Today Is the AODA Movement’s 25th Birthday! – Watch Our Movement’s Latest Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Any Time on YouTube – and – Toronto Star Runs Very Troubling Editorial that Wrongly Applauds the Ford Government’s Unleashing Electric Scooters on Ontarians, Despite their Proven Dangers to Safety and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance

Today Is the AODA Movement’s 25th Birthday! – Watch Our Movement’s Latest Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Any Time on YouTube – and – Toronto Star Runs Very Troubling Editorial that Wrongly Applauds the Ford Government’s Unleashing Electric Scooters on Ontarians, Despite their Proven Dangers to Safety and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

November 29, 2019

                    Summary

1. A Quarter-Century of Tenacious Advocacy Started on this Date in 1994

Twenty-five years ago today, a group of some twenty people with disabilities spontaneously gathered in a meeting room at Queen’s Park, feeling that they had to do something. The “something” that they did was to create a new and enduring grassroots non-partisan movement to campaign for strong accessibility legislation in Ontario.

Twenty-five years later, we have a lot to show for our efforts, but a lot more that we need to accomplish. Next Tuesday, on December 3, 2019, the International Day for People with Disabilities, we will have more to say about the past 25 years and about the future that we must create. For today, however, we encourage you to remember–or learn for the first time–about how it all got started and to reflect on where we need to go.

You can read about the events that led up to the birth of Ontario’s enduring disability accessibility movement by visiting https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/come-to-a-birthday-party-on-december-3-2019-the-international-day-for-people-with-disabilities-at-queens-park-to-celebrate-the-25th-anniversary-of-the-birth-of-the-non-partisan-grassroots-movemen/

You can watch a captioned one-hour video of the celebration we held on November 28, 2014, the 20th anniversary of the birth of the AODA movement

2. Watch on YouTube the Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Reflecting on the 25th Anniversary of the AODA Movement

Did you miss the live broadcast of the November 28, 2019, edition of TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”? It included an interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and expert accessibility consultant Thea Kurdi. No worries! You can watch it anytime on YouTube. Encourage others to do the same.

We understand that TVO typically takes a few days to upload its captioning for these interviews. It may be available now only with YouTube’s less reliable automated captioning.

Encourage others to watch the video, including your Member of the Ontario Legislature. Encourage your local media to cover this too! That interview was taped the day before the Ford Government announced its new regulation permitting electric scooters in Ontario, despite their proven dangers to safety and accessibility for people with disabilities.

3. A Painful Irony on Our 25th Birthday! A Very Disturbing Toronto Star Editorial Today Applauds the Ford Government’s Unleashing Dangerous E-scooters on Ontarians When it Should Have Condemned Them

Regrettably, we can never rest when it comes to advocating for accessibility for people with disabilities! It is a painful though undoubtedly an inadvertent irony that today, the 25th anniversary of the AODA movement, is when the Toronto Star ran a very troubling editorial, set out below. It applauds the Ford Government’s decision to unleash e-scooters on Ontario, despite their dangers to safety and accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. This is a very disturbing departure from the Star’s long and commendable tradition of strongly supporting our accessibility cause.

We encourage everyone to write a letter to the editor at the Toronto Star to take issue with this editorial. Below we set out the letter to the editor that AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has already sent to the Toronto Star. We hope the Star will include it in both the hard copy and online version of the paper.

If you want ideas of what to say, check out the AODA Alliance’s November 28, 2019 news release on this topic. Letters can be emailed to the Star by writing [email protected]

We also set out below the November 28, 2019 report in the Toronto Star on the Ford Government’s e-scooter announcement, and the November 27, 2019 report on this topic in the Mississauga News. The Star made a general reference to disability concerns, while the Mississauga News quoted the AODA Alliance.

We will keep up pressure on the Ford Government to get them to rein in its e-scooter plans so that the safety and accessibility of people with disabilities are protected. We have not yet heard back regarding our request earlier this week to meet with Premier Ford. We will also press local municipalities not to expose their communities and people with disabilities who live in them to the safety and accessibility dangers that e-scooters have been proven to pose.

As of this 25th anniversary of our campaign, 302 days have passed since the Ontario Government received the final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. We are waiting for the Ontario Government to announce a plan to implement that report.

We always welcome your feedback. Write us today or any day at [email protected]

          MORE DETAILS

The Toronto Star November 29, 2019

Originally posted at https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2019/11/28/the-ford-government-e-scooter-pilot-gets-better.html

Editorial

Rules that make sense

The Ford government made the right decision this week in giving municipalities the final say on whether to allow two-wheeled electric scooters on their roadways and what local rules rental companies must follow.

That gives cities like Toronto and Mississauga time to come up with bylaws that can, hopefully, balance the needs of those who want to use e-scooters to commute around town and those who have serious safety concerns about them.

The government got it right, too, for the most part, on the rules the vehicles must operate under in all jurisdictions.

It sensibly reduced the maximum allowable speed to 24 km/h, down from the 32 km/h it originally proposed.

Other smart rules include: no riders under 16, mandatory helmets for riders under 18, no passengers and mandatory bells and lights.

It’s individual cities that will now have to decide the thorny issue of where the scooters can be used – roads, bike lanes or sidewalks. And, just as crucially, where the dockless scooters can be parked.

In cities around the world where e-scooter rentals have already been rolled out, there’s been considerable controversy over the devices that have a tendency to be strewn all over sidewalks and paths, creating tripping hazards. (Montreal has tried to get around that problem by designating parking spots where scooters must be left.)

The province still missed the mark on one major point: Its e-scooter pilot project, which begins Jan. 1, is five years long.

That’s too long considering the problems and safety concerns that have cropped up elsewhere.

Ontario needs to review the results of the pilot sooner than that. And the province and cities need to be ready to pull the plug if e-scooters prove to be a serious danger to pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, and to the users themselves.

Letter to the Toronto Star Editor from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky

Via email: [email protected]

November 29, 2019

The Star was wrong to applaud Doug Ford’s decision to let municipalities pilot electric scooters (Editorial Rules that make sense.) Ford ignored serious safety and accessibility concerns documented by Ontarians with disabilities, by allowing dangerously fast e-scooters on roads, sidewalks and other places. We and others will be exposed to the danger of serious injuries, if not worse. E-scooters will be unforeseeable new barriers blocking the accessibility of public spaces for people with disabilities.

As a blind person, I want to walk safely in public. I fear an inattentive, unlicensed, uninsured person, as young as 16, with no training, experience or knowledge of the rules of the road, silently rocketing towards me at 24 KPH. Ford even lets municipalities allow e-scooters on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians.

Ford says one of his priorities is to “build safer communities.” He claims this regulation makes it easier for people to get around. Yet rental e-scooters, strewn in public places, do the opposite for people with disabilities.

Ford paid lip service to safety and disability accessibility. He created weak, unenforceable provisions to limit how e-scooters are ridden and whether they may be left on sidewalks.

Ford appears to have bowed to e-scooter rental companies. The regulation reads as if their corporate lobbyists wrote it.

We oppose e-scooters. If permitted, provincial laws should require each e-scooter and driver to have a license, a helmet (even if over age 17) and insurance. If an e-scooter is left in a public place like a sidewalk, it should be forfeited and confiscated. E-scooter rental companies should be liable for injuries e-scooters cause, and caps on numbers of e-scooters.

Ontarians with disabilities are disproportionately poor and disadvantaged. We don’t have the resources to fight corporate lobbyists in hundreds of municipalities, to fend off these dangers.

David Lepofsky CM, O.Ont

Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

Visiting Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

The Toronto Star, November 28, 2019

News

Ontario to allow e-scooters on streets in 5-year trial

But province leaves final say to municipalities

David Rider Toronto Star Chief

Electric scooters are quietly gliding closer to becoming a transportation option on GTA streets.

The Ontario government on Wednesday released “broad rules and requirements” for e-scooters, including maximum speed and helmet use, as part of a five-year pilot project beginning Jan. 1.

But the province is leaving the final say to Toronto and other municipalities on allowing and regulating e-scooter sharing services that are slowly spreading across Canada after rapid rollout across the world, including cities that have had them and later banned them.

“It is now up to the municipalities to pass bylaws to allow their use and determine where they can operate most safely in each unique environment,” the transportation ministry said in a new release.

In a video posted on Twitter, MPP Vijay Thanigasalam, parliamentary secretary to Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, rolls up to the camera and calls the devices “a cool new way for people to get from point A to point B in their communities.”

Provincial rules include: no riders under age 16; mandatory helmet use for riders under 18; top speed of 24 km/h, down from 32 km/h in earlier provincial documents; no passengers; a mandatory horn, bell, white light in front and red light in back.

Rules for cities to decide, if they allow the service, include whether riders can go on roads, sidewalks or bike lanes, and the thorny question of where people can leave them when they walk away.

Lime and Bird, the world’s two biggest e-scooter sharing services in the world, are eager to add the biggest city in Canada to their service maps. They

both welcomed the Ontario announcement, saying they await detailed regulations and hope to have Torontonians whizzing around by next spring.

“What Ontario is saying is consistent with other provinces, and the regulatory change will enable cities in Ontario to proceed if they wish to have scooter-share operations in 2020,” said Chris Schafer, a Lime Canada senior executive.

Bird Canada chief executive Stewart Lyons told the Star: “Overall we’re extremely excited that the government is taking this first step for Ontario following in the footsteps of where Alberta and Quebec have gone,” with pilot projects underway on the streets of Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal.

“The feedback from (Toronto) city staff and councillors has been positive, that they want to bring the scooter program to Toronto for next spring.”

At Toronto City Hall, however, Mayor John Tory said his city won’t be rushed into anything. Last month city council voted to ban the e-scooter services until city staff release a report, with recommendations on e-scooter rules, early in 2020.

Tory said his main concerns are safety – Toronto is already dealing with a spike in pedestrian and cyclist deaths, and Calgary saw a rush of people to hospital emergency wards after e-scooters debuted there – and “clutter if there aren’t rules in place and provisions to ensure they are stored properly when not in use.”

Advocates for disabled Ontarians have voiced concerns about e-scooters being left on sidewalks and other places that could block access. The Ontario NDP blasted Premier Doug Ford’s government for failing to address their feedback in the guidelines released Wednesday.

Councillor Paul Ainslie, head of the Toronto’s licensing committee that will receive the e-scooter report, said: “I would appreciate the province working on a number of other areas first – housing, poverty reduction, red-light cameras.”

Mississauga city council in late October tasked staff with a report to come back with recommendations on e-scooter regulations next year.

“Staff are currently looking at a variety of options and models including publicly owned and operated, privately owned and operated as well as mixed publicly and privately owned and operated programs,” said a statement from Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s office.

“We look forward to exploring how we can expand transportation options for our residents while ensuring road safety remains a top priority.”

Edmonton and Calgary’s pilot projects share similar rules, with no helmet requirement and speeds capped at 20 km/h. But Calgary users can glide along sidewalks, something forbidden in Edmonton.

Montreal adopted more rules than the Alberta cities, including designated parking spots where e-scooters must be left, mandatory helmet usage and no sidewalk riding. Authorities there have expressed dismay with riders ignoring the helmet rule.

The e-scooter craze first exploded in the U.S., sometimes in cities caught by surprise when the devices appeared, and quickly spread internationally as a fun and relatively inexpensive way to take short urban trips.

But there has been a backlash and rule tightening, as well as bans in some places. Germany, where scooter regulations passed in June, has reported serious

injuries, impaired riders and one user following his GPS onto a highway.

The council for Elizabeth, N.J., on Tuesday voted to immediately end that city’s e-scooter pilot project after a 16-year-old riding a scooter was struck and killed by a tow truck.

Mississauga News November 27, 2019

Originally posted at https://www.mississauga.com/news-story/9738260-mississauga-considering-how-to-encourage-bike-e-bike-and-e-scooter-share-systems/

Mississauga considering how to encourage bike, e-bike and e-scooter share systems

Province starts 5-year e-scooter pilot in 2020

NEWS Nov 27, 2019 by Steve Cornwell, Mississauga News

Next summer, Mississauga residents and visitors might have a few more options to get around.

City council directed its staff to look at how Mississauga can encourage “micromobility” sharing systems, including e-scooters, e-bikes and bicycles.

The city hopes that the devices could help residents and visitors travel short distances in the downtown core, along the future Hurontario LRT and in Mississauga neighbourhoods like Meadowvale and Lisgar.

According to Matthew Sweet, the city’s active transportation manager, all vehicles, docking systems and operational models are under consideration.

We’re not prescribing the type of vehicle or device at this point,” he said. “Not least because the industry is so fast moving and changing.”

Sweet said the most important aspect for the city is not the device, how it’s parked or whether it’s publicly or privately owned.

“Really the first thing you should think about is how do these systems meet the city’s goals,” he said.

According to a staff report, micromobility systems align with City of Mississauga goals including promoting environmental sustainability and equity by “increasing access to viable transportation options for all.”

The move comes as the province is set to start a five-year pilot allowing e-scooters on Ontario roadways. Municipalities can opt-in to allowing e-scooters after Jan. 1, 2020. Bikes and e-bikes are already allowed on roadways in Ontario.

E-scooters abandoned on sidewalks, roadways and other undesignated parking spots have been an issue in several cities where they’ve launched in North America, including Calgary and Edmonton.

Accessibility advocate and lawyer David Lepofsky said that e-scooters are a “blight” wherever they are deployed and have been a consistent tripping hazard for people with disabilities.

“(E-scooter shares) are a brilliant business model for a company that wants free parking at the taxpayer’s expense,” he said.

Lepofsky is also the volunteer chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance and the group has asked the province to forbid rental e-scooters.

The city staff report from August 2019 recommends that the city accept micromobility sharing systems be introduced in phases and that bikes and e-bikes be favoured over e-scooters for now.

City staff is anticipating the next phase of the micromobility study will be finalized in June 2020.



Source link

Today Is the AODA Movement’s 25th Birthday!


Watch Our Movement’s Latest Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Any Time on YouTube and Toronto Star Runs Very Troubling Editorial that Wrongly Applauds the Ford Government’s Unleashing Electric Scooters on Ontarians, Despite their Proven Dangers to Safety and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities http://www.aodaalliance.org [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance

November 29, 2019

Summary

1. A Quarter-Century of Tenacious Advocacy Started on this Date in 1994

Twenty-five years ago today, a group of some twenty people with disabilities spontaneously gathered in a meeting room at Queen’s Park, feeling that they had to do something. The “something” that they did was to create a new and enduring grassroots non-partisan movement to campaign for strong accessibility legislation in Ontario.

Twenty-five years later, we have a lot to show for our efforts, but a lot more that we need to accomplish. Next Tuesday, on December 3, 2019, the International Day for People with Disabilities, we will have more to say about the past 25 years and about the future that we must create. For today, however, we encourage you to remember–or learn for the first time–about how it all got started and to reflect on where we need to go.

You can read about the events that led up to the birth of Ontario’s enduring disability accessibility movement by visiting https://www.aodaalliance.org/whats-new/come-to-a-birthday-party-on-december-3-2019-the-international-day-for-people-with-disabilities-at-queens-park-to-celebrate-the-25th-anniversary-of-the-birth-of-the-non-partisan-grassroots-movemen/

You can watch a captioned one-hour video of the celebration we held on November 28, 2014, the 20th anniversary of the birth of the AODA movement

2. Watch on YouTube the Interview on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Reflecting on the 25th Anniversary of the AODA Movement

Did you miss the live broadcast of the November 28, 2019, edition of TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”? It included an interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and expert accessibility consultant Thea Kurdi. No worries! You can watch it anytime on YouTube. Encourage others to do the same.

We understand that TVO typically takes a few days to upload its captioning for these interviews. It may be available now only with YouTube’s less reliable automated captioning.

Encourage others to watch the video, including your Member of the Ontario Legislature. Encourage your local media to cover this too! That interview was taped the day before the Ford Government announced its new regulation permitting electric scooters in Ontario, despite their proven dangers to safety and accessibility for people with disabilities.

3. A Painful Irony on Our 25th Birthday! A Very Disturbing Toronto Star Editorial Today Applauds the Ford Government’s Unleashing Dangerous E-scooters on Ontarians When it Should Have Condemned Them

Regrettably, we can never rest when it comes to advocating for accessibility for people with disabilities! It is a painful though undoubtedly an inadvertent irony that today, the 25th anniversary of the AODA movement, is when the Toronto Star ran a very troubling editorial, set out below. It applauds the Ford Government’s decision to unleash e-scooters on Ontario, despite their dangers to safety and accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. This is a very disturbing departure from the Star’s long and commendable tradition of strongly supporting our accessibility cause.

We encourage everyone to write a letter to the editor at the Toronto Star to take issue with this editorial. Below we set out the letter to the editor that AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has already sent to the Toronto Star. We hope the Star will include it in both the hard copy and online version of the paper.

If you want ideas of what to say, check out the AODA Alliance’s November 28, 2019 news release on this topic. Letters can be emailed to the Star by writing [email protected]

We also set out below the November 28, 2019 report in the Toronto Star on the Ford Government’s e-scooter announcement, and the November 27, 2019 report on this topic in the Mississauga News. The Star made a general reference to disability concerns, while the Mississauga News quoted the AODA Alliance.

We will keep up pressure on the Ford Government to get them to rein in its e-scooter plans so that the safety and accessibility of people with disabilities are protected. We have not yet heard back regarding our request earlier this week to meet with Premier Ford. We will also press local municipalities not to expose their communities and people with disabilities who live in them to the safety and accessibility dangers that e-scooters have been proven to pose.

As of this 25th anniversary of our campaign, 302 days have passed since the Ontario Government received the final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. We are waiting for the Ontario Government to announce a plan to implement that report.

We always welcome your feedback. Write us today or any day at [email protected]

MORE DETAILS

The Toronto Star November 29, 2019

Originally posted at https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2019/11/28/the-ford-government-e-scooter-pilot-gets-better.html Editorial

Rules that make sense

The Ford government made the right decision this week in giving municipalities the final say on whether to allow two-wheeled electric scooters on their roadways and what local rules rental companies must follow.

That gives cities like Toronto and Mississauga time to come up with bylaws that can, hopefully, balance the needs of those who want to use e-scooters to commute around town and those who have serious safety concerns about them.

The government got it right, too, for the most part, on the rules the vehicles must operate under in all jurisdictions.

It sensibly reduced the maximum allowable speed to 24 km/h, down from the 32 km/h it originally proposed.

Other smart rules include: no riders under 16, mandatory helmets for riders under 18, no passengers and mandatory bells and lights.

It’s individual cities that will now have to decide the thorny issue of where the scooters can be used – roads, bike lanes or sidewalks. And, just as crucially, where the dockless scooters can be parked.

In cities around the world where e-scooter rentals have already been rolled out, there’s been considerable controversy over the devices that have a tendency to be strewn all over sidewalks and paths, creating tripping hazards. (Montreal has tried to get around that problem by designating parking spots where scooters must be left.)

The province still missed the mark on one major point: Its e-scooter pilot project, which begins Jan. 1, is five years long.

That’s too long considering the problems and safety concerns that have cropped up elsewhere.

Ontario needs to review the results of the pilot sooner than that. And the province and cities need to be ready to pull the plug if e-scooters prove to be a serious danger to pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, and to the users themselves.

Letter to the Toronto Star Editor from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky Via email: [email protected]
November 29, 2019

The Star was wrong to applaud Doug Ford’s decision to let municipalities pilot electric scooters (Editorial Rules that make sense.) Ford ignored serious safety and accessibility concerns documented by Ontarians with disabilities, by allowing dangerously fast e-scooters on roads, sidewalks and other places. We and others will be exposed to the danger of serious injuries, if not worse. E-scooters will be unforeseeable new barriers blocking the accessibility of public spaces for people with disabilities.

As a blind person, I want to walk safely in public. I fear an inattentive, unlicensed, uninsured person, as young as 16, with no training, experience or knowledge of the rules of the road, silently rocketing towards me at 24 KPH. Ford even lets municipalities allow e-scooters on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians.

Ford says one of his priorities is to “build safer communities.” He claims this regulation makes it easier for people to get around. Yet rental e-scooters, strewn in public places, do the opposite for people with disabilities.

Ford paid lip service to safety and disability accessibility. He created weak, unenforceable provisions to limit how e-scooters are ridden and whether they may be left on sidewalks.

Ford appears to have bowed to e-scooter rental companies. The regulation reads as if their corporate lobbyists wrote it.

We oppose e-scooters. If permitted, provincial laws should require each e-scooter and driver to have a license, a helmet (even if over age 17) and insurance. If an e-scooter is left in a public place like a sidewalk, it should be forfeited and confiscated. E-scooter rental companies should be liable for injuries e-scooters cause, and caps on numbers of e-scooters.

Ontarians with disabilities are disproportionately poor and disadvantaged. We don’t have the resources to fight corporate lobbyists in hundreds of municipalities, to fend off these dangers.

David Lepofsky CM, O.Ont
Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Visiting Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

The Toronto Star, November 28, 2019
News

Ontario to allow e-scooters on streets in 5-year trial
But province leaves final say to municipalities

David Rider Toronto Star Chief

Electric scooters are quietly gliding closer to becoming a transportation option on GTA streets.

The Ontario government on Wednesday released “broad rules and requirements” for e-scooters, including maximum speed and helmet use, as part of a five-year pilot project beginning Jan. 1.

But the province is leaving the final say to Toronto and other municipalities on allowing and regulating e-scooter sharing services that are slowly spreading across Canada after rapid rollout across the world, including cities that have had them and later banned them.

“It is now up to the municipalities to pass bylaws to allow their use and determine where they can operate most safely in each unique environment,” the transportation ministry said in a new release.

In a video posted on Twitter, MPP Vijay Thanigasalam, parliamentary secretary to Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, rolls up to the camera and calls the devices “a cool new way for people to get from point A to point B in their communities.”

Provincial rules include: no riders under age 16; mandatory helmet use for riders under 18; top speed of 24 km/h, down from 32 km/h in earlier provincial documents; no passengers; a mandatory horn, bell, white light in front and red light in back.
Rules for cities to decide, if they allow the service, include whether riders can go on roads, sidewalks or bike lanes, and the thorny question of where people can leave them when they walk away.

Lime and Bird, the world’s two biggest e-scooter sharing services in the world, are eager to add the biggest city in Canada to their service maps. They
both welcomed the Ontario announcement, saying they await detailed regulations and hope to have Torontonians whizzing around by next spring.

“What Ontario is saying is consistent with other provinces, and the regulatory change will enable cities in Ontario to proceed if they wish to have scooter-share operations in 2020,” said Chris Schafer, a Lime Canada senior executive.

Bird Canada chief executive Stewart Lyons told the Star: “Overall we’re extremely excited that the government is taking this first step for Ontario following in the footsteps of where Alberta and Quebec have gone,” with pilot projects underway on the streets of Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal.

“The feedback from (Toronto) city staff and councillors has been positive, that they want to bring the scooter program to Toronto for next spring.”

At Toronto City Hall, however, Mayor John Tory said his city won’t be rushed into anything. Last month city council voted to ban the e-scooter services until city staff release a report, with recommendations on e-scooter rules, early in 2020.

Tory said his main concerns are safety – Toronto is already dealing with a spike in pedestrian and cyclist deaths, and Calgary saw a rush of people to hospital emergency wards after e-scooters debuted there – and “clutter if there aren’t rules in place and provisions to ensure they are stored properly when not in use.”

Advocates for disabled Ontarians have voiced concerns about e-scooters being left on sidewalks and other places that could block access. The Ontario NDP blasted Premier Doug Ford’s government for failing to address their feedback in the guidelines released Wednesday.

Councillor Paul Ainslie, head of the Toronto’s licensing committee that will receive the e-scooter report, said: “I would appreciate the province working on a number of other areas first – housing, poverty reduction, red-light cameras.”
Mississauga city council in late October tasked staff with a report to come back with recommendations on e-scooter regulations next year.

“Staff are currently looking at a variety of options and models including publicly owned and operated, privately owned and operated as well as mixed publicly and privately owned and operated programs,” said a statement from Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s office.

“We look forward to exploring how we can expand transportation options for our residents while ensuring road safety remains a top priority.”
Edmonton and Calgary’s pilot projects share similar rules, with no helmet requirement and speeds capped at 20 km/h. But Calgary users can glide along sidewalks, something forbidden in Edmonton.

Montreal adopted more rules than the Alberta cities, including designated parking spots where e-scooters must be left, mandatory helmet usage and no sidewalk riding. Authorities there have expressed dismay with riders ignoring the helmet rule.

The e-scooter craze first exploded in the U.S., sometimes in cities caught by surprise when the devices appeared, and quickly spread internationally as a fun and relatively inexpensive way to take short urban trips.

But there has been a backlash and rule tightening, as well as bans in some places. Germany, where scooter regulations passed in June, has reported serious injuries, impaired riders and one user following his GPS onto a highway.

The council for Elizabeth, N.J., on Tuesday voted to immediately end that city’s e-scooter pilot project after a 16-year-old riding a scooter was struck and killed by a tow truck.

Mississauga News November 27, 2019

Originally posted at https://www.mississauga.com/news-story/9738260-mississauga-considering-how-to-encourage-bike-e-bike-and-e-scooter-share-systems/ Mississauga considering how to encourage bike, e-bike and e-scooter share systems Province starts 5-year e-scooter pilot in 2020
NEWS Nov 27, 2019 by Steve Cornwell, Mississauga News

Next summer, Mississauga residents and visitors might have a few more options to get around.
City council directed its staff to look at how Mississauga can encourage “micromobility” sharing systems, including e-scooters, e-bikes and bicycles.

The city hopes that the devices could help residents and visitors travel short distances in the downtown core, along the future Hurontario LRT and in Mississauga neighbourhoods like Meadowvale and Lisgar.

According to Matthew Sweet, the city’s active transportation manager, all vehicles, docking systems and operational models are under consideration.

We’re not prescribing the type of vehicle or device at this point,” he said. “Not least because the industry is so fast moving and changing.”

Sweet said the most important aspect for the city is not the device, how it’s parked or whether it’s publicly or privately owned.
“Really the first thing you should think about is how do these systems meet the city’s goals,” he said.

According to a staff report, micromobility systems align with City of Mississauga goals including promoting environmental sustainability and equity by “increasing access to viable transportation options for all.”

The move comes as the province is set to start a five-year pilot allowing e-scooters on Ontario roadways. Municipalities can opt-in to allowing e-scooters after Jan. 1, 2020. Bikes and e-bikes are already allowed on roadways in Ontario.

E-scooters abandoned on sidewalks, roadways and other undesignated parking spots have been an issue in several cities where they’ve launched in North America, including Calgary and Edmonton.

Accessibility advocate and lawyer David Lepofsky said that e-scooters are a “blight” wherever they are deployed and have been a consistent tripping hazard for people with disabilities.
“(E-scooter shares) are a brilliant business model for a company that wants free parking at the taxpayer’s expense,” he said.

Lepofsky is also the volunteer chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance and the group has asked the province to forbid rental e-scooters.

The city staff report from August 2019 recommends that the city accept micromobility sharing systems be introduced in phases and that bikes and e-bikes be favoured over e-scooters for now.

City staff is anticipating the next phase of the micromobility study will be finalized in June 2020.




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Accessible Self-Service Kiosks


Under the general requirements of the AODA, all public sector organizations must make new self-service kiosks accessible. Moreover, private sector organizations should also take accessibility into account when they design, procure, or acquire new kiosks. Accessible self-service kiosks allow organizations to serve more customers.

What are accessible self-service kiosks?

Self-service kiosks are electronic terminals that users can interact with. Customers or clients can use them to access products or services without staff assistance. For instance, people now use self-service kiosks to:

Technical Features of Accessible Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks should have technical features so that everyone can use them on their own. For instance, good colour contrast on display screens makes kiosks accessible for people with visual impairments. Similarly, audio output allows people with print disabilities to hear the instructions on the screen. Likewise, speech input gives people the chance to operate kiosks by voice. Furthermore, accessible kiosks should allow extra time for people to complete tasks. This feature benefits people with various disabilities who may need more time to process and respond to the kiosk’s instructions.

Structural Features of Accessible Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks should also have accessible structural features. For example, kiosks should be at a height customers can reach using assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or scooters. In addition, kiosks should be stable. Finally, kiosks should have tactile keyboards, as well as headphone jacks and volume controls. These features allow people using a kiosk’s speech output to do business quietly and confidentially.

More and more businesses now offer self-service kiosks as an extra service option for customers or clients. However, this service option is not always open to everyone. Many customers or clients cannot use these new devices. Instead, they must continue to rely on staff to serve them, even when less staff members are working. Businesses designing or purchasing new kiosks should make sure that all customers or clients can use them.




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Key Documents Regarding the Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 Announcement of Its 5-Year E-scooter Pilot – AODA Alliance


Key Documents Regarding the Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 Announcement of Its 5-Year E-scooter Pilot

Here are the Key Documents that are connected to the Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 news release, announcing its new regulation that allows electric scooters (e-scooters in Ontario. These are all referred to in the AODA Alliance’s November 28, 2019 news release on this topic.

Below you can find:

* the Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 news release

* the backgrounder to the Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 news release.

* the New Democratic Party’s November 27,2019 news release, criticizing the Government’s announcement, and

* the text of the Government’s new e-scooter regulation.

Ontario Government November 27, 2019 News Release

Originally posted at https://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2019/11/ontario-announces-e-scooter-pilot-to-help-grow-ontarios-economy.html

[email protected]

Ontario Newsroom

News Release

Ontario Announces E-Scooter Pilot to Help Grow Ontario’s Economy

November 27, 2019

E-scooter pilot will make it easier for people to get around

TORONTO – As part of the government’s plan to help businesses expand and allow consumers and commuters more choice, Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced a 5-year e-scooter pilot that will begin on January 1, 2020. E-scooters have the potential to help hundreds of thousands of commuters get to transit connections, reduce congestion and open the Ontario market to a new and growing sector. Under the pilot, municipalities can choose whether to allow e-scooters on their roadways.

“Ontario’s five-year e-scooter pilot will give people a new, clean and green way to get from point A to point B in their communities,” said Thanigasalam.

“This pilot is another way that our government is giving consumers more choice and making Ontario open for business.”

“Ontario’s e-scooter pilot will help businesses expand, enrich local economies and offer people more options to get around safely,” said Mulroney. “Our government is strongly committed to promoting the highest standards of safety for all Ontarians who travel on our roads.”

“With Ontario adopting regulations for its e-scooter pilot, we’re excited by the momentum micromobility continues to gain across Canada,” said Chris Schafer, Senior Director, Strategic Development at Lime in Canada. “This development means that Ontario’s municipalities can now offer their residents new and sustainable ways to get around in their communities. We look forward to working in partnership with governments across the province and continuing to advance our shared transportation goals.”

The province has developed best practice guidelines to help municipalities safely integrate e-scooters in their communities. E-scooters have been launched in over 125 U.S. cities and are being allowed under pilot conditions in Quebec and Alberta.

QUICK FACTS

  • Municipalities that choose to permit e-scooters will be responsible for considerations such as whether to allow or prohibit them on municipal roads including parks and trails; where parking will be located; and how e-scooters will be managed in their municipality.
  • Under the 5-year pilot, the province has set out rules and requirements for e-scooters such as helmet requirements and a minimum age of 16 years old.
  • E-scooters will also need to be equipped with a horn or bell and must have a front and rear light.
  • Municipalities can choose to pass by-laws to allow use of e-scooters and determine where they can operate most safely in each unique environment.
  • Ontario’s Open for Business Action Plan has set targets of reducing regulatory red tape affecting businesses by 25 per cent and the cost of complying with regulations by $400 million annually by 2020 to help business keep, grow and create good jobs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Best Practice Guidelines for Municipalities
  • Open for Business – Helping to Grow the Economy and Create Good Jobs

CONTACTS

Barbara Mottram

Minister’s Office

[email protected]

416-327-1158

[email protected]

Ontario Government Backgrounder on Its e-scooter Pilot

Originally posted at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/vehicles/electric/electric-scooters.shtml

Ministry of Transportation

Electric Kick-Style Scooters (e-scooters)

The Ontario Government is committed to supporting new and emerging technologies that can help move people safely and efficiently while limiting environmental impacts. As new and emerging transportation modes evolve, new forms of electric vehicles present an opportunity to reduce traffic congestion, provide first and last mile connections to transit and present a new way for residents to get around their communities.

Effective January 1, 2020 a new pilot to permit Electric Kick Scooters (e-scooters) on Ontario’s roads will be in place.

Under the pilot, the province has set out the broad rules and requirements for e-scooters such as helmet requirements and minimum age. It is now up to the municipalities to pass by-laws to allow their use and determine where they can operate most safely in each unique environment.

Municipalities that choose to permit their use would be responsible for deciding such things as allowing or prohibiting them on municipal roads including parks, and trails; where parking would be located and how e-scooters would be managed in their municipality. The ministry has also developed a best practices document for municipalities to support them in developing their e-scooter program in a safe environment. For reference here is this Best Practices document (PDF – 200 KB).

Ontario’s objective is to create a viable framework for municipalities to allow e-scooters in their jurisdictions.

The pilot is intended to evaluate the use of e-scooters over a 5-year period to examine their ability to safely integrate with other vehicle types and determine whether existing rules of the road are adequate.

Key elements of the pilot

Municipalities must pass a by-law to allow them on municipal roads

5-year pilot

Maximum speed 24 km/h

Maximum weight 45kg

Maximum power output 500W

Minimum operating age 16

No passengers allowed

No cargo may be carried

No baskets allowed

Riders must stand at all times

Bicycle helmet required for those under 18 years old

No pedals or seat allowed

Must have 2 wheels and brakes

Must have horn or bell

Must have one white light on front, one red light on rear and reflective material on sides

Maximum wheel diameter 17 inches

All HTA rules of the road will apply to the operation of e-scooters like bicycles

Penalties in HTA s. 228(8) will also apply to violations of pilot regulation (fine of $250 to $2,500)

Not allowed on controlled access highways

For the full list of pilot requirements, please see Ontario Regulation Electric Kick-Scooters, which will be posted soon.

After the pilot is done

The Ministry of Transportation expects that this pilot framework, in addition to continued discussions with municipalities, will provide the ministry with meaningful evidence to determine whether a permanent framework is warranted. Following a safety evaluation of these vehicles, the ministry will make a long-term decision on whether e-scooters are permanently allowed on road in Ontario.

Additional information

The e-scooters that are permitted under Ontario’s pilot are the electric kick style scooters.

The scooters can vary in design, weight and speed and there are a number of different configurations that Ontario’s pilot framework would cover. The pilot framework lists all the requirements that an e-scooter must meet to participate in the pilot. Below is an example of an electric kick style scooter.

an electric kick style scooter

This pilot approach allows the ministry to establish rules, monitor and evaluate any safety impacts of e-scooters. It is a measured approach that will promote road safety, foster business innovation and open the Ontario market to this new and growing sector. By allowing municipalities to permit the use of e-scooters in their jurisdiction creates more mobility options for Ontarians and demonstrates that the province is open for business by allowing new companies to operate in Ontario.

Municipalities will have the authority to create by-laws to prohibit e-scooters from any municipal areas that fall under their jurisdiction such as sidewalks; where the e-scooter parking would be located and how e-scooters would be managed in their municipality.

While the province is establishing a regulatory framework to define where and how e-scooters can be operated it will be the responsibility of the user/e-scooter company/municipality to ensure that the rider is able to safely operate the vehicle if a municipal by-law is passed to allow their use. Municipalities may require permits or licencing for those e-scooter companies wishing to offer e-scooter rental services and as part of those agreements there may be training requirements as well.

Resources

e-Scooter Best Practices document (PDF – 200 KB)

Low Carbon Vehicles

About Low Carbon Vehicles

Charging an Electric Vehicle

Green Licence Plates

 NDP November 27, 2019 News Release

Originally posted at http://www.joelharden.ca/ford_government_s_e_scooter_pilot_fails_to_consider_concerns_from_disability_community

Ford government’s e-scooter pilot fails to consider concerns from disability community

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP critic for Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities, Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre), made the following statement in response to

the Ford government’s announcement Wednesday of a five-year e-scooter pilot program:

“People with disabilities face constant barriers to moving through our cities’ public spaces safely and accessibly. The Ford government’s e-scooter pilot program has raised serious concern among people with disabilities, who worry that e-scooters will make sidewalks more crowded, and more dangerous.

The Ford government’s e-scooter pilot consultation was extremely rushed, and it failed to seek out proper feedback from the disability community. It is telling that Ford’s announcement of the plan makes no mention whatsoever of accessibility.

The Ford Conservatives should halt their e-scooter pilot program and conduct an in-depth consultation with the disability community.”

-30-

Media contact: Jodie Shupac, 416-806-9147

November 27, 2019 Ontario Electric Scooters Regulation

Originally posted at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/190389

  1. Reg. 389/19: PILOT PROJECT – ELECTRIC KICK-SCOOTERS

under Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8

current            November 27, 2019

ONTARIO REGULATION 389/19

PILOT PROJECT – ELECTRIC KICK-SCOOTERS

Note: THIS REGULATION IS NOT YET IN FORCE. It comes into force on January 1, 2020.

Note: This Regulation is revoked on November 27, 2024, the fifth anniversary of the day it was filed. (See: O. Reg. 389/19, s. 14)

Definitions

  1. (1) In this Regulation,

“electric kick-scooter” means a vehicle that has,

(a) two wheels placed along the same longitudinal axis, one placed at the front of the kick-scooter and one at the rear,

(b) a platform for standing between the two wheels,

(c) a steering handlebar that acts directly on the steerable wheel, and

(d) an electric motor not exceeding 500 watts that provides a maximum speed of 24 kilometres per hour; (“trottinette électrique”)

“public park” means a provincial park or land designated by a municipality for use as a park. (“parc public”)

(2) An electric kick-scooter is deemed not to be a motor vehicle under the Act.

(3) Despite subsection (2), any municipal by-law that governs or prohibits the operation of a motorized vehicle applies to an electric kick-scooter unless the by-law provides otherwise.

Pilot project re electric kick-scooters

  1. A pilot project to evaluate the use and operation of electric kick-scooters is established.

Prohibition

  1. No person shall operate an electric kick-scooter on a highway, sidewalk, trail, path or walkway or in a public park or exhibition ground unless,

(a) such operation is permitted by and in accordance with this Regulation; and

(b) where the highway, sidewalk, trail, path, walkway, public park or exhibition ground is under the jurisdiction of a municipality, such operation is permitted by and in accordance with a municipal by-law.

Where electric kick-scooters permitted

  1. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person may operate an electric kick-scooter on a roadway or on the shoulder of a highway.

(2) An electric kick-scooter shall not be operated on,

(a) those parts of the controlled-access highways described in Schedule 1 to Regulation 627 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Use of Controlled-Access Highways by Pedestrians) made under the Act;

(b) those parts of the controlled-access highways described in Schedule 1 to Regulation 630 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Vehicles on Controlled-Access Highways) made under the Act; or

(c) any highway to which access by pedestrians or bicycles is prohibited under any Act, regulation or municipal by-law.

Roadway use

  1. (1) Where bicycle lanes are provided on a highway, an electric kick-scooter shall only be operated in the bicycle lanes.

(2) Despite subsection (1), where the highway is located in a tunnel or underpass, an electric kick-scooter may be operated on a sidewalk in the tunnel or underpass rather than the bicycle lane except where such operation is prohibited by municipal by-law.

(3) Where bicycle lanes are not provided on a highway or where the operation of electric kick-scooters in bicycle lanes is prohibited by municipal by-law, an electric kick-scooter shall only be operated,

(a) if there is a shoulder on the highway, on the shoulder as close to the right edge of the shoulder as possible; or

(b) if there is no shoulder on the highway, on the right side of the roadway as close to the edge of the roadway as possible.

Application of the Act

  1. (1) Parts II, IV, VI and X.3, sections 179 and 199 and subsection 214 (2) of the Act do not apply to the operation of an electric kick-scooter or to a person who operates an electric kick-scooter.

(2) Sections 140 and 144 of the Act apply to an electric kick-scooter as if the electric kick-scooter were a bicycle.

(3) When an electric kick-scooter is being operated on a sidewalk, trail, path or walkway or in a public park or exhibition ground, the provisions of the Act, other than the Parts and sections listed in subsection (1), apply to the operation of the electric kick-scooter and to the operator of the electric kick-scooter as if the electric kick-scooter were a bicycle and the operator a cyclist.

(4) When an electric kick-scooter is being operated on a roadway or on the shoulder of a highway, the provisions of the Act, other than the Parts and sections listed in subsection (1) or the provisions listed in subsection (2), apply to the operation of the electric kick-scooter and to its operator as if the electric kick-scooter were a bicycle and the operator a cyclist.

Safe operation

  1. (1) The operator of an electric kick-scooter shall keep a safe distance from pedestrians and other users of the roadway, shoulder, sidewalk, trail, path, walkway, public park or exhibition ground at all times and shall give way to a pedestrian or bicycle by slowing or stopping, as necessary, where there is insufficient space for the pedestrian or bicycle and the electric kick-scooter to pass.

(2) An electric kick-scooter shall not be operated on a sidewalk, trail, path or walkway or in a public park or exhibition ground at a speed that is markedly greater than the speed of the pedestrians who are proximate to the electric kick-scooter.

(3) Every electric kick-scooter shall be equipped with a bell or horn which shall be kept in good working order and sounded whenever it is reasonably necessary to notify cyclists, pedestrians or others of its approach.

(4) When operated at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every electric kick-scooter shall carry a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light at the front and a lighted lamp displaying a red light at the rear.

(5) The lamps referred to in subsection (4) may be attached to the electric kick-scooter or may be carried or worn by the operator on his or her person.

(6) An electric kick-scooter shall not be operated in such a manner that it may harm, injure or damage, either directly or indirectly, any person or property.

General rules re operation

  1. (1) No person under the age of 16 years shall operate an electric kick-scooter.

(2) No person operating an electric kick-scooter shall carry any other person thereon.

(3) No person operating an electric kick-scooter shall tow another person, vehicle or device.

(4) No person operating an electric kick-scooter shall attach himself or herself to another electric kick-scooter, vehicle or device for the purpose of being drawn or towed.

(5) No person operating an electric kick-scooter shall operate it in any position other than while standing at all times.

(6) No cargo may be carried on an electric kick-scooter.

(7) No person operating an electric kick-scooter shall leave it in a location that is intended for the passage of vehicles or pedestrians.

Equipment

  1. (1) An electric kick-scooter shall have one or more electric batteries that are the sole source of power to the motor.

(2) An electric kick-scooter shall not have,

(a) a seat, surface or structure that could be used as a seat;

(b) pedals attached to it;

(c) a basket attached to it;

(d) wheels with a diameter of more than 430 millimetres; or

(e) any structure to enclose the electric kick-scooter.

(3) The weight of an electric kick-scooter, including the weight of the battery but otherwise unladen, shall not exceed 45 kilograms.

(4) The battery and motor of an electric kick-scooter shall be securely fastened to the electric kick-scooter to prevent them from moving while the electric kick-scooter is in motion.

(5) All electric terminals on an electric kick-scooter shall be completely insulated and covered.

(6) An electric kick-scooter shall not be modified after its manufacture in any way that may result in increasing its power or its maximum speed beyond the limits set out in the definition of “electric kick-scooter”.

(7) The motor of an electric kick-scooter shall cease to propel the electric kick-scooter forward if the accelerator is released or the brakes are applied.

(8) The braking system of an electric kick-scooter must be capable of bringing the electric kick-scooter, while being operated at a speed of 24 kilometres per hour on a clean, paved and level surface, to a full stop within nine metres from the point at which the brakes were applied.

(9) An electric kick-scooter and all of its components shall be maintained in good working order at all times.

Helmets

  1. A person who is under 18 years old shall wear a helmet that complies with the requirements of subsection 104 (1) or (2.1) of the Act when operating an electric kick-scooter.

Operator to stop for police officer

  1. Every operator of an electric kick-scooter shall stop when required to do so by a police officer and shall, on the demand of the police officer,

(a) surrender his or her driver’s licence, if he or she has one and has it in his or her possession, for reasonable inspection by the officer; or

(b) provide the officer with his or her correct name, address and date of birth.

Duty to report accident

  1. (1) Where an electric kick-scooter is involved in an accident with a pedestrian, animal or vehicle that results in personal injury or property damage, the operator of the electric kick-scooter shall forthwith report the accident to a police officer and furnish him or her with the information concerning the accident as may be required by the officer under subsection (2).

(2) A police officer receiving a report of an accident, as required by this section, shall secure from the person making the report, or by other inquiries where necessary, the particulars of the accident, the persons involved, the extent of the personal injuries or property damage, if any, and the other information that may be necessary to complete a written report concerning the accident and shall forward the report to the Registrar within 10 days of the accident.

(3) The report of a police officer under subsection (2) shall be in the form that is approved by the Minister.

Reports to Minister

  1. Any municipality in which electric kick-scooters are being used shall, if requested by the Minister, report to the Minister on the use of electric kick-scooters in the municipality, or on any aspect of such use as may be specified by the Minister.

Revocation

  1. This Regulation is revoked on the fifth anniversary of the day it is filed.
  1. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Regulation).



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Ford Government Endangers Safety and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities in E-Scooter Pilot Regulation


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 28, 2019 Toronto: The Ford Government ignored serious safety and accessibility concerns documented by Ontarians with disabilities. A new regulation announced yesterday allows dangerously fast electric scooters (e-scooters) on roads, sidewalks and other public places. Ontarians with disabilities and others will be exposed to the danger of serious personal injuries, if not worse. E-scooters will become unpredictable new barriers blocking the accessibility of public spaces for people with disabilities.

“As a blind person, I want to walk safely in public. I fear an inattentive, unlicensed, uninsured person, as young as 16, with no training, experience or knowledge of the rules of the road, silently rocketing towards me at 24 KPH on an e-scooter,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance. The Alliance has spoken out against the dangers that e-scooters pose to people with disabilities. “Last August, the Ford Government gave the clear impression that e-scooters would only be allowed on roads. But this new regulation lets municipalities allow them on sidewalks, at serious risk to pedestrians.”

Last summer the Ford Government said it’s committed to the “highest level of safety.” Premier Ford’s website proclaims that one of his Government’s priorities is to “build safer communities.” Yet unlicensed, untrained, and uninsured people racing on silent e-scooters in public places, including our sidewalks, endanger the public, especially people with disabilities.

The Government’s November 27, 2019 news release says that this regulation “will make it easier for people to get around.” Yet rental e-scooters, strewn in public places, do the exact opposite for people with disabilities.

The Ford Government only paid lip service to safety and disability accessibility. Its regulation includes weak, unenforceable provisions to limit how e-scooters are ridden and whether they may be left on sidewalks. It will be extremely difficult if not impossible to ever convict anyone of violating these restrictions, even in the unlikely event that overworked police will have time to investigate e-scooter offences.

The Government appears to have bowed to e-scooter rental companies. The regulation reads as if those companies’ corporate lobbyists wrote it. Earlier this fall, the Ford Government told City News that its proposed e-scooter pilot involved a “compromise” between public safety on the one hand, and the interests of businesses and consumers on the other. The Government’s November 27, 2019 news release proclaimed this policy as expanding business opportunities, featuring one of the e-scooter rental companies that no doubt lobbied for this regulation.

The regulation imposes no obligations on e-scooter rental companies. They need no license or insurance. They are not made liable for their customers leaving e-scooters lying strewn all over our public sidewalks. They do not require those companies to have e-scooter parking docks, to keep them off sidewalks. There’s no cap on the numbers of e-scooters they can flood onto city streets and sidewalks.

We seek an urgent meeting with Premier Ford. We call on the Government to suspend this pilot for at least six months, to conduct a proper consultation and to listen to the people, not just corporate lobbyists. No one wants or needs to ride e-scooters in Ontario in January of 2020, when this pilot begins.

We oppose e-scooters altogether. However, if permitted, mandatory provincial laws should require each e-scooter and driver to have a license, a helmet (even if over age 17) and insurance. If an e-scooter is left in a public place like a sidewalk, it should be forfeited and confiscated. E-scooter rental companies should have mandatory liability for any injuries that e-scooters cause, and limits on the number of e-scooters.

The Government lets any municipality allow e-scooters. Ontarians with disabilities, who are disproportionately poor and disadvantaged, don’t have the resources and capacity to fight the corporate lobbyists in hundreds of municipalities, to fend off these dangers that the Ford Government unleashed. We call on mayors and city councils to protect the public and not allow e-scooters.

It is wrong for the Government to experiment on non-consenting people in this pilot. The Government should instead visit cities that already exposed their population to e-scooters’ risks, to gather data about the injuries they have caused.

Contact: AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance
All the news on the AODA Alliance’s campaign for accessibility in Ontario is available at: www.aodaalliance.org

Background information:

The Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 news release and backgrounder.
The Ontario New Democratic Party’s November 27, 2019 news release, slamming the Ford Government’s e-scooters announcement that didn’t even mention disability concerns. The text of the Ford Government’s new regulation on e-scooters.




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Ford Government Endangers Safety and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities in New E-Scooter Pilot Regulation – AODA Alliance


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ford Government Endangers Safety and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities in E-Scooter Pilot Regulation

November 28, 2019 Toronto: The Ford Government ignored serious safety and accessibility concerns documented by Ontarians with disabilities. A new regulation announced yesterday allows dangerously fast electric scooters (e-scooters) on roads, sidewalks and other public places. Ontarians with disabilities and others will be exposed to the danger of serious personal injuries, if not worse. E-scooters will become unpredictable new barriers blocking the accessibility of public spaces for people with disabilities.

“As a blind person, I want to walk safely in public. I fear an inattentive, unlicensed, uninsured person, as young as 16, with no training, experience or knowledge of the rules of the road, silently rocketing towards me at 24 KPH on an e-scooter,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance. The Alliance has spoken out against the dangers that e-scooters pose to people with disabilities. “Last August, the Ford Government gave the clear impression that e-scooters would only be allowed on roads. But this new regulation lets municipalities allow them on sidewalks, at serious risk to pedestrians.”

Last summer the Ford Government said it’s committed to the “highest level of safety.” Premier Ford’s website proclaims that one of his Government’s priorities is to “build safer communities.” Yet unlicensed, untrained, and uninsured people racing on silent e-scooters in public places, including our sidewalks, endanger the public, especially people with disabilities.

The Government’s November 27, 2019 news release says that this regulation “will make it easier for people to get around.” Yet rental e-scooters, strewn in public places, do the exact opposite for people with disabilities.

The Ford Government only paid lip service to safety and disability accessibility. Its regulation includes weak, unenforceable provisions to limit how e-scooters are ridden and whether they may be left on sidewalks. It will be extremely difficult if not impossible to ever convict anyone of violating these restrictions, even in the unlikely event that overworked police will have time to investigate e-scooter offences.

The Government appears to have bowed to e-scooter rental companies. The regulation reads as if those companies’ corporate lobbyists wrote it. Earlier this fall, the Ford Government told City News that its proposed e-scooter pilot involved a “compromise” between public safety on the one hand, and the interests of businesses and consumers on the other. The Government’s November 27, 2019 news release proclaimed this policy as expanding business opportunities, featuring one of the e-scooter rental companies that no doubt lobbied for this regulation.

The regulation imposes no obligations on e-scooter rental companies. They need no license or insurance. They are not made liable for their customers leaving e-scooters lying strewn all over our public sidewalks. They do not require those companies to have e-scooter parking docks, to keep them off sidewalks. There’s no cap on the numbers of e-scooters they can flood onto city streets and sidewalks.

We seek an urgent meeting with Premier Ford. We call on the Government to suspend this pilot for at least six months, to conduct a proper consultation and to listen to the people, not just corporate lobbyists. No one wants or needs to ride e-scooters in Ontario in January of 2020, when this pilot begins.

We oppose e-scooters altogether. However, if permitted, mandatory provincial laws should require each e-scooter and driver to have a license, a helmet (even if over age 17) and insurance. If an e-scooter is left in a public place like a sidewalk, it should be forfeited and confiscated. E-scooter rental companies should have mandatory liability for any injuries that e-scooters cause, and limits on the number of e-scooters.

The Government lets any municipality allow e-scooters. Ontarians with disabilities, who are disproportionately poor and disadvantaged, don’t have the resources and capacity to fight the corporate lobbyists in hundreds of municipalities, to fend off these dangers that the Ford Government unleashed. We call on mayors and city councils to protect the public and not allow e-scooters.

It is wrong for the Government to experiment on non-consenting people in this pilot. The Government should instead visit cities that already exposed their population to e-scooters’ risks, to gather data about the injuries they have caused.

Contact: AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, [email protected]

Twitter: @aodaalliance

All the news on the AODA Alliance’s campaign for accessibility in Ontario is available at: www.aodaalliance.org

Background information:

The Ford Government’s November 27, 2019 news release and backgrounder.

The Ontario New Democratic Party’s November 27, 2019 news release, slamming the Ford Government’s e-scooters announcement that didn’t even mention disability concerns.

The text of the Ford Government’s new regulation on e-scooters.



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What’s Up With the Rules Around Emotional Support Animals on Campus?


November 26, 2019 By Farah Khan

Juvi Gardner, a student in the general arts and science, music industry arts program, was asked earlier this fall not to bring his emotional support dog, Zeke, with him while he played for Thunders varsity basketball team.

Martha Peak, the Student Associations athletics administrator, delivered the news to Gardner in an email on Sept. 10, stating its for the safety of the dog and the students.

Gardner still has questions surrounding emotional support animals on campus. And he is not alone.

I was confused as to why youre telling me no, because Im asking for the rules, said Gardner. I just want to know what the rules are.

Though many people believe that an emotional support animal classifies as a service animal – it doesnt.

An emotional support animal is not defined nor protected by the law unlike a service animal.

According to Lending a Helping Paw: An Overview of the Law of Service Animals in Ontario, emotional support animals are not specifically trained to perform a task-such as guiding a person with a visual or physical impairment. However, they do provide comfort and support to the owner.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has clearly stated that emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals thus, it is up to colleges to decide whether the animal is permitted on the premises.

So, at anytime, students with emotional support animals can be denied having their support animal on certain premises.

It turns out the increase in the number of students with emotional service animals across Ontario is starting to gain attention.

For example, George Brown Colleges AODA policy classifies an emotional support animal as a service animal and allows students to bring them on campus.

George Brown has already implemented it in their policies, said Gardner. Theres other schools that are already adhering to the emotional support dog laws.

At present, Algonquin has not yet done this. But this is now changing.

This is starting to come up that Im aware of, said Claude Brulé, president of Algonquin College. We need to pay attention to this. Under our vice president of student services, were looking at the policies and were looking at it as well provincially.

For the moment, Gardner still has no clear answers about his emotional support dog.

But for Algonquin students with emotional support animals in general, the hope is that this will soon change.

Were aware that we need to have better policies so that everyone is aware of what they can do, or they shouldnt do but were not there yet, said Brulé. Its a work in progress.

Original at http://algonquintimes.com/news/whats-up-with-the-rules-around-emotional-support-animals-on-campus/




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AODA Alliance Writes Premier Ford to Ask for a Meeting and AODA Alliance to Appear Tomorrow on TVO’s ?The Agenda with Steve Paikin?


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities http://www.aodaalliance.org [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance

November 27, 2019

SUMMARY

1. AODA Alliance Seeks a Meeting with Premier Doug Ford

On November 26, 2019, the AODA Alliance wrote Premier Doug Ford to ask for a meeting with him. That letter is set out below.

We have never before met with Premier Ford. We are eager to ask him to speed up action on the AODA’s implementation. We wish to emphasize that there is a pressing need for his leadership on the accessibility issue. We had meetings with each of the past Ontario premiers who have been in power since the AODA Alliance was formed in 2005, Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.

2. Tune Into TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Tomorrow Night to See an Interview Focusing on the 25th Anniversary of the Birth of the Grassroots AODA Movement

We encourage you to watch TVO’s leading public affairs show “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” at 8 or 11 pm on November 28, 2019. Get others to watch!

The program will include a 20 minute interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and Thea Kurdi, an expert accessibility consultant who is the vice president of DesignAble Environments. The interview was recorded on November 26, 2019.

Based on past practice, we expect that this interview will be posted on Youtube shortly after it goes to air, and will eventually have captioning. We will circulate the link once we get it.

We thank TVO, including The Agenda with Steve Paikin, for again focusing attention on our accessibility campaign. The “hook” for this story is the fact that this Friday is the 25th anniversary of the birth of the grassroots movement that has campaigned for strong accessibility for people with disabilities in Ontario.

As of today, 300 days have passed since the Ontario Government received the final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. We are still waiting for the Ontario Government to announce a plan to implement that report.

MORE DETAILS

Text of the November 26, 2019 Letter from the AODA Alliance to Premier Doug Ford

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8
Email: [email protected]
Visit: www.aodalliance.org

November 26, 2019

Via Email: [email protected]
To: Hon. Doug Ford, Premier
Room 281, Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Ford,

RE: Ensuring Ontario Becomes Fully Accessible to Over 2 Million Ontarians with Disabilities by 2025

I write on behalf of the AODA Alliance. We are a widely-recognized non-partisan grassroots community coalition that advocates for accessibility for over 2 million Ontarians with disabilities.

We write to request a meeting with you. We seek your help.

Ontario is now falling further and further behind the goal of becoming accessible to Ontarians with disabilities by 2025. That is the deadline that all Ontario’s political parties voted to enshrine in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005. Ontarians with disabilities are too often losing out, as do Ontario’s businesses that lose the chance to benefit from Ontarians with disabilities as their customers and employees.

This troubling state of affairs is amply documented in the Government-appointed Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. He found that Ontario remains full of “soul crushing” barriers facing people with disabilities, and that the goal of full accessibility is nowhere in sight.

Your Government received Mr. Onley’s report on January 31, 2019, ten months ago. It has announced no plan to implement that report’s constructive recommendations.

When we have written you over the past months, your office has referred us back to the Accessibility Minister, Raymond Cho. We have met a number of times with Minister Cho and his officials. He and his ministry do not have the responsibility and authority to take a good number of the key actions that are needed. It is the Premier whose action and leadership we need.

Three successive Independent Reviews of the AODA’s implementation have been conducted. The first reported in 2010. The second reported in 2014. The third, by David Onley, reported earlier this year. They all called for Ontario’s Premier to show new leadership on this issue. We regret that neither of the two previous premiers showed the leadership that over 2 million Ontarians with disabilities need. We are turning to you to make the difference we need.

We are eager to meet with you to discuss this, and offer constructive ideas on how to make the progress that Ontarians need. Everyone in Ontario either has a disability now, or is bound to get one later in life as they age. They all need your leadership and your help on this important issue.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to an opportunity to meet in person. We would be delighted if you wished Minister Cho or any other of your colleagues to be part of a meeting with us.

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont
Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

The Hon. Raymond Cho Minister for Accessibility and Seniors [email protected]
Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier [email protected]




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Preventing and Removing Technology Barriers


In our last article, we explored how technology barriers limit access for people with various disabilities. In this article, we will consider how businesses can prevent or remove barriers. Preventing and removing technology barriers makes businesses welcoming to people of all abilities.

Preventing and Removing Technology  Barriers

Businesses can find many solutions to help people access technology. 

For example, businesses can have:

  • Websites that comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA
  • Kiosks and credit-card machines with accessibility features
  • Computers or tablets with voice input and output available for customers
  • Large monitors
  • Different types of keyboards and pointing devices, when possible
  • Tactile keyboards, or speech input and output for touch screens
  • Processes for providing service when technology is out-of-order

Different kinds of businesses can find ways of removing technology barriers, including:

Some of these solutions are low-cost. For instance, Apple products are all equipped with built-in accessibility features, including:

  • Screen reading software
  • Screen magnification
  • Speech recognition

Similarly, businesses can download a free demo of the Windows screen reader JAWS. In contrast, other solutions may be more costly. For example, businesses can hire experts to make their websites accessible. Likewise, they can purchase accessible hardware, such as different types of monitors, keyboards, or pointing devices. However, federal, provincial, or local funding may help businesses create or acquire technology with fewer barriers.

Staff Support

In some cases, businesses may not receive funding. Alternatively, ensuring that their websites are accessible may be an on-going or complex process. However, there are still ways for staff to make their premises welcoming to all customers, workers, or visitors. Staff should assist customers or clients when they need to use inaccessible technology. For instance, students may need to use inaccessible websites to apply for scholarships or licences. Staff from the agencies should work with students to find a solution so that they have equal access to these application processes. Staff can meet with students and navigate the website on their behalf and fill in their responses.

In contrast, staff support can sometimes create new types of barriers. For example, when credit card machines are inaccessible, staff may be able to input customers’ information on their behalf. However, this set-up violates customers’ rights to keep their financial information confidential. In addition, there is danger that some staff may steal from vulnerable customers. As a result, businesses should make every effort to offer accessible technology. Our next article will explore the AODA requirement for businesses to obtain accessible self-service kiosks.




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AODA Alliance Writes Premier Ford to Ask for a Meeting and AODA Alliance to Appear Tomorrow on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities

www.aodaalliance.org [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance

AODA Alliance Writes Premier Ford to Ask for a Meeting and AODA Alliance to Appear Tomorrow on TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”

November 27, 2019

          SUMMARY

1. AODA Alliance Seeks a Meeting with Premier Doug Ford

On November 26, 2019, the AODA Alliance wrote Premier Doug Ford to ask for a meeting with him. That letter is set out below.

We have never before met with Premier Ford. We are eager to ask him to speed up action on the AODA’s implementation. We wish to emphasize that there is a pressing need for his leadership on the accessibility issue. We had meetings with each of the past Ontario premiers who have been in power since the AODA Alliance was formed in 2005, Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.

2. Tune Into TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” Tomorrow Night to See an Interview Focusing on the 25th Anniversary of the Birth of the Grassroots AODA Movement

We encourage you to watch TVO’s leading public affairs show “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” at 8 or 11 pm on November 28, 2019. Get others to watch!

The program will include a 20 minute interview with AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky and Thea Kurdi, an expert accessibility consultant who is the vice president of DesignAble Environments. The interview was recorded on November 26, 2019.

Based on past practice, we expect that this interview will be posted on Youtube shortly after it goes to air, and will eventually have captioning. We will circulate the link once we get it.

We thank TVO, including The Agenda with Steve Paikin, for again focusing attention on our accessibility campaign. The “hook” for this story is the fact that this Friday is the 25th anniversary of the birth of the grassroots movement that has campaigned for strong accessibility for people with disabilities in Ontario.

As of today, 300 days have passed since the Ontario Government received the final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. We are still waiting for the Ontario Government to announce a plan to implement that report.

          MORE DETAILS

Text of the November 26, 2019 Letter from the AODA Alliance to Premier Doug Ford

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE

1929 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

Email: [email protected]

Visit: www.aodalliance.org

November 26, 2019

Via Email: [email protected]

To: Hon. Doug Ford, Premier

Room 281, Legislative Building

Queen’s Park

Toronto, Ontario

M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Ford,

RE: Ensuring Ontario Becomes Fully Accessible to Over 2 Million Ontarians with Disabilities by 2025

I write on behalf of the AODA Alliance. We are a widely-recognized non-partisan grassroots community coalition that advocates for accessibility for over 2 million Ontarians with disabilities.

We write to request a meeting with you. We seek your help.

Ontario is now falling further and further behind the goal of becoming accessible to Ontarians with disabilities by 2025. That is the deadline that all Ontario’s political parties voted to enshrine in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005. Ontarians with disabilities are too often losing out, as do Ontario’s businesses that lose the chance to benefit from Ontarians with disabilities as their customers and employees.

This troubling state of affairs is amply documented in the Government-appointed Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation that was conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. He found that Ontario remains full of “soul crushing” barriers facing people with disabilities, and that the goal of full accessibility is nowhere in sight.

Your Government received Mr. Onley’s report on January 31, 2019, ten months ago. It has announced no plan to implement that report’s constructive recommendations.

When we have written you over the past months, your office has referred us back to the Accessibility Minister, Raymond Cho. We have met a number of times with Minister Cho and his officials. He and his ministry do not have the responsibility and authority to take a good number of the key actions that are needed. It is the Premier whose action and leadership we need.

Three successive Independent Reviews of the AODA’s implementation have been conducted. The first reported in 2010. The second reported in 2014. The third, by David Onley, reported earlier this year. They all called for Ontario’s Premier to show new leadership on this issue. We regret that neither of the two previous premiers showed the leadership that over 2 million Ontarians with disabilities need. We are turning to you to make the difference we need.

We are eager to meet with you to discuss this, and offer constructive ideas on how to make the progress that Ontarians need. Everyone in Ontario either has a disability now, or is bound to get one later in life as they age. They all need your leadership and your help on this important issue.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to an opportunity to meet in person. We would be delighted if you wished Minister Cho or any other of your colleagues to be part of a meeting with us.

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont

Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

The Hon. Raymond Cho Minister for Accessibility and Seniors [email protected]

Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier [email protected]



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