Issue # 1, Oct 2009

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In Today's Issue of Special Needs News

  • Article
    Only 2 Days left to give your feedback on new OADA regulations
  • Did You Know
    You can promote your special needs event for free
  • Helpful Sites
    Websites that I think you'll find useful
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Only 2 Days left to give your feedback on new OADA regulations

It isn't very often that we get a chance to provide direct feedback on new government regulations before they come into effect. But now is one of those times, and I urge you to get your voice heard.

The new regulations being reviewed is the "Initial Proposed Accessible Built Environment Standard" of the Ontario Accessibility for People with Disabilities Act - also knows as OADA.

You'll find details about the proposed regulations here: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/accessibilityOntario/accesson/business/environment/index

I think it's important for you to review and add your voice to this important document. It will set the pace of change in Ontario for many years. And, you can bet that it will also heavily influence other jurisdictions in Canada too. So, it's important we get it right.

Remember these are changes that won't be required in some instances till 2025. Do you really want to wait till 2026 before making improvements?

And here is what is REALLY important. As long as you, as a member of the public, make a comment, then in MUST be addressed by the committee as part of the approval process.

So, your voice really will count.

Here are some of the things in the OADA proposal that I've made note of...

  • There was a decision made to NOT include existing buildings as part of the legislation. But, without addressing retrofits, just how accessible can Ontario really be? Disability groups have raised the issue with the committee, but it needs public support - that means WE have to raise our voice and request it.
  • Emergency response requirements have specifically not been included. When our kids are at their most vulnerable, why shouldn't disaster response teams taken them into consideration?
  • Summer camps are covered by the regulation. But not it the camps are for kids. Huh?
  • There has been no consideration made for the impact of weather, yet people with special needs often have great sensitivity to the elements. There should be a requirement for covered canopies to protect them from summer heat, rain and snow. Especially for wheelchair waiting areas and walkways.
  • Backup system requirements have not been addressed. Consider what happens to your child if they're stuck in an elevator, or if the only elevator available requires a key - but there is a power outage. Or the person with the key isn't available - what then?
  • There has been little consideration given to the special needs of people whose disability isn't physical or mobility related. What about them?

These are just some of the important things that I've noted. I urge you to read the report and make your feedback known on these points and others that you note.

To comment on the proposed standard, please do so by October 16, 2009. If you require an alternate format or method to provide your feedback, please contact: Accessibility Directorate of Ontario Outreach and Compliance Branch Ministry of Community and Social Services 777 Bay Street, Suite 601 Toronto ON Canada M7A 2J4

E-mail: publicreview@ontario.ca

1-888-482-4317 TTY: 416-326-0148 or 1-888-335-6611 (toll-free in Ontario) Fax: 416-326-9725

Did You Know...

You can promote any event aimed at people with special needs in Canada (or their parents and caregivers) for FREE on my site.

Your event information and image will be reviewed and added to the site as its own page. Once approved for publication, your information will also be broadcast immediately on my RSS feeds to all subscribers, as well as broadcast on Twitter, Facebook and a number of other news boards.

It's a great way to get free publicity.

For events aimed at parents and caregivers in Toronto, go here

For events aimed at people with special needs in Toronto, go here

Eventually,a specific page will be added for all major cities in Canada. In the meantime however, you can add events in other cities here

OR you can add you event to the News pages for these cities: Halifax and Montreal. More cities coming soon.

Let us know which city to add next!

Helpful Websites

Visit my other websites related to special needs for more helpful information and products...


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