ODA Action Tip
December 10, 2000
Over 20 municipal and regional councils across Ontario have passed
resolutions calling for the passage of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
London's passed in the fall of 1999, and was re-affirmed in the fall of 2000.
Here is a list of practical tips on how to succeed in this venture,
prepared by ODA Committee London Regional Contact Cathy Vincent
Linderoos. If you need a sample resolution to present in your
community, send me a request via Email.
With new councils just elected, this is a great time to move on
this if your council has not yet passed one. Thanks to Cathy for
her work putting together this great list. It lets us benefit from
the successes in London.
Ten Easy Ideas for ODA Committee Members and Supporters to Assist
You in Getting the ODA Committee's Recommendation Passed at Your
Let me begin by saying that these ideas may at first seem fairly
involved, but we actually encountered no opposition or disagreement
during the whole process last summer. I think I should say that it
was 100% easier than I originally had thought it might be. There
was so much quiet, strong support at city hall that I had never
known about previously. You may well find a groundswell of support
for the ODA that you never knew existed! cvl
1. Gather together a core group of ODA Committee members who can do
various tasks. Assign people loosely to their responsibilities
during a single meeting at somebody's home. Have one person keep
track of the overall picture.
2. Contact your favorite councillor and describe what it is that
you'd like to see pass unanimously at Council. Ask him if he'd or
she'd personally champion the ODA cause and work with you. Tell him
why you think it is quite do-able and important where you live.
3. Consider the merits of and need for a meeting with city hall
staff --together with this councillor -- to discuss any foreseeable
roadblocks in your path to council's unanimous approval.
Incorporate minor changes and/or an individualized preamble to the
ODA Committee's Recommendation.
4. One of our committee decided she wanted to "paper the place"
with letters of support to the "first-stage committee" chairman.
She duplicated the sample letter that appeared in the local MS
Society chapter's newsletter and then distributed it to friends and
associates for signing. Her husband walked those letters over to
City Hall on his noon hour for a week or two. Other letters were
sent by mail by numerous MS Society chapter members.
5. Contact the editor at the newspaper, and ask her to cover the
story. This may be done in conjunction with the councillor who is
your champion and it can be especially effective if the story runs
BEFORE the key decisions are made at city hall. Alternately, you
may be aware of a social policy page reporter who has written about
the ODA previously. Here, a free lance writer was assigned to the
story and a number of significant quotes were obtained over her 5
days of research and writing. Have one person responsible for
keeping tel. phone numbers and names readily available. That person
should be easily reachable by telephone.
6. Consider how people with disabilities can be seen AND heard on
the key meeting dates. Some people with diverse disabilities spoke
to various politicians directly and others showed their support in
quieter, yet equally effective ways. Give people lots of notice for
booking transit and other arrangements. Book sign language
interpreters via the Canadian Hearing Society as soon as you know
the dates needed.
7. Try to have an "adjenda presence". By this I mean - encourage
people to write a letter to the council or to the "first-stage
committee" which will then be duplicated on the hard-copy of the
adjenda itself. These letters are then read by the media, the
politicians and the attending public.
8. Send your ODA Committee regional contact(s) or other person or
persons to do the oral presentation at the committee level. Other
members may be part of this delegation, too. Tell your families,
friends, VON's, home-support workers, members and students where
this meeting will be held and encourage them to go to show support.
Politicians will pay attention when people show they care enough to
attend their meetings.
9. Lobby the various politicians by e-mail and by phone. Whatever
works for your group in your town is the way to go. Tell them where
the resolution has already been approved in Ontario.
10. Best of Luck!
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Last updated December 15, 2000