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Appendix 5 to the ODA Committee Brief
on Bill 125

The 11 Principles for the ODA Resolution
Unanimously passed by the Ontario
Legislature October 29, 1998




In the opinion of this House, since persons with disabilities in
Ontario face systemic barriers in access to employment, services,
goods, facilities and accommodation; and since, all Ontarians
will benefit from the removal of these barriers, thereby enabling
these persons to enjoy equal opportunity and full participation
in the life of the province; and since Premier Harris promised in
writing during the last election in the letter from Michael D.
Harris to the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee dated May
24, 1995 to:

a) enact an Ontarians with Disabilities Act within its current
term of office; and

b) work together with members of the Ontarians with Disabilities
Act Committee, amongst others, in the development of such

and since this House unanimously passed a resolution on May 16,
1996 calling on the Ontario Government to keep this promise;

Therefore this House resolves that the Ontarians with
Disabilities Act should embody the following principles:

1. The purpose of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act should be
to effectively ensure to persons with disabilities in Ontario the
equal opportunity to fully and meaningfully participate in all
aspects of life in Ontario based on their individual merit, by
removing existing barriers confronting them and by preventing the
creation of new barriers. It should seek to achieve a barrier-
free Ontario for persons with disabilities within as short a time
as is reasonably possible, with implementation to begin
immediately upon proclamation.

2. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act's requirements should
supersede all other legislation, regulations or policies which
either conflict with it, or which provide lesser protections and
entitlements to persons with disabilities;

3. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should require
government entities, public premises, companies and organizations
to be made fully accessible to all persons with disabilities
through the removal of existing barriers and the prevention of
the creation of new barriers, within strict time frames to be
prescribed in the legislation or regulations;

4. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should require the
providers of goods, services and facilities to the public to
ensure that their goods, services and facilities are fully usable
by persons with disabilities, and that they are designed to
reasonably accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.
Included among services, goods and facilities, among other
things, are all aspects of education including primary, secondary
and post-secondary education, as well as providers of
transportation and communication facilities (to the extent that
Ontario can regulate these) and public sector providers of
information to the public e.g.
governments. Providers of these goods, services and facilities
should be required to devise and implement detailed plans to
remove existing barriers within legislated timetables;

5. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should require public
and private sector employers to take proactive steps to achieve
barrier-free workplaces within prescribed time limits. Among
other things, employers should be required to identify existing
barriers which impede persons with disabilities, and then to
devise and implement plans for the removal of these barriers, and
for the prevention of new barriers in the workplace;

6. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should provide for a
prompt and effective process for enforcement. It should not
simply incorporate the existing procedures for filing
discrimination complaints with the Ontario Human Rights
Commission, as these are too slow and cumbersome, and yield
inadequate remedies;

7. As part of its enforcement process, the Ontarians with
Disabilities Act should provide for a process of regulation-
making to define with clarity the steps required for compliance
with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It should be open for
such regulations to be made on an industry-by-industry basis, or
sector-by-sector basis. This should include a requirement that
input be obtained from affected groups such as persons with
disabilities before such regulations are enacted. It should also
provide persons with disabilities with the opportunity to apply
to have regulations made in specific sectors of the economy;

8. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should also mandate the
Government of Ontario to provide education and other information
resources to companies, individuals and groups who seek to comply
with the requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act;

9. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should also require the
Government of Ontario to take affirmative steps to promote the
development and distribution in Ontario of new adaptive
technologies and services for persons with disabilities;

10. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act should require the
provincial and municipal governments to make it a strict
condition of funding any program, or of purchasing any services,
goods or facilities, that they be designed to be fully accessible
to and usable by persons with disabilities. Any grant or contract
which does not so provide is void and unenforceable by the grant-
recipient or contractor with the government in question;

11. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act must be more than mere
window dressing. It should contribute meaningfully to the
improvement of the position of persons with disabilities in
Ontario. It must have real force and effect.




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