Transcript: Making Progress on Disability Issues | May 21, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pink shirt, and striped blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Making progress on disability issues."
Then, it changes to "Ontario 2018 election."

Steve says NEARLY 2 MILLION ONTARIANS
HAVE SOME KIND OF DISABILITY
THAT MAKES GETTING THROUGH THE
DAY A LITTLE MORE CHALLENGING.
AND THE PROVINCE ITSELF HAS SET
THE YEAR 2025 AS THE DEADLINE
FOR GETTING RID OF MANY OF THE
OBSTACLES TO MAKING ONTARIO
TRULY BARRIER-FREE.
WE HAVE TWO CHAMPIONS OF
DISABILITY ISSUES WITH US
TONIGHT WHOSE GOAL IS TO ENSURE
THAT THE NEXT GOVERNMENT MAKES
MORE PROGRESS ON THESE ISSUES
THAN THE LAST MANY HAVE.
DAVID LEPOFSKY IS HEAD OF THE
AODA ALLIANCE.
THAT'S THE ACCESSIBILITY FOR
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
ALLIANCE.

David is in his forties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing a black suit, pink shirt, and checked black tie.

Steve continues AND YOU MAY ALSO REMEMBER YVONNE
FELIX, WHO VISITED OUR PROGRAM
NOT TOO LONG AGO WEARING THAT
DEVICE THAT HELPS HER SEE
DESPITE HER BEING LEGALLY BLIND.

Yvonne is in her thirties, with chin-length straight brown hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a striped gray blouse. Over her eyes, she wears a viewing device with several cameras.

Steve continues DAVID AND YVONNE, IT'S GREAT TO
HAVE YOU BACK HERE AT TVO.

Yvonne says THANK YOU.

David says IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE.

Steve says THANK YOU FOR COMING IN.
DAVID, I WANT YOU TO JUST SET
THE TABLE FOR US HERE, BECAUSE I
WANT YOU TO REMIND US OF THE
RESOLUTION THAT THE ONTARIO
LEGISLATURE UNANIMOUSLY PASSED
SEVERAL YEARS AGO PROMISING A
BARRIER-FREE ONTARIO BY 2025.
WHAT DOES THAT ACTUALLY MEAN?

The caption changes to "David Lepofsky. AODA Alliance."
Then, it changes again to "Political promises."

David says WELL, 19 YEARS AGO, THE
LEGISLATURE UNANIMOUSLY PASSED A
RESOLUTION SAYING WE NEED A LAW.
AND 13 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH,
THEY ACTUALLY PASSED THE LAW
UNANIMOUSLY.
DALTON MCGUINTY BROUGHT IT IN,
WHICH HE PROMISED TO DO.
AND ALL THE PARTIES SUPPORTED
IT.

Steve says WHAT DOES IT COMMIT
THEM TO DO?

David says IT SETS A GOAL THAT ONTARIO
MUST BECOME FULLY ACCESSIBLE
TO PEOPLE WITH ALL KINDS OF
DISABILITIES... PHYSICAL
DISABILITIES, MENTAL
DISABILITIES, SENSORY
DISABILITIES, THE WHOLE
SPECTRUM.
BUT IT'S NOT JUST ASPIRATIONAL.
IT PUT SOMEONE IN CHARGE.
AND IN CHARGE IS THE GOVERNMENT
OF ONTARIO.
NOT THAT THE GOVERNMENT GOES OUT
AND FIXES EVERYBODY ELSE'S
BARRIERS.
THEY'RE REQUIRED TO PASS A
SERIES OF REGULATIONS CALLED
ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS THAT
TELL PEOPLE... OBLIGATED
ORGANIZATIONS... WHAT THEY GOT TO
DO, WHEN THEY GO TO DO IT BY
TO BECOME FULLY ACCESSIBLE.
AND THEN THE GOVERNMENT'S
SUPPOSED TO ENFORCE THOSE
STANDARDS SO PEOPLE ALWAYS
COMPLY.

Steve says LET'S DO A REALITY CHECK,
THEN.
YVONNE, IN YOUR LIFE, OVER THE
LAST MANY YEARS, DOES IT FEEL
LIKE ONTARIO IS BECOMING MORE
FRIENDLY TO PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES?

The caption changes to "Yvonne Felix. Esight Eyewear."

Yvonne says SO, I'M GOING TO SAY YES AND
NO.
I KNOW PERSONALLY THAT THERE ARE
MANY RESOURCES OUT THERE THAT
THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT HAS TRIED
TO PUT INTO PLACE.
HOWEVER, PROVIDING THE
TECHNOLOGY THAT BUILDS THAT
BRIDGE BETWEEN THE SERVICES AND
THE INDIVIDUAL...
I'M GOING TO SAY WE'RE FALLING
SHORT ON THAT END.

Steve says THE DEVICE THAT YOU'RE
WEARING RIGHT NOW...
DO YOU GET ANY PUBLIC-SECTOR
HELP FOR THE PURCHASE OR THE
RENTING OR HOWEVER YOU CONTRACT
THE USE OF THAT DEVICE?

Yvonne says NO.
CURRENTLY, AS IT STANDS, THIS
DEVICE HAS TO COME OUT OF THE
POCKETS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE
LIVING WITH LOW VISION.

Steve says I MEAN, IT, IN EFFECT, HELPS
YOU SEE, RIGHT?

Yvonne says IT'S NOT EVEN ABOUT BEING
ABLE TO SEE.
IT'S BEING ABLE TO ACCESS MYSELF
AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND MY SKILL
SET.
LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, ONE OF THE
INDIVIDUALS THAT I WORK WITH
CURRENTLY...
I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE TO TELL YOU
STORIES THAT I'VE HEARD.
PEOPLE BECOMING VISUALLY
IMPAIRED ON THEIR WAY TO WORK...
THEY GET TO WORK, AND...
STEVE, COULD YOU IMAGINE IF
YOU WENT BLIND ON YOUR WAY TO
WORK?
AND THE UNFORTUNATE LOSS THAT
THE ONTARIO CITIZENS WOULD HAVE
WHO GET TO WATCH THIS SHOW.
COULD YOU IMAGINE IF SOMEONE
SAID TO YOU, "YOU'RE GOING TO BE
FIRED, PLUS WE'RE NOT GOING TO
HELP YOU GET THE ASSISTANCE YOU
NEED TO DO THIS JOB"?
THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN
ONTARIO RIGHT NOW.

Steve says WHICH IS A BIT STRANGE,
BECAUSE IF YOU NEEDED A
WHEELCHAIR, THERE WOULD BE
ASSISTANCE IN HELPING YOU GET
THAT WHEELCHAIR.

Yvonne says YES.

Steve says BUT NOT FOR THE DEVICE YOU'RE
WEARING TO HELP YOU SEE.

Yvonne says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says THAT FEELS INCONSISTENT.
AM I WRONG?

Yvonne says VERY INCONSISTENT.

Steve says VERY INCONSISTENT.
DAVID, YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION
HAVE SORT OF CRUNCHED THE
PLATFORMS OF ALL OF THE MAJOR
PARTIES, THE FOUR MAJOR PARTIES
IN ONTARIO, LIBERALS,
CONSERVATIVES, NEW DEMOCRATS,
AND GREENS.
AND COME TO SOME CONCLUSIONS
ABOUT ALL OF THE PROMISES
THEY'RE MAKING.
CAN YOU TELL US, FIRST OF ALL,
HAVE THEY MADE COMMITMENTS THAT
YOU THINK ARE AT LEAST IN THE
BALLPARK OF WHAT'S REASONABLE
AND WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO HEAR?

David says SOME HAVE.
SOME HAVEN'T.
SO, WE'RE NONPARTISAN.
SO WE CANVASS ALL THE PARTIES,
AS WE OR OUR PREDECESSOR
COALITION HAS DONE FOR THE
PAST...
THIS IS OUR SEVENTH ELECTION
DOING THIS.
WE TELL THEM WHAT WE NEED,
AND THEN WE LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT
THEY'VE SAID.
AND WE SIZE UP WHAT THEY'VE
SAID, AND VOTERS WILL DECIDE
WHAT THEY'LL DECIDE.
IN A NUTSHELL, WE ARE NOW IN
2018.
THE NEXT GOVERNMENT, THE ONE
THAT'S ELECTED IN JUNE, IS
REALLY IN THE DECISIVE POSITION
TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER WE'RE
GOING TO GET BACK ON SCHEDULE TO
REACH FULL ACCESSIBILITY BY 2025
OR WHETHER WE'VE LOST THAT GOAL,
BECAUSE THEY'RE GOING TO BE IN
POWER...

Steve says YOU SAID "GET BACK ON
SCHEDULE," MEANING...

David says BECAUSE WE'RE BEHIND
SCHEDULE.

Steve says BEHIND.

Steve says WE'VE MADE SOME PROGRESS
SINCE 2005.
BUT BY ALL ACCOUNTS, WE ARE NOT
ANYWHERE NEAR ON SCHEDULE.
THERE'S A LOT MORE THAT NEEDS TO
BE DONE AND MORE QUICKLY.
SO, WHAT DID WE DO?
WE LAID OUT A SERIES OF REQUESTS
FOR THE PARTIES.
IT'S ALL UP ON OUR WEBSITE AT
AODAALLIANCE.ORG.
AND SAID, "THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO
BE DONE" AND ASKED WHAT THE
PARTIES WOULD DO.
WE'VE MADE PUBLIC THE RESULTS.
HERE'S THE RANK ORDER, IF YOU
WILL.
THE GREEN PARTY HAS MADE THE
MOST COMMITMENTS AND REALLY DID
SAY IT SUPPORTS EVERYTHING WE'VE
ASKED FOR.
NEXT IN LINE, NOT MAKING ALL THE
COMMITMENTS WE NEED BUT A
SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF THEM, IS
THE NEW DEMOCRATS.
SIGNIFICANTLY BEHIND THAT ARE
THE LIBERALS, WHO'VE MADE SOME
COMMITMENTS.
BUT THEY'RE WAY SOFTER AND
NOWHERE NEAR ALL OF WHAT WE
NEED.
THE LIBERALS GET CREDIT FOR
PASSING THIS LAW AND GETTING A
GOOD START ON IMPLEMENTING IT.
BUT MORE RECENTLY, THEY'VE
FLAGGED ON THEIR IMPLEMENTATION
OF IT.
AND BEHIND THEM ARE THE
CONSERVATIVES, WHICH HAVE
ESSENTIALLY SAID, "WE AGREE WITH
THE LAW.
AND WE RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEMS.
AND WE WILL CONSULT ON WHAT TO
DO."
I'M SYNTHESIZING WHAT THEY SAY.
BUT THEY DON'T MAKE ANY
SPECIFIC, CONCRETE SUGGESTIONS
OF WHAT THEY WILL DO ONCE
ELECTED, BEYOND CONSULTING US.

Steve says OKAY, WELL, LET ME FOLLOW UP
WITH YVONNE ON THAT.
I MEAN, ELECTIONS, FIRST AND
FOREMOST, ARE ABOUT RENDERING A
VERDICT ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
DAY.
AND THEN IF PEOPLE DECIDE THEY
DON'T LIKE THAT, THEY THINK
ABOUT WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE IS.
AS YOU CONSIDER THE RECORD OF
THE CURRENT LIBERAL GOVERNMENT,
WHAT LETTER GRADE WOULD YOU GIVE
THEM?

Yvonne says OH.
ME, PERSONALLY, I'LL KEEP THAT A
SECRET.

(STEVE LAUGHING)

Yvonne says I WOULD SAY, IF I WERE TO LOOK
AT THE BIGGER PICTURE, THE
LETTER GRADE FOR THE LIBERAL
GOVERNMENT IS THAT THEY'RE
CURRENTLY FAILING.
THEY'RE CURRENTLY FAILING
INDIVIDUALS.
THEY'RE LOOKING AT PEOPLE AS IF
THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO.
AND WE LOOK TO GOVERNMENT TO
ASSIST US.
AND RIGHT NOW, IF SOMEONE WERE
TO LOSE THEIR VISION, GOING TO
THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD
MEAN YOU'D BE PUT ON A WAITING
LIST AND SAID, "WE DON'T KNOW
HOW TO DEAL WITH YOU."

Steve says ALRIGHT.
HAVING SAID THAT, DO YOU HAVE
ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT ANY
OF THE OTHER PARTIES, WERE THEY
TO BE IN POWER, WOULD BE ANY
BETTER?

Yvonne says I'M LISTENING.
I'M WAITING, AND I'M LISTENING.

Steve says ARE YOU HEARING
ANYTHING YOU LIKE YET?

Yvonne says NO, AND I WOULD LOVE...
I HAVE A PLEDGE FORM.
I WOULD LOVE TO SEND IT TO ANY
OF THE CANDIDATES IF THEY'RE
WILLING TO SIGN IT TO PLEDGE
THAT THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE A
LOOK AT DEVICES LIKE ESIGHT
THAT ACTUALLY BRIDGE THE GAP
BETWEEN NOT BEING ABLE TO
ACCESS WHO INDIVIDUALS ARE AND A
QUALITY LIFE AND BEING ABLE TO
LIVE AND HAVE EQUAL ACCESS,
ACCESS TO EQUALITY.
RIGHT NOW, SAYING THAT THERE IS
A REASONABLE ACCESS...
EMPLOYERS, INSURANCE, EDUCATORS
ARE ALLOWED TO PROVIDE
REASONABLE ACCESS.
WHAT ABOUT FULL ACCESS?
SO, IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO SIGN
THAT PLEDGE FORM, I AM HAPPY TO
MEET WITH THEM AND PROVIDE THAT.

Steve says ESIGHT IS THE NAME OF THE
DEVICE THAT YOU'RE WEARING RIGHT
NOW.
IS THAT RIGHT?

Yvonne says YES.

Steve says OKAY, GOOD.
DAVID, YOU KNOW, I'VE GOT TO ASK
YOU THIS QUESTION, WHICH IS...
I UNDERSTAND YOUR CRITICISM WITH
THE LIBERALS.
BUT YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND WHETHER THERE'S ANY
REASONABLE EXPECTATION THAT IF
ANY OTHER PARTY WERE IN POWER,
THEY'D BE DOING ANY BETTER.
WHAT'S YOUR THOUGHT?

The caption changes to "For more information: aodaalliance.org"

David says WELL, WE ALWAYS FACE THE
ISSUE OF WHETHER PARTIES WILL
TAKE WHAT THEY PROMISE AND
TRANSLATE IT INTO ACTION.
AT THE VERY LEAST, AT THIS
STAGE, WE CAN GO ON WHAT THEY'VE
COMMITTED.
WHAT WE ARE DOING IS NOT SIMPLY
RESTING ON WHAT THEY'VE
COMMITTED.
AS I SAID, WE'RE NOT URGING
ANYONE TO VOTE ONE WAY OR
ANOTHER.
WE ARE NOW UNLEASHING A
CAMPAIGN...
AND ON OUR WEBSITE WILL BE AN
ACTION KIT ON EXACTLY HOW TO DO
THIS... WHERE WE WANT TO GO AFTER THE
PARTIES THAT HAVE MADE THE
FEWEST COMMITMENTS DURING THIS
CAMPAIGN AND PRESS THEM TO MAKE
MORE.
AND THE WAY WE WANT TO DO THAT
IS BOTTOM-UP.
WE'VE ASKED THE PARTY LEADERS.
WE HEARD WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY.
IN THE CASE OF KATHLEEN WYNNE
AND DOUG FORD, IT'S NOWHERE NEAR
ENOUGH.
AND WE ARE GOING TO URGE
CANDIDATES TO GO TO
ALL-CANDIDATES MEETINGS, TO USE
TWITTER, WHATEVER THEY CAN USE
TO GET TO THE CANDIDATES IN
THEIR RIDING.
ASK THEM TO PERSONALLY COMMIT
THAT THEY SUPPORT DOING MORE
THAN WHAT THEIR PARTY'S OFFERED.
AND THAT THEY WILL TRY PRESSING
THEIR OWN LEADER TO COME FORWARD
WITH MORE COMMITMENTS BEFORE
THIS ELECTION IS DONE.

Steve says GOT YOU.

David says BECAUSE WE THINK THAT
EVERY DAY OF THE ELECTION
CAMPAIGN IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
GET STRONGER COMMITMENTS.
WE'D LIKE TO END UP WITH ALL
THE PARTIES MAKING THE SAME
STRONG COMMITMENTS.

Steve says OKAY.
I'M GOING TO GET BOTH OF YOU NOW
TO START COMMENTING ON SOMETHING
THAT, DAVID, YOUR ORGANIZATION
PUT UP ON YOUTUBE NOT TOO LONG
AGO.
IT'S ACTUALLY A VERY THOROUGH
VIDEO THAT TAKES US THROUGH A
NUMBER OF DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
INSIDE THE GREATER TORONTO AREA.
AND INDICATES WHY, IF YOU'RE A
PERSON DEALING WITH EITHER
VISUAL IMPAIRMENT OR A PHYSICAL
DISABILITY, SOMETHING LIKE THAT,
THESE ARE REAL PROBLEMS FOR YOU
IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE.
AND WHY DON'T WE JUST SHOW THE
FIRST ONE HERE?
HERE'S... ROLLING NUMBER ONE.
WE WANT TO SHOW HOW WHAT LOOKS
LIKE A VERY FANCY DESIGN OF
COLUMNS SORT OF LEANING IN, AS
OPPOSED TO BEING BUILT STRAIGHT
UP... HOW IT'S A PROBLEM FOR
PEOPLE WHO CAN'T SEE, BECAUSE...
WELL, DAVID, YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
IS, YOU BUMP INTO THESE THINGS, RIGHT?

A clip plays in which David walks around a train station using a white cane. He bumps into slanted columns.

David says YOU CAN WHACK YOUR HEAD ON IT.

Steve says YEAH.
NOW, I MEAN, WHY WOULD THEY
DESIGN SOMETHING THAT WAY?

The caption changes to "Everyday roadblocks."

David says YOU'RE ASKING THE WRONG GUY.
THEY SHOULDN'T BE DOING IT.
I THINK IT'S A COMBINATION OF
DESIGN PROFESSIONALS LIKE
ARCHITECTS WHO, TOO OFTEN, ARE
MORE INTERESTED IN BEING PICASSO
AND COMING UP WITH PRETTY
DESIGNS RATHER THAN DESIGNS THAT
ARE ACTUALLY ONES THAT ALL
PEOPLE CAN USE.
AND THEN THERE'S THE CLIENT... IN
THIS CASE, IT'S THE GOVERNMENT
OF ONTARIO ITSELF... WHO APPROVES
THE DESIGN RATHER THAN SAYING,
"NO.
WE SHOULDN'T BE LETTING BLIND
PEOPLE, OR SIGHTED PEOPLE WHO
ARE TEXTING, WHACK THEIR HEAD ON
A PILLAR ON A TRAIN PLATFORM."

Steve says AND WHERE WAS THAT,
WHERE THAT TOOK PLACE?

David says THAT'S ON THE NEWLY-RENOVATED
PLATFORMS IN THE GO TRANSIT
CONCOURSE OF TORONTO'S UNION
STATION.
THIS IS NOT OLD CONSTRUCTION.
OUR VIDEO DEALS WITH EITHER
BRAND-NEW BUILDINGS, TRANSIT
STATIONS, OR RECENTLY RENOVATED
ONES.
SO IT'S NOT A MATTER OF SAYING,
"OH, THEY BUILT THESE YEARS AGO
AND DIDN'T KNOW BETTER."

Steve says NO, IT'S A BILLION-DOLLAR
RETROFIT OF UNION STATION.
IT'S ALL NEW STUFF.

David says AND IN THE CASE OF THE
OTHER THINGS IN THE VIDEO, IT'S
ACTUALLY BRAND-NEW SUBWAYS
STATIONS IN TORONTO AS WELL.

Steve says THAT'S COMING.
HOLD OFF FOR THAT.

David says SURE.

Steve says YVONNE, I WANT TO ASK YOU.
NOW, DAVID OBVIOUSLY USES A CANE
TO GET AROUND.
AND AS HE'S TAPPING HIS CANE,
HE'S GETTING A FALSE SENSE OF
SECURITY.
BECAUSE HE TAPS THE BOTTOM OF
THE PILLAR AND HE THINKS HE HAS,
YOU KNOW, X NUMBER OF INCHES TO
WALK.
AND IN FACT, HE HAS FEWER THAN
THAT, BECAUSE OF THE PILLAR
LEANING IN.
YOU DON'T USE A WHITE CAN TO GET
AROUND.
SO HAS THIS EVER BEEN A PROBLEM
FOR YOU, THIS KIND OF
ARCHITECTURE?

Yvonne says OH, BEFORE I HAD ESIGHT?

Steve says MM-HMM.

Yvonne says IT WAS ABSOLUTELY A PROBLEM.
I FOUND OVER THE YEARS, WHY IS
ACCESSIBILITY AN AFTERTHOUGHT?
WHY DO WE STILL THINK ABOUT
STAIRS INSTEAD OF A RAMP IN
DESIGN?
SO, IT BLOW MY MIND THAT...
NOW, WHEN I GET ONTO A
PLATFORM, I AM FORTUNATE ENOUGH
TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT ALLOWS
ME TO SEE THAT PILLAR 20 FEET
AWAY, 30 FEET AWAY, 100 FEET
AWAY.
HOWEVER, I CAN ALSO SEE PEOPLE
ON THE PLATFORM WHO ARE USING
CANES WHO ARE WALKING INTO THESE
PILLARS.
ACCESSIBILITY IS AN
AFTERTHOUGHT.
TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS YOU TO
HAVE ACCESS IS AN AFTERTHOUGHT.
IT'S NOT ON THE FOREFRONT.

Steve says DAVID, WE'RE GOING TO SHOW
ANOTHER EXAMPLE HERE.
AND YOU CALL THESE THINGS...
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A STILL
PICTURE COME UP HERE.
YOU CALL THESE THINGS, I GATHER,
TACTILE WALKING INDICATOR
STRIPS.
WE'RE AT NUMBER 10 HERE.
THERE WE GO.

A picture pops up of a subway station with a line of bright yellow, dot-textured tactile strips near the edge of the platform.

Steve says NOW, ANYBODY WHO'S TAKEN THE
SUBWAY SEES THESE SORT OF YELLOW
STRIPS ALONG THE EDGE...

David says THE BUMPY SURFACE ON
THE FLOOR RIGHT AT THE EDGE.

Steve says YEAH, TO MAKE SURE...
OBVIOUSLY, IF YOU'RE BLIND...
YOU DON'T WALK INTO THE...

David says YOU DON'T FALL OVER
THE EDGE.
AND THEY'RE BRIGHTLY
COLOUR-CONTRASTED SO PEOPLE LIKE
YVONNE, WHO ARE LOW VISION, CAN
ALSO GET THE SAFETY PROTECTION.

Steve says EXACTLY.
NOW, THESE THINGS, OBVIOUSLY,
ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO YOU.

David says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says NOW, LET'S SHOW THE VIDEO
COMING UP.
BECAUSE I THINK WE'RE GOT A
PIECE OF VIDEO ON THIS AS WELL,
WHICH SHOWS THESE TACTILE
WALKING INDICATOR STRIPS...
THERE YOU ARE.

A short clip shows David walking down a staircase onto a subway station double platform, using his cane. At the bottom of the staircase, he follows a tactile strip on the floor which leads him directly to a wall.

Steve continues YOU'RE WALKING DOWN THE STAIRS NOW.
AND I GATHER YOU CAN FEEL THAT
TACTILE STRIP.
BUT THIS TACTILE STRIP SENDS YOU
RIGHT INTO A BUILDING!

David says OKAY, INTO A WALL.

Steve says YES.

David says SO, THERE'S TWO
DIFFERENT REASONS YOU HAVE THESE
STRIPS.
EITHER FOR A SAFETY WARNING,
LIKE AT THE EDGE OF A SUBWAY
PLATFORM...
AND IT'S GREAT WHEN THEY DO
THAT.
THEY SHOULD ALWAYS DO THAT.
THE OTHER WAY THEY ARE HELPFUL
IS AS A WAYFINDING GUIDE.
IT'S OUR YELLOW BRICK ROAD.
SO, WALKING IN A SUBWAY STATION
OR OTHER LOCATION, IT CAN BE
YOUR GUIDE FOR HOW TO NAVIGATE.
AND THE PROBLEM AT THE BRAND-NEW
YORK UNIVERSITY SUBWAY STATION...
THOUGH I'VE SEEN THIS ELSEWHERE
AS WELL... IS THAT I'M USING IT
TO GUIDE ME AND IT WALKS ME
RIGHT INTO A WALL.
THANKS VERY MUCH.
THAT'S NOT WHERE I WANT TO BE
GUIDED.

Steve says I MEAN, PRESUMABLY, THAT
STRIP IS THERE IN THE FIRST
PLACE TO HELP PEOPLE WHO HAVE
VISION PROBLEMS.

David says THAT'S EXACTLY... THAT'S THE
REASON IT'S THERE.

Steve says SO THEN WHY WOULD THEY
DIRECT YOU INTO A WALL?

The caption changes to "Accessible design."

Steve says AGAIN, YOU'RE ASKING THE
WRONG GUY.
THE PROBLEMS WE DEPICT IN THIS
VIDEO ARE THE RESULT OF THREE
THINGS.
THE FIRST IS THAT OUR
LEGISLATION, OUR BUILDING CODE,
OUR ACCESS STANDARDS ON THE
BUILT ENVIRONMENT ARE GROSSLY
INADEQUATE.
YOU CAN BUILD A NEW BUILDING AND
FULLY COMPLY WITH THEM AND STILL
CREATE A BUILDING THAT HAS
SIGNIFICANT ACCESSIBILITY
PROBLEMS.
WE'VE BEEN TELLING THE
GOVERNMENT THIS FOR YEARS.
NOW, THEY'VE, IN THIS ELECTION,
SAID THEY'RE PREPARED TO DO
FURTHER CONSULTATIONS TO FIGURE
OUT HOW TO SOLVE THIS.
BUT THEY HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SOLVED
IT OR COMMITTED TO TIMELINES OR
SPECIFIC ACTION.
THE SECOND PROBLEM IS THAT
DESIGN PROFESSIONALS LIKE
ARCHITECTS CAN GET A LICENCE TO
PRACTICE THEIR TRADE WITHOUT
KNOWING HOW TO DESIGN A BUILDING
THAT IS TRULY ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL
OF US WHO HAVE DIFFERENT
DISABILITIES.
AND THE THIRD PROBLEM IS, IN
THIS CASE, THE CLIENT WHO'S
GIVING THE ORDERS, THE
GOVERNMENT... WHETHER IT'S
METROLINX FOR THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT OR THE TORONTO
TRANSIT COMMISSION MUNICIPALLY...
IS SITTING BACK.
THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER.
THEY SHOULDN'T NEED US TO TELL
US NOT TO LEAD US INTO WALLS.
BUT THEY STILL APPROVE PLANS
THAT DO.
AND THOSE PROBLEMS CONSPIRE
TOGETHER TO CREATE A REAL
PROBLEM.
NOT ONLY IN OLDER BUILDINGS
BUT IN NEW BUILDINGS, BRAND-NEW
BUILDINGS.

Steve says YVONNE, HAVE YOU SEEN
THIS BEING AN ISSUE AS WELL,
THESE TACTILE WHATEVER...
WHAT DID YOU CALL THEM, DAVID?

David says TACTILE WALKING
SURFACE INDICATORS.

Yvonne says ABSOLUTELY.
SO, I CAN TELL YOU, I COMMUTE
EVERY DAY FROM HAMILTON TO
TORONTO.

Steve says HOW?

Steve says ON THE GO.

Steve says GO TRAIN?
OKAY.

The caption changes to "Yvonne Felix, @YvonneRFelix."

Yvonne says SO I DO USE THOSE PLATFORMS.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
NOTICE...
AND I HAVE TO SIT BACK AND LAUGH
A LITTLE BIT, BECAUSE I CAN
SEE...
I USE THE WAYFINDING.
THAT IS HOW I GREW UP.
THAT IS HOW I LEARNED HOW TO
NAVIGATE.
AND TO USE THE WAYFINDING WITH
MY EYES AND TO SEE THAT I'M
ENDING UP AT A WALL...
TO SEE THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE
USING THESE METHODS AND THAT IT
IS, AGAIN, A SECONDARY THOUGHT...
IT'S LIKE SOMEONE GOT HALFWAY
AND THEN THOUGHT, "YEAH, I'M
GOOD."
(STEVE LAUGHING)
"I'M GOOD.
THEY'LL FIGURE IT OUT THE REST
OF THE WAY.
THEY'LL TOUCH THE WALL WHEN THEY
GET THERE."
NO.
WE'RE STILL THINKING WITH OUR
EYES, WITH ALL OF OUR SENSES.
AND THAT IS NOT HOW
ACCESSIBILITY WORKS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org. Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

David says LET ME TRANSLATE THIS
INTO HOW IT'S TURNING OUT IN THE
ELECTION PLEDGES, JUST TO BUILD
ON WHAT WE SAID BEFORE.
THE GREENS HAVE SAID THEY WON'T
USE PUBLIC MONEY TO CREATE NEW
BARRIERS.
THAT'S GOOD.
THE NDP HAVE SAID THE SAME
THING.
THAT'S GOOD.
THE LIBERALS HAVE SAID THE SAME
THING, BUT THEY SAID THAT IN THE
LAST ELECTION.
AND LOOK AT THE NEW PUBLIC
TRANSIT STATIONS AND RENOVATED
ONES THAT WERE OPENED UNDER
THEIR WATCH.
AND IN FACT, IF YOU READ THE
PREMIER'S RESPONSE TO OUR
SURVEY, SHE ACTUALLY SAYS AS AN
EXAMPLE OF HOW THEY'RE GOING TO
DO IT, LOOK AT WHAT THEY'VE DONE
IN PUBLIC TRANSIT.
WELL, LOOK AT OUR VIDEO AND
YOU'LL SEE EXACTLY HOW BADLY
IT'S BEEN DONE.
NOW, THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE NOT
MADE THIS PLEDGE IN DOUG FORD'S
RESPONSE TO US.
HE HAS NOT SPECIFICALLY
COMMITTED THAT THE CONSERVATIVE
PARTY, IF ELECTED, WILL NEVER
USE PUBLIC MONEY TO CREATE NEW
BARRIERS AGAINST PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES.

Steve says JUST TO BE CLEAR HERE, THERE
WERE...
WAS IT SIX NEW SUBWAY STATIONS
THAT WERE OPENED ON THE
YONGE-UNIVERSITY-SPADINA SUBWAY LINE?

David says THAT IS CORRECT.

Steve says AND THEY'RE ALL
FEATURING THESE PROBLEMS.

David says THEY ALL HAVE AT LEAST ONE,
IF NOT MORE, OF THE PROBLEMS
THAT WE IDENTIFY.

Steve says OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO DO
ANOTHER ONE HERE.
WE'VE GOT THE LAST OF THE IMAGES
THAT WE'RE GOING TO BRING UP
HERE RIGHT NOW.
THIS IS, IN FACT, THE YORK
UNIVERSITY PLATFORM.
AND I GUESS JUST FOR PEOPLE
WHO...
BECAUSE YOU LOOK AT THIS PICTURE
AND YOU THINK, "WELL, THERE'S
NOT NECESSARILY ANYTHING WRONG
WITH WHAT WE'RE SEEING HERE."

A picture pops up of a double subway station with trains going in opposite directions. A yellow tactile strip runs along the edge of the platform.

Steve continues THERE'S THAT YELLOW STRIP TO
MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY GOES INTO
THE PIT BY ACCIDENT.
BUT I GUESS PEOPLE WHO DON'T
NORMALLY RIDE THE SUBWAYS NEED
TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S TWO
WAYS THESE THINGS WORK.
THERE'S EITHER ONE SINGLE
PLATFORM IN THE MIDDLE WHERE
PEOPLE CAN ACCESS EITHER A
NORTHBOUND OR A SOUTHBOUND
TRAIN.
OR ELSEWHERE ON THE LINE, THE
TRAINS ARE IN THE MIDDLE, AND
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PLATFORM ON
THE SIDE.

David says RIGHT.

Steve says ONE FOR EACH
DIRECTION.

David says YEAH, A NORTHBOUND
PLATFORM AND A SOUTHBOUND PLATFORM.

Steve says AND THAT'S THE KIND YOU
PREFER.
IS THAT RIGHT, DAVID?

David says YEAH, BECAUSE THERE'S A WALL.
YOU KNOW, WHEN THERE'S A CENTRE
PLATFORM, YOU GOT A DROP-OFF IN
FRONT OF YOU.
YOU GOT A DROP-OFF BEHIND YOU.
THAT'S UNSAFE FOR EVERYONE.
AND WE BLIND FOLKS NEED A
SHORELINE WE CAN NAVIGATE ALONG.
AND THE ONLY ONE WE'VE GOT ON...

Steve says SORRY.
A SHORELINE REFERS TO?

David says MEANING LITERALLY AN
EDGE THAT CAN GUIDE US ALONG THE
WAY.
WELL, YOU CAN'T USE THEIR
TACTILE WALKING SURFACE
INDICATORS IF THEY WALK YOU
INTO A WALL.
AND YOU DON'T WANT TO USE THE
EDGE OF THE SUBWAY PLATFORM
BECAUSE THAT'S DANGEROUS.
THE TTC ANNOUNCEMENTS WARN YOU
TO STAY AWAY FROM THE EDGE.

Steve says SO, MOST OF THE PLATFORMS ON
THE YONGE STREET LINE, FOR
EXAMPLE, ARE ONE PLATFORM GOING
NORTH, ONE PLATFORM GOING SOUTH
AND IT'S NOT AN ISSUE.

David says I DON'T IF IT'S MOST, BUT A
GOOD NUMBER OF THEM ARE THE OLD
DESIGN OF HAVING... AND THEY'RE
BETTER BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT A WALL
BEHIND YOU, YOU GOT A PLATFORM
UNDER YOUR FEET, AND THEN YOU'VE
GOT THE TRACKS IN FRONT OF YOU.
YOU CAN PUT YOUR BACK TO THE
WALL, WAIT FOR THE TRAIN TO COME
IN.
IT'S SAFER FOR EVERYBODY,
INCLUDING PARENTS WITH KIDS WHO
ARE TERRIFIED THAT THE KIDS
COULD FALL OVER THE EDGE.
AND WE WARNED THE GOVERNMENT
ABOUT THIS WHEN WE FOUND... THREE
YEARS AGO, IN 2014, WHEN WE
FOUND OUT THAT THIS WAS... THE
CENTRE PLATFORM DESIGN, THE
DANGEROUS DESIGN...

Steve says AND THEY DID IT ANYWAY.

David says WAS THE ONE THEY WERE
PLANNING FOR THE EGLINGTON LINE.
WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT... THEY
HAVEN'T TOLD US WHAT THE FINAL
DESIGN OF THE EGLINGTON LINE IS
GOING TO BE.
BUT WHEN THEY OPENED THE ONES ON
THE UNIVERSITY LINE GOING UP TO
VAUGHN STATION, THEY MADE THIS
PROBLEM.
IF I COULD JUST TELL PEOPLE, IF
PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THIS VIDEO, I
KNOW YOU MAY POST THE LINK.
BUT FOR PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT BE
ABLE TO READ THE LINK OR SEE IT
ON YOUR SCREEN, IF YOU GO TO
YOUTUBE AND JUST SEARCH
"A-O-D-A" AND "PUBLIC TRANSIT."
AND YOU CAN WATCH THIS VIDEO.

Steve says OKAY.
YVONNE, I WANT TO ASK YOU A REAL
NASTY QUESTION HERE, YOU READY?

Yvonne says OH, OKAY, READY.

Yvonne says OKAY, IF THE PEOPLE WHO
DESIGNED THESE THINGS WERE TO
SAY SOMETHING LIKE, "LOOK IT, WE
DESIGN THESE THINGS FOR THE 85 percent
OF THE POPULATION THAT CAN SEE,
THAT IS ABLE-BODIED, WHICH IS
THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE
WHO USE THIS PUBLIC TRANSIT.
THAT'S OUR MISSION, THAT'S WHAT
WE'RE SUPPOSED TO DO.
AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE SORRY IT
DOESN'T WORK FOR YOU GUYS, BUT
85 percent OF THE PEOPLE ARE VERY HAPPY
WITH WHAT WE'VE DONE," WHAT'S
THE RESPONSE?

The caption changes to "The cost of getting on board."

Yvonne says SO, MY RESPONSE IS THAT,
"WELL, I'D LIKE TO INFORM YOU
THAT MOST OF THE... MOST OF THE
ACCESSIBILITY DESIGNS THAT WERE
CREATED... LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, FOR
RAMPS OR TEXTING... MAKE YOUR
ABLE-BODIED LIFE EASIER.
YOU GET TO BENEFIT FROM A RAMP.
YOU GET TO BENEFIT FROM TEXTING.
TEXTING WAS DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE
WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENTS.
RAMPS WERE DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE
WITH... WHO NEED ACCESS TO
STAIRS, TO BYPASS STAIRS FOR
MOBILITY PURPOSES.
SO, TO DESIGN FOR 85 percent OF THE
POPULATION, I WOULD SAY YOU
DON'T KNOW THE POPULATION
BECAUSE THE POPULATION WANTS
THINGS TO BE A LOT EASIER.
AND THANK GOODNESS FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES.
I GUESS WE'RE THE PLATFORM TO
MAKE THAT HAPPEN."

David says NOT ONLY THAT, BUT IF YOU
THINK OF IT, EVERYBODY WATCHING
THIS SHOW TONIGHT EITHER HAS A
DISABILITY NOW OR HAS A SPOUSE
OR A CHILD OR A PARENT WITH A
DISABILITY OR WILL GET ONE
LATER, BECAUSE ALL YOU GOT TO DO
IS GROW OLDER.
GETTING OLDER IS THE BIGGEST
CAUSE OF DISABILITY.
THAT'S WHY WE SAY THAT PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES ARE THE
MINORITY OF EVERYONE.
SO, WHEN THEY DESIGN A NEW
BUILDING, A NEW TRANSIT STATION,
WHATEVER IT MAY BE, WITH THESE
BARRIERS, THEY'RE ULTIMATELY NOT
JUST HURTING A MINORITY; THEY'RE
HURTING THE MINORITY OF
EVERYONE.
IT'S JUST BAD DESIGN.

Steve says AND, DAVID, IF YOU WERE TO
SAY, "LOOK IT, THERE IS A
TRANSIT SYSTEM ALL ITS OWN IN
TORONTO FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE
DISABILITIES.
IT'S CALLED WHEEL-TRANS.
WHY DON'T YOU USE THAT, AS
OPPOSED TO THE MAIN SYSTEM?"

David says WELL, FOR ONE THING, IT'S
SECOND CLASS SERVICE.
YOU CAN'T JUST WALK OUT, ORDER
IT AND IT'S THERE IN TEN
MINUTES.
YOU GOT TO BOOK IT THE DAY
BEFORE, WAIT IN LINE, STAND
AROUND FOR A HALF HOUR, HOPING
THEY'LL SHOW UP ON TIME AND SO
ON.
AND SECOND, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO
HAVE DISABILITIES DON'T QUALIFY
FOR IT.
AND THIRD, THE WHOLE GOAL THAT
THE GOVERNMENT HAS... AND
COMMENDABLY SO... IS TO GET AS
MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE USING
THE CONVENTIONAL SYSTEM.
IT'S CHEAPER, IT'S BETTER.
AND THEREFORE, THERE IS NO
EXCUSE FOR CREATING
ACCESSIBILITY BARRIERS IN HOPES
THAT SOMEHOW WHEEL-TRANS, WHICH
IS OVERLOADED AND BACKLOGGED,
WILL SOMEHOW PICK UP THE SLACK.

Steve says YVONNE, I'M DOWN TO MY LAST
30 SECONDS HERE AND I JUST WANT
TO KNOW HOW HOPEFUL YOU ARE
THAT, WITH THE PRESSURE BEING
BROUGHT TO BARE BY PEOPLE LIKE
YOU AND DAVID, THAT ONTARIO
ACTUALLY WILL MEET ITS TARGETS
OF BEING BARRIER FREE BY 2025?

Yvonne says I THINK IF YOU ELIMINATE THE
WORD "HOPE" AND ASK PEOPLE TO
TAKE ACTION NOW.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
WE ARE... WE'VE RUN OUT OF TIME.
THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE.
IT'S GOING TO BE 2025 SOON.
GO TO YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT,
GO TO YOUR EMPLOYER, GO TO YOUR
INSURANCE COMPANY, YOUR
EDUCATOR, GET YOUR MOM AND DAD,
GET EVERYONE YOU KNOW OUT THERE
VOTING AND STANDING UP AND
SAYING WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND
ACCESSIBILITY NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says TERRIFIC.
I WANT TO THANK BOTH OF YOU FOR
COMING INTO TVO TONIGHT.
MR. LEPOFSKY, IT'S A BIT OF AN
ANNUAL THING FOR YOU.
IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK HERE.

David says ALWAYS A DELIGHT.

Steve says YVONNE FELIX, NICE TO HAVE
YOU BACK IN OUR STUDIO AS WELL.

Yvonne says THANK YOU.

Watch: Making Progress on Disability Issues