April 8, 2007

McGuinty Government Takes Another Step Towards An Accessible Ontario

Making Progress On Developing New Province-Wide Standards For Accessibility

Toronto - The McGuinty government is taking an important step towards a fully accessible Ontario by opening up recruitment for the next two Standards Development Committees that will develop province-wide accessibility standards in the areas of built environment and employment, Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today.

"An accessible Ontario is going to be a stronger Ontario where all of our citizens can participate fully in every aspect of their communities," said Meilleur. "These Standards Development Committees allow people with disabilities, representatives of the business community and the public sector to work together to develop standards that will make full accessibility a reality in the daily lives of all Ontarians."

The two committees announced today will work to develop proposed accessibility standards in two vitally important areas:

  • The accessible built environment committee will look at the barriers in the physical environment, both indoors and outdoors, as well as issues such as clear signage and parking.
  • The employment accessibility committee will look at how people with disabilities can be given an equal opportunity to apply for jobs and ways in which workplace policies and practices can be made more inclusive.

Standards Development Committees draft proposed accessibility standards, which are then posted for public consideration and feedback. These committees are formed under the landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, which will make Ontario accessible by 2025.

Those interested in participating in the accessibility standards development process can find more information on the Ministry of Community and Social Services' website at: MCSS Programs and Services

The development of enforceable accessibility standards is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is working to build a province where everyone has a chance to contribute. The government is also:

  • Committing nearly $276 million in new funding to strengthen community supports for adults with a developmental disability.
  • Investing nearly $11 million in interpreter and intervenor services for deaf and deafblind Ontarians.
  • Providing $28.2 million to help universities and colleges provide services for students with disabilities to help them succeed.

"Everyone who lives in, and visits, Ontario should be able to enjoy everything that this great province has to offer," said Meilleur. "Our government's goal is to make Ontario truly accessible to all by 2025 and we're on track to meet that goal."

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Contacts:

Marc Despatie
Minister's Office
416-325-5219

Anne Machowski
Communications and Marketing Branch
416-325-2256

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