POLICY

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.

All goods and services provided by the Couchiching Family Health Team shall follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

SCOPE

  1. This policy applies to the provision of goods and services at premises operated by the Couchiching Family Health Team.
  2. This policy applies to employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of the Couchiching Family Health Team, including when the provision of goods and services occurs off the premises of the Couchiching Family Health Team such as in: delivery services, call centers, vendors, drivers, catering and third party marketing agencies.
  3. The section of this policy that addresses the use of guide dogs, service animals and service dogs only applies to the provision of goods and services that take place at premises operated by the Couchiching Family Health Team.
  4. This policy shall also apply to all persons who participate in the development of the Couchiching Family Health Team’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods and services to members of the public or third parties.

DEFINITIONS

Assistive Device

Assistive Device is a technical aid, communication device or other instrument that is used to maintain or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. Personal assistive devices are typically devices that people bring with them such as a wheelchair, walker or a personal oxygen tank that might assist in hearing, seeing, communicating, moving, breathing, remembering and/or reading.

Disability

The term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:

  • 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 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.

Guide Dog

Guide Dog is a highly-trained working dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, to provide mobility, safety and increased independence for people who are blind.

Service Animal

Service Animal as reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:

  • it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Service Dog

As reflected in Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562, a dog other than a guide dog for the blind is a service dog if:

  • it is readily apparent to an average person that the dog functions as a service dog for a person with a medical disability; or
  • the person who requires the dog can provide on request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires a service dog.

Support Person

As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or access to goods and services.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:

  1. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
  2. Assistive Devices
  3. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
  4. Support Persons
  5. Notice of Service Disruptions
  6. Customer Feedback
  7. Training
  8. Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents

A. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities

The Couchiching Family Health Team 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 by:

  • ensuring that all people receive the same value and quality;
  • allowing people with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
  • using alternative methods when possible to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
  • taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services; and
  • communicating in a manner that takes into account the person's disability.

B. Assistive Devices

Person’s own assistive device(s):

Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by the Couchiching Family Health Team.

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 the access of goods and services. For example, open flames and oxygen tanks cannot be near one another. Therefore, the accommodation of a person with an oxygen tank may involve ensuring the person is in a location that would be considered safe for both the person and the business. Or, where elevators are not present and where an individual requires assistive devices for the purposes of mobility, service will be provided in a location that meets the needs of the person.

C. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs

A person with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.

Food Service Areas:

A person with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog or service dog will be allowed access to food service areas that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law.

Other types of service animals are not permitted into food service areas due to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562, section 60.

Recognizing a Guide Dog, Service Dog and/or Service Animal:

If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability, the Couchiching Family Health Team may request verification from the person.

Verification may include:

  • a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability; 
  • a valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada; or 
  • a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.

Care and Control of the Animal:

The person that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.

Allergies:

If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, the Couchiching Family Health Team will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.

D. Support Persons

If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the Couchiching Family Health Team will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the person is not prevented from having access to the support person.

There may be times where seating and availability prevent the person and support person from sitting beside each other. In these situations the Couchiching Family Health Team will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue.

In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the person, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.

E. Notice of Disruptions in Service

Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of the Couchiching Family Health Team. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services, to those people with disabilities who rely on access or use of the premises, we will make reasonable efforts to provide advance notice. In some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.

Notifications will Include:

In the event that a notification needs to be posted, the following information will be included unless it is not readily available or known:

  • goods or services that are disrupted or unavailable
  • reason for the disruption
  • anticipated duration
  • a description of alternative services or options

Notifications Options:

When disruptions occur, the Couchiching Family Health Team will provide notice by:

  • posting notices in conspicuous places including at the point of disruption, at the main entrance and the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption and/or on the www.cfht.ca website;
  • contacting people with appointments;
  • verbally notifying people when they are making a reservation or appointment; or
  • by any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.

F. Training

Training will be provided to:

  1. all employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of the Couchiching Family Health Team
  2. Occupational Health and Safety Team who are involved in the development and approval of service policies, practices and procedures. 

Training Provisions:

As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:

  • A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
  • A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
  • Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who:
    • use assistive devices; 
    • require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal; or
    • require the use of a support person.
  • Instructions on how to use equipment or devices that are available at our premises or that we provide that may help people with disabilities.
  • Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing your services.

Training Schedule:

The Couchiching Family Health Team will provide training to all current employees and then upon orientation for new employees. Training will be provided to all employees, volunteers, agents and/or contractors who deal with the public or act on behalf of the Couchiching Family Health Team. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures and/or practices.

Record of Training:

The Couchiching Family Health Team will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the number of employees who attended the training.

Notice of Availability and Format of Documents:

The Couchiching Family Health Team shall notify people that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the person's disability. Notification will be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place operated by the Couchiching Family Health Team and will be available on our website at www.cfht.ca.

Feedback from Patients/Clients:

Patients/Clients wishing to provide feedback can do so by following the options on listed at the bottom of our website. The feedback will be presented to the Executive Director and the Patient/Client will be contacted to inform them of the result and changes if any. This process will be recorded.

ADMINISTRATION

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures please contact:

HR Manager
705-329-3649, ext 213

This policy and its related procedures will be reviewed as required in the event of legislative changes. It will be noted on our website that this policy will be made available to patients/clients upon request.

REFERENCED DOCUMENTS

  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 
  • Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
  • Blind Person’s Rights Act 
  • Dog Owners' Liability Act
  • Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001, Ontario Regulation 31/05
  • Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ontario Regulation 562
  • Ontario Human Rights Code