Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

ODA Committee Homepageblank spaceFactsheet; the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committeeblank spaceWhat's New on the ODA Committee websiteblank spaceCorrespondence between the ODA Committee and the Ontario Governmentblank spaceODA Committee Press Releasesblank spaceHansard from the Ontario Legislature re: ODAblank spaceODA Committee Action Kits and Tipsblank spaceContact the ODA Committeeblank spaceOrganizational Members of the ODA
Who are we?blank spaceMajor ODA Documentsblank spaceODA News Briefsblank spaceODA Handoutblank spaceODA Pamphletblank spaceODA Postersblank spaceblank spaceRegional ODA Eventsblank spaceblank spaceFree Membership form to Join the ODA Committeeblank space

Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA


Press Release
ODA Committee News Release
September 30, 2002




Monday, September 30, 2001: Today, September 30, 2002, the Ontario
Government finally proclaims in force most of the provisions of the new
Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001. Many Ontarians with disabilities, 1.9
million strong, will watch closely over the months leading up to next
year's provincial election, to see whether the new disabilities legislation
lives up to the Tories' promises. Promised by Mike Harris in 1995, the ODA,
needed to achieve a barrier-free province for Ontarians with disabilities,
was passed into law only last December, and only after people with
disabilities across Ontario battled relentlessly for years to get the
Conservative Government to keep its pledge.

"Last fall the Conservative Government made major commitments on what this
legislation will achieve for us," said David Lepofsky, chair of the
province-wide, non-partisan ODA Committee, organized in 23 regions across
Ontario, which led the charge for a strong, effective ODA. "The Tories
promised that this law would make Ontario a barrier-free province for
persons with disabilities, that no new barriers will be created against
persons with disabilities, that the provincial Government will enact
mandatory regulations covering all sectors, including the private sector,
and that specific accessibility results will be achieved in the public and
private sectors. They pledged that people with disabilities will have
greater access to goods, services, facilities, jobs and significantly
improved opportunities across Ontario, making a meaningful difference in
their lives." For a list of the Tories' commitments, visit:

"While many of us were disappointed that the Government's bill did not go
further, we plan to do whatever we can to get this legislation
implemented," said Lepofsky. "We have offered to work together with the
Ontario Government and all sectors."

The ODA Committee's work is far from completed. It is calling on Ontarians
with disabilities to monitor closely the implementation of this new law, to
see what impact it has on their daily lives. It is expected to be an issue
in next year's provincial election. For example, the ODA Committee will
monitor to see if there are cuts to special education for children with
disabilities, like the reported provincial cuts to special education staff
in Ottawa. Any cuts to special education would break the Tories' pledge
that there will be no new barriers against persons with disabilities.

While most of the ODA comes in force today, the Government has not said
when it will proclaim in force the ODA's important provision, providing the
ODA's only enforcement. That unproclaimed provision would impose a fine if
public sector organizations do not make an annual accessibility plan, or if
municipalities with a population over 10,000 do not establish a local
disability accessibility advisory committee.

Contact: David Lepofsky oda@odacommittee.net
Visit www.odacommittee.net


Index Page   |  Press Releases   |  Action Kit   | 


Website maintained by Barb Anello

Please email your feedback on the website.

Last updated September 30, 2002