Ontario Raising Awareness About Accessibility
Province’s new campaign will improve understanding of accessibility, inclusion and hiring people with disabilities
October 29, 2020
TORONTO — The Ontario government has launched a new public education campaign to increase awareness about accessibility needs and responsibilities, and help organizations identify and remove barriers for people with disabilities.
“Our government is committed to working together with our partners inside and outside of government to make Ontario more accessible and inclusive by 2025. We want everyone, especially people with disabilities and seniors, to be able to fully participate in everyday life in our communities and our economy,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Our new campaign will help foster understanding and encourage cultural change towards accessibility needs.”
The campaign is intended to help people learn more about accessibility, inclusion and hiring people with disabilities. It also explains what people with disabilities can expect under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) along with guidelines and resources to help make it easier for businesses and employers to understand and implement their requirements under the AODA.
“Variety Village has worked with the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility on many initiatives and recognizes Ontario’s work towards accessibility and inclusion,” said Karen Stintz, President and CEO of Variety Village. “By bringing more attention to accessibility issues and engaging with partners, Ontario is helping to change the way people think about accessibility. Together, we become ambassadors for more inclusive communities.”
This campaign is part of the government’s ongoing work to create a more inclusive and accessible province through the Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework. The government is continuing to work with stakeholders, including partner ministries, broader public sector organizations, businesses and non-profit organizations to achieve these goals.
- There are 2.6 million people in Ontario who have a disability. Most disabilities are invisible.
- More than 40 per cent of this population is over the age of 65. As the population ages, this number will only grow.
- The Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework was informed by the recommendations made by the Honourable David C. Onley in the third legislative review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, as well as input from key partners, organizations and people with disabilities.
- The government is investing $1.3 million over two years with the Rick Hansen Foundation to launch the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program in Ontario. Organizations can now apply in a second round of applications to receive a complimentary accessibility rating of their building.
- Ontario is recognizing and promoting National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, including through engaging with employers and Ontarians about employment and inclusion issues and profiling the benefits of accessible communities and businesses.