Rants Raves and Recommendations

Jun 7, 2017

RE: "Spouse In The House" Rule applied to all Canadians with disabilities - Persons on Provincial Disability who enter into Commonlaw or Marital Relationship and that relationship is told to Ministry Office, will loose their Provincial Disabilty for good." This has been verified by any legal entities I've spoken to as "human rights breaking". I was hit with this and lost my disability until just recently and also lost my CleanCredit due to other financial actions against me. ALL persons with disabilities have a right to be loved and to enter into a Commonlaw or Marital Relationship. Looking for Legal entity whom cares enough to "end/kill" this human rights breaking rule against the disabled.

Apr 11, 2017

My rant has to do with the lack of accessible public transportation in cities like London, Kingston. In many mid size cities it appears that accessibility issues continue to be pushed back year after year in continued hopes, it seems, that our federal and provinical governments wont make them put true accessibility infrastructure in place. Despite an ever increasing pressure on services like Paratransit, LTC, adaptive housing, it seems that investment into infrastructure changes does not keep pace with the pressures being put on the system as baby boomers age and others live longer lives. Case in point, because London has a shared ride, first come ,first serve Paratransit service, one would expect attending appointments to be reasonably accessed. But the pressure on the system is so bad that I have had to reschedule 3 dentist appointments and two doctors appointments, as the system requires me to start calling exactly 3 days before the ride date at 7 am, and get into queue with hopes to get a ride scheduled. In every case, we first had to get into the phone appointment system by redialing over and over until we finally get into the queue. In all cases I have been the 15 or higher person in line waiting, with average call waits of 20 minutes. Finally on getting an operator, I have not been able to schedule a round trip ride to the dentist on 3 occasions, the doctor on 2 occasions, and I remain having to save money for long taxi rides just to have accessible transportation. We need significant investment in accessible transportation infrastructure/

Rant done.......

Feb 9, 2017

Has no one realized yet that the AODA and the Ontario Building Codes accessibility standards apply to adults and there is no provision for children? As an accessibility auditor for the Simcoe School Board there were no standards or guidelines for elementary schools Each disabled child must be assessed individually for their needs by a committee composed of the parents, and members of the school board.

Need some incentives to encourage builders to build more accessible housing. There are disabled persons who are unable to leave the hospitals because there are no accessible units available.

The processes for getting support services is too long. It recently took me months to get assistance I had to be interviewed by CCAC , then by the service provider intake person and by their Occupational Therapist each one taking weeks due to work overload. Then a delay in assigning the number of hours of service available and the staff available

Better salaries for the service staff would help with the high turnover

Feb 9, 2017

I would like to see accelerated and consistent wheelchair accessibility on municipal transit across Canada. The Toronto transit commission has only managed to convert approximately one station a year over the last 10-15 years and over half the station remain inaccessible. This rate of conversion is unacceptably slow as is the delivery of new low floor street cars. Montreal's subway system only has 11 elevators out of 68 stations. Customer service standards in the retail industry need to improve as many debit/credit card payment machines are anchored to counters, cannot pivot and are too high for wheelchair users to use. Customer service counters are also too high at many businesses. Accessible washrooms also need small garbage's to dispose of medical supplies in the same way women's washrooms have a garbage to dispose of feminine products.

Feb 5, 2017

Unfortunately, this potential legislation is already being framed in terms of the provincial legislation that came before it, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This legislation was not so much focused on preserving our rights, as it was about getting disabled people involved in the economy, employment and industry.

These are still important points, but disabled Canadians are more than consumers and potential employees. The Federal legislation must have a broader scope to create equitable rights for disabled people with effective enforcement.

Here are a few starting points:

The need for accessible, affordable housing. People can't be expected to find decent work without decent housing that meets their access needs.
Protection of the rights of parents with disabilities.
Accessibility in healthcare and all stages of education.
Including Indigenous Peoples and refugees in the discussion, and allowing them the same or greater accessibility as the rest of Canada.
Police training in effectively and sensitively working with disabled people.
Distribution of Health and Social transfers to address the inequities in the systemic barriers that exist between provinces and territories.

This is an opportunity for disabled Canadians to have equitable status as citizens and residents of this country. We need effective enforceable legislation that works for all of us.

Feb 3, 2017

Right : The fact that Access and Inclusion have attained the entrenched legal position in Canada should not be overlooked, in all its aspects. It is an important and an impressive accomplishment, albeit embarrassing in the time it took to achieve.

Wrong : Talk and legislation can be cheap. The Reagan-Mulroney-Harris-Harper Far Right -- in Harper's case, Reform Party, nothing to do with genuine conservative politics -- trick of not necessarily stiking down progressive, inclusive legislation, just making sure it is not enforced, has been allowed to flourish in Canada. One short example:: Harris cut welfare benefits 22.5-percent when first elected as Premier of Ontario in the 1990s. The result? Child poverty and the suicide rate skyrocketed. Did the Liberal Party of Ontario race to legislate improved welfare benefits and to improve them to what they had been pre-Harris. Not that I remember. Instead, we have an ugly edifice of a memory of Mike Harris and his anti-access/inclusion thugs. Some years ago the bridge spanning the Don Valley between Bloor Street East and the Danforth, a bridge that was often used by people to end their lives, was "suicide-proofed". And in a display of unprecedented blinkeredness and/or contempt, this same "suicide-proofed" bridge was decked-out in celebratory lights and used on the parade route of the Pan American Games. And all this done without so much as a raised hand from anyone with a public voice. You asked what was wrong.


One over all solution for matters of access, inclusion, infrastructure, and all long term ongoing projects is to build/establish permanent, cornerstone financial structures to ensure these all important projects will be part of the daily process of all governments, and not subject to the strategies and the ignorance of politicians, the random-access-memory, if you will, of politics. Establish permanent funding so that work can be achieved and progress assured because of the longer term planning that is possible when a long term budget is known.

Other countries and cities follow this model with great success. It's no great secret. The solution is there. The question, however, remains, how much longer is our portion of North America get past puberty and sit at the table with the grownups.

Feb 2, 2017

I wish there was an external audit system to review the standards and practices of accessibility equipment (wheelchair)vendors. The government funding is being taken advantage of by some of these businesses and do not provide the people relying on this equipment with even a minimal amount of care,compassion or accountability. This needs to change. Equipment delays, forgotten orders and lies and excuses are rampant. People need a voice. Please help.

Feb 2, 2017

I am so tired of going to a mall, grocery store, plaza....and finding all of the wheelchair spots taken. If they were taken by people like me, a full time wheelchair user who drives a modified van with a ramp, I wouldn't mind. However, usually these spots are taken by senior citizens for various reasons. Why can't we have parking spots designated for actual wheelchair users?

And what's with these spots for mothers with children? Can't they walk? They managed for 9 months! Perhaps these spots should go to senior citizens who have a hard time walking and need the use of a cane or a walker.

And, finally, wheelchair spots need to be wider. Have you ever been in a wheelchair and found a disabled parking spot? Perhaps there was no one next to you when you went in the mall but when you come out there is a car there. How do you get your ramp down when you need 6 feet of clearance, and it's January, and it's snowing! Has that ever happened to you? No, I didn't think so.

Put yourself in our shoes for a day, a week, a month. Or better yet, have the disabled have a say in the policy making. Oh, right, that's what you're doing isn't it? It is, isn't it?

Feb 2, 2017

A couple of months I experienced extreme discrimination against myself as a person with a disability (not over yet.) I was shopping in a consignment retail store that had a huge sale = very busy. The store has one accessible change room. When I was ready to try on clothing I was told that I had to take a number and wait at the end of the queue. I explained that I needed to use the accessible change room and was told that there were at least 10 (non-visible disability) people ahead of me and that due to the fact that the store was very busy I had to wait. I observed two non-visible disabled persons use the change room and finally I entered the change room without my number being called. I was met with resistance by a salesperson who told me I had to wait my turn to which I replied "watch me" and entered the change room. I provided feedback to the manager of the store who told me it was store policy during busy times to use the "first come, first use" procedure. I have since written to head office who responded "you should have told the manager" I did, as you know...then I recommended that the staff be provided with sensitivity training. Response "we will add to the agenda for the next meeting." Have not heard back since...

Feb 2, 2017

As a person with mobility challenges who does not use a power chair, wheelchair or scooter I cannot understand why (if available) the accessible washroom is always at the very end furthest away from the door and not the first stall as soon as you enter the washroom. I also don't understand why establishments indicate an accessible washroom with no automatic doors. Another washroom beef - I live in a condominium (building over 30 years old) that recently completed major renovations to the "spa" area and kindly installed automatic doors to all doorways/entrances in spa area but no accessible washroom stalls? Why? I can enter the washroom with ease but cannot pee. What gives? Also accessible parking for one building is the the furthest away from the main door compared to other parking spaces. Why?


Spinal Cord Injury Canada

520 Sutherland Drive, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4G 3V9
Bill Adair, Executive Director
(416) 200-5814