Open Letter to Members of the AODA Alliance

June 3, 2010

Dear Alliance Members:

We are writing this open letter to the membership of the AODA Alliance to thank you for your tremendous efforts and your leadership in addressing accessibility-rights issues, as well as for the inspiration and support you have given those of us outside Ontario who are working to build on your experience and successes.

Yours has been a marathon run. Your Alliance and your predecessor, the ODA Alliance, have been hard and continuously at it for more than 16 years. Holding a grassroots movement together for even five years is difficult. Growing and sustaining a dynamic cross-disability movement over 16 is remarkable.

But the extended duration of your unity and collaboration is only part of your story. We are continually impressed by the consistently high quality, the
creativity and the timeliness of your advocacy efforts. The briefs and other submissions your alliance prepares are always well reasoned, clearly written
and comprehensive. And almost as soon an issue or opportunity to advance accessibility rights arises, your alliance seems poised to respond.

Work though the auspices of Barrier-Free Manitoba only started in 2008. Our initiative has been built on the past efforts of many committed activists in
Manitoba. But it has also been built on the progress you have achieved in Ontario. Reference to content on your web site, consultations with many of your members and the active support from your current chair, David Lepofsky, have all be instrumental in helping us advance the case for strong and effective accessibility-rights legislation here in Manitoba.

We are hopeful that landmark accessibility-rights legislation will be introduced in our province within the next 12 months. We still have a lot of work
ahead to get there and then even more work will lie ahead to ensure effective implementation.  Throughout, we will welcome opportunities to strengthen
our relationship with your alliance.

Thank you again for your leadership.

Patrick Falconer, Consultant

On Behalf of the Barrier-Free Manitoba Steering Committee