New Council to Help Make Ontario Even More Accessible
McGuinty Government Improving Independence for People of all Abilities
Ontario has appointed a new council to help remove barriers for people with disabilities.
In response to recommendations by Charles Beer's review of Ontario's accessibility law, the government is establishing the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council. This new council will be chaired by Jim Sanders, former president and CEO of CNIB. The immediate mandate of the new council will be to:
- Review Ontario's five existing accessibility standards.
- Develop new accessibility standards based on the advice and feedback we have received to date from stakeholders.
Since the introduction of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005, Ontario has implemented standards that cover customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces. The most recent set of standards, the design of public spaces, became law on Jan. 1, 2013. As part of a phased-in approach, this newest standard will take effect in 2015 for the government, with full implementation by 2018.
Making Ontario more accessible is an important part of the McGuinty government's plan to create opportunities for Ontarians and improve independence for people of all abilities.
- One in seven Ontarians has a disability — that’s 1.85 million people. Over the next 20 years, that number will rise as the population ages.
- Ontario’s accessibility law affects 360,000 businesses and organizations throughout the province.
- People with disabilities have an estimated spending power of $25 billion annually across Canada.
- Find out how Ontario is becoming accessible by 2025.
“Ensuring that Ontario is a place where every person who lives or visits can participate fully makes good sense — for our people, our businesses and our communities. This council will play a key role in making sure Ontario meets its goal of becoming accessible to people of all abilities by 2025 by maintaining the standards we have established and overseeing the development of new ones.”
“The changes the government has made to the mandate and structure of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council respond positively to a key recommendation in the first Independent Review of Ontario's accessibility standards legislation, which I had the privilege of leading. I believe the new Council will play a key role in reviewing and developing accessibility standards on behalf of all Ontarians with disabilities.”
“Ontario has shown a real commitment to making the province accessible to people with disabilities. I’m honoured to lead this new advisory council. I look forward to working with council members to continue helping people of all abilities participate in their communities.”