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City Council Approves Accessibility Plan

Sep 24, 2003

MISSISSAUGA, September 24, 2003 - Today Mississauga City Council unanimously approved an Accessibility Plan developed by the City's Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The plan builds on past initiatives, identifies accessibility barriers and outlines the City's plan for their removal.

"We have a vision for Mississauga," said Mayor Hazel McCallion. "We are working towards creating a community that is accessible to all."

A strategic planning process was used by the AAC and staff working group to develop Mississauga's Accessibility Plan. The Committee members and staff identified the City's goals and plan of action. Initiatives include development of a communications strategy; accessibility design guidelines; an awareness/sensitivity training program; and a review of departmental plans and corporate policies in relation to accessibility.

"The Committee realizes that the first step is education and training. People need a better understanding and awareness of the challenges facing disabled residents," said France Tolhurst, chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee. "Our plan addresses the issues as well as offers solutions."

With the passage of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) in 2002, all municipalities are mandated to establish an Accessibility Plan. Accessibility Plans must identify barriers to persons with disabilities and the municipality's plan for the removal of those barriers.

The City's AAC includes a majority of citizen members who are persons with disabilities: France Tolhurst , chair, Coalition for Persons with Disabilities; Carol MacEachern, vice-chair, citizen; Hans Bueschleb, citizen; Corey Foster, citizen; and Nancy Kelso, citizen. The Committee also includes two representatives who are professionals from the stakeholder community: Shirlee Smith, The Canadian Hearing Society; and Cathy Tufts, CNIB Halton/Peel; and two members of Council: Katie Mahoney, councillor, ward 8 and Patricia Saito, councillor, ward 9.

For more detailed information about the plan or committee, please contact Accessibility Project Coordinator Diana Simpson at 905-615-3608. An audio version of this news release can be heard by calling the Communications Division Hotline at 905-615-4162.

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