Publications

Ministry Accessibility Plans

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
2011-2012 Accessibility Plan


Introduction

Each year, the Government of Ontario sets a course to prevent, identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. Every ministry participates through its annual accessibility plans, as required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA). 

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is Ontario’s roadmap to become barrier-free by 2025. It includes accessibility standards in:

  • customer service
  • information and communications
  • employment
  • transportation
  • the built environment.

This year the accessibility plans will help to inform planning requirements under the new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) enacted July 1, 2011 under the AODA. The IASR requires the Government of Ontario to develop a multi-year plan to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities.

Our annual accessibility plan outlines the specific steps the government is taking to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Building on last year’s plan, our 2011-12 accessibility plan will continue moving the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care toward the government’s goal of accessibility for all Ontarians.

To view other ministries’ Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.

Back to top


Section One: Report on Measures to Identify, Remove and Prevent Barriers in 2010-11

The Government of Ontario is working to achieve an accessible province by 2025.

In 2010-11, the government continued to comply with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation and continued to implement initiatives to enhance accessibility in other areas: employment, information and communication, transportation, the built environment and procurement.

This document includes a summary of the initiatives the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care implemented in 2010-11.

Back to top

Customer Service

Achievements

  • In 2010-11 the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care continued to be in compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation and information about its compliance was included in the OPS report to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.
  • The ministry published the Accessible Customer Service Policy on the public website on the Contact Us page.  Clients, stakeholders and the public are able to provide feedback on customer service accessibility by email, in writing, in person and by telephone, including TTY.  Inquiries were received regarding alternate format documents and the use of a service animal.  These were responded to in a positive, timely manner to the clients’ satisfaction.
  • All staff completed the e-learning modules on providing accessible customer service to ensure they are aware of how policies, practices and procedures affect the way goods and services are provided to persons with disabilities.  New staff must complete the May I Help You training programs accessed through the OPS Centre for Leadership and Learning, are provided with the OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy and Guideline and are referred to the OPS Inclusion Lens training as part of their orientation.
  • The ministry’s internal communications newsletter, Inside Health, featured a story on diversity and accessibility in its February 15, 2011 edition.  Staff were informed about the OPS Diversity Office and the extensive accessibility tips, guides and best practice tools and resources available on the ministry’s website.
  • Inside Health also featured a story (on April 27, 2011) on the MOHLTC’s Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA), a World Health Organization endorsed decision support tool that helps users assess the potential unintended negative impact(s) of their plan, policy or initiative on marginalized populations, including people with disabilities.
  • The ministry ensures that persons with disabilities have timely access to documents in accessible formats as requested.  Communications have been sent to all ministry staff informing them of the location of tools and resources related to providing documents in alternate formats. 
  • Several ministry divisions have posted accessibility guides, legislation and information on their local staff intranets for ease of access by staff. 
  • The Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, Direct Services Division, conducted a client satisfaction survey in 2010.  No barriers to accessing the field offices were identified. 
  • The Registration and Claims Branch, Direct Services Division, is obtaining signage that meets ODA visual requirements for its new client service location for the Northern Health Travel Grant Program.  The office has also improved the design of the application form to make it visually accessible. 
  • The ministry’s Planning Research and Analysis Branch, Health System Strategy and Policy Division, installed a large screen for document viewing in meetings, improving visual accessibility.
  • The ministry’s Information Management Strategy and Policy Branch, Health System Information Management and Investment Division encourages staff to incorporate best practices for accessibility to ensure stakeholder communications and meetings are accessible.  A staff guide entitled Stakeholder Engagement: Strategy and Toolkit provides details on inclusiveness and additional resources to support accessibility.
  • Ministry staff are encouraged to complete the OPS Inclusion Lens E-course, and use it to stimulate awareness of accessibility when developing, implementing or evaluating a policy, program or service.

Back to top

Information and Communications

Achievements

  • The ministry’s divisions and Communications and Information Branch continued to review all pages on the ministry’s external website under the Public Website Content Review Project, aiming to cull, update, and translate web copy, as well as streamline navigation.  This work is in preparation for the conversion to the Ontario government’s new Online Design Program standard, which specifies compliance with international accessibility guidelines (W3C WCAG 2.0).  The target completion date for the conversion is August 2012.
  • Several workshOPS were provided to staff by the ministry’s Communications and Information Branch on how to create accessible Word and PDF documents.  An AODA Resources section was created on the ministry’s intranet site on which training documents are posted for easy access.  A guide to planning accessible meetings is also available on the site.
  • The ministry’s Communications and Information Branch has finalized templates for staff to use in creating accessible documents.  The templates include MS PowerPoint presentations and Word document templates for flyers, reports, manuals, fact sheets and newsletters.

Back to top

Built Environment

Achievements

  • No disruptions to services that people with disabilities usually use were reported to have taken place.

Back to top

Procurement

Achievements

  • The ministry continues to advise staff of the requirement to use the government’s Guidelines for Implementing the Procurement Provisions of the ODA
  • Accessibility language is incorporated into the ministry’s Request for Proposal templates and guidelines to ensure barrier-free procurement practices. 

Back to top

Other

Achievements

  • The ministry’s staff recognition awards event, known as the ACE Awards (Achievement Commitment Excellence), incorporated use of sign language interpreters, video casting, and a ramp for physical access to the stage area.  The event was organized and hosted by the Human Resources Strategic Business Unit, Corporate Services Division.
  • The ministry’s Health System Strategy and Policy Division trained 14 Local Health Integration Networks on the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool and is also training ministry staff and health stakeholders.  The HEIA is a decision support tool that helps users assess potential unintended negative impacts of plans, policies or initiatives on people with disabilities and other populations that may be marginalized.

Back to top


Section Two: Measures Planned for 2011-12 and Beyond

This year, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s accessibility plan focuses on five areas.  These initiatives support compliance with the existing Accessibility Standards and include:

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Built Environment
  • Procurement
  • Other

Back to top

Customer Service

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities receive accessible goods and services from us.  This means they will receive goods and services with the same high quality and timeliness as others.

Actions Planned

  • The ministry’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP), Direct Services Division, will be conducting a client satisfaction survey by mail with 1,000 randomly selected clients during 2011.  The survey will be available in alternate formats on request.  ADP will also be conducting specialized surveys of clients who receive funding for more than one device. 

    Implementation timeframe:  November 2011- October 2012

  • The ministry’s Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, Direct Services Division, will continue to ensure that rights advice and advocacy services are inclusive and accessible.  Field offices will use language and cultural interpreter services in the delivery of rights advice and advocacy services where needed. 

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011- October 2012

  • The ministry’s Local Health Integration Network Liaison Branch, Health System Accountability and Performance Division, will consider the needs of people with disabilities when designing eligibility criteria for programs and special funding initiatives, such as the Urgent Priority Fund, to ensure that projects selected for funding allow people with disabilities to fully participate. 

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011- October 2012

  • The ministry will continue to monitor comments and feedback from the public by having a process in place to collect, track, review and analyze to identify trends or gaps in service for persons with disabilities and make improvements.

    Implementation Timeframe:  November 2011 and beyond

  • The ministry will continue to ensure that persons with disabilities have timely access to all documents by reminding staff of tools and resources available to them whenever they receive a request for documents in alternate formats.

    Implementation Timeframe:  November 2011 and beyond

Back to top

Information and Communications

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to making government information and communications accessible to people with disabilities.  The information we provide and the ways we communicate are key to delivering our programs and services to the public.

Actions Planned

  • The ministry’s Communications and Information Branch will continue to lead the Public Website Content Review Project and conversion of the ministry’s public website to the Ontario government’s new Online Design Program standard.  Conversion is expected to be completed in August 2012. 
  • The ministry’s divisions will complete a review of all web copy currently on the ministry’s website, including remedial translation.
  • The look, feel and navigation will be improved. As of January 1, 2012, all web pages will be compliant with international accessibility guidelines as prescribed in the Ontario government’s Online Design Program standard.
  • A new web governance document and process will outline roles and responsibilities regarding content on the site and will include lifecycle guidelines for key web sections.

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011- October 2012

  • The ministry’s Human Resources Strategic Business Unit, Corporate Services Division, will train all staff on how to create accessible documents and how to plan meetings that are accessible to participants with accessibility requirements.

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011- October 2012

  • The ministry’s Health Services Information and Information Technology Cluster is working in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Cluster on the AODA Compliance Assurance Tracking System (ACATS).  ACATSs is a large-scale I&IT project involving collaboration with multiple ministries and I&IT Clusters including ServiceOntario. The Project is managed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Cluster in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO).
  • This four-year project will deliver a comprehensive integrated web-based secure I&IT solution to allow obligated Private Sector and Broader Public Sector organizations to electronically file accessibility reports pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). ACATS will also provide the ADO with automated assessment of accessibility reports and compliance tracking, as well as compliance assistance support to obligated organizations.

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011 and beyond

Back to top

Built Environment

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to greater accessibility for buildings.

Actions Planned

  • The ministry will continue to ensure that the public and staff are advised of any disruptions in services normally used by persons with disabilities, and of any alternatives that are available.   Staff will work with Facilities Management Leads of their respective buildings to ensure that Notices of Disruption are posted in a timely manner and in the appropriate format.

    Implementation Timeframe:  November 2011 and beyond

Back to top

Procurement

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to integrating accessibility considerations into our procurement processes.  We ask potential suppliers to tell us about the accessible options they offer.  We include accessibility in our evaluation criteria.

Actions Planned

  • The ministry’s Ontario Public Drug Programs Division is currently procuring administrative services for the operations of the Trillium Drug Program and Senior Co-payment Program.  The Request for Proposal stipulates that the successful proponent will provide services that are accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with the ODA and ensure that accessibility for people with disabilities is incorporated into the deliverables of the project.  The ministry will ensure that learning methods, materials, and delivery of pilot sessions are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities.

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011- October 2012

  • The ministry’s Supply Chain and Facilities Branch, Corporate Services Division, provides ongoing staff training sessions on the Guidelines for Implementing the Procurement Provisions of the ODA.

    Implementation Timeframe: November 2011- October 2012

Back to top

Other

Actions Planned

  • The ministry’s Health System Strategy and Policy Division will promote the use of the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) across the health sector and internally in order to support the identification and mitigation of potential inequities and accessibility barriers.  A public HEIA webpage will be posted on ministry website to facilitate access to the HEIA tool and training will be offered to ministry staff.

    Implementation Timeframe:  November 2011 and beyond

Back to top


Section Three: Review of Acts, Regulations and Policies

In support of our commitment to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will continue to review government initiatives, including policies, legislation and regulations, to identify, prevent and remove accessibility barriers.   

Acts, Regulations and Policies Reviewed in 2010 - 11

In April 2011, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care participated in training for multidisciplinary teams from all ministries on how to use the OPS Inclusion Lens to review legislation for barriers to accessibility.  Going forward, the ministry will continue to support the OPS Diversity Office and the Ministry of the Attorney General in the coordinated approach to legislative review across government.

  • This year, the ministry’s multidisciplinary team used the OPS Inclusion Lens to review one Act for barriers to persons with disabilities.

Acts, Regulations and Policies to Be Reviewed in 2011- 12

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will develop a schedule to review the Acts and Regulations for which it is responsible, for potential accessibility barriers.

  • The ministry’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP), Direct Services Division, will review and update policies and procedures as needed across all program areas to ensure that Ontario residents with long-term disabilities receive the most appropriate devices and medical supplies for their needs.  To date, the ADP has revised its Conflict of Interest Policy and its Procedures for Managing Breaches of Agreement.
  • In addition, the ADP will continue to review and update its agreement with registered vendors and authorizers who provide ADP funded assistive devices and assessments to eligible ADP clients.  Work on this will continue into 2012, as needed.  By updating these policies and agreements, the ADP strives to ensure that its program is accessible and inclusive to all stakeholders and clients.

OPS Inclusion Lens

In 2011, the Ontario Public Service launched the OPS Inclusion Lens, an innovative tool to help address diversity and accessibility. With this tool, ministries can identify and address potential barriers to people with disabilities, and others that may be present in existing or proposed legislation, regulations, policies, programs, practices or services.

In the future, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will:

  • Encourage staff to use the OPS Inclusion Lens and the ministry’s Health Equity Impact Assessment tool when developing or reviewing policies, programs, services, Acts and regulations to identify and prevent barriers within government initiatives.
  • Encourage staff to include the OPS Inclusion Lens E-course available through the Centre for Leadership and Learning in their annual learning plans.
  • Use the OPS Inclusion Lens to support staff in considering accessibility perspectives during the review of regulations proposed by health regulatory colleges.  The ministry’s Health Professions Regulatory Policy and Program Branch, Health Human Resources Strategy Division, administers the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and has direct interaction with health regulatory colleges who self-regulate their professions and develop regulations that are approved by government and impact their professional members and the services they provide to the public.

Back to top


Glossary of Terms/Acronyms

AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

MOHLTC – Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

OPS – Ontario Public Service

ODA – Ontarians with Disabilities Act

IASR – Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

Back to top


For More Information

Questions or comments about the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care accessibility plan are always welcome.

Please phone:

General inquiry number:416-326-1234

TTY number: 1-800-387-5559.  In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282

1-800 number: 1-866-532-3161 (Toll Free in Ontario only)

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. The site promotes accessibility and provides information and resources on how to make Ontario an accessible province for everyone.

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

ServiceOntario Publications
Phone:           1-800-668-9938
TTY:               1-800-268-7095

© Queen’s Printer for Ontario

ISSN 1710-4106
Ce document est disponible en français.

Back to top

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm

If you are a member of the media, call Communications and Marketing Branch at 416-314-6197 or visit our News Room section.