TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 3, 2013) - December 3, 2013, the International Day for People with Disabilities is the day that the OFL and its affiliates endorse and support the AODA Alliance's grassroots campaign to make Ontario fully accessible to over 1.7 million people with disabilities by 2025. There are nine priorities for immediate action to speed up efforts on removing and preventing barriers against people with disabilities.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires the Ontario Government to lead Ontario to become fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. These priorities can all be implemented without increasing the Ontario budget or deficit. Our nine accessibility priorities are:
- Announce and implement a comprehensive ongoing plan to effectively enforce the AODA.
- Create three new accessibility standards under the AODA to address barriers impeding Ontarians with disabilities in education, health care and residential housing.
- Ensure that the Ontario Government does not let public money be used to create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities.
- Establish and implement a comprehensive public plan to ensure that the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games leave behind a strong legacy of disability accessibility in the community.
- Implement a new comprehensive strategy to effectively remove and prevent barriers within the Ontario Government and Ontario public service, and to ensure that the Ontario public service works together on accessibility, not in isolated silos.
- Mandate a permanent province-wide program to ensure that students in school and people training in key professions, such as architecture, are educated on disability accessibility.
- Include the accessibility message in public speeches by as many Cabinet ministers as possible.
- Implement a comprehensive plan, including new legislation, to ensure that municipal and provincial elections are fully accessible to people with disabilities (including secure internet and telephone voting).
- Generally strengthen the implementation of the AODA to ensure its objectives will be achieved, and to not weaken or reduce any provisions or protections in that legislation or regulations enacted under it, or any Ontario Government policies or practices that aim to achieve its objectives.
"December 3, 2013, the International Day for People with Disabilities, should be the day remembered in Ontario as the day when concrete actions came into effect that will improve the lives of Ontarians with Disabilities" said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Hutchison.
The Ontario Federation of Labour just ended its Biennial Convention where resolutions regarding disabilities were passed unanimously by union delegates.
"We call on all Ontario political parties to now endorse and act on the nine priorities outlined by the AODA Alliance," said OFL President Sid Ryan.
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.