June 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of the passage of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Municipal governments and their accessibility advisory committees have been at the forefront of creating a more accessible Ontario.  Much has been accomplished over the past ten years.

Government Releases New Action Plan

Coinciding with the AODA’s tenth anniversary, the Government of Ontario has released “The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan”.  The Plan sets out a course for the next ten years to reach a fully accessible Ontario by 2025.  The Plan acknowledges the on-the-ground work undertaken by municipalities and their accessibility advisory committees to make accessibility a reality in communities across Ontario.  It outlines three pillars and identifies a number of new actions and initiatives that the government will undertake.  Engaging employers to hire persons with disabilities is one pillar.  Another is strengthening the foundations of accessibility in Ontario through such actions as repealing certain sections of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) and creating new healthcare standards.  The third pillar is promoting Ontario’s cultural shift to build awareness of accessibility in innovative ways.  This includes enhancing audit and compliance activities as well as consulting with stakeholders on a certification program.  To view the Plan, please visit the ministry website.

AMO will continue to work with the government and monitor the implementation of the action plan.  AMO will provide input on what will work best for municipal governments and persons with disabilities residing in Ontario’s communities.

Government Response to the AODA Independent Review

The government has responded to the comprehensive independent review of the AODA conducted by Provost Mayo Moran, Vice Chancellor and Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto.  The Act is regularly reviewed to make sure that the legislation is working as intended and to identify where improvements can be made.  One response is that the government will work with municipalities to explore how current Accessibility Advisory Committees are supporting their needs.  To view the government’s response, please visit the ministry website. Mayo Moran’s full report is also found on the ministry website as well. The government has indicated that the report helped to inform the development of the action plan.

Orangeville Recognized as an Accessibility Leader

The Town of Orangeville was honored as one of this year’s recipients of the David L. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility. For more information, read about Orangeville’s achievements at:  Orangeville Recipient of David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.

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