April 8, 2007

Developing Province-Wide Standards For Accessibility

The landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, provides for the province to develop accessibility standards that will apply to both the private and public sectors across the province in order to identify and address barriers for people with disabilities.

Proposed accessibility standards are being developed by Standards Development Committees, which consist of people with disabilities, representatives from industry and the business community, the public sector, and Ontario government ministries.

The aim of the Act is to make the province accessible by 2025. This allows for the implementation of accessibility standards in a phased in manner over several years, and gives private businesses and public organizations the time to spread out their accessibility investments as part of their normal planning and capital investment cycle. The committees may propose different requirements and timelines for different types and sizes of organizations; they are not taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

In November of 2005, the Ministry of Community and Social Services completed recruitment for the first two Standards Development Committees in the areas of customer service and transportation. In October of 2006, the customer service committee released its proposed accessibility standard for public review. In January 2007, recruitment for the committee looking at accessible information and communications was completed. The proposed transportation accessibility standard is expected to be released for public review later this year.

Applications for the accessible built environment committee and the employment accessibility committee will be accepted from April 8, 2007 to May 8, 2007. Application forms and committee terms of reference are available on the Ministry of Community and Social Services website at: Mcss Programs and Services

For additional information, or for application packages in alternate formats, please call 1-888-789-4199 or TTY 1-888-335-6611.

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Contact:

Paul Doig
Communications and Marketing Branch
416-325-5187
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