September 24, 2004

York Region appoints two new members to its Accessibility Advisory Committee

NEWMARKET – York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch is pleased to announce the appointment of Zahra Brown of Richmond Hill and Diane Humeniuk of Newmarket to the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), effective immediately until November 2006.
“York Region will continue to support accessibility planning and the implementation of Ontarians with Disabilities Act with the appointments of Ms. Brown and Ms. Humeniuk,” said Regional Chair and CEO, Bill Fisch.  “They are valuable additions to the AAC and will augment its efforts to assist Regional Council in realizing its vision of providing access to Regional programs and services for all York Region residents.”
These new appointments to the York Region AAC are being made at this time to fill a vacancy that came open when an existing member, Anwar Yussuf, resigned from the Committee because he was moving out of the Region. The second appointment will ensure that the York Region AAC continues to meet the requirements for the Committee as included in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).
The York Region AAC advises York Region on its implementation of the ODA. The purpose of the ODA is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities through the identification, removal and prevention of physical and other barriers.
Zahra Brown is a resident of Richmond Hill and a student at Seneca College.  Ms. Brown will bring a unique perspective to the Committee as a young woman of colour who is hard of hearing.  Ms. Brown is currently working towards her General Arts and Science diploma and is planning to go to York University.  Her long-term goal is to become a teacher. 
Diane Humeniuk of Newmarket has 33 years of marketing experience and heads Diane Humeniuk & Associates Inc., a creative marketing service.  She has served 18 years in the public service, the last six as a Newmarket Regional Councillor.  A former Chair of the York Region ACC, Ms. Humeniuk also served on numerous committees, Boards of Directors and held several provincial positions, including the District Health Council and the former Greater Toronto Services Board.
The York Region AAC is comprised of 12 members, a majority of whom are people with disabilities.  The membership includes citizens from across York Region as well as three members from Regional Council (the Regional Chair and CEO is an ex-officio member).
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The York Region AAC provides valuable advice to Regional Council in the development and implementation of the Region’s Accessibility Plan. The 2004 Accessibility Plan includes a wide array of initiatives to be completed between September 2003 and December 2004.  The Plan encompasses every aspect of the Region’s business and aims to enhance accessibility for people with different types of disabilities across the Region.
While implementation of the initiatives included in the current Plan is well underway in all Regional departments as well as York Regional Police, development of the Region’s next accessibility plan is in progress. It is anticipated that the 2005 Plan will also include initiatives from a wide range of regional programs and services. As well, it will be aligned with the Region’s business planning process
“We appreciate and support the Region’s efforts to integrate accessibility planning into its regular business planning process,” said Wilf Morley, Chair of the York Region AAC. “Another crucial aspect in the Plan’s development is consulting with York Region residents. We received a great response to our public consultation last year clearly showing how much these issues mattered to people in the Region.”
Public consultations this fall will gather input and feedback for the development of the next Plan. This and other activities such as continued cross municipal meetings and an October meeting of all AAC Chairs and Vice Chairs in the Region will ensure that York Region residents have the opportunity to remain aware of and stay involved in the accessibility planning process.
For more information about the Regional Municipality of York’s Accessibility Plan, the York Region AAC, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at
Contact:   Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238
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