The David Onley AODA Independent Review Schedules Two More Public Hearings, in Toronto and London, With Insufficient Publicity and No Outreach to the AODA Alliance to Help Publicize Them

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

The David Onley AODA Independent Review Schedules Two More Public Hearings, in Toronto and London, With Insufficient Publicity and No Outreach to the AODA Alliance to Help Publicize Them

September 9, 2018

          SUMMARY

We have learned via the grapevine that the David Onley Independent Review of the implementation and enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act has scheduled two more public hearings, to get input from the public. These will be held in Toronto On Wednesday September 12, 2018 from 1 to 3 pm, and on Friday September 21, 2018 in London from 1 to 3 pm. Back on August 24, 2018, we also let you know that the AODA Independent Review had scheduled a public hearing in Thunder Bay on September 13, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 4 pm. Below we set out the announcement on the Independent Review’s website.

Despite this late notice, we encourage you to try to attend and to let the Independent Review know what you think of the effectiveness of the Ontario Government’s implementation and enforcement of the AODA. For ideas on the things you might urge the AODA Independent Review to recommend, look at the list of actions we have urged the new Ford Government to take on accessibility. You can find these in the AODA Alliance’s July 17, 2018 letter to Minister for Accessibility and Seniors Raymond Cho and its July 19, 2018 letter to Premier Doug Ford. You will find that the two letters we got back from the Minister and Premier make no specific commitments on our recommended priority actions.

We are troubled about the late notice of this event, and the insufficient publicity of it. People with disabilities need sufficient advance notice to be able to arrange accessible transportation, and to be able to attend such events.

We have received feedback from the disability community expressing serious concerns about the David Onley AODA Independent Review’s failure to properly publicize its public hearings. The public, including people with disabilities, should not be expected to visit the website of the David Onley AODA Independent Review website day after day, to see if new public hearings for that Review have been scheduled.

Neither the David Onley AODA Independent Review nor the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario told us about this event, or asked us to publicize it through our extensive network for reaching the disability community. In contrast, the two previous AODA Independent Reviews, the 2010 Review conducted by Charles Beer and the 2013-14 Review conducted by Mayo Moran, each gave us advance notice and sought our help publicizing their public consultation activities. We were and are happy to help whenever asked. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario did not notify the public of this or earlier consultation events by the David Onley AODA Independent Review, via its email distribution list. We are signed up for that list.

The David Onley AODA Independent Review was appointed last February. It has had months to prepare for this activity and to publicize it. Moreover, unlike Charles Beer and Mayo Moran’s Reviews, the David Onley AODA Independent Review has not sought advice or guidance from the AODA Alliance on how to effectively reach out to the public, including the disability community. To the contrary, we understand that the Onley Independent Review held some consultation meetings earlier this year to begin its gathering of input, at which it invited several participants to attend. The AODA Alliance was not invited to those events.

On August 24, 2018, an earlier AODA Alliance Update made public the fact that we had only learned via the grapevine about the Onley AODA Independent Review’s earlier public consultation hearings. We there also alerted you that we had then just learned that the Onley Independent Review had set the deadline of October 1, 2018 to submit written submissions. We ourselves don’t expect to be able to meet that deadline. We will be seeking an extension for us, and for the rest of the community. Stay tuned for more details.

We always welcome your feedback. Email us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

You can write the David Onley AODA Independent Review using this contact information from its website:

Mail:

1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4 AA440

Email: info@aodareview2018.ca

Twitter:

@HonDavidOnley

#AODAreview2018

          MORE DETAILS

Excerpt from the Website of the David Onley AODA Independent Review

Originally posted at http://www.aodareview2018.ca/how-to-participate/events/

)Note: Links from the original web page are not included here. For information on how to sign up for any of these events, go to the actual web page.)

As part of the review process, Mr. Onley would like to hear from interested parties and people with disabilities to determine their views on the progress and effectiveness of the AODA, and their vision of accessibility through to 2025 and beyond.

Over the course of 2018, Mr. Onley will engage with communities and individuals to listen and gather information with the end goal of creating a comprehensive report that captures many voices and views on accessibility in Ontario.

Public Consultation – Toronto, Ontario

Location: Hart House

Address: 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto – Great Hall

Date: Wednesday September 12, 2018

Time:: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Register for Public Consultation – Toronto

Public Consultation – Thunder Bay, Ontario

Location: Lakehead University

Room: Conference Room A & the Fireside Lounge

Address: 955 Oliver Rd, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1

Date: Thursday, September 13, 2018

Time:: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Register for Public Consultation – Thunder Bay

Public Consultation – London, Ontario

Location: London Convention Centre

Address: 300 York Street, London, ON

Room: Salon B, B1 – Foyer B

Date: Friday September 21, 2018

Time:: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Register for Public Consultation – London