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May 12, 2005
City’s Disability Advocate welcomes new accessibility law
City Council’s Disability Advocate, Councillor Joe Mihevc, Chair of the City’s
Disability Issues Advisory Committee, applauded the new accessibility law (Bill
118) passed Monday by the Province of Ontario.

"This is truly landmark legislation," said Councillor Mihevc. "People with
disabilities deserve fair and equitable treatment and opportunity in all areas
of their lives and this new accessibility legislation paves the way towards
building an accessible and inclusive society. It will help achieve our goal of
making Toronto a barrier-free city.

"This legislation would not have passed without the efforts of countless
numbers of individuals with disabilities, their families and supporters. Their
unrelenting pressure upon the government has brought about this historic law,"
continued Councillor Mihevc.

Bill 118, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act will take
effect on Royal assent and will require government to work with partners to
jointly develop standards to be achieved in stages of five years or less,
leading to a fully accessible Ontario in 20 years. Standards will be set in
both the public and private sectors to address the full range of disabilities -
including physical, sensory, hearing, mental health, developmental and
learning. New standards could include: - Accessible pedestrian routes and
entrances into buildings - Lower counter heights at cash registers to
accommodate wheelchairs - Large print menus in restaurants for the
visually-impaired - Staff training in serving customers with learning

For more information about Bill 118, the Accessibility for Ontarians with
Disabilities Act: itizenship/accessibility/index.html

Information on the City of Toronto’s Accessibility Plan and the City’s
Accessibility Design Guidelines can be found at: htm

Media contacts:

Councillor Joe Mihevc
Disability Advocate and Chair
Disability Issues Committee

Bernita Lee
Disability Issues Committee



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