To: All Supporters of a Strong Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Re: AN EXCITING IDEA FOR ACTION IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS ONTARIO
Date: February 4th, 2000
WE HAVE AN EXCITING IDEA FOR ACTION IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS ONTARIO
to help support the enactment of a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act!
In as many communities as possible, we would like to create "Barrier Walls" to raise public awareness. A barrier wall will be a portable standing surface, made up to look like a brick wall. On each "brick" or section of bricks, of this wall can be attached pictures, stories, or other kinds of representations of barriers that people with disabilities face in Ontario. As more barriers are identified, they can be added to the wall.
These Barrier Walls can be displayed in public places and at events, to help educate the public about the many barriers faced by people with disabilities. This idea was begun by the Windsor Essex Region of the ODA Committee, who have already started building
their own Barrier Wall. They plan to present it to local MPPs on February 8, 2000 in Windsor.
"Okay, so how can I help to create a barrier wall in my community?"
Please write about, take pictures of, create a collage of, draw, paint, colour, clip a newspaper article about, or do anything else to get an example of a real life barrier that you, your family member, or friends with disabilities face in Ontario. These
barriers might, for example, be in the areas of education, recreation, employment, transportation, housing, communication ... They might be physical or attitudinal barriers. They could face all Ontarians with disabilities, or only people with one particular
kind of disability, be it a visible or invisible disability, be it a physical, sensory or mental disability. Use your imagination and creativity to make your submission an effective representation of the barriers you or others face.
One idea is to include your first name and type of disability. This might help make it easier for people to relate to and understand your barrier (only a suggestion!) Its not necessary to
include the name or exact location of the barrier. Our aim is to show the public what we face, not to focus on any particular organizations.
"So what do I do with my example to be included in a Barrier Wall?"
If there is an ODA Committee region in your community, why not contact your ODA Committee Regional Contacts there and see if they have plans to build a Barrier Wall in your community. You can find a list of the Regional Contacts and how to get in touch with them at www.odacommittee.net/contacts.html or by contacting Marg Thomas at (voice) (416) 480-7686, (Fax) 416-480-7014, (E-mail email@example.com, or via TTY by Contacting Susan Main at (416) 964-0023 ex. 343.
If your community doesn't yet have a plan to create a barrier wall, we encourage you to get in touch with your ODA Committee's regional contacts and offer to help get one started! If your community decides to create a barrier wall, please get in touch with us via the names listed below. We'd love to share ideas among the different regions!
If you are in the Toronto area, or there is not yet any activity in your part of the province at this time to create a local Barrier Wall there, please send your submissions for the Toronto Barrier Wall by March 1, 2000 if possible to:
350 Rumsey Rd.
Toronto, ON M4G 1R8
or by e-mail to: Susan Fearnley
or by phone by calling Andy Snider at (416) 424-3855 ex. 3472#.
ONCE A STRONG AND EFFECTIVE ODA IS PASSED INTO LAW, WE LOOK FORWARD TO TAKING DOWN THE BARRIER WALLS TOGETHER!!
Keep us posted! This is an idea that is truly off the wall!
Susan Fearnley, Valerie Lusted, and Andy Snider -
The ODA Committee Toronto Region's
Barrier Wall Team