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ODA Action Tip
January 31, 2002


The Ontario Government is now conducting a consultation on the disability
access provisions of the Ontario Building Code. Below is a form letter that we
recently received that tells you how you can learn more about this, and can
send in your views. We encourage you to do this. The deadline for sending in
submissions by email, fax or regular mail has been extended to March 1, 2002.
Piecemeal improvements to the Building Code are no substitute for the strong
and effective ODA that we seek. Despite this, it is still worthwhile to avail
ourselves of this opportunity.

Whether you are writing them as an individual or as part of a group or
organization, you might wish to:

* Give examples of barriers you face that the Building Code might be amended to
remove and prevent;

* Ask that the Building Code's provisions be extended to fully cover and
require removal of existing barriers, as well as the prevention of new barriers
with respect to buildings, and that it apply to all kinds of buildings except
where non-compliance can be justified. It should apply to all the grounds
around a building and not just the building structure itself;

* Suggest that Building Code provisions should address barriers regarding
buildings facing people with all kinds of disabilities, be they physical,
mental and/or sensory, be they visible or invisible. Now the building Code
largely deals with barriers relating to disabilities that are mobility and/or
vision-related. Even then, it does not fully and effectively deal with those

* Recommend that the Building Code be made more freely accessible so all can
easily get a copy and know what standards are imposed;

* Urge that the remedies for non-compliance with the Building Code be
toughened, and

* Ask the government to hold face-to-face consultations with both persons with
disabilities and building construction experts at the table together so that we
can work out common ground based on our combined expertise.

Let us know what you choose to do vis a vis this consultation and let us know
what response you get from the Government.


Ministry of Citizenship
5th Floor
400 University Avenue
Toronto ON M7A 2R9

January 28, 2002

Dear Reader,

In early December of 2001, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
announced public consultations to solicit views on priorities for changes to
the disabled access requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

This consultation was scheduled to end on January 25, 2002. To allow for more
input by the disability community, the consultation has been extended for
another month until March 1, 2002.

This consultation is an example of the government's commitment to its vision to
an accessible Ontario. We encourage you to take the opportunity to share your
ideas and thoughts on this important topic. A copy of the Ministry of Municipal
Affairs and Housing consultation paper on barrier-free access requirements is
available through its web site at: http://www.barrierfree.mah. gov.on.ca/

Groups and organizations can provide their feedback to it by e-mail at

Or by mail at:

Public Consultation on Barrier-Free Access, Requirements in the Ontario
Building Code, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Building and
Development Branch, 777 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5

By Fax:

You may fax your submission to: Public Consultation on Accessibility (416)

More Information

For more information, or to get an electronic version of the response paper,
visit the consultation website: www.barrierfree. mah.gov.on.ca or call
Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at: (416) 585-7000 TTY:
(416) 326-0148 Toll Free: 1-888-335-6611

I am confident that by working together Ontarians, with disabilities,
communities, builders, designers and businesses will come up with creative
approaches to ensure that existing barriers are removed and no new ones are


Cam Jackson
Minister of Citizenship
January 2002





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