10/11/2012

AMO Response to the Proposed Built Environment Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is pleased to comment on the proposed amendments to the Integrated Accessibility Regulation (IAR) which outlines new accessibility standards for the Built Environment governing the design of public spaces. AMO represents almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipalities. The Association supports the objectives of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and is working collaboratively with the provincial government to ensure sustainable progress towards an accessible Ontario by 2025. Removing barriers for municipal residents in public spaces is an essential component of building accessible communities. The Built Environment Standards represent a significant undertaking and progress in this regard.

As such, AMO welcomes the opportunity to further engage and collaborate with the provincial government to provide policy advice to facilitate the successful ‘on the ground’ implementation of the AODA in Ontario’s municipalities. The Built Environment Standards are laudable. AMO’s advice is intended to ensure that the new standards are implemented in a way that meets provincial policy objectives in a way that is affordable, efficient and sustainable for municipalities and their residents.

With this in mind, the submission outlines a number of needed changes that will serve to improve the outcomes and achieve the policy intent of the new amended regulations through greater levels of compliance. AMO, as always, will continue to assist the ministry to consult in a meaningful way with municipalities on this important public policy issue. The Association and its member municipalities are providing thoughtful insights, considerations and recommendations in our shared desire for sustainable change toward a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. This submission, as well as those of AMO’s member municipalities, should help move us collectively in the right direction to benefit persons with disabilities in Ontario.