Publications

Ministry Accessibility Plans

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
2013-2014 Annual Accessibility Plan


Introduction

For over ten years, every ministry has set a course to prevent, identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. Ministries achieve this through the preparation of their annual Accessibility Plan (Plan) as required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA).

Recently, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) established Ontario’s roadmap to become accessible by 2025. It includes standards in areas such as: customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and the built environment. In 2010, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care complied with the requirements of the first standard on customer service.

In 2011, ministries began to meet the requirements of the other four standards found in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR).

On January 1, 2012, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) published a single Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP). The MYAP included the following commitment:

The OPS endeavours to demonstrate leadership for accessibility in Ontario. Our goal is to ensure accessibility for our employees and the public we serve in our services, products and facilities.

This Plan will build on these laws and the MYAP. It will outline how the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will contribute to a barrier-free Ontario by 2025.

To access this and other ministries’ 2013-14 Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.

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Section 1: Report on Measures Taken in 2012–13

The following is a list of the commitments made in the 2012-13 Plan and the measures taken by the ministry to fulfil them.

Customer Service

Commitments and Measures Taken

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue to be in compliance with the Customer Service Standard, and provide updates to staff with relevant information as needed.

Measures taken

  • The ministry has a dedicated web section on its intranet to provide staff with information about their obligations under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation.

Commitment

  • Staff will continue communicating with people who have disabilities in a way that takes their disability into account, as outlined in the OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy , which the ministry has adopted.

Measures taken

  • Staff are aware of the requirement to communicate with people with disabilities in a way that takes into account their disability, and have received training to assist in achieving this requirement.

Commitment

  • Public feedback on the accessibility of ministry goods and services will be analyzed throughout the year to identify areas for improvement; issues will be resolved in a timely manner.

Measures taken

  • All feedback on the accessibility of ministry goods and services is reviewed and analyzed for improvement by the appropriate program area.

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue to implement the service disruption protocol by posting signs to advise the public where alternate service may be obtained, while repairs to existing service locations are completed.

Measures taken

  • Ministry staff work with building facilities management to ensure that service disruption notices are posted as soon as possible.

Commitment

  • Staff will be reminded to use the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Guide to Planning Inclusive Meetings , whenever organizing a public event which may include attendees with disabilities.

Measures taken

  • Staff will continue to ensure that whenever meetings are organized, an active offer of accommodation is included in the invitation, so that attendees with disabilities can participate fully in the event.

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue working with staff to ensure that the goods and services they are providing to the public are fully accessible. Customer service training will be provided on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

Measures taken

  • Staff work closely with procurement advisers to ensure that goods and services provided to the public are accessible. Staff continue to receive training in ways to provide accessible customer service.

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Information and Communications

Commitments and Measures Taken

Commitment

  • The ministry’s web coordinators are finalizing a plan to review the information on all ministry intranet and internet sites for accessibility.

Measures taken

  • All web pages on the ministry’s public website (www.health.gov.on.ca ) are fully accessible. Some historic documents will be converted to a fully accessible format as the ministry moves content to the new Ontario.ca platform, starting in late 2013. All ministry video is hosted on the central Media Delivery Service, and includes descriptive transcripts to meet accessibility requirements.

Commitment

  • Staff will be encouraged to incorporate accessibility considerations into the preparation of new communications materials to ensure that information is accessible to everyone.

Measures taken

  • All email correspondence for the Minister is prepared and sent in an accessible email format.
  • Examples of some of the material that has been produced in an accessible format include “Living Longer, Living Well”, a 233-page report to inform a Seniors Strategy for Ontario; “No Time to Wait: The Healthy Kids Strategy”; Ministry Emergency Response Plan; Initial Report on Public Health; Influenza Immunization Program materials; etc.
  • Videos produced as part of public campaigns were made accessible via captioning and/or transcripts.
  • All television advertising includes closed captioning.

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue to make staff aware of the tools and resources available through the Accessibility@Source program to help them prepare their documents in an accessible format.

Measures taken

  • The ministry has added a dedicated link to Accessibility@Source on its intranet, and regularly provides updates to staff as new tools and resources become available. In addition, Accessibility@Source has been featured in the ministry’s internal newsletter for staff.

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Employment Accommodation

Commitments and Measures Taken

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue to build on staff awareness of employment practices, and continue to provide training opportunities to staff to ensure improved accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Measures taken

  • Managers continue to work with staff to ensure appropriate training opportunities are identified.

Commitment

  • Managers will implement the direction they have received from HROntario with regard to accommodating employees with disabilities.

Measures taken

  • Managers continue to work with human resources staff to ensure employees with disabilities are accommodated appropriately.

Commitment

  • As required, individual accommodation plans will be documented by managers to ensure the full participation of all employees in the workplace.

Measures taken

  • Managers continue to work with staff who may need an individual accommodation plan developed. Employees are given ergonomic assessments to ensure comfort and health in the workplace, as required.

Commitment

  • Job applicants with disabilities will continue to be notified of the availability of accommodation during the recruitment, assessment and selection processes; suitable accommodation, which takes into account the applicant’s disability, will be provided after consultation with the applicant.

Measures taken

  • All job ads include notification of accommodation supports available to applicants with disabilities.

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue to follow the OPS Employment Accommodation and Return to Work Operating Policy to help employees return to work after having been absent due to a disability.

Measures taken

  • Managers will continue to work with employees who are returning to work after being absent with a disability, to ensure they receive appropriate accommodation.

Commitment

  • An employee’s accessibility needs will be taken into account when assessing their performance management, career development and advancement, as well as redeployment opportunities.

Measures taken

  • Managers continue to work with employees with disabilities to ensure their needs are taken into account in all areas of their employment.

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Built Environment

Commitments and Measures Taken

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue to follow the guide to Standards for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities at new and existing office locations.

Measures taken

  • Managers work with building Facilities Management whenever making renovations to existing office space, or moving to new office space, to ensure a barrier-free workplace.

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Procurement

Commitments and Measures Taken

Commitment

  • The ministry will continue working with contractors to ensure the goods and services they may be providing are fully accessible. Training will be provided on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

Measures taken

  • Staff continue to comply with accessible procurement policies and processes. Staff work closely with procurement advisers to ensure that goods and services provided to the public meet accessibility requirements under the ODA and the AODA.

Commitment

  • Potential vendors will continue to be asked to provide accessible options in their proposals. Accessibility considerations will continue to be part of the evaluation criteria to determine the successful vendors.

Measures taken

  • Staff ensure that vendors are able to provide accessible goods and services; for example, the Communications and Marketing Division ensures that all advertising services suppliers are made fully aware of the procurement requirements under the AODA.

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Other Commitments - Leadership

Commitments and Measures Taken

Commitment

  • The ministry will advise staff to complete the Centre for Leadership and Learning training on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) accessibility standards, and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.  Training will be provided on an ongoing basis as required.

Measures taken

  • Managers will continue to ensure that staff complete required accessibility training courses. The orientation process for new staff includes the requirement to complete all accessibility training courses as soon as possible after hiring.

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Section Two: Report on Measures Planned for 2013 - 14

Last year, the OPS published a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) that outlines how the government will identify, prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. In this section, although we highlight the deliverables and timelines of the MYAP until 2016, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is only reporting on measures it will take or initiate during the 2013 -14 reporting period.

Customer Service and Procurement

MYAP Outcomes

  • People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

2013 - MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • New staff trained on accessibility.
  • Accessibility criteria built into decision-making, project management, procurement, technology, infrastructure, I&IT, and training.
  • Increased awareness in OPS of accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace.

2013 - 14 - Proposed Measures

  • All new staff are required to complete mandatory accessible customer service training within three months of hire. Ministry orientation materials have been updated to ensure all new staff are made aware of their obligations under the AODA.
  • The ministry will continue to work with building facilities management to ensure that service disruption notices are posted in work locations undergoing maintenance repairs or improvements, and provide information on where alternate service is available during the length of the disruption.

2014 - 16 - MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Staff and customer feedback sought on accessibility innovations and improvements.
  • Inclusion Lens applied to all policies and practices.
  • Accessibility is part of all OPS business.

2014 - 2016 - Proposed Measures

  • Clients and staff have several options available to provide feedback on the accessibility of the ministry’s customer service, including via telephone, TTY, fax, email, and through the Contact Us form on the ministry’s website. A process is in place to ensure that all feedback collected is reviewed and analysed to identify potential gaps in customer service, and appropriate actions are taken.
  • The ministry will continue to make staff aware of the tools and resources available to help them understand and apply the OPS Inclusion Lens when developing new policies or programs.
  • Staff will be encouraged to use the OPS Inclusion Lens to review acts, regulations, policies, programs, practices and services.
  • All staff will be encouraged to include in their annual learning plans the OPS Inclusion Lens e-course, available through the Centre for Leadership and Learning.

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Information and Communications

MYAP Outcomes

  • Information and Communications are available in accessible formats to all OPS staff and customers.

2013 - 14 - MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Accessibility criteria built into decision-making, project management, procurement, technology, infrastructure, I&IT, and training.
  • Accessibility Expo.

2013 - 14 Proposed Measures

  • The ministry will continue working towards compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards.
  • Webmasters will continue to work with program staff on the development of accessible websites and web content.
  • Staff will be encouraged to participate in the annual Expo/JOIN accessibility conference.

2014 - 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Communications, websites, technology solutions and documents employ accessibility best practices.
  • Accessibility Expo continues annually.

2014 - 16 Proposed Measures

  • Staff will be encouraged to incorporate accessibility considerations into the preparation of documents to ensure that information is accessible to everyone.
  • The ministry will continue to make staff aware of the tools and resources available through the Accessibility@Source program to help them prepare their documents in an accessible format.
  • Staff will be encouraged to participate in future annual Expo/JOIN accessibility conferences.

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Employment Accommodations

MYAP Outcomes

  • People with disabilities who are OPS employees participate fully and meaningfully in services and employment.

2013 – 14 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Conduct management review on accommodation for employees with disabilities.
  • Increased awareness in OPS of accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace.
  • Senior managers have accessibility performance commitments.

2013 - 14 Proposed Measures

  • Managers will implement the direction they receive from HROntario with regard to accommodating employees with disabilities.
  • As required, individual accommodation plans will be documented by managers to ensure the full participation of all employees in the workplace.
  • The ministry will continue to build on staff awareness of employment practices, and continue to provide training opportunities to staff to ensure improved accessibility for persons with disabilities.
  • Senior managers have been directed to include accessibility performance commitments in their annual performance contracts.

2014 - 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Best practices on employment accommodation and return to work implemented.
  • Better accommodation for employees with disabilities resulting from management review.
  • Managers and staff have accessibility performance commitments.

2014 - 16 Proposed Measures

  • The OPS Employment Accommodation and Return to Work Operating Policy will be used to help employees return to work after having been absent due to a disability.
  • Managers will continue to take into account an employee’s accessibility needs when assessing their performance management, career development and advancement, as well as redeployment opportunities.
  • All staff will be encouraged to include accessibility performance commitments in their annual performance contracts.

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Built Environment

MYAP Outcomes

  • There is greater accessibility into, out of, and around OPS facilities and public spaces.

2013 – 14 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines – Government Facilities

  • Continue to develop strategies for addressing infrastructure barriers.

2013 - 14 Proposed Measures – Government Facilities

  • The ministry will continue to follow the Infrastructure Ontario Guidelines for Barrier-Free Design of Ontario Government Facilities at new and existing office locations.
  • Managers will work with ministry building facilities management staff whenever making renovations to existing office space, or moving to new office space, to ensure a barrier-free workplace.

2014 - 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines – Public Spaces

  • OPS ready to implement requirements of IASR standards on Public Spaces.

2014 - 16 Proposed Measures – Built Environment

  • The ministry will endeavour to increase staff awareness of the accessible built environment under AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards and updates to the barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code which will apply to the OPS in 2015.

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Other Outcomes and Leadership

MYAP Outcomes

  • The OPS endeavours to demonstrate leadership for accessibility in Ontario.

2013 - 14 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Ongoing consultations with persons with disabilities.
  • Ministries continue to publish annual accessibility plans.

2013 - 14 Proposed Measures

  • The ministry will continue working to identify, prevent, and remove barriers to accessibility in its annual accessibility plan.
  • The ministry’s annual accessibility plan will continue to be made available on its public website.

2014 - 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Accessibility continues as strong organizational commitment.

2014 - 16 Proposed Measures

  • The ministry will continue working towards full compliance with the accessibility legislation and associated regulations by the deadlines identified in the regulations.

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Section Three: Report on Legislative Review

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

Acts, Regulations and Policies Reviewed in 2012 - 13

  • The ministry considered accessibility in the development of all new legislation and regulations, as well as in the amendment of existing statutes. Legal services staff will continue to work with clients and use the OPS Inclusion Lens to identify and remove potential barriers.

Acts, Regulations and Policies to Be Reviewed in 2013 - 14

  • Recognizing the importance of addressing accessibility barriers in laws that have a high impact on members of the public and persons with disabilities, the government is following a three-pronged strategy that will prioritize the review of high impact legislation including:
  1. Development of a standardized process and tools for identifying and addressing accessibility barriers;
  2. By the end of 2014, review of 52 targeted high-impact statutes that meet the following criteria:
    1. Statutes that affect persons with disabilities directly;
    2. Statutes that provide for the delivery of widely applicable services or programs;
    3. Statutes that provide benefits or protections; or
    4. Statutes that affect a democratic or civic right or duty; and,
  3. Review procedural rules, policies and guidelines for select high-impact legislation, where necessary.
  • This phase of the review will be completed by the end of 2014. The government has decided to review these statutes because it is anticipated that changes in these areas will have the highest impact on those Ontarians who have accessibility needs.
  • As part of this process, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is reviewing the following statutes:
    • Health Care Consent Act
    • Health Insurance Act
    • Health Protection and Promotion Act
    • Home Care and Community Services Act
    • Homes for Special Care Act
    • Long-Term Care Homes Act
    • Mental Health Act
    • Ontario Drug Benefit Act
    • Personal Health Information Protection Act
    • Public Hospitals Act
  • We will continue to report on the progress of the legislative review in our annual accessibility plan.

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Glossary of Terms and/or Acronyms

AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

HEIA – Health Equity Impact Assessment

IASR – Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

MYAP – Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

MOHLTC – Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

OPS – Ontario Public Service

ODA – Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001

WCAG – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

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How to Contact Us

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

Please phone:

General inquiry number: 416-314-5518

General inquiry TTY number: 416-327-4282

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

TTY 1-800 number: 1-800-387-5559

E-mail: infoline.moh@ontario.ca

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

Visit the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment: Making Ontario Accessible 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.

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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.