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ODA Committee Update
dated January 26, 2005
posted March 5, 2005


ODA Committee Submits Its Final Brief On Bill 118 To The Legislature's Standing Committee On Social Policy

January 26, 2005


Today the ODA Committee submitted its final brief on Bill 118, the proposed Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, to the Legislature's Standing Committee on Social Policy. We will email you the text of this 50 page brief shortly. The text we will send you will include the full brief,
including all recommendations, but not the text of the supporting appendices.

If you want the brief in MS Word form, including all the appendices, email us a request at:


This final version of our brief is based on the draft brief which we circulated on January 6, 2005, as refined in light of feedback we received on that draft. A huge thank you goes out to all who took the time to read through our draft, and to offer their thoughtful feedback. That feedback really helped improve this brief.

For those who don't have the time to read through the entire final document, we set out below the summary of the 11 priorities in our 55 recommendations, which the brief includes.

We hope you will like and support the finished product. We urge you to let the Standing Committee know if you support our proposals, and that you add your own suggestions to supplement ours in any submission you make to the Standing Committee.

As always, we welcome your feedback at:



Our brief's amendments package has 11 priorities. Bill 118 should be amended to:

1) Set specific time lines by which the Ontario Government must take
each major step necessary to implement and administer this bill's major
elements, and key benchmarks that must be achieved at key points during the
bill's 20-year implementation period, all to ensure that progress is steady,
serious and substantial.

2) Reinforce the process for developing proposed accessibility
standards, and ensure that it is arms-length from the Ontario Government.
The Government should take part in that process, and will have ultimate say
over whether a proposed accessibility standard, once developed, is enacted
into law, but shouldn't control the process of developing proposed
accessibility standards.

3) Ensure that the process of implementing and administering the
bill, including the development of accessibility standards, is open,
publicly accountable and transparent.

4) Implement measures to ensure that persons with disabilities and
disability community organizations can take full and meaningful part in the
process of developing accessibility standards, and in other key aspects of

5) Add to the bill additional measures that will effectively promote
barrier removal and prevention in contexts which accessibility standards can't
or don't address.

6) Establish an effective,independent public means for monitoring
progress towards the goal of full provincial accessibility, and for
proposing reforms to the bill and its implementation if needed.

7) Mandate a permanent program to ensure that students in the school
system, and people training in key professions, such as architects, are
educated in disability accessibility.

8) Structure and constructively focus the exercise of the statutory
discretionary powers which the bill gives the Government, the minister, and
other officials appointed to participate in this bill's administration and

9) Ensure that the bill applies to all major activities within
provincial jurisdiction where barriers can arise against persons with

10) Close unnecessary loopholes in the bill e.g. the Government's
power to unilaterally exempt organizations from the bill's requirements,
either by a regulation or private agreement.

11) Ensure an orderly transition from the current Ontarians with
Disabilities Act 2001 to the full operation of this new bill.


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