Ontario's Accessibility Standards Advisory Council/Standards Development Committee

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Ontario's Accessibility Standards Advisory Council/Standards Development Committee

Ontario's Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) requires the establishment of an Accessibility Standards Advisory Council/Standards Development Committee. 

Jim Sanders, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Institute for the Blind, was appointed as Chair of the council in January 2013.

By appointment, the 13-member council also includes:

Scott Allinson - Vice President of Public Affairs for the Human Resources Professionals Association and former member of the Standards Development Committee for the Employment Accessibility Standard. Mr. Allinson is an expert on human resources and employment equality.

Jane Arkell - Executive Director of the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability. She was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2003 for her contribution to disability issues in Canada. Her expertise spans over 25 years in policy development and project management within disability organizations.

David Best - A systems development officer with 32 years of experience in information technology and workplace strategies for employees with disabilities. Mr. Best has played an instrumental role in IBM's global Ambassador Workplace Connection project and is actively involved in the company's accessibility strategy.

Nuria Bronfman - Executive Director of the Motion Pictures Theatre Associations of Canada, Ms. Bronfman has worked in the Canadian film industry for 20 years. As the Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Famous Players, she worked with Easter Seals Canada to develop an Access to Entertainment Card, which allows attendants of persons with disabilities to gain free access into movies at theatres across the country.

Don Halpert - Former Vice President, Human Resources at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. He has served on the board of the Canadian Hearing Society and is currently board member and treasurer of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

John Hendry - Author, professional speaker, public school trustee and advocate for persons with special needs. Mr. Hendry is father to a son with cerebral palsy and has written a book for parents of children with disabilities.

Debbie Kirwin - A retired professor of business, math, statistics and finance. She sits on a number of boards and committees, including the Town of Huntsville Accessibility Advisory Committee, District of Muskoka Accessibility Advisory Committee, Community Living Board of Directors and Huntsville Hospital Accessibility Plan Working Group.       

Dean Mellway - The Acting Director of Carleton University's Research, Education, Accessibility and Design initiative. He has had a lengthy career in the education sector and has held senior positions with the Ontario March of Dimes and Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association. 

Stephen Murphy - Accessibility Advisory Coordinator for Niagara. He is a member of the Ontario Network of Accessibility Professionals and the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario Accessibility Project Review Team and has over 20 years of experience in the social services sector.   

Manon Poirier - The Deputy City Clerk at the City of Cornwall. She works closely with the city's accessibility advisory committee and administration team to promote accessibility in Cornwall.  She has also been actively involved in the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario accessibility working groups and project teams.

Gary Rygus - Director of Government Relations at the Retail Council of Canada. He was a member of the Standards Development Committee for the Employment Accessibility Standard and has been a part of the business advisory group on the AODA since 2010.

Michelle Saunders - Vice-President of Provincial and Territorial Affairs with Food and Consumer Products of Canada. She was a member of the Standards Development Committee on accessible Information and Communications and has also worked on an enabling change partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Canadian Hearing Society and is interim Chair of Ontario Hands and Voices.    

Dean Walker - Executive Director of the Ontario Association of the Deaf. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Ontario Deaf Sports Association, Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf and the Canadian Hearing Society.

The advisory council's first order of business will be to review the customer service standard as required under the AODA.

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