After AODA standards come into force, they must be reviewed at least every five (5) years. In other words, the AODA Standards Development Committee that created each standard must also review it every five (5) years, or more often. The Committee must then submit a draft of their review to the Minister in charge of the AODA. The Minister must make the review available to the public so that people can comment on it. Based on those public reactions, the committee revises the proposed standard and resubmits it to the minister. The minister must recommend to the Lieutenant Governor that the standard be accepted in whole, in part, or with modifications. The latest review of the Transportation Standards became public in 2018.
Review of the Transportation Standards
In this review, the Committee outlines many improvements to make transportation within and between cities in Ontario accessible for passengers with disabilities by 2025. Recommendations impact transportation services such as:
- Conventional transit, including:
- Motor coaches
- Light rail
- Commuter rail
- Inter-city rail
- Specialized transit
- Cities that licence taxicabs
The Committee recommends changes to the standards to reduce the accessibility barriers that passengers with disabilities currently face while using these services. However, in some instances, the Committee does not recommend changes to the Transportation Standards. Nonetheless, the Committee identifies barriers that passengers with disabilities face, and recommends strategies to remove these barriers. These strategies involve partnership between the transportation sector and other sectors of the province. While the Committee cannot recommend changes to other legislation, it can offer guidance to potential partner sectors. If these sectors follow this guidance, and the Standards change in compliance with the Committee’s recommendations, the province will be closer to its goal of full accessibility by 2025.
Our next series of articles will explore these recommendations in the review of the Transportation Standards.