The Government of Ontario has responded to the Beer Review of theAccessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The response addresses the recommendations to harmonize accessibility standards, renew leadership, establish an Ontario Accessibility Standards Board and repeal the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), which preceded the AODA.
The government agrees with the suggestion to harmonize the standards. The government will integrate and align the information and communications, transportation and employment standards. They intend to complete the process and put the integrated regulations in force by 2011. In 2013, the customer service standard will also be integrated.
In response to the call for renewed leadership, the government states that it will continue to champion accessibility.
Staff at the Ministry of Community and Social Services have been asked to review Mr. Beer’s recommendation to establish an Ontario Accessibility Standards Board and will report back to the minister by early 2011. The government’s focus will remain on completing the standards so no organizational changes are being contemplated at present.
The ODA will be repealed once all five standards under the AODA are in place.
The Beer Report noted that Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees have an important role to play in achieving the vision of an accessible Ontario. The government response confirms that the MAACs will remain in place and the ministry will continue to work closely with them.
For details, see “Government of Ontario Response to Charles Beer Report,” August 10, 2010, at www.mcss.gov.on.ca.