Americas Feb 21, 2013
CANADA: Mississauga’s focus on transforming into an accessible city reached a milestone this week after Council approved the City’s 10th Annual Accessibility Plan. The plan outlines new strategies and initiatives that help to remove the barriers that people with disabilities experience in their everyday lives.
“I am so proud to live in a city that shows such a clear commitment to improving accessibility for people with disabilities,” said Rabia Khedr, Citizen Chair of Mississauga’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. “A decade of planning to improve accessibility has produced some remarkable achievements in Mississauga – award-winning accessible community centres, an accessible transit system and a range of new or updated programs and services have improved people’s lives significantly.”
Khedr added that an accessible Mississauga makes the City more inclusive. Parents with strollers, older adults and people with with disabilities realize the benefits of having a more accessible city as well. As the City’s population ages, accessibility will gain greater importance. Over the next 20 years, the proportion of Mississauga’s population age 55 and older is projected to rise from 20 per cent to 38 per cent.
The new accessibility plan, updated from the first five-year plan approved in 2012, was developed with the Accessibility Staff Working Group made up of staff from all departments, in consultation with the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The AAC includes representatives from the disability community and stakeholder community groups, and two members of Council: Katie Mahoney, councillor Ward 8 and Pat Saito, councillor Ward 9.
An accessible Mississauga, a goal outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan, ensures everyone feels they belong.
On June 13, 2005 the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was enacted. The AODA requires the development of accessibility standards with the goal of leading to an accessible Ontario by 2025.
Mississauga’s Accessibility Plan focuses on implementing a range of new provincial accessibility standards. The standards are included in a number of regulations made under the AODA. Please visit www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/accessibility for copies of the City’s new accessibility plan. For more information please contact Diana Simpson at 905-615-3608, TTY 905-616-3411 firstname.lastname@example.org .
As Canada’s sixth largest city, Mississauga is home to 741,000 residents and more than 54,000 businesses, including more than 60 Fortune 500 companies with Canadian head offices or major divisional head offices. A diverse, progressive and award-winning municipality located on the shores of Lake Ontario in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga is “Leading Today for Tomorrow” by focusing on delivering services, implementing its Strategic Plan, delivering value for money and maintaining infrastructure.