Accessibility at EOHU
Statement of Commitment
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is committed to 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 we 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.
Meeting Accessibility Standards: AODA
The 2011 accessibility regulation requires the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) to ensure alignment of its accessibility policies with Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) legislation in its multi-year accessibility plan. The following outlines key obligations of the EOHU on accessibility.
Establishment of Accessibility Plans and Policies
The EOHU shall produce a multi-year Accessibility Plan. The plan will be posted on the EOHU's website and made available in accessible formats upon request. The Accessibility Plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years.
The EOHU maintains policies on how it shall meet AODA requirement and will provide policies in an accessible format upon request.
Accessibility in Procurement
When procuring goods, services, self-service kiosks or facilities, the EOHU shall incorporate accessibility criteria and features, unless it is not feasible (practicable) to do so. If not practicable, the EOHU shall provide an explanation, upon request.
A kiosk means an interactive electronic terminal, including a point-of-sale device, intended for public use that allows users to access one or more services.
General Training Requirements
EOHU employees, volunteers, all those who participate in developing the EOHU's policies and those who provide goods, services or facilities on the EOHU's behalf shall be required to undergo training on the requirements of the AODA accessibility standards and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities.
Accessible Customer Service Standards
EOHU employees, volunteers and third party contractors shall accommodate the use of personal assistive devices, which enable a person with a disability to access the EOHU's services, programs and facilities. Assistive devices include and are not limited to: GPS, mobility devices, personal oxygen tanks, mini pocket recorder and communication boards (e.g. a Bliss board).
EOHU employees, volunteers and third party contractors shall accommodate the use of service animals by people with disabilities who are accessing EOHU services, programs and facilities unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law, such as food preparation areas as prohibited by Food Premises, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 562 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7.
A guide dog is defined in Section One of the Blind Persons' Rights Act. To be considered a service animal under the Customer Service Standard, it must be readily apparent that the animal is being used because of a person's disability or the person with a disability must provide a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that it is required because of his or her disability.
Where a person with a disability accessing EOHU services, programs or facilities is accompanied by a support person, EOHU employees, volunteers and third party contractors shall ensure that both persons are permitted to enter the premises together and shall ensure that the person with a disability can access the support person while on the premises.
A support person is a person who accompanies the person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. The support person can be a paid support worker, volunteer, a friend or a family member.
When communicating with a person with a disability, EOHU employees, volunteers and third party contractors shall do so in a manner that respects the person's disability.
Notice of service disruption
If there is a temporary disruption in the availability of services, programs and facilities used by persons with disabilities (e.g., temporary loss of elevator service), the EOHU shall notify the public of the reason for the disruption, the date(s) of disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available. Such notice may be provided by a variety of methods, depending on the circumstances, and may include postings in conspicuous places at the affected premises, other EOHU facilities, and the EOHU's website, as well as by other means that will ensure that the notice reaches those persons potentially affected by the temporary disruption.
Training - Contractors, Consultants and Service Providers
The EOHU shall ensure that EOHU employees and volunteers who deal with the public on behalf of the EOHU, and those who are involved in EOHU policy and program development receive training on accessible customer service.
Third party contractors who deliver goods and services on behalf of the EOHU are also required to ensure that they meet the legislative requirements of accessible customer service.
Training includes information on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11 and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Reg. 429/07.
Training records are maintained, including dates when training is provided and the number of employees who received training.
Customer Service training is part of orientation. The training is provided through a mandatory online module.
The EOHU shall ensure that every area that interacts directly with the public develops and publishes a process for receiving and responding to feedback about how services and programs are delivered to people with disabilities.
Public feedback may be provided in person, by telephone, in writing or by electronic means. Feedback received by the EOHU shall be responded to, documented and tracked.
The documents required of the Standards shall be maintained on the EOHU's website or provided to individuals, upon request, in the appropriate format.
The EOHU Manager, CQI is responsible for reviewing this Statement and accessibility requirements annually and recommending amendments to ensure ongoing compliance with regulated accessibility standards and legislated obligations.
The EOHU Manager, CQI shall provide advice and direction on the implementation of this Statement.
Information and Communication Standards
The EOHU is to ensure that any process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports. The public shall be notified about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.
Accessible formats and communication supports
The EOHU will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities, upon request. Accessible formats and communication supports shall be provided in a timely manner, taking into account, the person's accessibility needs to determine the suitability of an accessible format or communication support. The public shall be notified about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.
Accessible formats may include but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats, Braille and other formats used by persons with disabilities.
Emergency procedures, plans or safety information
The EOHU shall provide public emergency procedures, plans and public safety information to the public upon request, in an accessible format with appropriate communication supports in a timely manner.
Accessible websites and web content
Internet websites and web content controlled directly by the EOHU or through a contractual relationship that allows for modification of the product, shall conform with World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A initially and Level AA in accordance with the schedule set out in the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is an international standard for making websites and web content accessible through a series of technical checkpoints (Level A and Level AA) so that websites and content are increasingly accessible to a broader range of users with disabilities. Web accessibility involves understanding a broad spectrum of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, cognitive, speech, learning, language, and neurological disabilities.
The EOHU shall post information about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process. Job applicants who are selected for an assessment/interview shall be notified that accommodations are available for materials/processes used in selection, upon request. Successful applicants shall be notified about the EOHU's policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
The EOHU shall inform employees of policies used to support employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee's accessibility needs due to a disability. The EOHU shall provide this information to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment and provide updated information to employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations.
Accessible formats and communication supports for employees
Upon the request of an employee with a disability, the EOHU shall consult with the employee to provide/arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for:
- information needed to perform the employee's job; and,
- for information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
The EOHU will consult with the employee making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.
Workplace Emergency Response Information
If an employee's disability is such that the individualized workplace emergency response information is necessary and the EOHU is aware of the need for accommodation, this information shall be provided to employees. In addition, this information shall be provided, with the person's consent, to the person designated to provide assistance. The information shall be reviewed when the employee moves to a different location, when the employee's overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed and when the EOHU reviews its general emergency response plan.
Documented individual accommodation plans
A written process for the development and maintenance of documented individual accommodation plans shall be developed for employees with disabilities. If requested, the plans shall include individualized workplace emergency response information. Elements for the individual accommodation plans are set out in the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards.
Return to work process
The EOHU shall have in place a documented return to work process for employees who are returning to work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations. The return to work process shall outline the steps that the EOHU shall take to facilitate the return to work.
Performance Management and Career development and Redeployment
The EOHU shall take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities as well as any individual accommodation plans when providing career development, performance management and when considering redeployment.
Design of Public Spaces Standards
Public spaces that are newly constructed or redeveloped by the EOHU shall meet the accessibility requirements set out in the AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards, including the following areas:
- Exterior paths of Travel
- Accessible Parking
- Service counters, queuing guides and waiting areas
In addition to incorporating accessible design requirements in new or renovated public spaces, the EOHU Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (2012 – 2021) will document procedures for maintenance of the accessible elements, and for dealing with temporary disruptions of accessible elements.
We welcome comments on the provision of programs or services to people with disabilities. Comments can be directed to the Manager, Continuous Quality Improvement by telephone, email, in person or in writing:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 613-933-1375, ext. 218
- In person, or in writing:
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
1000 Pitt Street
Cornwall, ON K6J 5T1
If you are a person with a disability, or if you provide support to a person with a disability, please:
- Let us know how we can help. We are open to discussing your ideas on the service options available.
- Help our staff understand your needs.