Every four years, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario appoints someone to review the AODA. Moreover, this reviewer spends time meeting with the public, especially people with disabilities, discussing possible improvements the AODA might need. As a result, the reviewer writes a report about how effective the AODA and its mandates are. During public meetings for the third review of the AODA, attendees outlined many barriers that people with disabilities face. More improvements to the AODA would help to remove existing barriers and prevent future ones. Therefore, in addition to direct recommendations, Onley’s review also includes discussion of these barriers and suggestions from attendees about how to remove them. This article lists the suggestions in the third review of the AODA.
Suggestions in the Third Review of the AODA
The Honourable David C. Onley, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, wrote the third review of the AODA, published in 2019. In this review, he outlines many barriers that Ontarians with disabilities encounter every day. Improvements to current and future standards could prevent or remove many of these barriers. For instance, attendees suggest removing and preventing barriers in:
- Public spaces
- Transportation, including:
- Education, including:
- Customer service, including:
Barriers in AODA Processes
Likewise, attendees outline more barriers within current AODA processes. For instance, attendees suggest changes in the procedures of:
Similarly, attendees report that current processes for enforcing AODA compliance are not effective. Attendees state that some barriers preventing compliance are:
Barriers outside of the AODA
Finally, attendees also describe some barriers not related to AODA mandates. Nonetheless, these barriers profoundly impact the lives of people with disabilities. Preventing and removing them will benefit people with and without disabilities. Some of these barriers are:
- Poverty, due to disability-related funding structures
- Barriers for children with disabilities and their families
Onley’s review does not directly recommend that the government take steps to remove or prevent barriers in any of these areas. However, by including them in his review, Onley shows that even after it addresses the recommendations, the Ontario government will still have much more work to do to make the province accessible.