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Watch AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin Tonight at 8 or 11 PM

or Later on YouTube, Talking about the Need for the Wynne Government to Create an Education Accessibility Standard and Insufficient Government Action on Accessibility Comes up During Budget Debates in the Ontario Legislature

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities Twitter: @aodaalliance

March 3, 2016


1. Watch AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofskys Twenty-Minute Interview Tonight at 8 or 11 PM on TVOs The Agenda With Steve Paikin Or Later on YouTube

Please encourage friends, family and total strangers to watch Ontarios leading public affairs TV program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, tonight at 8 or 11 pm, or within the next few days, on YouTube. Steve Paikin interviews AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky for twenty minutes on troubling accessibility barriers facing students with disabilities in Ontario, and the need for the Wynne Government to at last decide that it will create and enact a much-needed Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

That the AODA Alliance has gotten great airtime on this influential public affairs program is a real credit to all our tenacious supporters across Ontario who press accessibility issues in your communities.

Why not use this interview to help our cause? Urge your MPP and your local media, and your local school board officials to watch this program. Press your MPP to agree to support our call for the Wynne Government to create an Education Accessibility Standard under the AODA.

If your MPP, local media or school board officials miss the actual broadcast, tell them to watch it when it is available on YouTube in the next few days. We will let you know the Youtube link to it when it becomes available.

You can also use several earlier interviews by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky on The Agenda with Steve Paikin on disability accessibility in recent years. Just go to YouTube and search on David Lepofsky and Steve Paikin.

As a cruel irony, the Government is taking far longer just to decide whether to create an Education Accessibility Standard than it takes to actually develop an accessibility standard. Tell your MPP that our call for the Wynne Government to develop and enact an Education Accessibility Standard has been supported by a number of organizations that speak for many of those on the front lines in our schools and universities who teach students across Ontario?

Are you a member of a school boards Special Education Advisory Committee SEAC in your community? Please encourage all your SEAC members to sign up for AODA Alliance Updates. Tell them to just email and say Sign me up!

To read the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations endorsement of our call for an Education Accessibility Standard, visit

To read the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontarios endorsement of our call for an Education Accessibility Standard, visit

To read the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation’s letter, endorsing our call for an Education Accessibility Standard, visit

To read the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Associations endorsement of our call for an Education Accessibility Standard, visit

2. Our Accessibility Campaign Comes Up During Debates in the Legislature on the Ontario Budget

During the February 29, 2016 debates in the Legislature on the new Ontario Budget, NDP MPP Percy Hatfields speech included the following remarks. This refers to recent AODA Alliance Updates:

While were playing the shame game, lets talk about this new budget and what it means to people with disabilities in this province. That will be a very short conversation because theres very little of any consequence in these 350 pages that deals in any way with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. In fact, one of the brightest guys Ive ever met, David Lepofsky, just reminded me about that on Friday. The Liberals brought in the ODA more than 10 years ago and yet he says the act has not made a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
There are 1.8 million people in Ontario with a disabilitynearly two million. The goal is for the province to be fully accessible by 2025. David Lepofsky has been practising law in Ontario for 35 years. Hes one of the most recognized and respected disability activists in Canada, and when he speaks, the members of this chamber should be listening.
He called out the Liberals last week, saying, Over 1.8 million Ontarians with a physical, mental, sensory, learning, intellectual or communication disability still face far too many unfair accessibility barriers every day, when they try to get a job, shop in stores, go to school or university, get health care services, find a place to live, eat in restaurants, use a taxi, public transit, or other public services, or deal with their municipal or provincial government.
David Lepofsky says the Liberals have no comprehensive plan to ensure that we will reach the 2025 goal of a barrier-free Ontario. The document, the so-called Jobs for Today and Tomorrowthat budget document is a snow job, not a jobs plan.
Let me remind you what a great Canadian once said. A man who recently served us as Ontarios Lieutenant Governor, David Onley, was speaking about the problems that people with disabilities have in finding suitable employment. Our former Lieutenant Governor said that massive disability unemployment isnt just a national crisis; its a national shame.
Well, you can take those words to the bank. I wouldnt be taking this Jobs for Today and Tomorrow book to the bank unless it was a snow bank, because, as I said, its more of a snow job pretending to be a blueprint for a better tomorrow. I guess you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cant fool most of us with this one.

3. Remember to join in the AODA Alliances Picture Our Barriers Blitz

Help us get more people involved in our new Picture Our Barriers blitz. If you search on #AODAfail on Twitter or on the internet, you can see we already have some wonderful early adopters!

To help that blitz, you need a smart phone. Take photos or videos of accessibility barriers in your community. Post them on line! Tweet, Facebook message or email them to your Member of the Ontario Legislature (MPP) and local news media. Include our new search term or hashtag #AODAfail so others will find what you post.

Be a citizen journalist. Our Picture Our Barriers Action Kit shows how to use these examples of accessibility barriers to show why the Ontario Government must speed up action to remove and prevent disability barriers.

If you dont have a smart phone, or want to reach out to your MPP and local media the old-fashioned way, our Action Kit has lots of great ideas for you.

Everything you need to take part in our Picture Our Barriers campaign can be found at Check it out from time to time, as we are adding new helpful resources there for you, when we can. There you can find

* The new AODA Alliance Picture Our Barriers Action Kit.
* A list of all Ontario MPPs, and all their contact information, so you can try to meet your own local MPP.
* A list of the email addresses and Twitter handles of all Ontario MPPs, sorted alphabetically, or by political party, so you can send them stories, photos or videos of accessibility barriers in your community, and urge them to press the Wynne Government for more action on disability accessibility.
* A list of email addresses and Twitter handles for a number of major news media, so you can send them stories, photos or videos about accessibility barriers in your communities.
* A 1-page leaflet you can share with friends, family, and others, either by emailing it, posting it on your website or Facebook page, or print up to hand out, about our Picture Our Barriers campaign, and
* A 1-page leaflet you can share with others, on how to contact and get involved in the AODA Alliance.

4. Dont Forget the Opportunity to Learn More at Upcoming Community Accessibility Forums and Panels

To find out the details about the March 3, 2016 accessibility café at the Windsor Law School, the March 7, 2016 accessibility forum at York University and the accessibility panel to be held on March 12, 2016 at Ryerson University, including how to RSVP, visit Sign language is booked for each of these events.

You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at

To sign up for, or unsubscribe from AODA Alliance e-mail updates, write to:

We encourage you to use the Governments 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 Alliances 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

Learn all about our campaign for a fully accessible Ontario by visiting

Please also join the campaign for a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act, spearheaded by Barrier-Free Canada. The AODA Alliance is the Ontario affiliate of Barrier-Free Canada. Sign up for Barrier-Free Canada updates by emailing