Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
On Youtube, Watch the Agenda with Steve Paikin’s February 3, 2022 Discussion of Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System Hurting Ontarians with disabilities During the Pandemic – and – Other Media On Disability Accessibility Issues
February 4, 2022
1. Any Time, Please Watch the Agenda with Steve Paikin’s February 3, 2022 Discussion of Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System During the Pandemic
Did you miss last night’s important discussion on Ontario’s flagship public affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin on the barriers and hardships facing Ontarians with disabilities in Ontario’s health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic? You can now watch it online any time you want, on your computer, tablet, smart phone, smart TV or smart carrier pigeon! If you want to cut and paste the link, here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJcpIGlPd84
In the past, TVO has posted a transcript of its interviews on this program within a period of days.
Steve Paikin interviewed AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and CILT (Centre for Independent Living in Toronto) executive director Wendy Porch. They discussed disability barriers arising from such things as Ontario’s controversial secret critical care triage protocol, its vaccine and COVID-19 rapid test programs, its online process for renewing an Ontario Health Card, and more.
Please encourage as many people as possible, including your member of the Legislature and anyone working in the health care system, to watch this discussion. Forward this Update to them. Publicize it on social media.
Once more, we applaud Steve Paikin and the entire staff of The Agenda for shining a bright spotlight on this important disability issue. They are true leaders in the media on giving coverage to Ontario disability accessibility issues, and on allowing for a thorough and thoughtful discussion of them.
You might also wish to watch The Agenda with Steve Paikin’s earlier May 8, 2020 interview with David Lepofsky and Wendy Porch. Less than two months into the pandemic, they predicted so many of these barriers and called for the Ford Government to show leadership on this issue.
2. Long Overdue Accessibility Action by the Toronto Transit Commission
An article in the online Toronto Star from February 3, 2022, set out below, reports on how the TTC is now installing elevators at its Warden subway station. One is left to wonder why it has taken TTC 17 years since the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was enacted to do this. Indeed, one is left wondering why a subway station in Canada’s biggest city was built without elevators in the first place.
To learn more about our efforts to make public transportation accessible in Ontario, visit the AODA Alliance website’s transportation page.
The Ford Government has now let 1,100 days pass since it received the final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. With under four months till Ontarians go to the polls in the next provincial election, Premier Doug Ford has still announced no comprehensive plan to fully implement the Onley Report. Since taking office, Premier Ford has never accepted any of the AODA Alliance’s request to meet him, whether in person, by phone or virtually.
Toronto Star Online February 3, 2022
Scarborough’s Warden Station gets a long-awaited remake, starting with elevators in 2022
‘It’s not like people with disabilities were just invented,’ advocate says
By Mike Adler
Starting in 2022, Warden Station, which opened in 1968, will be rebuilt in phases to replace the bus terminal and make the station more accessible.
Warden Station is a Scarborough touchstone, its platform on the cover of Catherine Hernandez’s novel Scarborough, its patty shop loved by thousands.
But the building, opened in 1968 at what was then one end of the Bloor-Danforth line, has always been hostile to people with disabilities.
Hearing the station would be entirely remade into an accessible building, starting with the installation of two elevators this year, didn’t impress David Lepofsky, a lawyer and leading advocate for compliance with Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
He pointed out the province passed the AODA, which he championed, 17 years ago, and the Ontario Human Rights Code 40 years ago.
The TTC, Lepofsky said, knew it had a duty to ensure access but built subways stations without ensuring they were accessible and delayed retrofits until the province’s 2025 AODA deadline loomed.
Warden is listed among other stations scheduled to be accessible by 2024.
“It’s not like people with disabilities were just invented,” Lepofsky said.
“What’s the shovel (for station rebuilds) doing, waiting until now?”
David Lepofsky is a lawyer and advocate for people with disabilities in Toronto. – Metroland file photo
Elevators were never part of Warden Station, but the Strasman Architects Inc. says the new building “is designed to ensure full compliance with AODA” by including them and “reconfiguring bus bays to facilitate easy and barrier-free bus-to-bus transfers.”
On its website, Strasman says the rebuild will be done in stages — starting with a new accessible entrance with elevators to the concourse and subway platform — while the station stays operational.
Starting in 2022, Warden Station, which opened in 1968, will be rebuilt in phases to replace the bus terminal and make the station more accessible. – Dan Pearce/Metroland
Housing, both affordable and market-priced, will be built meanwhile on the north station parking lot, along with a child care centre, a TTC office building and some retail.
The TTC last month identified a community liaison, Paul Tran, to handle concerns about the station rebuild. He can be reached at 647-461-5133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.