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Accessibility

AODA  Policy

Addictions and Mental Health Services-Hastings Prince Edward  (AMHS-HPE) provides a range of services to individuals experiencing a substance abuse problem to serious mental illness or severe mental health problems.  AMHS-HPE is committed to compliance with the “Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2005”.  In fulfilling this commitment, AMHS-HPE also provides addictions and mental health related services to individuals who have a disability.

AMHS-HPE is committed to providing high quality professional services that ensure the dignity and independence of individuals with disabilities. We are further committed to ensuring accessibility for all people with disabilities whether they are seeking service, employment, visiting or volunteering with our organization.

 

POLICY STATEMENT

AMHS-HPE is committed to providing quality services that are accessible to all clients and visitors that we serve.

 

Ontario’s first accessibility standard, the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, came into effect on January 1, 2008. Established under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), the standard states what organizations in Ontario must do to make their goods and services more accessible to people with disabilities.

AMHS-HPE is committed to providing quality services that are accessible to everyone. We have taken many initiatives to foster an inclusive community by identifying and removing barriers faced by persons with disabilities. The Accessible Customer Service Policy ensures that our services are provided in a way that respects the dignity and independence of our clients and visitors while ensuring integration and equal opportunity for all people. We welcome customer service feedback on our delivery of accessible services and suggestions you may have for improvement.

There have currently been five standards developed under the AODA: (1) customer service; (2) transportation; (3) information and communications; (4) employment; and (5) the built environment.

The Customer Service Standard and the Integrated Accessibility Standards are currently law in Ontario. The Built Environment Standard is expected to be incorporated, where possible, into future Ontario Building Code amendments.

 

BACKGROUND

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) is a provincial act with the purpose of developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises.

Under the AODA, Ontario Regulation 429/07 entitled “Accessibility Standards for Customer Service” came into force on January 1, 2008. This Regulation establishes accessibility standards specific to customer service for public sector organizations and other persons or organizations that provide goods and services to members of the public.

 

PURPOSE

This policy has been prepared in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) and addresses the following:

  • the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities
  • the use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities
  • the use of service animals by persons with disabilities
  • the use of support persons by persons with disabilities
  • notice of temporary disruptions in services and facilities
  • training
  • client or visitor feedback regarding the provision of services to persons with disabilities; and
  • notice of availability and format of documents

This policy is supported by procedures which outline the detailed processes and accommodations pursuant to this policy. The supporting procedures include the following:

  • Procedures for Client or Visitor Service and the Use of Assistive Devices
  • Procedures for the Use of Service Animals
  • Procedures for the Use of Support Persons
  • Procedures for Providing Notice of Temporary Disruptions
  • Procedures for Receiving Feedback

 

DEFINITIONS

 

AMHS-HPE

Addictions and Mental Health Services – Hastings Prince Edward

Addictions and Mental Health Services includes its Board of Directors and Committees.

 

Accommodation

The special arrangement made or assistance provided so that clients or visitors with disabilities can participate in the experiences available to clients or visitors without disabilities. Accommodation will vary depending on the client or visitor’s unique needs.

 

Assistive Device

A technical aid, communication device, or medical aid modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities

 

Client(s) or Visitor(s)

Persons to whom AMHS-HPE provides services to or a support person for the client or visitor, and those who access AMHS-HPE for information about or within the agency.

 

Disability

  • 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 mental illness
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

 

Guide Dog

A guide dog as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons Rights’ Act is a dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having qualifications prescribed by the regulations under the Blind Persons Rights’ Act.

 

Service Animals

Any animal used by a client or visitor with a disability for reasons relating to the disability where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the client or visitor for reasons relating to his or her disability; or where the client or visitor provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that they require the animal for reasons relating to the disability; or where the client or visitor provides a valid identification card or training certificate from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.

 

Support Person

A person who accompanies a client or visitor with a disability in order to assist him or her with communication, mobility, personal care, or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

 

APPLICATION

This policy applies to all persons who deal with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of AMHS-HPE, whether the person does so as an employee, member of the Board of Directors, or a Committee member of a program or group affiliated with AMHS-HPE.

 

PROCEDURES

Communication with Clients or Visitors with Disabilities

When communicating with a client or visitor with a disability, AMHS-HPE will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

 

The Provision of Goods and Services to Clients or Visitors with Disabilities

AMHS-HPE will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the provision of its services are consistent with the following principles:

 

  • AMHS-HPE services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of clients or visitors with disabilities;
  • the provision of AMHS-HPE’s services to clients or visitors with disabilities are integrated with those provided to clients who do not have disabilities unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable a client or visitor with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from AMHS–HPE;
  • clients or visitors with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that of clients  or visitors without disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from our services.

 

Assistive Devices

A client or visitor with a disability may provide their own assistive device for the purpose of obtaining, using and benefiting from MHS-HPE services.  Exceptions may occur in situations where MHS-HPE has determined that the assistive device may pose a risk to the health and safety of a client or visitor with a disability or the health and safety of others.

In these situations and others, AMHS-HPE may offer a client or visitor with a disability other measures to assist him or her in obtaining, using and benefiting from AMHS-HPE services.  It is the responsibility of the client or visitor with a disability to ensure that his or her assistive device is operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.

 

Service Animals

Where AMHS-HPE provides services, clients with a disability may enter premises

owned and/or operated by AMHS-HPE accompanied by a service animal and may keep the service animal with them if the public has access to such premises and the service animal is not otherwise excluded by law. If a service animal is excluded by law, AMHS-HPE will use reasonable efforts to ensure that alternate means are available to enable the client or visitor with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from AMHS-HPE services.  If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, AMHS-HPE may ask the client or visitor with a disability for a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the client or visitor requires the service animal for reasons relating to his or her disability. It is the responsibility of the client or visitor with a disability to keep their service animal in control at all times.

 

Support Persons

AMHS-HPE will ensure that a client or visitor with a disability may enter premises owned and/or operated by AMHS-HPE with a support person and have access to their support person while on AMHS-HPE premises.  At times, AMHS-HPE may require that a client with a disability be accompanied by a support person while on their premises. This will be required where it is deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of the client or visitor with a disability or the health and safety of others on the premises.

In situations where the confidential information of a client or visitor with a disability is to be discussed, AMHS-HPE will require a statement of permission and/or consent from the client or visitor with a disability allowing their support person to be present. AMHS-HPE will require the support person to sign an agreement where confidential AMHS-HPE matters are being addressed.

Where a fee is charged for admission to an event, such as the annual HOPE conference, AMHS-HPE will provide advanced notice of the amount, if any, charged to the support person.

 

Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services and Facilities

AMHS-HPE is aware that the operation of certain services and facilities is important to clients and visitors with disabilities. However, temporary disruptions in services and facilities may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within AMHS-HPE’s control or knowledge. AMHS-HPE will make reasonable effort to provide notice of the disruption to the public, their clients and visitors, including information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that may be available. AMHS-HPE will make reasonable effort to provide prior notice of planned disruptions, recognizing that in some circumstances such as in the situation of an unplanned temporary disruption, advance notice will not be possible. In such cases, AMHS-HPE will provide notice as soon as possible.  When temporary disruptions occur to AMHS-HPE services and/or facilities used by clients or visitors with disabilities, AMHS-HPE will provide notice by posting the information in visible places, or on their website, or by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances, as soon as possible.

 

Training

AMHS-HPE will ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies receive training as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07). The frequency and format of training will be tailored to suit each person’s interactions with the public and his or her involvement in the development of policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of services.

The content of the training will include, but is not restricted to the following:

 

  • a review of the purpose of the AODA;
  • a review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service; (Ontario Regulation 429/07);
  • how to interact and communicate with clients or visitors who have various types of disabilities;
  • how to interact with clients or visitors with disabilities who require the assistance of assistive devices, service animals, or support persons;
  • how to use assistive devices or equipment provided by AMHS-HPE that may help clients or visitors with disabilities to access AMHS-HPE services;
  • what to do if a client or visitor with a disability is having difficulty accessing AMHS-HPE services; and
  • instruction on AMHS-HPE’s policies, procedures and practices pertaining to the provision of goods and services to clients or visitors with disabilities.

 

Training will be provided as soon as practicable and on an on-going basis as changes are made to AMHS-HPE’s policies, procedures and practices governing the provision of goods and services.

 

AMHS-HPE will maintain records of the required training. These records will include the number of individuals trained and the dates on which training occurred. The names of individuals trained will be recorded for administration purposes, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”), as amended.

 

Feedback

 

AMHS-HPE is committed to providing high quality goods and services to all members of the public it serves. Feedback from the public is welcomed as it may identify areas that require change.  AMHS-HPE encourages continuous service improvements. Feedback from a member of the public about the delivery of goods and services to AMHS-HPE’s clients or visitors with disabilities may be given by telephone, in person, in writing, in electronic format or through other methods.  Information about the feedback process will be available to the public, clients or visitors and notice of the process will be posted on AMHS-HPE’s website and at all AMHS-HPE’s sub-offices and facilities.

 

Notice of the Availability of Documents

 

Notice of the availability of all documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service will be posted on AMHS-HPE’s website, and be made available through the main office in Belleville.

 

Availability and Format of the Documents Required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

 

All documents required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service are available upon request.  When providing a document to a client or visitor with a disability, AMHS-HPE will provide the document, or the information contained in the document, in a format that takes the person’s disability into account.

 

Policy Review

 

Management of AMHS-HPE shall be responsible for reviewing the policy on an annual basis and/or at any time legislative changes are imposed.