Province: Sheltered Workshops on Way Out; Announcing Plan to Close Facilities Permanently, Minister Hails ‘New Era’ for ‘Fantastic Population’

Now, the same advocates say they’re thrilled but shocked by the ministry’s new commitment to a massive transformation.

Moira Welsh The Toronto Star , Nov. 29, 2015

Ontario will eliminate provincially funded workshops where people with intellectual disabilities do menial tasks for pennies a day, says a top official with Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.

The decision is the strongest statement yet from the ministry following a Toronto Star series exposing the problem. Initially, the government announced there would be no new admissions to the workshops, typically located in industrial malls. Now the province plans to close them forever.

Barbara Simmons told the Star that change will unfold “one individual at a time,” as workshops are gradually replaced by agencies that find jobs, volunteer work and other activities in the community.

No one will be left without services, she promised.

“It’s a new era for this fantastic population to realize their full potential,” said Simmons, director of the ministry’s community supports policy branch.

The Star investigation found many people with intellectual disabilities spend decades in segregation doing basic labour called “employment training.” Most never leave.

The Star profiled individuals who broke the mould, earning good wages at companies such as Tim Hortons and the Air Canada Centre.

In response to the stories, Minister of Community and Social Services Helena Jaczek told the Star she would close the workshops to new admissions. “I don’t ever want to see someone who has not been involved in a sheltered workshop move into one,” Jaczek said at the time.

The minister’s promise two weeks ago – of incremental change – was lauded by advocates who have spent years pushing for an end to the segregation of people with intellectual disabilities.

Now, the same advocates say they’re thrilled but shocked by the ministry’s new commitment to a massive transformation.

“I had no idea this was coming,” said Mark Wafer, a Tim Hortons owner who has hired 122 people with disabilities over 20 years.

“We’ve been working on this for years, but we didn’t have the Star in our corner – that really made a difference here,” Wafer said. “I suspect that the government wanted to end sheltered workshops because that has been happening around the world, but they just needed a catalyst.”

The Star investigation was controversial. The idea of change was condemned by workshop operators and the families who understandably rely on regular programs for their adult son or daughter.

Many in workshops enjoy the social life and a place to go during the day, but miss out on opportunities for a life in the community, including real employment and legitimate wages, the Star found.

Accessibility advocates compared their fight against segregated workshops to the civil rights movement of the 1950s.

Now, with change promised, the advocates agree that the ministry is on the right track with its plan to help each individual find a new active life in the community – with ongoing supports.

This slow, methodical transformation is the same method used in U.S. jurisdictions like Vermont and Washington state, and in Ontario, where some agencies have independently dropped the segregated model.

The mantra is to bring about change “individual by individual” until workshops are empty.

Bryan Dague, of the University of Vermont’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, said families understandably respond to such changes with fear. Over time, they discover the new way leads to a better life.

“If people are in sheltered workshops, they’re really not working,” Dague said. “They are probably getting the worst services of anybody. . . . They are just (existing) there. They can get better services elsewhere.”

That could mean a mix of employment, volunteering and other activities such as fitness, Simmons said, with a focus on a life spent in the mainstream community.

“The intent is never to cut people off or shut people out or close things,” she said. “The intent is to ensure that each individual is really able to exercise their power of choice and get to a place where they are fully participating in the community.”

In many regions it takes about five years to close workshops for good, but ministry official Simmons said there are no plans in Ontario for a hard deadline.

But measurements and deadlines are needed, said Joe Dale, who operates the Ontario Disability Employment Network.

“I’m a firm believer that you need to put in a good solid plan on how you are going to do this. It has to be done in a proper time frame,” Dale said. The five-year plan makes sense, he said.

Simmons said Dale’s organization will be asked to help agencies recalibrate their plans. Some previously expressed an interest in change as the ministry sent signals of its growing interest in community participation by funding new employment-related programs.

She also cited Ottawa’s LiveWorkPlay as one of Ontario’s best – an agency that helps people reach their potential in the community by providing ongoing supports to families and employers.

Keenan Wellar, co-leader of LiveWorkPlay, said people are supported in many ways – not just in employment.

“We help them with their home life and social life, building connections and networks, and not only joining but also developing as contributors to clubs, courses, classes, teams, volunteering,” Wellar said.

Wellar’s organization helped Jeremy Robin leave a sheltered workshop and get a job washing carpets and drapes with Ottawa’s Parliament Cleaning Group. That was about four years ago.

Now, Robin’s boss, Vaughan McKinney, said Robin, 25, has had four merit pay raises, never misses a day of work, lives in his own apartment and “has a great relationship with a woman after falling in love.”

Robin rides shotgun in the cleaning trucks, and every morning his co-workers fight over who gets to work with him, McKinney said.

“He’s just such a positive person, everybody wants to be around him.”

Reproduced from http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/11/29/ontarios-sheltered-workshops-to-close-forever.html

Accessibility News November 28,2015 Update

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/acnewsca

Inclusive Media and Design Inc is a proud supporter of Accessibility News.

Inclusive is ready to caption and video describe all your video for web, DVD, and computer desktop. They can also assist you in understanding and implementing Ontario’s AODA Integrated Standards’ media requirements. Consider having them check that any of your new web site content is compliant with an Accessibility Audit.

Visit http://www.inclusivemedia.ca to find out more.

The AODA Clock is Ticking

There are 9 years, 5 weeks, 1 day till a fully Accessible Ontario! Will you be compliant?

In this Issue

*Campus Group Works to Enhance Statewide Instructional Accessibility Goals
*January 2016 Accessibility Requirements Need Attention Now
*Should the Wynne Government Create a Private Accessibility Certification Process?
*Blind Girl, Seven, Banned From Using White Stick at School as it is Health and Safety Risk
*U.S. Department of Justice Further Delays ADA Title III Rulemaking on Website Accessibility

For a long term strategy in meeting the AODA and Section 508, Accessibility News recommends Accessibil-IT Inc for all your accessible PDF documentation needs. For more information email them at info@accessibilit.com or visit them on the web at: http://www.accessibilit.com

ARTICLES:

Campus Group Works to Enhance Statewide Instructional Accessibility Goals

The University of Tennessee(UT) System recently adopted a policy that reiterates its commitment to providing and supporting a teaching and learning environment that is accessible to all.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/campus-group-works-to-enhance-statewide-instructional-accessibility-goals/

January 2016 Accessibility Requirements Need Attention Now

If your organization operates in Ontario, you know about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and its five broad standards, but are you ready for the new requirements in effect January 1?

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/january-2016-accessibility-requirements-need-attention-now/

Should the Wynne Government Create a Private Accessibility Certification Process?

Send Feedback on Our Draft Response Demonstrating Its Serious Problems Better for the Government to Keep Unkept Promise to Effectively Enforce the AODA

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/should-the-wynne-government-create-a-private-accessibility-certification-process/

Blind Girl, Seven, Banned From Using White Stick at School as it is Health and Safety Risk

Bristol primary school says seven-year-old pupil can no longer use her walking cane because it could trip up teachers and other children

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/blind-girl-seven-banned-from-using-white-stick-at-school-as-it-is-health-and-safety-risk/

U.S. Department of Justice Further Delays ADA Title III Rulemaking on Website Accessibility

On Nov. 19, the federal government released its Fall Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved its anticipated rulemaking regarding website accessibility under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which pertains to places of public accommodation, to the long-term action list.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/u-s-department-of-justice-further-delays-ada-title-iii-rulemaking-on-website-accessibility/

eSSENTIAL Accessibility: helping organizations reach, serve and empower people with disabilities.

The eSSENTIAL Accessibility assistive technology app gives those who have trouble typing, moving a mouse, or reading a screen due to a variety of conditions
– such as stroke, paralysis or arthritis – the tools they need to navigate the Web. The app is free to the end-user and simple to use.

Organizations that feature the app on their websites are committed to making it easier for people with disabilities to access information online. For more info, please visit http://www.essentialaccessibility.com

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ea11y or connect with us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=59891 .

Latest News

*2015 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference presented by Time Inc
http://www.aoda.ca/2015-ana-multicultural-marketing-diversity-conference-presented-by-time-inc/

Want to Learn How to Master WordPress?

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To unsubscribe from this Newsletter, send an email to
info@accessibilitynews.ca
or just reply to this Update and state your intentions.

The views and opinions expressed throughout Accessibility News do not represent those of the various organizations or associated individuals and are exclusively those of the contributor and/or author of the specific article or commentary.

Accessibility News, since November 8, 2006

Campus Group Works to Enhance Statewide Instructional Accessibility Goals

The University of Tennessee(UT) System recently adopted a policy that reiterates its commitment to providing and supporting a teaching and learning environment that is accessible to all.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/campus-group-works-to-enhance-statewide-instructional-accessibility-goals/

Should the Wynne Government Create a Private Accessibility Certification Process?

Send Feedback on Our Draft Response Demonstrating Its Serious Problems — Better for the Government to Keep Unkept Promise to Effectively Enforce the AODA

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/should-the-wynne-government-create-a-private-accessibility-certification-process/

Blind Girl, Seven, Banned From Using White Stick at School as it is ‘Health and Safety Risk’

Bristol primary school says seven-year-old pupil can no longer use her walking cane because it could trip up teachers and other children

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/blind-girl-seven-banned-from-using-white-stick-at-school-as-it-is-health-and-safety-risk/

U.S. Department of Justice Further Delays ADA Title III Rulemaking on Website Accessibility

On Nov. 19, the federal government released its Fall Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved its anticipated rulemaking regarding website accessibility under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which pertains to places of public accommodation, to the “long-term action” list.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/u-s-department-of-justice-further-delays-ada-title-iii-rulemaking-on-website-accessibility/

Accessibility News November 21,2015 Update

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/acnewsca

Inclusive Media and Design Inc is a proud supporter of Accessibility News.

Inclusive is ready to caption and video describe all your video for web, DVD, and computer desktop. They can also assist you in understanding and implementing Ontario’s AODA Integrated Standards’ media requirements. Consider having them check that any of your new web site content is compliant with an Accessibility Audit.

Visit http://www.inclusivemedia.ca to find out more.

The AODA Clock is Ticking

There are 9 years, 6 weeks, 1 day till a fully Accessible Ontario! Will you be compliant?

In this Issue

*Wynne Government Seeks Public Feedback on Its Proposals to Amend Two Accessibility Standards that Would Do Little for People with Disabilities But would Break an Important Promise to Ontarians with Disabilities
*Proposed Ontario Changes to Accessibility Regulations
*Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Could Help People With Autism Learn Social Skills and Develop Employment Opportunities
*NDP Demands Liberal Government Enforce Accessibility Law for Ontarians With Disabilities
*Help Develop Ontarios Accessibility Certification Program
*Inclusion More Common At Charter Schools, Report Finds
*Discrimination Neither Inconvenient Nor Frivolous

For a long term strategy in meeting the AODA and Section 508, Accessibility News recommends Accessibil-IT Inc for all your accessible PDF documentation needs. For more information email them at info@accessibilit.com or visit them on the web at: http://www.accessibilit.com

ARTICLES:

Wynne Government Seeks Public Feedback on Its Proposals to Amend Two Accessibility Standards that Would Do Little for People with Disabilities But would Break an Important Promise to Ontarians with Disabilities

On November 9, 2015, the Wynne Government made an important and deeply disturbing announcement. It posted online a short and problematic five-page summary
of amendments it proposes to make to the 2007 Customer Service Accessibility Standard and the 2011 Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. Those
are the two accessibility standards that the Government has enacted in the past decade under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/wynne-government-seeks-public-feedback-on-its-proposals-to-amend-two-accessibility-standards-that-would-do-little-for-people-with-disabilities-but-would-break-an-important-promise-to-ontarians-with/

Proposed Ontario Changes to Accessibility Regulations

The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If approved, the changes will be enacted on July 1, 2016, and take immediate effect.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/proposed-ontario-changes-to-accessibility-regulations/

Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Could Help People With Autism Learn Social Skills and Develop Employment Opportunities

Virtual reality technologies (VRTs) using head-mounted displays (HMDs) could help people with autism develop social skills and confidence according to a researcher from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/head-mounted-virtual-reality-could-help-people-with-autism-learn-social-skills-and-develop-employment-opportunities/

NDP Demands Liberal Government Enforce Accessibility Law for Ontarians With Disabilities

This government shouldnt be interested in accessibility for Ontarians facing barriers because its commercially viable or opens new markets; the government should be invested because its, in fact, the law.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/ndp-demands-liberal-government-enforce-accessibility-law-for-ontarians-with-disabilities/

Help Develop Ontarios Accessibility Certification Program

Province Takes Another Step Towards an Accessible Ontario by 2025

Ontario is seeking public input to develop a voluntary, third-party accessibility certification program which will recognize businesses and organizations that have championed accessibility.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/help-develop-ontarios-accessibility-certification-program/

Inclusion More Common At Charter Schools, Report Finds

About 10.4 percent of students at charter schools have disabilities compared to 12.5 percent of those attending public schools. Children with disabilities at charters, however, are far more likely to attend classes alongside their typically-developing peers.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/inclusion-more-common-at-charter-schools-report-finds/

Discrimination Neither Inconvenient Nor Frivolous

As the guide dog user at the centre of a case of discrimination, I am a further victim of B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Jacqueline Beltgens classifying an unjustified taxi refusal as just an inconvenience. Her distorted perception is misleading some people into thinking discrimination is just fine.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/discrimination-neither-inconvenient-nor-frivolous/

eSSENTIAL Accessibility: helping organizations reach, serve and empower people with disabilities.

The eSSENTIAL Accessibility assistive technology app gives those who have trouble typing, moving a mouse, or reading a screen due to a variety of conditions
– such as stroke, paralysis or arthritis – the tools they need to navigate the Web. The app is free to the end-user and simple to use.

Organizations that feature the app on their websites are committed to making it easier for people with disabilities to access information online. For more info, please visit http://www.essentialaccessibility.com

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ea11y or connect with us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=59891 .

Latest News
*2015 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference presented by Time Inc
http://www.aoda.ca/2015-ana-multicultural-marketing-diversity-conference-presented-by-time-inc/

To unsubscribe from this Newsletter, send an email to
info@accessibilitynews.ca
or just reply to this Update and state your intentions.

The views and opinions expressed throughout Accessibility News do not represent those of the various organizations or associated individuals and are exclusively those of the contributor and/or author of the specific article or commentary.

Accessibility News, since November 8, 2006

Wynne Government Seeks Public Feedback on Its Proposals to Amend Two Accessibility Standards that Would Do Little for People with Disabilities But would Break an Important Promise to Ontarians with Disabilities

On November 9, 2015, the Wynne Government made an important and deeply disturbing announcement. It posted online a short and problematic five-page summary of amendments it proposes to make to the 2007 Customer Service Accessibility Standard and the 2011 Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. Those are the two accessibility standards that the Government has enacted in the past decade under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/wynne-government-seeks-public-feedback-on-its-proposals-to-amend-two-accessibility-standards-that-would-do-little-for-people-with-disabilities-but-would-break-an-important-promise-to-ontarians-with/

Proposed Ontario Changes to Accessibility Regulations

by Yosie Saint-Cyr

The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If approved, the changes will be enacted on July 1, 2016, and take immediate effect.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/proposed-ontario-changes-to-accessibility-regulations/

Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Could Help People With Autism Learn Social Skills and Develop Employment Opportunities

Virtual reality technologies (VRTs) using head-mounted displays (HMDs) could help people with autism develop social skills and confidence according to a researcher from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/head-mounted-virtual-reality-could-help-people-with-autism-learn-social-skills-and-develop-employment-opportunities/