Archived—Project Summaries 2006-2007 - Automobile Consumer Coalition (ACC)

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Toronto, Ontario
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1. Private Vehicle Access for Canadian with Disabilities — Policies and Practices to Increase Transportation Options for Disabled Canadians


"Even though using a private vehicle is sometimes called a privilege, in today's society it is much closer to a right. It would be unthinkable, as well as illegal, to deny a person the opportunity to drive on public roadways based on his or her sex or skin colour. However, there is a significant segment of the Canadian population that is denied the use of a private vehicle, not through any law or deliberate discrimination, nor through any incapacity on their part to safely drive or ride in a motor vehicle, but because they require special modifications to the vehicle that are either unavailable or prohibitively expensive. It should be a priority to match disabled consumers with the technology that can greatly increase their opportunities."

The ACC will identify which needs remain unmet and why? The project will also attempt to clarify what government intervention, in the form of grants, loans, legislation, and regulation, may optimize technology use by the benefit of the disabled consumer.

Research will necessarily be carried out in several sectors by a variety of means. Written materials, such as statutes and official commentaries will be reviewed as well as relevant information put out by government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry. In-depth interviews of government officials, activists, medical experts, health care providers, and industry representatives will also be conducted. On-site visits will be made to suppliers and installers of equipment used to modify vehicles for use by the disabled. Users of modified vehicles will be interviewed.

Along with the information acquired through interviews, discussions may take place that challenge conventional practice. The project will determine why consumer needs remain unmet or why useful devices or technology are not fully utilized. The project will also attempt to clarify what government intervention, e.g. in the form of grants, loans, legislation, and regulation, may optimize technology use for the benefit of the disabled consumer and society as a whole.

At all times during the project, the researcher will be in regular contact with experts in government, non-profit organizations, and industry to assure the report's accuracy relevance, and timeliness. A draft of the report will be reviewed by one or more experts before its final release.

This project final report will:

  • Include a set of comprehensive recommendations to assist federal and provincial government officials to better design legislation and regulations.
  • Provide non-profit organizations with a comprehensive one-stop reference relating to the practical, financial, and political aspects of private vehicle use by disabled consumers.
  • Strengthen the network of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and industry to help them better serve disabled consumers.
  • Provide the Automobile Consumer Coalition (ACC) with a foundation to address vehicle issues that are important to disabled consumers.