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Appendix 3 to the ODA Committee Brief
on Bill 125

Draft Strategic Plan for Previous
Ontario Advisory Council on
Disability Issues




The following is the text of a draft strategic plan for the previous Ontario Advisory Council on disability Issues. That body existed in Ontario from 1975 to 1995. It was abolished by the Harris Government in 1995. Bill 125's proposed new Disability Advisory Council is similar to this previous body.

- 1995 (Draft)


The Ontario Advisory Council for Disabled Persons was established
by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in 1975. In 1987, Council
was given a three-year mandate as well as revisions to its Terms
of Reference. Council's mandate was broadened to advise the
government of matters that affect all disabled persons. To
reflect these revisions, Council's name was changed from the
Ontario Advisory Council on the Physically Handicapped to the
Ontario Advisory Council for Disabled Persons. In March, 1990,
Council's mandate was renewed until March, 1995.

COUNCIL'S MISSION, summarized from the Order-in-Council, is:

To advise the Government of Ontario through the Minister
Responsible for Disabled Persons on matters pertaining to the
well-being of disabled persons;

To promote the development and creation of opportunity for self-
help for disabled persons;

To review current policies which have a bearing on disability;

To report annually to the Minister on the Advisory Council's
recommendations and progress.

Council engages in three primary activities:

It identifies and addresses major issues;

It responds to emerging issues brought to the attention of
Council by government, the community or individuals -- all of
whom may request advice or comment on specific matters; and

It monitors policies and programs related to disability issues
both within government and the community. It also monitors
responses to recommendations contained in the reports it prepares
on issues such as Transportation (1987), Independent Living
(1988), and Employment (1990).

Council may also be asked to provide representation on a number
of external committees (governmental or non-governmental) related
to disability issues. It may also be invited to make submissions
to other Agencies, Boards and Commissions.

Council holds six or seven two-day meetings every year. One or
more of these meetings may be public consultations, held in
various locations throughout the province. Recommendations
arising from council's deliberations, once approved by full
Council, are forwarded to the Minister for consideration by the

Minutes of Council meetings, once approved by Council, are
circulated to some 80 organizations, individuals and government

Council reports are printed in French and English and are
presented to the Minister. They are made available to the public
through distribution to government, the media, and interested
individuals and organizations in the public, private or voluntary
sectors in Ontario, across Canada or internationally. Reports are
also available through the Ontario Government Bookstore.

Council's Annual Report is tabled in the Ontario Legislature by
the Minister. Council is not a funding body. It does not
undertake case management and is not involved in the delivery of
programs. The provision of funding, primary research and program
development and delivery is the responsibility of the government
of Ontario.


Since Council's inception in 1975, it has played a major role in
advising the provincial government on the needs and issues of
persons with disabilities. While not a primary function of
Council, its work has also helped increase public awareness of,
positively change attitudes towards, persons with disabilities.

The work accomplished by Council and by many other groups,
organizations and individuals concerned with disability issues,
has resulted in an increased profile and a more public climate
for such issues over the past 10 years.

Disability issues are entering a period of transition. Improved
human rights legislation, which has fostered the integration of
people with disabilities into mainstream Canadian life, needs to
be enforced more stringently. Recent years have seen a commitment
to change on the part of government, the private sector and the
public - but the momentum must be maintained.

Although there have been considerable improvements in the
quantity and quality of services, programs and policies for
persons with disabilities, the delivery remains uneven and
inconsistent. In addition, while many excellent programs for
persons with
disabilities have been developed, they still tend to be seen as
"special" services and are not provided as integrated,
"essential" services. Consequently, the challenge for Council,
and the disabled community as a whole, will be to ensure the
removal of all barriers to the full and complete integration of
disabled persons into Canadian society.


Council's primary responsibility is to the Government of Ontario,
to which it reports through the Minister Responsible for Disabled

Ultimately, Council serves the 14 percent of Ontario citizens
(1.3 million persons) estimated to have a disability.


Council has based its work on the Ontario Human Rights Code, 1981
(revised 1986) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
which guarantees equal treatment with respect to services, goods
and facilities without discrimination due to handicap.

Council has therefore decided that all its future work will
continue to be based on the principles of equity in access to
services, goods and facilities in accordance with human rights
legislation. Council will pay particular attention to the
equitable provision of quality services for persons with
disabilities across the province.


Having completed in-depth studies on transportation, independent
living assistance and employment, Council has identified a number
of important issues it feels are of concern and interest to
disabled persons. It has determined that three issues, in
particular, should become a priority during 1990-1995.

1. Children's Issues


Services and supports must be available to children with
disabilities and their parents to ensure that they are able to
maximize their participation in society. Members therefore intend
to address issues affecting children with disabilities. Goal:

To identify and make recommendations regarding issues that affect
children with disabilities, their families and the systems that
support them, in order to enhance their lifelong integration into
the community.


Council will achieve this goal by:

Educating itself on the issues; Identifying current resources and
existing literature; Scanning government and non-profit programs
and services; Consulting with consumers, parents, professionals,
and interest groups and organizations; Identifying service gaps;
and Developing a comprehensive report containing appropriate
recommendations to address identified issues.

2. Community Support for Persons with Psychiatric and/or
Developmental Disabilities


Over the past 20 years, there has been a major shift towards
deinstitutionalization and placing persons with psychiatric
and/or developmental disabilities in community settings.
Council's mandate is to advise the government on matters
affecting all disabled persons. Members therefore intend to
examine issues affecting persons with psychiatric and/or
developmental disabilities in greater detail.


To identify and recommend the services and supports needed by
people with psychiatric and/or developmental disabilities to
promote community living and enhance their quality of life.


Council will achieve this goal by:

Identifying and educating itself on the issues; Researching
government legislation, programs and policies, and service agency
programs; Consulting with consumers, support groups, the
voluntary sector and service providers; and Making
recommendations to address identified issues.

3. Education of Professionals and Decision-Makers


Council members agree that ways must be found to sensitize
decision-makers so that the needs of disabled persons are
considered and that barriers to integration are avoided.


To seek ways to sensitize professionals and other decision
makers, through their education, to the needs of person with
disabilities in order to ensure that decisions made enhance the
quality of life of disabled persons and promote their full
integration into the community.


Council will achieve this goal by:

Identifying the professionals and decision-makers to be targeted
and their professional affiliations;
Identifying current educational gaps;
Consulting with professionals and decision-makers to identify
needs and concerns; and
Developing recommendations to remedy identified problems in co-
operation with professionals and decision-makers and their
professional affiliations/organizations.


As already stated, Council engages in three primary activities:
it addresses major identified issues such as those identified
above. It monitors response to its recommendations, particularly
those made in its reports; and it responds to emerging issues.

Monitoring Function

In addition to addressing the issues identified above, Council
has also agreed to monitor the following:

Implementation of legislation affecting persons with
disabilities; Long-term care reform;
Revisions to and updating of the Ontario Building Code;
Implementation of recommendations made in Council's reports on:
Independent Living

Employment Council will also be considering the following issues
during 1990-1995:

Abuse - Persons with Disabilities as the victims of crime
Attitudinal Change Among Persons With Disabilities
Learning Disabilities
Native Issues
Substance and alcohol abuse among persons with disabilities.

Response Function

To the extent its resources will permit, Council will continue to
respond to emergent issues raised by government, the community or




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