What is the issue?

The Assistive Devices Program's (ADP) fee structure hasn't been substantially reviewed in nearly 20 years (2001). Therefore, the various categories for visual aids haven't been updated to include modern devices. Also, authorizers and vendors have faced challenges with the paper-based administrative process – it is burdensome and inaccessible, resulting in unnecessary delays. The digitization of ADP would enable an empowered and accessible process as well as help the government meet their goal of digital transformation. The Ontario government has committed to "drive digital transformation across government and modernize public service delivery".

"Accessible technology for the blind and partially sighted is one of our most important needs. It is such a necessary tool to keep us in touch with family, friends and colleagues. Most of us are unable to drive, so it is something we can't live without. It is a way to be connected socially - it helps dissolve the isolation and loneliness that a lot of us live with." –Fran, Midland

What is the ask?

Ahead of the Ontario general election on June 7, CNIB Advocates are asking all parties to publicly recognize the immediate need to modernize ADP and commit to establishing a strategy with CNIB and campaign supporters within the first 100 days of government.

Why do we need to Re-Vision ADP?

  1. Technology fosters inclusion, and it reduces feelings of isolation and depression for people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind – but only when it's accessible, available and affordable.
  2. The Government of Ontario should be proud of its Assistive Devices Program (ADP) – it is a lifeline for many Ontarians living with disabilities. Without ADP, many would be unable to afford an assistive device.
  3. Modernizing ADP will enhance service delivery and ensure Ontarians who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind have access to high-quality, timely and essential equipment.
  4. Thanks to technological advances, assistive devices can do more than ever before. This means modern devices such as a smartphone or tablet can perform multiple functions (e.g. reading, writing, indoor/outdoor navigation apps, etc.). The modernization of ADP is long overdue, and now is the time for a new government to make this commitment to Ontarians living with sight loss.

Background Information

auditor.on.ca – Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

  1. a) Chapter 3, Section 3.01 – Assistive Devices Program
  2. b) Chapter 4, Section 4.01 – Assistive Devices Program