Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

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Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125
Correspondence with Government on Bill 125

ODA Committee's June 13, 2002 letter to Accessibility Advisory
Committee Chair David Shannon



June 13, 2002

David Shannon,
Chair, Ontario Accessibility Advisory Council
c/o the Accessibility Directorate,
400 University Avenue,
3rd floor,
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2R9.

Dear Sir,

Re: Ontarians with Disabilities Act

On behalf of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, I want to
congratulate you as well as Jeff Adams, Dean LaBute, Barry McMahon and
Duncan Read on your being appointed by the Ontario Government to the
Ontario Accessibility Advisory Council. We look forward to working together
closely with all of you and with the entire Council on the implementation
of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001.

As you know, the ODA Committee is widely recognized for leading
province-wide efforts to secure the enactment of a strong and effective
Ontarians with Disabilities Act. We are also recognized as a leading centre
of expertise in this area.

Having launched grassroots regions in 23 parts of Ontario, our membership
and network enables us to reach and hear from a wide range of individuals
and organizations across Ontario. Our activities over the past seven and a
half years have involved, among other things, holding numerous public
forums on the ODA. As a core message, we have been very active at urging
the Ontario Government to hear directly from persons with disabilities, as
well as from their families, friends and supporters.

To assist you and the Council, as well as the new Citizenship Minister and
Accessibility Directorate, we have prepared the enclosed "PROPOSED ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT ONE-YEAR ODA WORKPLAN." In it we have identified a list of
important tasks that we recommend that the Ontario Government undertake
over the next year to implement this legislation effectively.

As our June 13, 2002 letter to the new Citizenship Minister indicates, (a
copy of which we are sending to you) in preparing the Proposed Workplan, we
solicited input from our membership across Ontario and carefully analyzed
the terms of the ODA 2001.

We hope that you and the Government find this Proposed Workplan helpful,
that you find our suggestions reasonable, that you recommend that the
Government adopt it or that you will recommend that the Government adopt
comparable strategies and time-lines in its final workplan.

During the public discussion and legislative debates over the ODA 2001 last
fall, the Ontario Government made a series of 13 important commitments to
Ontarians with Disabilities. To assist you and the Council we enclose both
a list of these 13 commitments, and a list of the public statements by the
Government in which these commitments were made.

We hope that the Council will voice a strong public commitment to the
mandatory removal and prevention of barriers against persons with
disabilities in all sectors. The ODA Committee looks forward to working
together with the Council on developing strong, effective and mandatory
regulations to ensure the timely removal and prevention barriers against
persons with disabilities in the public and private sectors. We encourage
the Council to begin an open consultation process as soon as possible
across Ontario with persons with disabilities on what those regulations
should include. Our Proposed Workplan includes specific recommendations
regarding such a consultation. Finally, we also encourage the Council to
make its proceedings and deliberations open to all.

Again, congratulations to you and the other members for being selected by
the Government to serve on the Accessibility Advisory Council.

Yours sincerely,

David Lepofsky, C.M.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

cc: The Hon. Ernie Eves 325-7578
Carl DeFaria 326-9338
Chris Stockwell 325-7755
Dalton McGuinty 325-9895
Dwight Duncan 325-2201
Steve Peters 325-7262
Ernie Parsons 325-4757
Howard Hampton 325-8222
Peter Kormos 325-7067
Marilyn Churley 325-3252
Tony Martin 325-3720
Nadia Temple







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