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February 24, 2012

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Just out of curiosity, are any of the members of this Committee "qualified? By that I mean - Do any of them require a wheelchair, or have to use canes or crutches or have other accessibility issues like vision and hearing problems?
I suspect that there are more suitable candidates than a healthy 24 year old.
What about the person in the wheelchair that "convinced some outlets to improve the accessability for this sector of the population? A natural candidate?

I view this Committee the same way I view the Transportation Committee - The people appointed MUST have a good understanding of the issues.

Serious Cynic:Contact Ms.Leanne Warren,Administrator of Disability Services at the City of GUELPH for further details.You might also wish to access the Province's website and read the definition of a disabled person-you'd be surprised at those that are covered by the defintion and it includes a very broad range of conditions that cause disabilities.
david.birtwistle@sympatico.ca

Good for you, Missy!

Cynic, what makes you think only a disabled person could be qualified? Accessibility legislation and regulations are very far-reaching and affect all kinds of people. Building owners, designers, engineers, landlords, lawyers, and many kinds of manufacturers, to name a few.

Serious Cynic, the committee is made up of both persons with disabilities and without. Missy Tolton is highly qualified for this position as she dedicates her time to working with persons with disabilities!

Serious Cynic, I appreciate your concern as to who sits on this comittee and any others around the city and fully agree that those who sit on them should have a knowledge and understanding of those they wish to represent. That is one of the reasons I applied to sit on this committee. As well as being legally blind in my left eye, I have spent years working with children and families of all abilities. So again I thank you and welcome your concern, but wish you had of done a little research before deciding I was unqualified. Thank You, Missy Tolton

Good reply, Missy. I for one welcome your participation.

Missy:
Legaly blind in one eye does not nedessarily mean you have no vision in that eye, but you may still have depth perception and other aspects of vision. Legally blind in one eye is a vague term at best.However it was a quality I mentioned so you are right to point it out.
However how was anyone other than family and close personal friends to know that. What little research there was available indicated that your hot buttons were City sidewalks. poverty elimination and poor children and families..
City sidewalks have improved dramatically over the past few years including crack repairs and curb cuts for wheelchairs.
I vividly recall you running in Ward 3 and I do not recall you raising accessibility issues in your campaign or in your literature.
However that is not the concern I am raising. I think it is great that you ran for a Council position representing Ward 3. I hope that you run again.
I hope that you can effectively advocate for people with accessibility issues. The two major barriers that need to be addressed at this time are barriers to people with mobility issues and vision problems. Very few buildings in the City are wheelchair accessible so I will challenge you to get a wheelchair and try to navigate around Guelph, not just downtown but in all the wards and for a full week.
Next I challenge you to wear a blind over your functional eye and do this for a full week as well. If you do this I think it will provide you with a great perspective on things that are required. In fact I think you should suggest that all your committee members should try the same challenge. It is one way to find out where ramps and automatic entry facilities and accessible toilet facilities are required as well as where traffic signals for the visually impaired are needed.
Thank you for giving me a chance to get on my soapbox. There are more but these will do for starters.

Cynic since you mentioned the little information available, I just thought I'd point out the Mercury did a front page story, that carried over into page A2, about Missy's blindness and losing her eye sight to a disease called Keratoconus, on February 23 2009, if you wanted to read more about her disability vs her campaign discussions.

Oh and also and update on the story in the March 6 2009 paper.

Granted, your posts may not be "legally offensive", but they are offensive, Cynic.

I think everyone here realizes that Missy is fully aware of the definition of legal blindness and doesn't need to wear a patch to understand the issues faced by people with visual impairment issues.

I also think most here have faith in her ability to provide excellent representation on the Accessibility Advisory Committee. But by all means, if you think you can do better, put your name in the hat next time.

Welcome to political life, Missy. :)

I find DC's use of the term 'offensive' offensive.

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Joanne

Joanne Shuttleworth is the newsroom lead in municipal affairs coverage for the Guelph Mercury. She is a former Guelph YWCA Woman of Distinction honouree and a past winner of an Ontario Newspapers Award for her work as an editor. You can reach her at jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

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About Chris

  • Chris Herhalt
    covers municipal affairs and politics for the Guelph Mercury. Prior to joining the Mercury he worked at The Record of Waterloo Region and at The Canadian Press. He can be reached at cherhalt@guelphmercury.com