ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
NEWS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Grassroots Disability Coalition's Powerful New Video Shows Serious Accessibility Problems at New and Recently Renovated Public Transit Stations in Toronto, As the Future of Accessibility for 1.9 Million Ontarians with Disabilities Looms as an Ontario Election Issue
May 15, 2018 Toronto: As part of its effort to raise disability issues in the Ontario election, the AODA Alliance today makes public a striking new online video that reveals serious disability accessibility barriers in several new and recently renovated Toronto-area public transit stations, built with public money. This includes the six new TTC stations from Downsview Park to Vaughn Metropolitan Centre, the new Union-Pearson Express line's Weston and Bloor stations, and the new Go Transit concourse at Union Station.
AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky guides you on a tour of barriers that hurt people with blindness, low vision, mobility disabilities, dyslexia, balance issues, fatiguing conditions, cognitive disabilities and more. These include problems with such things as train platforms, stairs, elevators, doors, ramps, signage, and more.
Short 16 minute version:
Long 30 minute version:
"With politicians making election promises to spend huge sums on public infrastructure, 1.9 million Ontarians with a physical, mental, sensory or other disability want to know what Ontario's next Government will do to ensure that new public transit stations are never built with accessibility barriers like those we expose in this new video, especially when spending public money," said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance which spearheads advocacy on accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. "Last year, our last online video went viral, which exposed serious accessibility problems at the new Ryerson University Student Learning Centre. People cannot believe that in the 21st century, new disability barriers are still being created in our built environment. We're hoping our new video will help drive candidates in this election to make strong commitments for new action to strengthen and breathe new life into Ontario's laws on accessibility for people with disabilities. "
Most people mistakenly think all new buildings in Ontario must be accessible to people with disabilities, and that design professionals like architects must be properly trained on accessible design. This video disproves both.
In the June 7 Ontario election, the AODA Alliance is pressing the parties for pledges on disability accessibility, not just in the built environment but in all aspects of Ontario life. The AODA Alliance will soon make public the responses received.
"We're poised to leap into social media like Twitter to spread the word on our new video, as part of our election blitz, using the hashtag #DisabilityVoteCounts," said Lepofsky "Ontario is now behind schedule for becoming fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025, the deadline that Ontario's Disabilities Act requires. We're asking candidates for Premier to tell us what they will do to get Ontario back on schedule. This video shows in jaw-dropping detail why this is important for all Ontarians. Everyone has a disability now or is bound to get one later, as they age!"
All, including the media, are free to link to or broadcast this video. This video has audio description for persons with vision loss and captioning for persons with hearing loss.
Contact: David Lepofsky, firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @aodaalliance @davidlepofsky
Helpful Background Links
2017 AODA Alliance video on accessibility problems at Ryerson University's Student Learning Centre:
12 minute version:
30 minute version:
2016 AODA Alliance video on accessibility problems at the new Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre
5 minute version:
18 minute version:
More on the AODA Alliance's non-partisan blitz to raise disability accessibility issues in the June 2018 Ontario election is available at:
More on the AODA Alliance's campaign for accessibility in the built environment is at:
More on the AODA Alliance's efforts to make transportation accessible in Ontario is at
All the news on the AODA Alliance's multi-year campaign for accessibility in Ontario is at: