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Use of Data on Disability in Public Policy Decisions

In the fourth review of the AODA, Rich Donovan states that Ontario will not be fully accessible by 2025. In other words, the provincial government will not meet its own deadline under the AODA. Limited creation, implementation, and enforcement of AODA standards impacts the well-being and safety of Ontarians with disabilities. Therefore, Donovan recommends that the Ontario government should declare this lack of progress on accessibility a crisis. This crisis state should last six (6) months. During this time, the Ontario government should form a crisis committee to implement crucial accessibility improvements in the province. The Premier should act as the chair of this committee, and the Secretary of Cabinet should act as co-chair. Furthermore, Donovan outlines tactical recommendations the province should follow to fulfill its remaining responsibilities in the public sector. One of these tactical recommendations is use of data on disability in public policy decisions.

Use of Data on Disability in Public Policy Decisions

The review states that all sectors of the economy need to consider data on disability when they make decisions. For instance, the research team gathering data on disability should collect and analyze data about how people’s disabilities impact their:

For example, the research team could collect data on how easily students with a variety of disabilities can access:

Similarly, the team could collect and analyze data on:

Likewise, the team could collect and analyze data on the need for:

This data would help leaders in all these sectors of the economy understand the effects their decisions have on citizens with disabilities. Moreover, this data could change the way decisions are made. For example, quantitative data on the number of people who face barriers in housing could cause the government to allocate needed funding to builders who will construct housing without these barriers.


Therefore, the review recommends that the research team should publish data that informs the public, government, and private sector about:

  • The number of people with disabilities in the province
  • Demographics about this population, including:

Moreover, the data should be published in ways that are easy for the general public to understand. Furthermore, the team should update this data every ninety (90) days. In addition, stakeholders in the public and private sectors should consult and use this data on disability to inform the decisions they make. For example, this data should be the basis for public policy audits in sectors such as:

This data would act as an accessibility lens for all concerns that come before government at the provincial or municipal level.