February 28, 2016
1. Three Great Accessibility Advocacy Training Events in a Row and How to Get Started Planning One in Your Community
Here are three great community events in rapid succession that will help our grassroots accessibility campaign in Ontario!
University of Windsor is hosting an Accessibility Forum on Thursday March 3, 2016. This is followed days later by York University’s Accessibility Forum on March 7, 2016. Shortly after that, on March 12, 2016, Ryerson University is hosting a panel on accessibility advocacy during a three-day inter-campus “Reclaiming Our Bodies and Minds, Disability Conference 2016.”
Announcements of these events are set out below. If you live in one of these communities, please RSVP and come to these events. Spread the word to others who might be interested in coming.
These events are the latest in what we aim to be an expanding series of accessibility forums around Ontario. On January 22, 2016, Queen’s University led the way, holding 2016’s first Accessibility Forum.
These Accessibility Forums are a great way to help ramp up non-partisan pressure on all parties in the Ontario Legislature to get the Ontario Government to speed up and beef up its lethargic implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. One year ago, the Wynne Government made public the final report of the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review. It showed that Ontario is not on schedule for reaching full accessibility by 2025, the AODA’s legally-mandatory deadline. The Moran Report showed that after ten years on the books, the AODA has not made a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Think about that every time the Wynne Government claims to be a global leader on accessibility.
These Accessibility Forums will give practical tips on how to help us get the Wynne Government back on track. Through public forums like this from 1995 to 2005 around Ontario, Ontario’s disability community successfully mounted pressure that led to the unanimous enactment of the AODA.
We now have powerful new advocacy tools that were not available to us 20 years ago. At these Accessibility Forums, we will get more people involved in our new “Picture Our Barriers” blitz. To help join in that blitz, all you need is a smart phone. We want people to take photos or videos of accessibility barriers in your community. Post them on line! Tweet, Facebook message or email them to your Member of the Ontario Legislature (MPP) and local news media.
Become a “citizen journalist.” Our new “Picture Our Barriers” Action Kit shows you great ways to use these examples of accessibility barriers to show why the Ontario Government must speed up action to remove and prevent disability barriers.
And for those who don’t have a smart phone, or want to reach out to their MPP and local media the old-fashioned way, our Action Kit also has lots of great ideas for you too, that we will address at these Accessibility Forums! To read our new “Picture Our Barriers” Action Kit, and to circulate it to others.
These accessibility public forums are also a great way to get media attention on accessibility barriers and the need for more action at Queens Park. They also give us a great chance to spread the word and get people involved in the exciting new efforts around the Canadians with Disabilities Act which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to enact in the 2014 election. Barrier-Free Canada, for which the AODA Alliance is the official Ontario affiliate, wants to reach out to as many people across Canada as possible.
We have set up a new page on the AODA Alliance website, for updated information on our “Picture Our Barriers” campaign and other similar grassroots action.
Would you like to discuss the possibility of organizing an Accessibility Forum in your community, whether on a college or university campus, at your disability organization, church, synagogue or mosque, service club, union hall, or at a municipal office, school, or other public place? It is not hard to do. It is best if you can find a university, community college or other community organization that will agree to host the event. We can let them know everything that needs to be done, can help publicize the event, and can provide speakers to make the presentations.
For tips on how to do it, contact us. You can always reach us via email at email@example.com
Below you can find:
* The announcement of the March 3, 2016 University of Windsor Accessibility Forum
* An article in the February 24, 2016 University of Windsor News about the upcoming accessibility forum.
* An announcement of the March 7, 2016 York University accessibility forum, and
* An announcement of the March 11-13 Ryerson Reclaiming Our Bodies and Minds, Disability Conference 2016” including the date and time of the accessibility panel.
* An article in the January 20, 2016 Queens Gazette, in advance of the January 22, 2016 Queen’s Accessibility Café.
To read the original poster for the January 22, 2016 queens Accessibility Café.
2. Watch AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on TVOntario’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 8 or 11 PM or Afterwards Online
On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Ontario’s flagship provincial public affairs program, TVOntario’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” will air a 20-minute interview on the barriers impeding students with disabilities in Ontario’s education system and the fight to make Ontario’s education system fully accessible to all students with disabilities. Host Steve Paikin interviews AODA Alliance chair David Lepofsky, who also now serves as the chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee for the Toronto District School Board.
In the early 2000s the Ontario Human Rights Commission conducted a very extensive investigation and consultation on challenges in Ontario facing students with disabilities, in the school system. This resulted in an excellent final report, issued in 2005, entitled: “The opportunity to succeed: Achieving barrier-free education for students with disabilities Consultation Report.” It documents extensive accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system. Over ten years later, these sadly remain in place. Ontario has no comprehensive strategy for removing and preventing them. Students with disabilities in Ontario schools still operate under outdated “special education” laws that are one third of a century old, laws that are showing their age.
For at least half a decade, the AODA Alliance has been pressing the Ontario Government to develop and enact an Education Accessibility Standard to ensure that Ontario’s education system becomes fully accessible to all people with disabilities by 2025. . So far, the Wynne Government is still considering whether it should develop an Education Accessibility Standard.
We encourage you to watch this interview. Encourage your family and friends to watch it. It airs at 8 and 11 pm. Within a couple of days, it will also be available on YouTube.
To see several previous editions of The Agenda with Steve Paikin on disability accessibility issues, go to www.youtube.com and search on “Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.”
You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 the Ontario affiliate of Barrier-Free Canada. Sign up for Barrier-Free Canada updates by emailing info@BarrierFreeCanada.org
Announcement of March 3, 2016 University of Windsor Accessibility Forum
Office of Human Rights, Equity & Accessibility (OHREA) / Accessibility Café – Ramping Up Stalled Action in Ontario on Disability Accessibility
Presented by: The Faculty of Law, and the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility, University of Windsor
When: Thursday, March 3rd 2016, time 12pm-2pm
Where: Katzman Lounge, Vanier Hall, University of Windsor
Would you like to help over 1.8 million Ontarians with disabilities tear down the many accessibility barriers that impede them from getting full access to jobs, public transit, education and all that Ontario has to offer its residents? We encourage all to attend. This Café is open to the general public and all in the UWindsor community (students, staff, and faculty). 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!
Keynote Speaker: David Lepofsky
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 co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, a non-partisan coalition now campaigning for the enactment of a Canadians with Disabilities Act. From 1994 to 2005, David Lepofsky led the fight to win the 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. He is now a visiting professor of legal ethics and public interest advocacy at 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 Ontario back on schedule 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 the Accessibility Café 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 were 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!
Learn more at: www.www.aodaalliance.org and www.barrierfreecanada.org
University of Windsor News
February 24, 2016
Daily News Archive
Accessibility advocate to share views on equality
Disability rights advocate David Lepofsky will be the keynote speaker March 3 at UWindsor’s Accessibility Café.
David Lepofsky, a life-long disability rights advocate, blind lawyer, and chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, will be the keynote speaker at UWindsor’s Accessibility Café, Thursday, March 3, from noon to 2 p.m. in Katzman Lounge, Vanier Hall.
The event, sponsored by the Faculty of Law and the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility, is themed “Ramping Up Stalled Action in Ontario on Disability Accessibility.” It is open to people of all abilities and will examine such issues as accessibility to jobs, public transit and education for more than 1.8 million Ontarians with disabilities.
In addition to his work with the alliance, Lepofsky is co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, a non-partisan coalition campaigning for the enactment of a Canadians with Disabilities Act. He took part in successful campaigns to get disability equality included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code, and led the fight to win the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. He is now a visiting professor of legal ethics and public interest advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School.
The event will feature a luncheon for those who RSVP by Friday, February 26.
Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility
Academic Area: Law
Announcement of March 7, 2016 York University Accessibility Forum
Originally posted at https://cdssa.wordpress.com/scholars-on-skype-speakers-series/david-leposky/
Critical Disability Studies Student Association
Disability Activism Workshop with David Lepofsky – 7 March 2016
Disabling Barriers and Advocacy: A Discussion
Date: Monday, March 7, 2016
Location: Moot Court Lecture Hall, Room 1005, Osgoode Hall Law School (Ignat Kaneff Building), York University
We are pleased to have David Lepofsky, Odelia Bay and Maayan Ziv speak about accessibility and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA). The second part of the event will be an interactive workshop that is meant to generate political action to advance accessibility in Ontario. This event is made possible by a collaboration with Enable York, Critical Disability Studies Student Association (CDSSA), Centre for Human Rights (CHR) and Counselling & Disability Services (CDS).
• 11:30am to 12:30pm – Speaker Series
• 12:30pm to 2:30pm – Interactive Workshop
• David Lepofsky – Is a disability rights advocate, a blind lawyer and chairs the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODAA), the Toronto District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee and co-chairs of Barrier-Free Canada. He is currently a visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.
• Odelia Bay – Is a lawyer, scholar and activist. Bay is currently a doctoral student at Osgood Hall Law School.
• Maayan Ziv – Is an activist, photographer and entrepreneur. She is the founder of AccessNow, an app that uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint accessibility information of public and private spaces on an interactive map.
Space is limited, so please RSVP at CDSSA@YUGSA.CA
Please email us about any accessibility needs by February 29, 2016
Announcement of March 12, 2016 Panel at Ryerson University on Disability Accessibility Advocacy
Reclaiming Our Bodies and Minds, Disability Conference 2016
ROBAM is an annual inter-campus disability conference that brings together activists, academics, artists, and more. It is free to attend. The 2016 conference will take place March 11 to 13 in Toronto (at Ryerson and the University of Toronto). This year’s theme is Navigating Our Spaces, Places, and Histories. For more information on the conference and to register.
Come hear the AODA Alliance take part in a panel discussion titled Giving Life to Law: Taking Action for an Accessible Ontario at 11:30 on Saturday, March 12 as part of the conference.
Queen’s Gazette Queen’s University January 20, 2016
Originally posted at http://www.queensu.ca/gazette/stories/advocate-aims-inspire-accessibility-action
Advocate Aims to Inspire Accessibility Action
Wednesday January 20, 2016
By Communications Staff
Long-time disability rights advocate David Lepofsky will visit Queens on Jan. 22 to speak at an Accessibility Café event hosted by Accessibility Queens and the Equity Office.
We are excited for David to share his insights and perspective with the Queens community, says Andrew Ashby, Accessibility Coordinator in the Queens Equity Office. I would encourage students, faculty and staff to attend and learn more about the ways in which they can help improve accessibility for 1.8 million Ontarians with disabilities.
Mr. Lepofsky, a blind lawyer living in Toronto, has been involved in accessibility advocacy for many years. In the early 1980s, he participated in campaigns to get disability equality included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code. From 1994 to 2005, he led the fight to win enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
He currently serves with several organizations in addition to his work as a visiting professor of legal ethics and public interest advocacy at the Osgoode Hall Law School. Mr. Lepofsky is chair of the non-partisan group Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance as well as co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, which is calling on the federal government to develop a national disabilities act.
It was through grassroots public forums and meetings like this upcoming Accessibility Café that we won the enactment of the AODA in 2005, and it will be through these kinds of events, and the tenacious energy that bursts from them, that we will get Ontario back on schedule for full accessibility, Mr. Lepofsky says. Each person can help, and my goal is to offer attendees tips on how they can quickly make a difference.
The Accessibility Café will take place on Friday, Jan. 22 from 1-3 pm in Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202. Visit the Queens Accessibility Hub for more information about the talk.