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AODA Alliance Writes Premier Doug Ford to Offer Nine Recommendations for the Premier to Help Get Ontario Back on Schedule to Reach Full Accessibility by 2025 for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities http://www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

July 19, 2018

SUMMARY

On July 19, 2018, the AODA Alliance wrote Premier Doug Ford. Our letter recommends nine priorities for action by Ontario’s new Premier. These are aimed at revitalizing Government leadership that is needed to get Ontario back on schedule to become fully accessible to 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities. We set out our letter below. To summarize, we recommend that Premier Ford:

1. issue written directions to the Secretary of the Cabinet, and to all cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers, to take effective action to ensure that the Ontario Government leads Ontario to full accessibility by 2025. Please include specific directions on this in Mandate Letters to each cabinet minister.

2. direct the Minister for Accessibility and Seniors Raymond Cho to act on the priorities which the AODA Alliance identified for him in our July 17, 2018 Briefing Note.

3. have the Minister for Accessibility and Seniors now lift the freeze on the work of AODA Standards Development Committees which the Ontario Public Service recently imposed, pending briefing ministers, as this has stalled progress on developing recommendations for the Government, including in the urgent area education for students with disabilities (an area where the PC Party had commendably helped us press the previous Ontario Government for action, in the face of many Government delays).

4. Direct cabinet ministers to develop, implement, enforce and publicize effective across-the-board policies and practices to ensure that the publics money is never used to finance barriers against persons with disabilities, especially in spending on infrastructure, procurement, research, innovation or other business grants or loans. This effort should be led by the Minister of Economic Development, the Minister of Infrastructure, the Minister of Government Services, the Minister for Accessibility and Seniors and the Treasury Board President. The secretary of the Cabinet should be directed to devise an action plan to ensure that this is embedded across the Ontario Public Service.

5. Direct the Secretary of the Cabinet to implement effective new strategies to ensure the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible employer and service provider, and to ensure that disability accessibility is embedded in all vital Government decisions.

6. Direct that a full-time deputy minister or associate deputy minister position be immediately created, as a Chief Accessibility Officer, with lead responsibility and authority for ensuring that the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible workplace and service provider.

7. Direct the Secretary of the Cabinet to require each Ministrys Accessibility Lead be made a full-time position, reporting to the deputy minister of that Ministry, with needed accessibility expertise.

8. direct the Attorney General and Municipal Affairs Minister to prepare and introduce an omnibus bill to address barriers impeding voters and candidates with disabilities in provincial and municipal elections, after designating one of those ministers with responsibility to lead this project.

9. Direct the Attorney General to lead a comprehensive review of all Ontario laws for accessibility barriers, and to complete it in the next two and a half years, in consultation with the disability community, with a view to bringing an omnibus bill before the Legislature to fix any disability accessibility barriers found.

This letter builds upon our June 14, 2018 letter to Premier Ford, where we introduce ourselves to him, and our July 17, 2018 Briefing Note to Raymond Cho, Ontario’s new Minister for Accessibility and Seniors.

We encourage you to share this Update with your own member of the Ontario Legislature. Urge them to help us get the new Ford Government to act on these priorities. Let us know what you do. Email us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

MORE DETAILS

Text of the AODA Alliance’s July 19, 2018 Letter to Premier Doug Ford ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8
Email: aodafeedback@gmail.com
Visit: www.aodalliance.org