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September 25, 2001

Liberal Disability Critic Ernie Parsons made a statement in the Legislature calling
for the Government to provide TTY access for persons who are deaf, deafened
and hard of hearing, when they want to contact the provincial government for
services that others can access e.g. through toll-free 1-800 numbers.

Mr. Parsons referred to the need for the Ontarians with Disabilities Act


Ontario Hansard Tuesday, September 25, 2001


Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings): I would like to thank
the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health for
the telephone service that they provide to those who are hearing-
impaired; to the other 22 ministers: shame on you, absolute shame
on you. As you move to your centralized control, you've
established toll-free telephone numbers for any citizen in
Ontario to contact your central office -- as long as they can
speak. But every other TTY line is a payable line. You have 1-800
numbers only for those with voices.

The Minister of Citizenship is responsible for developing an ODA
act, a work in progress for quite some years now. A general
inquiry if anyone wished to phone: 1-800; the TTY line: 1-416.

The Minister of Community and Social Services, who is responsible
for the payment to those who have the disability, pays Andersen
Consulting thousands of dollars a day. They can call free.
Someone who is a recipient under the ODSP and receives
approximately $11,000 a year maximum must dial a 1-416 number and
pay to find out why their meagre cheque has not been sent or what
is going on with their case.

Ministers and Premier, I call upon you to act immediately. Get
rid of the two-tier system and give the hearing-impaired full
access to the government services they pay for.




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