Publications

Ministry Accessibility Plans

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
2008-2009 Accessibility Plan


Introduction

Ontario is making progress toward building an accessible province by 2025.  The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) has laid the foundation to meet this goal.  Under the act, Ontario is developing standards that will remove the barriers faced by people with disabilities.

On January 1, 2008, the first accessibility standard under the act came into force.  Through the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, people of all abilities will be able to get the service they need.  Public sector organizations, including the Ontario government, will need to comply with this standard by 2010.  Private sector and non-profit organizations will need to comply by 2012.

Next year, more standards will be released in other important areas, including:

  • Information and communications
  • Transportation
  • Employment
  • The built environment.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s sixth annual accessibility plan highlights 2007-2008’s achievements to break down barriers for people with disabilities.  It also outlines this ministry’s commitments in the coming year to make programs, policies and services more accessible for all Ontarians.

This accessibility plan is unique, because it reflects our transition between the AODA and the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).  The ODA applies to the Ontario government and all broader public sector organizations.  Under this act, the ministry develops annual accessibility plans to make its policies, programs, services and buildings more accessible to people with disabilities.

Through the ODA, accessibility planning has laid a strong foundation for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to build on.  This ministry will continue to help make Ontario more accessible for people with disabilities and a more inclusive society for all Ontarians.

An executive summary of all Government of Ontario Ministry Accessibility Plans is available at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/accessibilityOntario/planning/ministries_accplans08.htm.

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Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements

Focus Area : Customer Service

Commitment :  Ongoing

The ministry will provide alternative communications systems, with a focus on TTYs, to facilitate access to information by clients who are hearing-impaired or speech-impaired.

Planned Action(s) : The ministry provides TTY service through a dedicated phone line at 1-800-387-5559, and promotes the TTY number on all relevant ministry web pages, fact sheets, brochures, and advertising aimed at the general public.

Implementation Timeframe :  implemented (Note: ServiceOntario, Ministry of Government Services, became responsible for administering the TTY service and dedicated phone line as of July 7, 2008.)

Results Achieved :  Clients are able to access services in whichever format they choose.


Focus Area :  Customer Service

Commitment :  Completed

Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) commits to improve service delivery to people with disabilities.

Planned Action(s):  The ministry will: consider installing a TTY phone on Level 2 of the Toanache Building at MHCP; increase the number of staff trained in TTY; examine the feasibility of installing a speech-access telephone system which will enable callers to reach directly the person they are calling; and examine the feasibility of installing speech-recognition software which will convert voice to document.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved :  The Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene has implemented TTY service on Level 2 Toanache Building, in the Oak Ridge Building, and the Bayfield Building.


Focus Area :  Customer Service

Commitment :  Ongoing

Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) commits to provide training to managers.

Planned Action(s): The ministry will provide employee accommodation training to managers, as well as training in processes for evacuating staff with disabilities during emergencies.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 - Mar 10

Note : In August 2008, the Ontario government approved a plan to transfer the regional and provincial mental health programs of the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) to the board of the Penetanguishene General Hospital (PGH), effective December 15, 2008.  Future accessibility reporting for MHCP will be done by the Penetanguishene General Hospital.

Results Achieved :  One mock ‘code green’ was carried out with complete evacuation of four wards, which included staff and patients who were disabled.  Monthly evacuation checklists require the observation of special-needs personnel as a check.  Accommodations are identified in fire training annually.


Focus Area : Customer Service

Commitment : Ongoing

The ministry will continue to provide accessibility training for all new managers.

Planned Action(s): New staff members will be encouraged to complete the online accessibility training courses offered by the Accessibility Directorate.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 - Mar 10

Results Achieved :  All new managers are provided with accessibility training as part of their orientation.

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Report on Other Accessibility Commitments

Focus Area :  Employment

Impact :  Policy

Commitment :  Completed

The ministry will ensure there are no potential barriers with the establishment of the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

Planned Action(s) : The ministry will ensure any accessibility issues are identified during employee redeployment to new work locations.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved :  All LHINs have been established, and all office space is fully accessible.


Focus Area :  Employment

Impact :  Policy

Commitment :  Ongoing

The ministry commits to meeting the requirements under the revised Employment Accommodation and Return to Work Operating Policy for Health Reassignment.

Planned Action(s) :  The ministry commits to developing an internal protocol on the Health Reassignment process to better manage the reassignment of employees to alternate positions based on medical needs.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved :  Health re-assignment is addressed by the Centre for Employee Health Safety and Wellness, and accessibility issues are considered.


Focus Area :  Employment

Impact :  Policy

Commitment :  Ongoing

The ministry will continue to ensure there are no potential barriers in employment policies, processes, practices or tools for people with disabilities.

Planned Action(s):  The ministry continues to remove any identified barriers that may affect applicants and employees with disabilities.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 –Mar 10

Results Achieved :  Recruitment and service delivery processes are reviewed on a continual basis to ensure they are accessible.


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  Ongoing

The ministry will ensure that Family Health Teams comply with accessibility requirements.

Planned Action(s) : Family Health Teams will be reminded of their obligations through ministry funding agreements, Family Health Team Guides, and a facility checklist which requires them to determine the accessibility of their proposed site and identify any barriers.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 –Mar 10

Results Achieved : As of Sept 3/08, 144 Family Health Teams (FHTs) were operational, with another 6 planned for fall 2008 – all have barrier-free access for people with disabilities and for non-ambulatory patients. 


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  Completed

Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene commits to ensuring accessibility.

Planned Action(s): The ministry will be negotiating a new lease agreement in the town of Midland, and commits to ensuring compliance with barrier-free guidelines.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved :  Two new lease agreements have been negotiated in buildings that are barrier-free.


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  Completed

Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) commits to improve service delivery to people with disabilities. Planned Action(s): Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) will consider the feasibility of installing visual alarms within the facility’s clinical areas to assist those people who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved :  The Toanache Building has been upgraded to meet all Building Codes for fire safety.


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  Ongoing

The ministry will continue to make accessibility mandatory in all new lease searches.

Planned Action(s): The ministry has revised its leasing criteria to make accessibility mandatory for all lease searches.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved : Three new lease agreements were arranged for ministry office that were in compliance with all accessibility legislation and regulations.


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  Ongoing

The ministry commits to determining whether the main entrance doors and public washrooms in ministry offices on the 12th floor of 5700 Yonge Street, Toronto, can be made accessible.

Planned Action(s): The ministry is working with property management to determine the feasibility of installing automated door openers.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Mar 10

Results Achieved :  Accessible openers have been installed on washroom doors on the 12th floor of 5700 Yonge Street.  The feasibility of installing automated door openers for the main doors is still being determined with property management.


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  New

The ministry is creating 50 new Family Health Teams (FHTs), and 25 Nurse-Practitioner (NP)-Led Clinics across Ontario.

Planned Action(s) :  All 50 new FHTs and 25 NP Clinics will be accessible, and comply with the Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements, as part of the ministry’s Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process for the new FHTs and NP Clinics.  As well, they will be informed of their obligations to accessibility through ministry funding agreements, FHT Guides, and a facility checklist which requires them to determine the accessibility of their proposed site, identify any barriers, and describe how these barriers will be eliminated.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 08 –Mar 10

Results Achieved :  This is a new commitment for 2008-09 – the FHTs and NP clinics are currently in development.


Focus Area :  Built Environment

Impact :  Service

Commitment :  Completed

The Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) redesigned the kitchen area to make it accessible for patients who are disabled.

Planned Action(s) : The MHCP enlisted an ergonomist to work with the architect to redesign the facility’s kitchen and laundry room to make it barrier-free.  The architect has also completed preliminary plans to ensure the facility’s grounds are accessible.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 08

Results Achieved :  All patients and staff are able to use the accessible facilities.


Focus Area :  Other

Impact :  Act / Regulation

Commitment :  Ongoing

The MOHLTC Legal Services Branch will continue to review legislation and regulations to identify barriers to accessibility.

Planned Action(s) :  Legal counsel will work with ministry staff, including the identification and removal of barriers, when revising existing acts or regulations, or when developing new acts or regulations.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 –Mar 10

Results Achieved : Legal counsel and ministry staff reviewed acts and regulations on a case-by-case basis, as they were developed or revised, to identify and address accessibility issues.

Regulation 552, made under the Health Insurance Act, was amended to expand the definition of a dependant, in certain situations, to include adult children, age 22 or older, who are dependant because of a mental or physical disability.  This expanded definition applies specifically for the purposes of OHIP coverage for dependants of certain foreign workers; for exemptions from the physical presence requirements for OHIP for dependants who accompany parents who are granted those exemptions; and for exemptions from the three-month waiting period for dependants of members of the Canadian Forces.


Focus Area :  Other

Impact :  Policy

Commitment :  New

The Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene will improve emergency evacuation procedures for people who are disabled. Planned Action(s):  A special section will be added to the Emergency Plan to deal with the evacuation of people who are disabled.

Implementation Timeframe :  TBC – February 2009

Note: In August 2008, the Ontario government approved a plan to transfer the regiaonl and provincial mental health programs of the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) to the board of the Penetanguishene General Hospital (PGH), effective December 15, 2008.  Future accessibility reporting for MHCP will be done by the Penetanguishene General Hospital.


Focus Area :  Other

Impact :  Policy/Program

Commitment :  Ongoing

The Equity Unit co-chairs the Provincial Liaison Committee for Persons with a Physical Disability, which is comprised of ministry and stakeholder organizations (both client and service provider).  The committee’s mandate is to provide strategic advice to the ministry about priorities for health and service delivery issues related to individuals with physical disabilities.  The committee is co-chaired by the ministry, the Centre for Independent Living of Toronto (CLT), and Independent Living Service Providers (ILSP).  Meetings are held in fully accessible venues, and materials are provided in formats to meet the communication needs of all members.

Planned Action(s) : Ongoing committee meetings provide advice, including physical disability stakeholder perspectives, to policy and strategy development.

Implementation Timeframe :  Sept 07 – Nov 2010

Results Achieved : Policy and strategy developments include perspectives from stakeholders who may be disabled.


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For More Information

Questions or comments about the ministry’s accessibility plan are always welcome.

Please phone:

General inquiry number:  1-866-532-3161 (in Toronto: 416-314-5518)

TTY number:  1-800-387-5559

E-mail:  infoline.moh@ontario.ca

Ministry website address:  http://www.health.gov.on.ca/

Visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services Accessibility Ontario web portal at: www.mcss.gov.on.ca/accessibility/index.html. The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario a barrier-free province.

Alternate formats of this document are available free upon request from:

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Toronto ON  M5G 2C8
Tel:  (416) 326-5300 or toll-free:  1-800-668-9938
TTY Service: 1-800-268-7095
Fax:  613-545-4223
Website:  http://www.serviceontario.ca/publications

 

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