforts to get the municipality to address a myriad of obstacles.
In mid-June, he was walking on the sidewalk on the south side near Latimer Avenue when he hit his head on a traffic sign that was leaning on an angle over the sidewalk at head level.
“When I, as a totally blind person, walk, my cane follows the shoreline, the edge of the sidewalk and the beginning of the grass – that’s how I navigate. Well, that took me right into this (sign),” Lepofsky said.
“Either the City installed it this way in the first place, which is outrageous, or it somehow got knocked over sideways and it should have been fixed.”
He said he quickly called the City of Toronto’s 311 line and spoke with a friendly person. Lepofsky received an email receipt saying it was classified as an “investigate temporary condition sign” issue. However, he later learned the issue would be resolved within three months.
“I said this is a safety issue, a health and safety issue, and that didn’t change anything. Well, it’s been more than three months and nothing’s changed. It’s still here and it’s still dangerous,” he said on Wednesday.
CityNews took Lepofsky’s concern to City of Toronto staff Wednesday afternoon to ask why the matter wouldn’t be prioritized given it’s a safety issue and why it wasn’t fixed in the three-and-a-half months since it was first reported.
“The repair to the service request will be made within the next 24 hours,” a municipal spokesperson told CityNews in an email Thursday afternoon.
“David’s request was filed under the incorrect service type which is why the repair was delayed to be resolved. We will be providing relevant coaching to the staff who processed this request.”
As Lepofsky noted, barriers are easy to find in Toronto.
“This isn’t the only such protrusion. There should never be something sticking out at head level on a sidewalk in the path of travel. It’s dangerous for people who are blind. It’s dangerous for people who are looking at their phone texting … it’s inexcusable,” he said.
On Yonge Street beside the CF Toronto Eaton Centre, a TTC project closed part of the sidewalk and road on the west side. A sign can be seen telling residents to turn right to navigate around the obstruction, but if someone misses that sign or can’t see it they will end up walking some distance before ending up at a dead-end fence.
On Queen Street West, CityNews found part four bolts sticking out of a concrete section of sidewalk marked with some spray paint.
Outside Union Station, a bunch of debris can be seen stored on the side of the sidewalk out front.
CityNews contacted Gil Penalosa and John Tory to ask what they would do to ensure the City of Toronto makes required accessibility improvements before the 2025 deadlines under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
“In a Toronto for everyone, people with disabilities are going to be a top priority,” Toronto mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa said in an interview with CityNews on Thursday, adding he’d like to expedite the needed work before the deadline.
“I think we should have been taking care of people with disabilities a long time ago and I think we have failed, we have failed.
“If I don’t have a disability and I get up and I fall and I break my leg, tomorrow I’m going to be in a wheelchair. So anybody can be at any one time, so we need to give this a top priority.”
Penalosa also reacted to the general issue of delays in getting matters reported through 311 fixed.
“Why does it take two hours to move the post if it’s blocking cars but it takes over three months if it’s blocking pedestrians? It’s because pedestrians don’t matter in the existing city, have not mattered in the last eight years,” he said.
“That’s why who you elect as mayor is important.”
Highlights of Penalosa’s policy proposals include:
Widen and build sidewalks, extend traffic signal timing to help pedestrians
Improve TTC response during escalator, elevator outages by having customer service staff at the standby along with improved signage when it happens
More lighting over sidewalks
Prioritize pedestrian access in construction zones
Reduce speed limits on neighbourhood streets
Limit length of curb cut ramps to create flat sidewalks
Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory’s campaign pointed to his record versus a list of platform commitments.
“The mayor is committed to making the city liveable and accessible for all Torontonians, particularly those with disabilities,” Jenessa Crognali, the director of communications for the John Tory Re-Election Campaign, said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
“He is a strong advocate for accessibility in Toronto and has a track record of advancing positive change. That’s why he has committed to ensuring all public facing City divisions are AODA compliant by 2025. Under the mayor’s leadership, Citystaff have already undertaken work to make sure the timeline is met.
“Further, the mayor championed accessibility guidelines by leading City Council in adopting the Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines that work towards making Toronto a barrier-free community. ”
She also pointed to the TTC’s plan to make all subway stations accessible by 2025 and the HousingTO goal of “creating 18,000 supportive housing units by 2030 for those who need it most, including people with physical and developmental disabilities.”