Accessibility is not a feature, it’s a social trend

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If Antonio Santos is correct then according to the January 19th edition of the Auroran
the Town of Aurora is trending very poorly in this area. Particularly when it comes to their own council chambers.

It’s pretty damning when the chair of the town’s own Accessibility Advisory Committee has to go out of his way to present to council to demonstrate exactly how inaccessible the council chambers are.

It’s not as though council is unaware, a $110,000 proposal to raise the bottom level of the chamber was shot down back in 2013 for being too expensive. 

“I mentioned it four years ago and let it go to be polite, but after the $500,000 so-called enhancement of the audio in the rooms, I think they can do better than this.”

Kudos to Mr. Barker for eschewing politeness and pointing out the cost of council’s inaction.

The only positive spin the town’s Manager of Corporate Communications could put on the 1/2 a Million $ audio-visual system that has been fraught with technical difficulties was that it was not intended to renovate the chamber itself.

4 improvements to address accessibility are trotted out, all of which fall short in addressing Mr Barker’s concerns raised 4 years ago.

WTF?

The town simply shrugs this off by saying: “Renovations to the Chamber have been considered by Council in the past and the Town’s current Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, which is reviewed by the Accessibility Committee on annual basis, includes a project to increase accessibility in the Chambers by 2023.”

So, about that.

On page 47 we see this:

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Want to really see how town council is at “Getting Things Done”?

Item added : May 2011

Target year for completion: 2022

The town is spouting off how they “continue to work with the committee to identify and remove accessibility barriers and ensure that all AODA legislated obligations are met in a timely manner

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In whose reality is a 11 year response time seen as meeting obligations in a timely manner?

Mr. Barker asks members of council to “Imagine if I was on council”

I guess Mr. Barker and others sharing his accessibility issues will have to continue to imagine such a scenario as the Town of Aurora has confirmed that it will not become a reality for the next entire term of council.

Whitchurch-Stouffville , Richmond Hill, Vaughan and East Gwillimbury all have a very easy-to-access Council Chamber.  King Township is in the progress of building a new one.  That’s 5 out of 9 municipalities in York Region that go beyond providing the minimum standard, putting Aurora in the minority.

If anyone on the past 2 terms of council honestly believes their inaction supports the strategic goal of providing an exceptional quality of life for all, then we can just chalk this up to yet another example of #gettingthingsdumb.

 

Watts on your mind?

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