http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/206159

Accessibility For Disabled People a Big Problem, Says David Onley

Posted Jul 14, 2007 by Chris Hogg
David Onley  Ontario s next lieutenant-governor  in his Queen s Park suite. - Photo by Digital Journ...
David Onley, Ontario's next lieutenant-governor, in his Queen's Park suite. - Photo by Digital Journal
David Onley, the popular news anchor for City TV was appointed lieutenant-governor this week, and is already bringing about change for the disabled. The first problem: His own office is not even accessible.
Onley, 58, was stricken with polio as a child, paralyzing him from the neck down. Eventually regaining the use of most of his muscles, Onley today must walk with leg braces and a cane.
According to the Province of Ontario's Human Rights Act, people with disabilities have the legal right to access buildings and public spaces with dignity and without impediment.
Not even officially sworn in yet, Onley has already shown accessibility to be a problem in the province: His own office at Queen's Park is not accessible by wheelchair.
To get to his office, Onley instead has to use a separate door and travel through the legislative cafeteria.
Accessibility is a major issue, as Onley believes the aging boomer population, increased lifespan and the potential for accident mean many people will eventually face some form of disability in their lifetime.
With 1.5 million disabled people living in Ontario, Onley is a symbol of hope that things will change.
Queen s Park: The south side of the Ontario Legislature.
Queen's Park: The south side of the Ontario Legislature.
Photo by Digital Journal
In an interview with Digital Journal, Onley says simply as lieutenant-governor, he will not be able to go places that lack access for people in a wheel chair. Therefore, buildings must adapt and things must change if they want Onley to visit.
Onley succeeds the outgoing James Bartleman who used his post to bring attention to issues facing First Nations communities.
In a recent interview with Digital Journal (below) Onley talks about the challenges facing Ontario and what needs to be done to clean them up. (Runs: 17:18):