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October 3, 2003
City Council approves first Accessibility Plan under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Toronto City Council approved the City's first Accessibility Plan required
under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act on September 22, 2003.

"This is a big step. The mandatory requirement to file an Accessibility Plan
increases accountability and obliges all municipalities across Ontario to work
towards ensuring that people with disabilities are able to participate in
public life", said City Councillor Joe Mihevc, the City's Disability Advocate.

"Although we've done a lot already, that's just a start and this Accessibility
Plan sets out important first steps. As the population ages, this plan becomes
even more important," continued Councillor Mihevc.

It is estimated that half of the 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities reside
in the Toronto region. Developing some form of disability increases with age.
It is estimated that by 2011 one in every six Ontarians will be over the age of
65 and that the number of people age 75 or older will more than double.

The City's first Accessibility Plan is comprised of departmental accessibility
plans, which report on current and future strategies to improve accessibility
in policy, programs and service delivery. Two key elements of the Accessibility
Plan are the completion of Accessibility Design Guidelines and Workplace

An Interdepartmental Staff Team on Access and Equity co-ordinates the
Accessibility Plan.

The City's Community Advisory Committee on Disability Issues was consulted on
the development of the plan.

Media contacts:
Councillor Joe Mihevc, Disability Advocate, 416-392-0208

Bernita Lee, Consultant, Diversity Management,
Strategic and Corporate Policy / Healthy City Office,
Chief Administrator's Office, 416-397-5251



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