When a society is inclusive and barrier-free, people can fully participate in their communities. Making Ontario a province where communities and businesses are accessible for everyone benefits us all.
The government continues to build momentum in creating a barrier-free Ontario, but a lot of work still needs to be done to make the province accessible for everyone. That is why Ontario has developed a new framework informed by the recommendations made by the Honourable David C. Onley in the third legislative review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), as well as input from key partners, organizations and people with disabilities. The new framework will make a positive difference in the daily lives of people with disabilities.
Today, the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, announced Advancing Accessibility in Ontario at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. This cross-government framework will help focus the province's work in four key areas:
- breaking down barriers in the built environment
- government leading by example
- increasing participation in the economy for people with disabilities and
- improving understanding and awareness about accessibility
The first area in Advancing Accessibility in Ontario - breaking down barriers in the built environment - shows how government is working with partner ministries and businesses to reduce barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities in the built environment and housing.
For example, the Ontario Building Officials Association is receiving funding from the government's EnAbling Change Program to enhance its curriculum and training on accessibility. By making building officials more aware of the challenges people with disabilities face in accessing buildings and training them about areas of improvement, new and existing buildings can be planned and built to be more accessible.
There are several additional examples that illustrate progress and upcoming initiatives as the government continues its work towards making Ontario accessible.