Upper Grand Family Health Team Accessibility Policy
Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 all public sector organizations must meet the established requirements of accessibility standards. This policy establishes the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation in the areas of Information and Communications, Customer Service, Employment, Public Spaces, and Transportation for the UGFHT in accordance with the Ontario Regulation 191/11 and the Ontario Regulation 413/12.
This policy has been written in accordance with the regulation and addresses how the UGHFT achieves accessibility through meeting the regulation’s requirements. It provides the overall strategic direction that we will follow to provide accessibility supports to Ontarians with disabilities.
Statement of Commitment
The UGFHT is committed to improving and ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and by meeting our accessibility requirements under Ontario’s accessibility laws.
The UGFHT is also committed to training staff on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on accessibility aspects of the Human Rights Code that apply to persons with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff members.
- Accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. It is used to describe how widely a service, product, device, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be seen as the ability to access and benefit from a system, service, product or environment.
- Accessible Formats may include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, braille, and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
- Accommodation means the special arrangement made or assistance provided so that persons with disabilities can participate in the experiences available to persons without disabilities. Accommodation will vary depending on the person’s unique needs.
- Barriers are obstacles that limit access and prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in society. Most barriers are not intentional. Barriers usually arise because the needs of people with disabilities are not considered from the beginning.
- Communication Support may include, but are not limited to, captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
- Communications means the interaction between two or more persons or entities, or any combination of them, where information is provided, sent or received.
- Conversion Ready means an electronic or digital format that facilitates conversion into an accessible format.
- Disability, according to Ontario’s accessibility law adopts the definition for disability that is in the Ontario Human Rights Code. It defines disability broadly as:
- Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
- A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
- A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
- A mental disorder; or
- An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
- IAP means Individualized Accommodation Plan.
- Information includes data, facts and knowledge that exists in any format, including text, audio, digital or images, and that conveys meaning.
- Mobility Aid means a device used to facilitate the transport, in a seated posture, of a person with a disability.
- Mobility Assistive Devicemeans a cane, walker, wheelchair, scooter or similar aid.
- Performance Management are activities related to assessing and improving employee performance, productivity and effectiveness with the goal of facilitating employee success.
- Redeployment means the reassignment of employees to other departments or jobs within the organization as an alternative to layoff, when a particular job or department has been eliminated.
- Service Animal, according to the AODA’s Customer Service Standards, requires one of two conditions:
- The animal must be easily identifiable as relating to a disability (for example, it is a guide dog or other animal wearing a vest or harness), or
- An individual must be able to provide documentation from a regulated health professional confirming the animal is required due to a disability.
Service animals must also not be considered a pet.
- Unconvertible means it is not technically feasible to convert the information or communications. It also means the technology to convert the information or communications is not readily available.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines means the World Wide Web consortium recommendation, dated December 2008, entitled Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Access to Information
- The UGFHT is committed to meeting the information and communication needs of people with disabilities, and will consult directly with a person with a disability to best determine their needs.
- When requested, the UGFHT will provide information and communication support in an accessible format, as required. This includes publicly available information about our goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency information.
- Anyone with a role in the process of responding to an accommodation request will document and secure all communications in regard to all aspects of the accommodation process. Anyone involved in this process must ensure confidentiality is maintained with respect to the employee’s accommodation.
- The UGFHT will ensure that employees are aware of our policies on disability management, and any changes to these policies as they occur.
- When information is unconvertible, the UGFHT will work to find an alternative solution that works best for the individual up until undue hardship.
- UGFHT’s information will be conversion ready upon request, when possible.
- Web content accessibility guidelines will be used in the creation of the UGFHT’s website.
- The UGFHT will provide access to general, emergency, and public notice information in accessible formats, such as HTML, Microsoft Word, braille, or larger print.
- The range of information that will be provided in an accessible format include:
- Public notices such as when an elevator, accessible washroom or ramp are out of service;
- Emergency information such as evacuation plans; or
- Event information, when requested in advance.
- Where required, the UGFHT will create individual workplace emergency response information for employees with disabilities. This information will take into account the unique challenges created by the individual’s disability and the physical nature of the workplace, and will be created in consultation with the employee. This information will be reviewed when:
- The employee moves to a different physical location in the organization;
- The employee’s overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed; and/or
- The UGFHT reviews general emergency response policies.
- The range of information that will be provided in an accessible format include:
- The UGFHT will incorporate accessibility design, criteria, and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, including self-serve kiosks. If it is not possible and practical to do so, we will provide an explanation upon request.
- We are committed to training staff and volunteers on Ontario’s accessibility laws and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities.
- We will train our employees and volunteers on accessibility as it relates to their specific roles.
- Training will be provided to individuals who are responsible for developing the UGFHT’s policies, and all other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the UGFHT.
- Training will also be provided upon hire and will be provided on an ongoing basis to new employees and as changes to the UGFHT’s accessibility policies occur.
- A process to receive feedback will be available for any person to comment on how the UGFHT provides goods, services or facilities to employees or clients with disabilities.
- To submit feedback, please email email@example.com or contact the UGFHT Executive Director at 519 843 3847 ext 101.
- Information about the feedback process is readily available to the public on the UGFHT’s website.
- The UGFHT will respond to feedback and take action on provided feedback in a timely manner by working directly with the individual who submitted the feedback.
- The UGFHT commits to providing the appropriate customer service to a person with a disability to best access the goods, services and facilities available.
- Staff will also be trained in providing accessible customer service.
- A support person will be permitted to remain with a client at all times, if that is the request of the client.
- Guide dogs and service animals will be permitted to stay with a client when receiving services.
- If a guide dog/service animal does not wear a vest or harness, a client may be asked to provide acceptable documentation from a regulated health professional, which can include an audiologist or speech-language pathologist, chiropractor, nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, physician or surgeon, physiotherapist, psychologist, psychotherapist or mental health therapist.
- For people who are blind and use a guide dog, an identification card from the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General would also be accepted.
- As outlined in the above, if a client feels they haven’t received accessible customer service, please follow the procedures and steps posted on the UGFHT’s website.
Design of Public Spaces
1.0 The UGFHT will meet the Accessibility Standards for the design of public spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Public spaces include accessible off street parking and service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas.
- The Employment Standard builds upon the existing requirements under the Ontario Human Rights Code in relation to how the UGFHT provides accessibility throughout the entire employment cycle.
- The UGFHT will notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants who have disabilities. Applicants will be informed that these accommodations are available, upon request, for the interview process and for other candidate selection methods. Where an accommodation is requested, the UGFHT will consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for suitable accommodation.
- Successful applicants will be made aware of the UGFHT’s policies and supports for accommodating people with disabilities.
- An IAP, if needed, will be provided such as by making available customized workplace emergency information to employees who have a disability.
- When establishing performance management, career development and redeployment processes, the UGFHT will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities.
- Accommodation in the workplace is a shared responsibility. To request accommodation, an employee must tell their supervisor or HR manager about their needs and work with everyone involved to explore solutions. Examples of accommodation include: modified duties, changes to workstations, flexible work hours or break times, and assistive devices.
- The UGFHT will proactively remove barriers, to help create an accessible and inclusive workplace allowing employees to reach their full potential.
- The UGFHT will seek out specific types of accommodations an employee may require if returning to work after an absence due to a disability.
- The UGFHT will consider the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when implementing performance management processes, or when offering career development or advancement opportunities.
- Accessibility needs of employees with disabilities will also be taken into account in the event of redeployment.
- The Transportation Standard will make it easier for people to travel in Ontario, including persons with disabilities, older Ontarians and families traveling with children in strollers.
- Mobility aids and/or mobility assistive devices will be available on site at the UGFHT upon advanced request.
Modifications to this policy
Any policies at the UGFHT that do not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.
For questions regarding this policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the UGFHT Executive Director at 519 843 3847 ext 101.