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June 27 2007

Making Progress Toward An Accessible Ontario

Just over two years ago, the McGuinty government proclaimed the landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. The Act provides for the province to develop accessibility standards that will apply to the private and public sectors across the province in order to address and remove 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, transportation providers and Ontario government ministries.

The aim of the Act is to make the province accessible by 2025. This will allow for the implementation of accessibility standards to be phased in over several years, giving 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.

The proposed accessible transportation standard developed by the Transportation Standards Development Committee will be posted on the Web today for public review. The committee that developed the proposed standard included representatives from such organizations as the Ontario Public Transportation Association, the Ontario Motor Coach Association, Ontario School Bus Association, and the Canadian Hearing Society.

The public will have 66 days to review the proposed standard and submit feedback. Once the public review period is complete, the Transportation Standards Development Committee will reconvene to consider the feedback. They may make changes to the proposed standard based on that feedback prior to finalizing the proposed standard for submission to the Minister.

To review the proposed standard and to provide feedback, visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services website at: Accessibility

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

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Contact:

John Letherby
Communications and Marketing Branch
416-325-5187

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