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York University Faculty Association (YUFA) Response to Bill 118 Ontarians with Disability Act Jan. 31, 05 Ruthanna Dyer Convener of the Disability Caucus.

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Presentation on theme: "York University Faculty Association (YUFA) Response to Bill 118 Ontarians with Disability Act Jan. 31, 05 Ruthanna Dyer Convener of the Disability Caucus."— Presentation transcript:

1 York University Faculty Association (YUFA) Response to Bill 118 Ontarians with Disability Act Jan. 31, 05 Ruthanna Dyer Convener of the Disability Caucus

2 YUFA represents 1250 full-time professors and librarians at York University and welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Committee.

3 Attitudes are Greatest Barrier Unapparent disabilities should not be ignored in the establishment of standards. Funding should be earmarked for consultation and training re: mental, cognitive, and metabolic disabilities. Procedures to seek accommodation should be transparent and accessible.

4 Aging Demographic in Workforce Average age of post-secondary educators is close to 50 years. 35% of post- secondary educators working in 2000 will retire by Increased age is associated with increased incidence of chronic illness leading to disability. Most disabled faculty can work if accommodation and an accessible workplace are available.

5 Aging Infrastructure=Barriers Many University buildings are old, damaged and inaccessible. Renovations often meet newer codes with lower accessibility standards resulting in loss of accessibility. Construction presents obstructions of narrow and uneven walkways. Prior best standards should be retained where they have been in place.

6 Newer Technology can = New Barriers Buildings with wireless communications have interfered with hearing assistance devices. Technology equipped classrooms are designed for lecturer who stands, thus technology not available for lecturer in chair. New glass wall design inside buildings results in doors that are too heavy to open without electric press plates.

7 Include Workers’ Organizations YUFA supports OFL amendments: Workers’ groups should be recognized as stakeholders –in the setting of standards for specialized and local workplaces. –in reporting and evaluation of local application of standards. The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act could be used as a template for such joint activity in the workplace.

8 Bill 118 and Occupational Health and Safety Act Similar structure of regulations, inspections and fines is familiar to labor and employer. Disabled community should be identified as a priority source for trained inspectors.

9 Finally:20 years is too long! There is much prior work that has been done on accessibility that can be used and implemented more quickly. We would encourage the Committee to reduce the waiting and the costs of inaccessible workplaces and places of learning. The costs to society for this long wait should not be acceptable in this era of scarce social and health resources.

10 Contacting YUFA Telephone: or ext Fax: Surface Mail: 4700 Keele Street, Room 261 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3


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