Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Sign Up to Give Feedback to the October 18 or November 8, 2022 Virtual Public Forums on the Implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to Be Held by the Fourth AODA Independent Review Conducted by Rich Donavon
October 12, 2022
The fourth Government-appointed Independent Review of the implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is now fully underway. The Ford Government appointed Rich Donavon last winter to conduct this review and to make recommendations to strengthen the AODA’s implementation and enforcement.
Rich Donavon is holding two online town halls or public forums as part of his gathering of feedback, on October 18 and November 8, 2022. The announcement and link to sign up is set out below.
We strongly encourage you to take part in this, whether you are part of a community organization or speaking as an individual. Tell him how the Government’s implementation and enforcement of the AODA has affected you. In January 2019, the last AODA Independent Review, conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley, found that progress on accessibility in Ontario has proceeded at a “glacial” pace, and that Ontario remains a province full of “soul-crushing barriers.” What improvements, if any, have you seen since then?
It is understandable that some might think that they should not bother giving input to this latest AODA Independent Review, since the Ford Government has never announced a serious and comprehensive plan to implement the report and recommendations of the 3rd AODA Independent Review, the one conducted by former Ontario Lieutenant Governor David Onley. As of today, there have been an inexcusable 1,350 days since the Ford Government received the final report of the David Onley AODA Independent Review back on January 31, 2019. Shortly after receiving it, Accessibility Minister Raymond Cho told the Ontario Legislature on April 10, 2019 that Onley had done a “marvelous job.”
It nevertheless is more important than ever to give our input to the Rich Donavon AODA Independent Review. We need his report and recommendations to be as comprehensive as ever. We will press the Ford Government to take action, to the extent that we agree with and support his recommendations. However, even if the Ford Government does not act appropriately, these Independent Review reports can play an important role in the next Government of Ontario, whichever party that may be.
This Independent Review will report some time in the first half of 2023. That will be less than two years before 2025. We already know that due to repeatedly Government bungling, Ontario will not reach the AODA’s mandatory goal of becoming accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. This AODA Independent Review is needed to provide the roadmap for Ontario to get as close to that goal by 2025, and to get the rest of the way to that goal as soon as possible after 2025.
We welcome your feedback as the AODA Alliance prepares its recommendations for the Rich Donavon AODA Independent Review. Send us your thoughts by writing us at email@example.com
We know that we will be submitting to Mr. Donavan the AODA Alliance’s January 15, 2019 brief to the David Onley AODA Independent Review. That brief provides a very comprehensive review of the implementation of the AODA up to that point, both the good and the bad. We will let Mr. Donavon know what parts of that report are no longer current. We will of course update it as well to cover developments since January 2019.
We anticipate that our recommendations to Mr. Donavan will include the substance of the requests for election commitments in the AODA Alliance’s November 22, 2021 letter to the major Ontario party leaders. Those recommendations, taken together, provide a full roadmap and action plan to get the Ontario Government to live up to the dream envisioned when the AODA was enacted in 2005.
This is the fourth AODA Independent Review. The AODA requires these Independent Reviews to be conducted on a schedule set out in the legislation. The three previous Independent Reviews were:
- In 2009-10, Charles Beer, a former provincial Cabinet minister, conducted the first AODA Independent Review. The Beer report was made public on May 31, 2010. That report adopted key findings and recommendations in the AODA Alliance’s December 11, 2009 brief to Charles Beer.
- In 2013-2014, Mayo Moran, then the dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, conducted the second AODA Independent Review. The Moran report was made public on February 13, 2015. It adopted key findings and recommendations in the AODA Alliance’s June 30, 2014 brief to Mayo Moran.
- In 2018-2019, David Onley, former Ontario Lieutenant Governor, conducted the third AODA Independent Review. The Government made the Onley Report public on March 7, 2019. That report adopted key findings and recommendations in the AODA Alliance’s January 15, 2019 brief to David Onley.
If you want further background, you might wish to check out the September 15, 2020 guest column in the Toronto Star by the authors of the three earlier AODA Independent Reviews, Charles Beer, Mayo Moran and David Onley.
Ontario Accessibility Ministry’s September 13, 2022 Broadcast Email
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) helps identify and remove barriers to inclusion. The AODA requires a statutory review of the AODA and its regulation. In February of this year, the Government of Ontario announced the appointment of Rich Donovan as the Fourth Legislative Reviewer of the AODA.
Rich is a globally recognized subject matter expert on the convergence of disability and corporate profitability. His review will focus on three key areas: potential changes to improve the AODA’s success, spreading awareness and building community support, and compliance and enforcement.
The ministry is pleased to let you know that the website to support the Fourth Legislative Review of the AODA is now live. The website http://aodareview4.com/ provides information about the review, including a consultation plan and ways to provide feedback
The ministry encourages you to participate in the review and help shape the future of the AODA. This is the final legislative review before 2025. Your feedback will be essential to how Ontario continues to further accessibility for people with disabilities in the province. Please feel free to distribute to your networks.
The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility
October 6, 2022 Email to AODA Alliance from the Rich Donavon AODA Independent Review
Rich is hosting 2 Public Town Halls for Ontarians – October 18th and November
8th. They are open to all and promise to be an excellent opportunity to understand concerns and issues important to the public.
Registration is available by following this link: