Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Adopted

See this news release, which begins:

The Ontario legislature today passed a historic law that will make Ontario a world leader in breaking down barriers for people with disabilities.

“This landmark legislation marks the start of a new era of accessibility in Ontario,” said Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Dr. Marie Bountrogianni. “The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act will create an accessible, inclusive society where every Ontarian has the opportunity to work, play, learn and otherwise participate to their full potential.”

The act will take effect on royal assent and will require government to work with partners to jointly develop standards to be achieved in stages of five years or less, leading to a fully accessible Ontario in 20 years. Standards will be set in both the public and private sectors to address the full range of disabilities – including physical, sensory, hearing, mental health, developmental and learning. New standards could include:

  • Accessible pedestrian routes and entrances into buildings
  • Lower counter heights at cash registers to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Large print menus in restaurants for the visually-impaired
  • Staff training in serving customers with learning disabilities.

“We are firmly on the path towards an accessible Ontario, where our quality of life is enriched by the inclusion of all, and our economy benefits from the contribution of all,” Bountrogianni said. “People with disabilities have been pushing for strong accessibility legislation for 10 years and we are delivering.”

Thanks to my former student Ravi Malhotra for passing this along.


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