Accessibility

Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to fulfill the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), designed to make Ontario more accessible by identifying, removing and preventing barriers for persons with disabilities.

Scope
This policy applies to all CPHA staff including contract employees, consultants, students and volunteers.

Definition
Disability means:

  1. 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,
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. a mental disorder, or
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997;

Policy Statement
CPHA will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. CPHA will:

  • ensure that all people receive the same value and quality of service;
  • use alternate methods when possible to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same services as others, in the same place and in a similar manner;
  • consider individual needs when providing services; and
  • communicate where possible in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Service Animals
CPHA welcomes service animals on our premises. Although a service animal may be a dog in most cases, it can be any animal individually trained and used by a person for reasons relating to her or his disability. Care and control of the service animal is the responsibility of the person who is being accompanied.

Support Persons
CPHA welcomes support persons on our premises. A support person accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to services. CPHA will ensure that the person with the disability is not prevented from having access to the support person. In situations where confidential information might be discussed in the presence of a support person, consent will be obtained from the person with the disability prior to any conversation occurring.

Assistive Devices
CPHA is committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing services from CPHA. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that people use that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading (i.e., wheelchair, walker, personal oxygen tank, or hearing aids). In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure access.

Notice of Temporary Disruptions
CPHA will provide notice to customers in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities usually used by people with disabilities. The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be posted in our office and/or telephone voice mail messages. In the unlikely event of an extended disruption in services, we will also post a notice on our website.

Training
Staff who interact with the public will be trained in providing service to persons with disabilities. All staff who are involved in the development of policies, plans, practices and procedures related to the provision of CPHA’s services will also receive this training. New staff will receive this training as part of their orientation process. Employees, volunteers and interns who interact with the public in Ontario are informed about their responsibilities under the AODA and provided with the link to on-line training (www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/serve-ability/index.aspx) provided by the Government of Ontario.


Training will include:
  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
  • A copy of CPHA’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service Policy document.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person.
  • How to use equipment or devices that are available on our premises that may help with the provision of services to a person with a disability.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing CPHA’s services.

Staff will also receive training when changes are made to our accessible customer service plan. Human Resources will maintain records of training provided.

Feedback Process
Comments on CPHA’s services are welcome and appreciated. Feedback regarding the way CPHA provides materials, information and services to people with disabilities can be made in writing (by e-mail, or letter), or verbally (by telephone, or in person) to:

Office Manager
Canadian Public Health Association
404-1525 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON  K1Z 8R9
Contact CPHA
613-725-3769

People who provide feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted, usually within five business days.

Notice of Availability
The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service Policy will be added to the CPHA Personnel Policies Manual and posted on our website.