ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES COMMITTEE
ACTION TIP NOVEMBER 2, 2000
HOW TO MAKE A BARRIER DIARY
AND WHAT TO DO WITH IT
November 4, 2000
As the Harris Government forges ahead with its plans to introduce
a do-nothing, voluntary ODA, one that does not require barriers to
be removed, there's a great way to show why we need a strong ODA
that requires that barriers facing people with disabilities be
removed and prevented. The strategy is to get as many people as
possible to prepare and circulate their own barrier diaries. Here
are tips on how to do this:
WHAT IS A BARRIER DIARY?
A barrier diary is a record or sampling of barriers that a person
with a disability faces in their community over a day, or a few
days, or even a week.
HOW DO I PREPARE A BARRIER DIARY?
Just take a few minutes and compose a list of barriers that you
faced today, or over the past short period, when trying to work, or
buy goods, or use services or facilities that others enjoy.
Describe the activity you wanted to try, and the impediments you
faced due to a disability. These barriers can be physical,
technological, bureaucratic, informational communication barriers
or any other kind of barrier due to a disability.
Think of things you did not even try to do because of barriers,
that you would like to have tried. For example, think of a
restaurant you did not even try to go to, or a product you did not
even consider buying, because of these barriers.
There's nothing formal or fancy about a barrier diary. It can be
a few lines long, or a full page, or longer. A sample one is set
out below. You can use that sample or design your own. It's good
to include some information about yourself, such as your disability
and the community where you live. Finally, it's good to include in
the barrier diary a statement that you have prepared this diary to
support the call for the passage of a strong, mandatory Ontarians
with Disabilities Act to achieve a barrier-free Ontario for all 1.5
million Ontarians with disabilities.
DOES A BARRIER DIARY HAVE TO BE DONE IN WRITING?
If you would prefer not to prepare a barrier diary in writing,
there are lots of other ways to do one. You could say it on a
tape. You could take photographs. You could call your local radio
station, TV station or newspaper and tell them your story. You
could even call Mike Harris at (416) 325-1941 and tell him or his
staff about the barriers you face.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE A DISABILITY IN ORDER TO PREPARE A BARRIER DIARY?
People without disabilities are also strongly encouraged to prepare
barrier diaries. If you do not have a disability, but a friend,
co-worker or family member has one, then you can make up a diary
about barriers they face. You can also include in it examples of
how those barriers impeded you too. For example, if you and your
friend with a disability wanted to go to a restaurant today, but
your first choice of restaurant had two steps at the entrance, then
this prevented both of you from going there together, even though
you may have been able to enter alone. You can also list barriers
you have observed that would effect you if you had a disability
now, or get one in the future.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE BARRIER DIARY WHEN I HAVE COMPLETED IT?
Please circulate your barrier diary to help show politicians and
the media why we need a strong, mandatory Ontarians with
Disabilities Act. You should:
* Send a copy to Premier Harris and to your local member of the
Ontario Legislature. You might send it to them in Braille as well.
Premier Harris's address is:
The Honourable Michael Harris
Room 281, Legislative Building
His email address is: email@example.com
* Send a copy of your barrier diary to your local media, including
newspapers, radio and TV stations alike, and urge them to report on
the barriers in your community and on the strong public support for
a mandatory effective ODA.
* Send a copy of your barrier diary to the ODA Committee so they
can also present it to the Ontario Government. You can email it to
firstname.lastname@example.org or send it by regular mail to:
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
c/o Marg Thomas
1929 Bayview Avenue
HOW CAN I GET OTHERS INVOLVED IN THIS EFFORT?
We need as many involved in this effort as possible, as quickly as
possible, because the Harris Government plans to slip through a
toothless Ontarians with Disabilities Act bill any day now, hoping
that no one will be covering this. You can:
* Print up and circulate this action tip, or email it to as many
people as you can. Encourage them to circulate it to others too and
to get involved.
* show your barrier diary to others to help encourage them to get
* Get others to prepare barrier diaries. Offer to collect these
barrier diaries and send them to the Government and media in a
* If you are connected with a disability community organization,
circulate this action tip to your staff, volunteers and consumers.
Organize your own organizational effort to prepare and collect
barrier diaries to send to the Government and media.
* Encourage people to visit the ODA Committee Website at
http://www.odacommittee.net to learn more about this issue.
WHEN DO WE NEED TO HAVE BARRIER DIARIES PREPARED AND CIRCULATED?
We need to act as soon as possible. The Harris Government appears
to be planning to introduce its ineffective ODA in the next few
weeks, and to rush it through the Legislature fast. You might make
this a project during ODA Action Week, November 3 to 10. If you
get your barrier diary to the ODA Committee before November 15, we
can bring it with us when we go to the Ontario Legislature on
November 15 to show our support for a strong, mandatory ODA. Even
if you prepare and send out a barrier diary after these dates, it
will still be very helpful.
SAMPLE BARRIER DIARY
DISABILITY BARRIER DIARY
I have prepared this barrier diary to show why Ontario now needs a
strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act to achieve a
barrier-free Ontario for 1.5 million Ontarians with disabilities.
In 1995, Premier Harris promised this new legislation in his first
term. He is now in his second term. It's time for him to keep that
promise by passing strong, mandatory legislation.
MY CITY OR TOWN:
(Note If you have no disability, then indicate that a friend,
family or co-worker has a disability, and indicate that you are
talking about the barriers they face)
BARRIERS FACED IN THE PAST __ DAYS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES:
(Describe the activity involved, and the barrier faced e.g. Wanted
to go to restaurant. Could not get in due to steps at front door
which my wheelchair cannot climb. ...or... Wanted to phone a
government office. Could not deal with them directly for they have
no TTY and I am deaf.)
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