A world not for me: an analysis of the Ontario Accessibility policy
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Arts
Throughout history, individuals with disabilities have been discriminated against and even abused due to their perceived deficiencies. Recognizing this discrimination, many countries and organizations including Canada, the United States, and the United Nations have created policies aimed at preventing discrimination against individuals with disability. However, ‘disability’ can be defined in many different ways, with the way in which disability is defined effecting the development and implementation of policies. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) was the first provincial accessibility legislation created in Canada. As such it can be used as a model for the creation of other provincial acts. This thesis examines if the AODA, at least theoretically, illustrates the social model of critical disability theory framework and if it adequately addresses the barriers to accessibility. Given that the disability model used by policy makers affects the development and implementation of that policy, it is essential to analyse the AODA in order to determine the model of disability used. This thesis argues that the AODA uses the medical model definition of disability. The medical model, as a result of its individualist focus, prevents the AODA from creating accessibility standards that align with their goals which aim to remove barriers to accessibility as described by the social model of disability.
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