In a continuing effort to make the province accessible for all, the Ontario Government has developed a new framework based on recommendations made by the Honourable David C. Onley in the third legislative review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), as well as input from the public.
Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, announced Advancing Accessibility in Ontario at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre last week. This cross-government framework will help focus the province’s work in four key areas:
- breaking down barriers in the built environment
- government leading by example
- increasing participation in the economy for people with disabilities and
- improving understanding and awareness about accessibility
“We know that making Ontario accessible is a journey that cannot be completed overnight or alone,” Cho said. “The Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework will support our work with all of our partners across government and beyond to remove barriers for people with disabilities.”
David C. Onley said he is pleased to see the government coordinating access activities and programs.
“As I conducted the third legislative review of the AODA, it became increasingly clear that the people of Ontario wanted an all-of-government commitment to making Ontario far more accessible,” he said. “This could not be achieved with a single stand-alone ministry attempting to resolve the problem alone.”
Focusing on breaking down barriers in the built environment shows how government is working with partner ministries and businesses to reduce barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities in the built environment and housing.
One example is providing funding to the Ontario Building Officials Association from the EnAbling Change Program for its curriculum and training on accessibility. The goal is to make building officials more aware of the challenges people with disabilities face in accessing buildings and training them about areas of improvement, new and existing buildings can be planned and built to be more accessible.