February 17, 2017
Here’s a punchy and heaping grab-bag of news from the front lines of our non-partisan campaign for full accessibility in Ontario. This all shows that the accessibility movement is strong and continually growing. Here are announcements of:
* the February 26, 2017 Toronto Town Hall on federal accessibility legislation.
* The March 1, 2017 accessibility public forum in Oshawa.
* a “save the date” for a possible April 8, 2017 accessibility public forum in Cobourg.
* the April 22, 2017 accessibility public forum in Georgina.
* a great interview on TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin on creative new ways to advance the cause of accessibility, with leading U.S. disability rights lawyer Lainey Feingold.
* two important surveys you should consider completing on the accessibility barriers facing students with disabilities in the Toronto District School Board or across Ontario.
* the Federal Government’s important consultation on whether Canada should adopt the Optional Protocol to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Please come to any of these events that you can, and take part in these surveys and consultation processes. These are all ways you can help the grassroots campaign for full accessibility in Ontario and across Canada. Also, consider organizing an accessibility public forum in your community. Let the AODA Alliance if you would like us to send a speaker to present at such an event. Over the past year, successful accessibility public forums have been held in Kingston, Toronto, Peel, Windsor, Ottawa, Burlington, Durham Region London and Waterloo. We are building local regions of the AODA Alliance at the grassroots around Ontario. If you or an organization with which you are connected are interested in taking the lead on such an event in your community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come to the Sunday, February 26, 2017 Town Hall on Federal Accessibility Legislation in Toronto
The Federal Government is wrapping up its nationwide consultation on the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act. It is very important to advocate to every Member of Parliament so they support our efforts to ensure that this legislation will be strong and effective, not weak. Here is a chance to help with this, for anyone in the Toronto area.
On Sunday, February 26, 2017, from 2 to 4 pm, an Accessibility Town Hall will be co-hosted by MP Rob Oliphant. It will be held at Temple Emanuel, located at 120 Old Colony Road, Toronto. The announcement of this event, including RSVP information, is set out below.
Come to the Saturday, March 1, 2017 Public Forum on Accessibility Hosted by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa
On Saturday, March 1, 2017, from 5 to 7 pm, UOIT in Oshawa will host a public forum on accessibility, featuring AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky. If you are in the neighbourhood, please come! The UOIT’s announcement and news release, including RSVP information, are set out below. We are delighted that UOIT is inviting us to spread the word!
Save the Date Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Cobourg Ontario
Effort is underway to try to organize an accessibility public forum in Cobourg Ontario on Saturday, April 8, 2107 from 1 to 3 pm. Stay tuned for an announcement once we know if this plan has firmed up. If you are in or near Cobourg and want to help plan this event, send an email to us at email@example.com
Come to the Accessibility Public Forum that DeafBlind Services Ontario is Organizing in Georgina Ontario on Saturday, April 22, 2017
We are also delighted that DeafBlind Services Ontario is organizing an accessibility public forum for Saturday, April 22, 2017 From 10 AM to noon. If you are nearby please come and let us know about accessibility barriers you or others you know must still face, whatever be the disability. See the announcement below.
Check out the Interview on the February 13, 2017 edition of TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin with U.S. Disability Rights Lawyer Lainey Feingold
On Monday February 13, 2017’s edition of TVOntario’s flagship public affairs program “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”, widely-respected U.S. disability rights lawyer Lainey Feingold gave an 18 minute interview on her creative new way to advance disability accessibility claims in the U.S. She has written a new book to teach lawyers and others about her novel new approach to dispute resolution. It is great that Osgoode Hall Law School brought her to Toronto to teach lawyers and law students about it.
In this interview, Lainey Feingold talks about getting some of the biggest U.S. corporations to make significant accessibility improvements for customers with disabilities, such as Walmart, Bank of America and Major League Baseball. Steve Paikin raises with her the concerns we’ve voiced over and over that Ontario is not on schedule for reaching full accessibility by 2025, the deadline that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act sets.
Two Important Surveys You Should Consider Completing on the Experiences Facing Students with Dis abilities in Ontario
It has been over two months since Premier Wynne announced on December 5, 2017 that her Government will create an Education Accessibility Standard under the AODA. We have not yet seen any Government announcement inviting people to apply to sit on the Education Standards Development Committee that the Government must appoint to develop recommendations for what that accessibility standard should include.
In the meantime, there are two important surveys being conducted which will gather information that could help a great deal in the development of proposals for the promised Education Accessibility Standard. If you fit into the criteria for taking part in them, we strongly encourage you to do so.
1. The Special Education Advisory Committee of the Toronto District School Board is now conducting an online survey of parents and families of students with special education needs who are now attending school in the TDSB, or who have done so in the past. If you fit that description, please complete the TDSB SEAC survey.
2. The ARCH Disability Law Centre, in partnership with Community Living Ontario and other partners, is conducting a survey on the experiences of students with intellectual disabilities in Ontario’s public school system. See ARCH’S announcement, below. To take part in the survey, visit http://archdisabilitylaw.ca/node/1181
Let the Federal Government Know before March 16, 2017 that You Support Canada Adopting the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Do you wish we had more effective ways to ensure that people with disabilities have their rights to accessibility and full inclusion fully protected? It would help if Canada were to adopt the Optional Protocol to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
To its great credit, the Federal Government has expressed support for this idea, and is now consulting the public. It is important for one and all to take a few moments to simply send the Federal Government a one-line message, saying you support Canada adopting the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Do so before March 16, 2017. Below you will find the Federal Government’s announcement of this consultation, including all the contact info for letting the Federal Government what you think.
You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you taken part in our “Picture Our Barriers campaign? If not, please join in! You can get all the information you need about our “Picture Our Barriers” campaign by visiting www.www.aodaalliance.org/2016
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. Sign up for Barrier-Free Canada updates by emailing info@BarrierFreeCanada.org
Announcement of the February 26, 2017 Toronto Town Hall on Federal Accessibility Legislation
Originally posted at:
AccessAbility Town Hall
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Temple Emanu-El, 120 Old Colony Road, Toronto
You are invited to the Town Hall Discussion
“AccessAbility: Towards an Accessible Canada” co-hosted by Rob Oliphant, M.P. with special guest Pam Damoff, M.P., Oakville North-Burlington.
The Town Hall will take place at Temple Emanu-El on Sunday, February 26, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m..
Announcement of the March 1, 2017 Public Forum on Accessibility at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa
Creating a Barrier Free Ontario
Chair, AODA Alliance
Wed, March 1
61 Charles Street
Room DTA 217
Followed by reception
with light refreshments
Learn about Ontario’s vibrant grassroots disability movement: its history and objectives, struggles and gains in pursuit of a barrier-free province for all persons with disabilities.
This event is part of our Distinguished Visitors Lecture Series, which aims to strengthen ties between the Legal Studies Program and the legal community in the Durham Region. This event would not have been possible without the support and co-sponsorship of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Public Lecture Series and the Faculty of Education.
Legal Studies, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
University of Ontario Institute of Technology News Release
Disability rights advocate speaking at UOIT on March 1
February 15, 2017
On Wednesday, March 1 David Lepofsky will speak on campus about Ontario’s vibrant grassroots disability movement.
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (FSSH) will welcome David Lepofsky to campus on Wednesday, March 1 as guest speaker in the Legal Studies program’s Distinguished Visitors Lecture Series.
Lepofsky is a visiting professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and an adjunct member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He holds three volunteer leadership roles in the disability community:
- Chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance.
- former co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada.
- Chair of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Special Education Advisory Committee, which advises the TDSB on reforms needed to improve special education services and programs.
In a presentation entitled Creating a Barrier Free Ontario, Lepofsky will explore Ontario’s vibrant grassroots disability movement: its history and objectives, struggle and gains in pursuit of a barrier-free province for all persons with disabilities.
- When: Wednesday, March 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. (followed by a reception with light refreshments)
- Where: 61 Charles Street Building, Room 217.
Please register online to attend.
The Distinguished Visitors Lecture Series aims to strengthen ties between the university’s Legal Studies program and the legal community in Durham Region.
This event would not have been possible without the support of the Carpenters Union Local 397, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Public Lecture Series and the Faculty of Education.
Communications and Marketing
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
905.721.8668 ext. 6710
Jen Rinaldi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Legal Studies
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
905.721.8668 ext. 5873
Announcement of DeafBlind Ontario Services’ April 22, 2017 Public Forum on Accessibility in Georgina Ontario
Please join us for an Accessibility Forum hosted by DeafBlind Ontario Services:
Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon
Location: The Link
20849 Dalton Road
Sutton, ON L0E 1R0
David Lepofsky, AODA Alliance Chair, will discuss the need to get the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, AODA, back on track as progress is currently sluggish. The legislation was passed in 2005 and while there have been some successes, unless the government moves more quickly and effectively to implement and enforce this Act, Ontario will not reach its target of full accessibility by 2025 as mandated in the legislation.
At this gathering, you will learn how to take part in the campaign to get things moving again.
The discussion will also include the need for federal accessibility legislation, a Canadians with Disabilities Act that will address barriers that the provincial law cannot, such as air travel, postal services, banking and the Federal Government itself.
The AODA Alliance is a disability consumer advocacy group that works to support the full and effective implementation of accessibility standards in Ontario.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm accessibility accommodations.
Announcement of the ARCH Disability Law Centre Survey
ARCH Disability Law Centre, in partnership with Community Living Ontario, Inclusive Education Canada, the University of Western Ontario, and Brock University, is announcing the launch of new research titled “If Inclusion Means Everyone, Why Not Me?”. We are currently conducting a survey on the experiences of students with intellectual disabilities in Ontario’s public school system. The focus of this survey is on many of the current practices and barriers related to inclusive education.
For more information and access the survey, copy and paste or select the link directly below:
February 16, 2017 Federal Government Announcement of Consultation on Canada Adopting the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Today, the Government of Canada is launching a public consultation to consider Canada’s possible accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
When Canada ratified the Convention in 2010, it made a commitment to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by people with disabilities.
On December 1, 2016, the Government of Canada announced it would begin taking steps towards consideration of accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
The Optional Protocol offers people with disabilities new mechanisms to seek protection of their rights by establishing procedures aimed at strengthening the implementation and monitoring of the Convention.
With the launch of this public consultation, we are seeking your views about the impact that acceding to the Optional Protocol may have on Canadians.
Submit your feedback in the language of your choice (English, French, American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise) and preferred format such as online, handwritten, video or audio submissions.
You can provide your input to the Office for Disability Issues via:
Office for Disability Issues
Employment and Social Development Canada
105 Hotel-de-ville St., 1st floor, Bag 62
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9
The public consultation for the Optional Protocol is open from February 16 to March 16, 2017.
And don’t forget, there’s still time to take part in the consultation process to inform new planned federal accessibility legislation. You have until February 28 to have your say at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada. Tell us what an Accessible Canada means to you.