Would you like to learn all about the history, strategies, goals, gains, and
future priorities of Ontario's vibrant and tenacious grassroots disability
accessibility movement? Here is a great way you can do so from the comfort
of your own home or office, or on a smart phone or tablet device. And it's
In January and early February 2014, David Lepofsky, chair of the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, served as a
visiting Roy McMurtry Clinical Fellow at the Osgoode Hall Law School at
Toronto's York University. As part of this Fellowship, he delivered a series
of 12 lectures in different classes at the Law School and elsewhere around
the University, on a full range of different topics concerning the long
campaign up to early 2014, to make Ontario fully accessible to all persons
These are now organized into a sequential on-line lecture series, for your
enjoyment. A short introductory lecture is added to get you started. They
are all available on YouTube and have been captioned.
From 1994 to 2005, David Lepofsky chaired the Ontarians with Disabilities
Act Committee. The ODA Committee led the non-partisan province-wide campaign
in Ontario from 1994 to 2005 to win the enactment of new accessibility
legislation. From 2009 to the present, he has chaired the successor
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance. The AODA
Alliance is the non-partisan community coalition that campaigns to get the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act effectively implemented
These lectures are available as a continuing playlist, or you can watch
whichever individual lecture you wish. We recommend that you watch them in
the sequence listed below. However you can still enjoy and benefit from them
in whatever order you wish.
For many of these lectures, the audience was comprised of law students.
However the lectures' content is designed to be easily and readily enjoyed
and used by anyone, whether or not you are in Ontario or Canada, whether or
not you have studied law, and whether or not you know anything about
disability accessibility issues. We hope these lectures will be helpful for
anyone interested in disability issues, or in community organizing and
advocacy, or in the history and dynamics of social change and social
Below we set out a list of each lecture with a title, description and link
to the YouTube video. We also include links to relevant resources that will
enrich your enjoyment of each lecture. Finally, we give you some other links
to useful other resources.
We welcome your feedback on these lectures. Did you find them helpful? How
have you made use of them? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We express our deep gratitude to Osgoode Hall Law School, and to all the
professors listed in the descriptions listed below, for welcoming these
lectures into their classes,, for captioning them, and for posting them on
Description of Each Lecture and Related Resources
Brief Introduction to the Lecture Series
Introduction to 2014 David Lepofsky Osgoode Hall Law School Lectures on
Advocating for Disability Rights
Description: In this January 22, 2014 guest-lecture in Prof. Richard Haigh's
State and Citizen course at Osgoode Hall Law School, disability rights
activist David Lepofsky recounts his volunteer advocacy efforts in 1980-82,
as one of many who successfully campaigned to get Section 15 of the Canadian
Charter of rights and Freedoms amended to protect disability equality. He
was one of many who successfully fought to win the disability amendment to
section 15 of the Charter of Rights. This lecture gives his personal
recollections of his own involvement in that campaign.
You can also watch David Lepofsky's December 12, 1980 presentation to the
Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada on the
constitution of Canada by visiting http://is.gd/CDBdmJ
History of the 1994-2005 Grassroots Campaign to Win the Accessibility for
Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Description: In a January 14, 2014 lecture to York University's Introduction
to the Critical Disabilities Studies course (taught by Prof. Geoffrey
Reaume), David Lepofsky describes a 10-year Ontario grassroots community
advocacy campaign from 1994 to 2005 that led to the Ontarians with
Disabilities Act and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, to
address accessibility for people with disabilities. He describes the
non-partisan Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee's goals, strategies
and many uphill challenges.
For an exhaustive resource on the advocacy efforts of the Ontarians with
Disabilities Act Committee from 1994 to 2005, that led to the enactment of
the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001 and later the Accessibility for
Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, visit the ODA Committee's website at www.odacommittee.net Even though the ODA Committee has wound up, and been
succeeded by the AODA Alliance, we have preserved the ODA Committee's
website on line as a legacy, and as a public record of the long and arduous
fight to win those new laws.
Designing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act from 2003
to 2005 - What Regulatory Powers Should a Strong Disability Accessibility
Description: In a January 15, 2014 lecture to Osgoode Hall Law School's
Advanced Regulatory Policy seminar (taught by Dean Lorne Sossin), David
Lepofsky describes what Ontarians with disabilities wanted the Ontario
Government to include in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
Act 2005, policy analysis that led to this platform, what they won in 2005,
and reforms they sought since 2005. This focuses on the challenge of
deciding what specific ingredients to include in a new disability
accessibility law to make it strong and effective.
To read the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee's June 28, 2004
Discussion Paper, referred to in this lecture, entitled "Putting Teeth Into
The Ontarians With Disabilities Act: A Discussion Paper On Options For
Creating An Effective Compliance / Enforcement Process For The ODA", visit http://odacommittee.net/ODA_Discussion_Paper.html
From 2005 to 2014, What Progress in Ontario Towards Full Accessibility for
People with Disabilities?
Description: In his February 3, 2014 open lecture to students at the Osgoode
Hall Law School, David Lepofsky critically examines Ontario's progress
towards becoming fully accessible to persons with disabilities, since the
enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005. How
much progress have we made? Has Ontario's disability accessibility law lived
up to its expectations? Where has it fallen short?
Ontario's Slow Progress Toward Fully Accessible Transportation for People
with Disabilities -The Challenge of Getting Accessibility Barriers in
Ontario's Transportation System Removed and Prevented
Description: In his January 23, 2014 lecture to the Policy Course in York
University's Critical Disabilities Studies program taught by Prof. Rachel
Gorman, David Lepofsky provides an in-depth exploration of the gains made
and obstacles encountered in grassroots disability community efforts to use
the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 to tear down
barriers impeding persons with disabilities in Ontario when seeking to use
transportation services like public transit or taxis.
Description: In his January 24, 2014 lecture to Osgood Hall Law School's
Disability Rights Intensive course taught by Prof. Roxanne Mykitiuk and
Marion MacGregor, David Lepofsky describes his 13-year saga to force the
Toronto Transit Commission to audibly announce all subway, bus and streetcar
routes to accommodate the needs of blind passengers like himself. This
included his 2 discrimination cases at Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal
against the TTC, Lepofsky v. TTC #1 (2005) and Lepofsky v. TTC #2 (2007).
The various rulings in Lepofsky v. TTC #1 (regarding the effort to get TTC
to audibly announce all subway stops) include:
Description: In this January 21, 2014 lecture to Osgoode Hall Law School's
Negotiations and Mediation Seminar taught by Prof. Martha Simmons, David
Lepofsky describes specific strategies for ensuring that persons with
disabilities can fully participate in court proceedings and in mediation and
negotiations processes connected with litigation.
To learn more about the barriers that impede many persons with disabilities
from full access to and participation in court proceedings, and strategies
for removing and preventing these barriers, read "Making Ontario's Courts
Fully Accessible to Persons with Disabilities - the December 2006 Report of
the Ontario Courts Disabilities Committee (The Weiler Report), available at http://www.ontariocourts.ca/accessible_courts/en/report_courts_disabilities.
Practical Strategies for Community Organizing and Community Advocacy-
Lessons from Ontario's Grassroots Disability Accessibility Campaign
Description: In this January 31, 2014 lecture in Osgoode Hall Law Schools
Law and Discrimination Intensive course taught by Prof. Bruce Ryder, David
Lepofsky describes practical tips for effective community organizing and
advocacy, drawn from the experience of Ontario's grassroots campaign from
1994 to the present to make Ontario accessible for persons with
How to Negotiate For a Community Not an Individual - tips from Experience in
Ontario Disability Accessibility Advocacy
Description: In this January 21, 2014 lecture to Osgoode Hall Law School's
Negotiations seminar taught by Prof. Martha Simmons, David Lepofsky reviews
some of the unique challenges and strategies facing a grassroots community
organization when it is negotiating with a government over new laws to
protect the rights of persons with disabilities. How does it differ from
efforts at negotiating on behalf of an individual.
The Battle for Ontario's Disability Accessibility Laws- Lessons Learned
about Law, Lawyering, Legal Education and Scholarship
Description: In a January 29, 2014 Osgoode Hall Law School Faculty Seminar,
David Lepofsky reflects on what 20 years of disability advocacy taught him
about law, lawyering, legal education and legal scholarship.
Description: At this February 4, 2014 York University public forum on
disability accessibility, describes the immediate Ontario Government action
needed to get Ontario back on schedule for full accessibility by 2025. He
details strategies for grassroots action.
Description: David Lepofsky delivers the opening lecture on August 29, 2013
to Osgoode Hall Law School's first year students, its Class of 2016. On
their very first day at law school, He highlights the important ways they
can include community organizing and social justice advocacy in their
careers, using the example of disability accessibility advocacy in Ontario.
ARCH Disability Law Centre (ARCH) is a specialty legal clinic dedicated to defending and advancing the equality-rights of people with disabilities who live in Ontario. ARCH promotes the full social justice of persons with disabilities, and their realization of equal opportunities and full participation on an individual and systemic basis.
The Nominating Committee requests that interested applicants send an email expressing interest together with a resumé or short biography by:
The Toronto Transit Commission is asking residents to be involved in important decisions to improve Wheel-Trans.
You are invited to a public consultation regarding upcoming modernization changes to TTC’s Wheel-Trans service. Learn about the TTC’s family of services, expanded Wheel-Trans eligibility and more. There will be opportunity to provide your input.
Outsider art – a term coined in 1972 by British art historian Roger Cardinal –was often displayed in the 1970s without the artist’s name, who was rarely even invited to openings of exhibitions that featured their work. In fact, disabled artists and their perspectives often weren’t considered integral based on the assumption that they produced artwork “in spite” of their disability, were void of intention and unable to develop their craft to begin with. They were more spectacle than work of art.
Canadian Disability Studies Association 2016 Conference
Saturday, May 28- Monday, May 30, 2016
University of Calgary, Calgary AB, Canada
This conference is organized as part of the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Abstracts that share explorations within the fields of disability studies, Deaf studies, and mad studies or that adopt these perspectives but may not directly relate to the overarching conference theme of “Energizing Communities.”
Submit a completed submission template form, including a 50-word description of what the presentation is about, and an anonymizedabstract with title in a separateWord document enclosed via email attachments email@example.com by December 7, 2015. The subject line should read, “CDSA-ACEI proposal for Energizing Communities.”
Please check our website (www.cdsa-acei.ca) and Facebook page for upcoming announcements about conference bursaries for students and community members.
350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 2K3