Accessibility Policy

The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario is committed to assuring that all persons interacting with the College are able to obtain, use and benefit fairly and equitably from its programs and resources. It is recognized that persons with disabilities may require accommodation in order to obtain this objective. The organization will provide and strive to exceed the required accommodation experience when evident or requested.

Definitions

Accommodation

The term accommodation refers to a continuum of assistive responses to a request from a disabled person to improve access to services. This continuum includes such simple responses as providing additional time to review material to moving furniture to manage wheelchair access to permitting entry of a service animal.

Assistive Devices and Measures

Assistive devices and measures are supports made available to improve access service for persons with disabilities. For example these may includes, wheelchairs, volunteers, real-time captioning services (on-screen typing of what speakers are saying), sign language interpreters or deaf-blind interveners. Other examples include, Telephone Teletypes (TTY) to communicate with persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, have speech impairments or are deaf-blind.

Disability

According to the Ontario Human Rights Code, a “Disability” is defined as:

(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.

(b) A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability.

(c) A learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language.

(d) A mental disorder, or

(e) An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities the effects of which may come and go.

Personal Assistive Devices

For the purpose of this policy, Personal Assistive Devices are personal supports used by persons with disabilities that enable them to carry out the activities of daily living and allow access to services. Individual-owned equipment such as power-mobility devices (power wheelchairs or scooters) are regarded as Personal Assistive Devices.

Regulatory Matter

A regulatory matter refers to all decision making processes that focus on an individual registrant of the College (e.g. registration, complaint, a mandatory report, a QM assessment etc).

Service Animals

Service animals are used by people with many different kinds of disabilities. Examples of service animals include dogs used by people who are blind, hearing alert animals for people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, and animals trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure and lead them to safety.

Support Person

A “Support Person” accompanies a person with a disability, in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. Medical needs may include, but are not limited to, monitoring an individual’s health or providing medical support by being available in the event of a seizure. A Support Person may be a paid professional, a volunteer, family member or friend of the person with a disability.

Procedures

1.0 All staff, agents and individuals directly related to Council and to statutory decision making at the College receive training related to accessibility and the needs and experiences of persons with disabilities. All new hires, new councilors, non-councilor appointees, and new agents receive training within their respective orientation period. Volunteers or agents who have received training through another mechanism may report this as a substitute to the College selected process.

2.0 All staff and all agents seek to actively identify and remove barriers to access for people with disabilities.

3.0 All programs and all roles with direct public interface ensure that they are sensitive to a variety of accommodation needs and requests including but not limited to the use of service animals, and the use of support persons.

4.0 College communications resources are developed in keeping with anticipated accessibility needs.

5.0 Customer service evaluations in all programs include opportunity for feedback on issues of accessibility. Ideas for improvement in matters of accessibility are brought to senior management for consideration and potential implementation.

6.0 The Emergency Management Plan for the College includes evacuation strategies that accommodate persons with disabilities.

7.0 In known disruption of the services of the College for 48 hours or longer, all customers are notified when appropriate and as able (i.e. electronic notification is possible).

Regulatory Matter Requests

In circumstances where an individual accommodation request is related to a regulatory process matter, the request

(a) must be in writing or in another acceptable medium.

(b) must specify the nature of the accommodation requested accompanied by supporting documentation to verify the request. Such requirement may be waived by senior staff in exceptional circumstances, and

(c) must provide sufficient notice of need as to permit review and decision making. This notice period will be a minimum of two weeks. Where notice is not possible, requests for accommodation will be met as possible and as reasonable given the circumstance.

All requests will be considered by staff and in some circumstances may require legal opinion.

All decisions related to specific requests relevant to regulatory decision making will be in writing or in a medium that best accommodates the recipient’s disability.

An appeal request of a decision related to accommodation will be considered by the Registrar.

Customer Complaints External to Regulatory Matters

A customer complaint regarding accommodation and accessibility will be escalated to the Office of the Registrar. All complaints must be formal in nature and should be specific and verifiable.

The decision of the Registrar in relation to resolution of complaint is considered final.

For additional information or to request materials in an alternative format, please contact Communications at communications@collegept.org or call 1-800-583-5885/416-591-3828 ext. 226.

 

Accessibility Standard for Customer Service

As of January 1, 2012 all organizations in Ontario with one employee or more in the private and non-profit sector must comply with the Accessible Standard for Customer Service which is a part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

This act became law on June 13, 2005. Ontario was the first province in Canada to pass legislation developing mandatory accessibility standards. AODA aims to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities.

This Accessible Customer Service Standard component of the act is now in effect. It is focused on training employees to serve the public accessibly, looking at how to make practices and formal procedures more accessible, allowing people to bring a service animal, support person/or assistive device into your office and encouraging businesses to provide a feedback mechanism on the accessibility of your services.

If you have 20 or more employees that work for you full-time, part time or part year, you must submit an online report to the Ontario government to prove that you are in compliance with the Accessible Customer Service standard that came into effect January 1, 2012.

If you have fewer than 20 employees, you may still want to submit a report, but the government does not require it.

There are eight requirements within the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service that apply to all organizations with one or more employees.

Learn more about these requirements by visiting the resources listed below.

Resources to help you be compliant:

Ministry of Community and Social Services—Making Ontario Accessible
Making Ontario Accessible Online Staff Training Course
The Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act website

*If you require information or materials in an alternate format, please contact Communications at communications@collegept.org or call 1-800-583-5885/416-591-3828 ext. 226.