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After Almost Three Months, The Wynne Government Answers the AODA Alliance’s Request for An Update on Government Plans on Implementing and Enforcing the AODA, but Several of Our Important Questions Remain Unanswered

Back on March 16, 2017, the AODA Alliance wrote Ontario’s Accessibility Minister Tracy MacCharles, to ask what the Government has recently done, and what it plans to do over the next year, to implement and enforce the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Eighty-three days after we wrote, the Minister responded. The Government’s June 8, 2017 letter is set out below.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/after-almost-three-months-the-wynne-government-answers-the-aoda-alliances-request-for-an-update-on-government-plans-on-implementing-and-enforcing-the-aoda-but-several-of-our-important-questions/

D’AMATO: Is a School a Public Place? Question Affects Boy and His Service Dog

Is a school a public place?

It’s a simple question, but you could answer it either way.

This is what is at the heart of an Ontario Human Rights Commission hearing in Waterloo that will decide if a boy with autism has the right to have his service dog in the classroom with him.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/damato-is-a-school-a-public-place-question-affects-boy-and-his-service-dog/

The Wynne Government’s Current Online Survey of Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Education system Leaves out Many if not the Majority of Barriers Impeding Students with Disabilities in Ontario’s Education System

The AODA Alliance Offers Ways to Fix That Survey.

On June 21, 2017, the AODA Alliance wrote Ontario’s Minister of Accessibility Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter, and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews. In that letter, set out below, we identify problems with the Government’s online survey about disability accessibility barriers in Ontario’s education system. The Government launched that survey on May 25, 2017. We offer 10 constructive recommendations to improve the survey and related Government efforts on developing the promised Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/the-wynne-governments-current-online-survey-of-disability-barriers-in-ontarios-education-system-leaves-out-many-if-not-the-majority-of-barriers-impeding-students-with-disabilities-in-ontarios/

Employees With Disabilities Need More Than a Government Strategy, Say Advocates

Advocates and service organizations welcomed the announcement, but the lack of details in the strategy tempered their enthusiasm.

Tobi Muntaz, adult services coordinator at Autism Ontario, said the strategy addresses “fantastic and necessary work.” But she stressed the importance of people finding meaningful and sustainable jobs. “It’s great that we’ve created jobs,” she said, “but are they jobs that people are happy in?”

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/employees-with-disabilities-need-more-than-a-government-strategy-say-advocates/

Mother of Two Disabled Daughters Concerned About Lack of Accessibility at New Foldens Playground

While most children were able to enjoy the new Foldens playground during its grand opening Saturday, there was at least one who could not.

Eight-year-old Chloe Nicol came to the playground from Salford with her mother Karen on Saturday for the opening in Foldens Park. Chloe, however, couldn’t make it to the playground equipment because of her wheelchair.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/mother-of-two-disabled-daughters-concerned-about-lack-of-accessibility-at-new-foldens-playground/

We Invite Schools, Colleges, Universities, Early Learning Programs and Job Training Programs in Ontario to Use These Tips for Holding a Public Event to Gather Feedback from Your Organization and the Public on Disability Accessibility Barriers in Our Education System

It is commendable that the Government is encouraging schools, colleges and universities to convene public community events to gather information on the accessibility barriers that students with disabilities face in Ontario’s education system. Recent AODA Alliance Updates explained that the Ontario Government is asking the public to tell it about the disability accessibility barriers that create problems for students with disabilities in Ontario’s education system. Public forums or meetings that educational organizations might organize can really help the Government get public feedback on these education disability accessibility barriers.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/we-invite-schools-colleges-universities-early-learning-programs-and-job-training-programs-in-ontario-to-use-these-tips-for-holding-a-public-event-to-gather-feedback-from-your-organization-and-the/

Toronto Needs New Plan to Be Barrier Free as Accessibility Becomes Law, Says Advocate

As the city seeks to renew its accessibility plan, those who want to eliminate barriers say some Toronto small businesses are putting them up instead of tearing them down.

Maayan Ziv is the founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessibility of restaurants and stores, found out a place where she used to buy shawarma on Spadina Avenue is no longer barrier free.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/toronto-needs-new-plan-to-be-barrier-free-as-accessibility-becomes-law-says-advocate/

Supreme Court Rules on the Application of Human Rights Protections to Persons with Addictions Disabilities in Safety-Sensitive Employment Contexts

CCD/EC made submissions regarding the barriers in the workplace faced by persons with addictions disabilities including the challenges of disclosing their disability-related needs for accommodation. CCD/EC also made arguments regarding the scope of the employer’s duty to accommodate including in circumstances where the employee’s failure to disclose their disability is itself disability-related.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/supreme-court-rules-on-the-application-of-human-rights-protections-to-persons-with-addictions-disabilities-in-safety-sensitive-employment-contexts/

Invitation to give your input at public hearings into reforming & revitalizing our public hospital services

Organizations and individuals are invited to attend and submit oral or written submissions on reforming Ontario’s hospitals in the public interest.

We are holding public hearings across Ontario to gather input which will be used to help create a report and
recommendations to be released across the province in the fall. We will use the recommendations from the
hearings to advocate for improvements in public hospital care and funding. Leading into next spring’s provincial
election, we will measure the political parties’ health care plans against our recommendations, based on your input.

The Wynne Government Posts Details for Applying to Serve on the Education Standards Development Committee

Applications Must Be Submitted by July 31, 2017

On June 12, 2017, the Wynne Government at last circulated more specific information on how to apply to serve on the forthcoming Education Standards Development Committee. That Committee will make recommendations on what the Wynne Government should include in the promised Education Accessibility Standard. The Education Accessibility Standard is needed to tear down the many accessibility barriers that impede students with disabilities in Ontario from fully benefitting from and being fully included in education in Ontario, at all levels of Ontario’s education system.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/the-wynne-government-posts-details-for-applying-to-serve-on-the-education-standards-development-committee/