Real Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities
Every Ontarian Benefits When We Tap Into The Potential Of Each Ontarian
TORONTO -- New legislation to be introduced today is designed to strengthen Ontario's economy and society by making Ontario fully accessible for people with disabilities, says Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Every Ontarian deserves the opportunity to learn, work and play to their fullest potential," said Premier McGuinty. "And every Ontarian benefits when we tap into the potential of each Ontarian."
The bill is strong, effective, comprehensive legislation that would, if passed, help remove barriers faced by people with disabilities. The proposed new legislation would replace the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, which was dismissed by advocates for people with disabilities as ineffective.
It would improve accessibility in workplaces and public spaces and improve access to employment, customer service, communications and transportation. It would allow for the setting of accessibility standards for both the public and private sectors and enforce timelines for compliance. These standards would be developed in consultation with persons with disabilities and the organizations that would have obligations under the act.
"This is about doing the right thing," said Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "It is also about shaping our future -- because to compete in the world economy we need to benefit from the talents of all Ontarians."
Premier McGuinty said the legislation is a testament to the tireless efforts of those working on behalf of people with disabilities, from advocates to members of the Liberal caucus, who have worked on this issue for years.
"During the election campaign, I said Ontario works best when we all work, and dream, and build together. Today, we're taking a step towards that goal."