Message from the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
I’m honoured to have been appointed as Ontario’s first Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. I am excited by the path ahead as we work to ensure all Ontarians, including people with disabilities and seniors, live with dignity and respect in all areas of life.
My ministry’s job is to support accessibility champions like you, who are leading the way to an accessible Ontario. I know that we need to work together to identify issues facing seniors and people with disabilities, find common sense solutions to accessibility barriers, and foster the changes that need to happen in our province.
When we promote accessibility and inclusion for all Ontarians, we all benefit. With greater demand for accessible products and services come greater opportunities for Ontario businesses to showcase the innovation we’re known for.
As the number of seniors in Ontario increases in the coming years, we will enjoy more people with lived experience who can help transform Ontario into a more accessible place to live. Seniors from across Ontario are already assisting with this work by serving on municipal accessibility advisory committees, volunteering with community organizations, or simply by sharing their understanding of how communities change and grow.
Your support and collaboration with my ministry have been valued and appreciated, and I trust that our partnership will continue to grow.
I am looking forward to working together to help seniors and people with disabilities live their best lives.
Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
New Accessibility Resources and Learning Opportunities
Free digital textbook on web accessibility
Ryerson University-G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education has released its digital textbook on in their digital accessibility e-book series: Professional Web Accessibility Auditing Made Easy. This textbook explains the essential skills for Web Developers, Content Creators, and Designers. If you are interested in self-study or developing an instructional program on digital accessibility – this interactive electronic textbook is for you.
New certification program on accessible media
Mohawk College is offering an Accessible Media Production certification. Through this graduate program you will receive highly specialized, accessible media production training including content ranging from video, print and social media. For more information about the program, visit Mohawkcollege.ca.
New accessibility guide for faith communities Our Doors Are Open: Guide for Accessible Congregations offers different faith communities in Ontario simple, creative ideas and guidance to increase inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities during worship services, events, and community activities.
Conference Board releases new accessibility guide for small business
Small to medium-sized businesses may not have the same resources a larger organization would incorporate accessibility into their workplace. That is why the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility has partnered with the Conference Board of Canada to produce Making Your Business Accessible for People with Disabilities: Guide for Small Business. This is a great one-stop resource for smaller organizations that includes tips, tools and checklists to assist with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Accessibility and inclusion at the movies
The ReelAbilities Film Festival ran from May 30 to June 4. This is the largest film festival in North America dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and art of people with disabilities and Deaf people. Highlights of this year’s festival included the ReelTalks Media Arts Panel, an expert discussion on people with disabilities and their participation and portrayal in the media.
Missed out on the festival? You may be interested in the ReelEducation Kit. This is a free resource for educators to help students from kindergarten to grade 12 learn about inclusion, empathy, universal design, mental health and stereotypes, as well as attitudinal and employment barriers.
Reference Number: PEP1811
Third Legislative Review of the AODA
The third review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is underway.
When hosting outdoor fall fairs and festivals, simple modifications in the way you set up the event can remove common barriers that can significantly improve the experience of guests with disabilities. No cost adjustments include easy to read signs for wayfinding, and clearing space around tables so that guests with mobility aids can move around freely. Check out this free guide to hosting accessible events.
Join us on September 26 at 2:00 PM for our second webinar in the Accessibility Champion series.
This month will focus on accessible main streets and will feature two Accessibility Champions. Brent Kittmer, CAO and Clerk for the Town of St. Marys, will discuss the experiences of reconstructing their main street within a heritage conservation district while also integrating accessibility upgrades. Luke Anderson, Executive Director and Founder of The StopGap Foundation, will talk about the StopGap program and other initiatives.
You can register for the webinar through our eventbrite page here.
For Your Interest
New Smartphone App for Drivers with Disabilities
Filling up a car with gas can be a very challenging experience for both people with disabilities and petrol station service providers, especially when available assistance is limited due to staffing shortages.
Developed specifically to address this issue, fuelService is a free smartphone app designed to make re-fuelling your car an easier experience.
This app allows drivers with disabilities to find Petrol Stations that offer assistance before arriving to the station. fuelService creates a seamless customer experience for the driver. They will know which station is available to help, and can even use the app to pay. This helpful app is one example of an innovative tool that promotes accommodation for people with disabilities to do an everyday task with dignity and independence.
Remember to use fuelService before you get behind the wheel, and never while you’re operating your vehicle.
Find Accessible Activities In Your Community With The Jooay App
Finding opportunities for accessible leisure activities can be very challenging for parents and youth with disabilities. With the Jooay App, you can now locate these opportunities based on their location, accessibility needs, individual ability and preference. The app allows children with disabilities and their families to locate and take part in community activities. Being able to participate in these inclusive leisure activities is important as it fosters the healthy development and can improve the quality of life.
For more information on the Jooay App visit their website: jooay.com.