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The AODA How we got here Barry McMahon Accessibility with Moxie
Past Factors • The Vietnam War Veterans in the 70’s – The ADA, the Architectural Barriers Commission in the U.S.A. • Medical advances – recovery from major trauma, disease, genetic disorders • Technological advances – mobility devices, telecommunications, robotics, etc.. • Human Rights Legislation- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 15.1 – U. N. Year of the Disabled (1981)- CHRC • Society trends towards inclusion versus seclusion
What about Ontario? • We are far behind other jurisdictions in the inclusion of people with disabilities.- Schools - Tourism sector- Hospitality sector- Retail sector- Entertainment sector- Employment • Ontario still institutionalizes PWD’s • A grassroots movement demanded change
Evolution of the ODA • People with disabilities from all over the province pressured for change under the influence of the Ontarians with Disabilities Committee. • 1.85 million Ontarians with Disabilities want inclusion • All provincial parties were on-side in varying degrees • First attempt bombed! And the government heard about it • Finally in 2001 the Ontarians with Disabilities Act became law
ODA, 2001 • Applies to provincial regulated public sector • Mandated thinking about barriers • Mandated consultation with PWD’s • Obligates the creation of plans to eliminate barriers and prevent the creation of new ones • Has not been repealed
ODA is not enough • Applies only to public sector • No enforcement • Too vague and open to replication of effort • Open to abuse and neglect
Why the AODA? • Full integration of PWD’s • Changing demographics15.5% of population have disabilities47.2% of people over 65 have disabilities • Parallel systems are economically unsustainable • A competitive position with other jurisdictions • Personal safety and health
The AODA, 2005 • Again, the result of public pressure • Creates an accessible Ontario by the year 2025 • Applies to the public and private sectors • Strong enforcement mechanisms • Based on the adoption of enforceable regulations and standards • Standards to be developed in consultation with industry and PWD’s • Standards Development is overseen by a Minister’s Council
A wide definition • Disability : The AODA uses the Ontario Human Rights Code definition of “disability” which is : • any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language • a mental disorder, or • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“handicap”).
Establishing Standards • The AODA’ s regulations establish the accessibility standards. An accessibility standard (“the standard”) applies only to a person or organization that does at least one of the following activities : provides goods, services or facilities; employs people in Ontario; offers accommodation; owns or occupies a building, a structure or a premises; plays a part in a business or other activity that the regulations may identify. • The standard gives information about how to identify and remove barriers and a time schedule for meeting the standard
Developing Accessibility Standards • The minister invites people to sit on standards development committees to create proposed accessibility standards. • Three groups of people are on every committee:- People with disabilities or people who represent people with disabilities (50%); - Representatives from organizations or groups to whom the standard will apply (e.g., a specific industry or group of people); - Representatives from Ontario government ministries that have responsibilities that relate to the affected industries or groups of people.
Content of Standards • An accessibility standard shall,(a) set out measures, policies, practices or other requirements for the identification and removal of barriers with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, premises or such other things as may be prescribed, and for the prevention of the erection of such barriers; and (b) require the persons or organizations named or described in the standard to implement those measures, policies, practices or other requirements within the time periods specified in the standard. 2005, c. 11, s. 6 (6).
Major Axioms • Voluntary change almost never happens • If you design places, products, and service to include use by people with disabilities, the rest of the population benefits • People never expect to acquire a disability