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Province Selects The Honourable David C. Onley to Review Ontario’s Accessibility Laws

Ontario Continues to Make Progress toward Becoming a Barrier-free Province
Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

Ontario has appointed the Honourable David C. Onley to conduct the third review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). 

The reviewer will consult with the public and will analyze accessibility progress made in other jurisdictions. The review will be completed by the end of 2018 and will consider the evolution of the current AODA and its goals for an accessible Ontario by 2025 and beyond.

David C. Onley is a former broadcast journalist. He served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 to 2014, and was the first person with a physical disability in the role. He has consulted on accessibility in the private and public sector, including as Special Advisor on Accessibility. Mr. Onley has been inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and was named to the Order of Canada in 2017.

Ensuring that everyone in Ontario can contribute to their community and achieve their goals is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • The second review of the act was conducted by Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, and was completed in 2015. The government has since implemented a number of Moran’s recommendations, including the appointment of a Minister Responsible for Accessibility and the development of new accessibility standards.
  • With the passage of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Ontario became an accessibility leader, establishing standards in key areas of daily life and implementing them within clear timeframes.
  • Accessibility standards have been developed in five key areas of daily living: customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces.
  • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act includes legislative requirement for a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the act and its regulations every three years after tabling.
  • Ontario is working to develop new accessibility standards for health care and education to remove barriers.


“The third legislative review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is a substantial project and a valuable step in our journey to becoming an accessible province by 2025. Its broad scope will have a significant impact on our work to remove barriers for people with disabilities in our province. The Honourable David C. Onley is a committed accessibility advocate and brings unique experience to the role. We look forward to his recommendations.”
– Tracy MacCharles | Minister Responsible for Accessibility

“It is an enormous privilege to be asked to conduct the third review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and a pleasure to accept. Since the act’s introduction in 2005, Ontario has made great progress towards becoming a functionally accessible province by the target date of 2025. While much remains to be done, I believe the goal is achievable and look forward to making recommendations that will get us there. I thank the Honourable Tracy MacCharles for the confidence she has shown in appointing me and I am eager to begin.”
– The Honourable David C. Onley

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