Publications

Ministry Accessibility Plans

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
2014-2015 Annual Accessibility Plan


Introduction

Under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), ministries are required to produce, and make available to the public, annual plans that identify how ministries will identify and remove barriers to accessibility.

The ODA Accessibility Plan (the Plan) is an opportunity to showcase our ministry’s accomplishments and to demonstrate how we are modeling compliance with our regulated accessibility requirements.

In 2010, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care began complying with the first accessibility standard established under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. In 2011, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) was introduced, establishing phased-in requirements in the following accessibility standards:

  • Information and Communications;
  • Employment;
  • Transportation; and
  • Design of Public Spaces

Each year, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) as an obligated organization, confirms its compliance with the requirements of these standards to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.  The ODA Plan provides an opportunity for our ministry to go beyond confirming compliance with these regulated minimum requirements. Specifically, the Plan allows us to highlight the measures taken by our ministry to identify and remove barriers in the previous year while proposing measures for the coming year that will make our ministry more accessible.

The IASR establishes that obligated organizations, shall create and maintain a multi-year accessibility plan (MYAP) that outlines the organization’s strategies to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility. To meet the MYAP requirement, the OPS released Leading the Way Forward in 2012.

Organizations are also required to develop an annual status report that highlights progress in advancing the MYAP strategy and in meeting the requirements of the IASR.  In 2013, the OPS released its first Annual Status Report, highlighting progress made in 2012.

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s 2014 ODA Plan demonstrates how the measures our ministry has taken and the measures we propose for the coming years support the key outcomes and deliverables of the MYAP.

To access the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s and other ministries’ 2014 ODA Accessibility Plans, visit Ontario.ca.

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Section One: Report on Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014

Customer Service

OPS MYAP Key Outcome:

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

Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014:

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 accessible formats, in work locations undergoing maintenance repairs or improvements, and provide information on where alternate service is available during the length of the disruption.

Achievements:

  • Managers have worked with new staff to the OPS to ensure that online accessibility training modules are completed in a timely manner.
  • Orientation materials on the ministry’s intranet site were updated to ensure appropriate accessibility tools and resources were included.
  • The ministry endeavours to improve the quality of services provided to customers with disabilities. Customer feedback on accessibility issues is available to the public and responses to all email inquiries are provided within two business days.
  • Staff worked with facilities management, to assess and identify potential accessibility barriers and the impact on individuals and posted service disruption notices in an accessible format when necessary.

Information and Communications

MYAP Key Outcome:

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats or with necessary supports to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014:

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.

Achievements:

  • The enterprise-wide “Accessibility@Source” campaign was frequently promoted within the ministry as a means to educate staff on the various tools, resources and best practice guides available to ensure accessibility considerations are included in ministry goods and services.
  • Ministry staff were advised of and financially supported to attend the annual Expo/JOIN accessibility conference and numerous individuals represented the ministry.
  • Alternative formats of ministry publications were made available upon request.
  • Ministry staff are aware and actively offer accommodations for persons with disabilities when organizing meetings, and ensure meeting materials are provided in an accessible format upon request.
  • The ministry’s web team continues to update the information on the ministry’s intranet and internet sites to ensure that it meets current accessibility standards.
  • In late 2013, a new e-module on the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation specifically pertaining to the Information and Communications Standard was launched.  In 2013/14, all staff were made aware of the requirement and managers are working with their staff to ensure that the training module is completed in 2014/15.

Employment

MYAP Key Outcome:

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014:

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.

Achievements:

  • Managers complied with all corporate direction received from HROntario with regard to employment practices. OPS accessibility and accommodation policies and protocols are part of manager’s key functions and performance plans.
  • When approached by an employee requesting employment accommodation, managers were aware that there were tools and resources available to help them ensure the employee’s full participation in the workplace.
  • In late 2013, an e-module on the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation specifically pertaining to the Employment Standard was developed and launched within the Ontario Public Service. In 2013/14, all ministry management and human resource professional staff were made aware of the requirement to complete the training in 2014/15. The training remains optional for all other ministry staff.

Built Environment

MYAP Key Outcome:

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

Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014:

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.

Achievements:

  • The ministry worked with facilities management to ensure that any identified staff work station accommodation needs were addressed.

Other Commitments

MYAP Key Outcome:

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility, in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Measures Taken by Ministry in 2014:

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 prevent, and remove barriers to accessibility as identified in its annual accessibility plan.
  • The ministry’s annual accessibility plan will continue to be made available in an accessible format on its public website.

Achievements:

  • As required in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, accessibility criteria and features were incorporated in the ministry’s procurement processes, where practical to do so, so that goods, services and facilities would be more accessible to persons with disabilities, except where it was not practical to do so.  
  • The ministry’s accessibility plan was posted on its public website in an accessible format.

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Section Two: Two: Report on Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016

Customer Service

OPS MYAP Key Outcomes

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

Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016:

2015 - 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.

2015 - 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.
  • 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.

Information and Communications

MYAP Key Outcome:

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats or with necessary supports to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016:

2015 - 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

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

2015 - 16 Proposed Measures

  • Staff will 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.
  • Participation of staff will continue to be supported in future annual Expo/JOIN accessibility conferences with the goal of increasing the number of participants.

Employment

MYAP Key Outcome:

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016:

2015 - 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.

2015 - 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.
  • Managers will be encouraged to continue to include accessibility performance commitments in the annual performance plans of their staff.

Built Environment

MYAP Key Outcome:

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

Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016:

2015 - 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines – Built Environment

  • OPS ready to implement requirements of the AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards and updates to the barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

2015 - 16 Proposed Measures – Built Environment

  • The ministry will ensure that appropriate staff are aware 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 starting January 1, 2015.

Other Outcomes Deliverables

MYAP Key Outcome:

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility, in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Measures Proposed by Ministry for 2015 & 2016:

2015 – 16 MYAP Deliverables and Timelines

  • Accessibility continues as strong organizational commitment.

2015 – 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: Addressing the identification of barriers

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 Acts, regulations, policies, programs, practices and services for the purposes of identifying and removing barriers.

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 prioritizes 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 51 targeted high-impact statutes across the OPS 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.

In 2013-14 the OPS made significant progress in conducting this phase of the review which is estimated to be completed by the end of 2014.

As part of this process, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care reviewed 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, 2007
  • Mental Health Act
  • Ontario Drug Benefit Act
  • Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004
  • Public Hospitals Act

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Links

Public Links

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Contact Us

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

In Toronto:    416-314-5518

Toll-free in Ontario only:   1866-532-3161 (Toll free in Ontario only)

TTY number:    416-327-4282 or 1-800-387-5559

Email:    infoline.moh@ontario.ca

Ministry website address:   www.Ontario.ca/health

Visit the Ministry of Economic, Development, Employment and Infrastructure 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.