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Porcupine Health Unit – Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2014-2018

Introduction and Statement of Commitment

The Government of Ontario passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005 with the goal to make Ontario accessible by 2025. The AODA sets out specific accessibility standards in five areas: customer service, information and communication, employment, transportation and design of public spaces.

Under the AODA, the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is classified as a “large organization”. This classification dictates agency requirements and timelines for compliance with the legislation.

In 2011, the Government of Ontario released the Integrated Accessibility Standards (IASR), Ontario Regulation 191/11 which incorporates all the standards for Information and Communication, Employment and Transportation. The transportation standards only apply to agencies providing transportation services, and as such do not apply to the PHU.

The regulations associated with IASR require that the PHU establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines the agency’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities.

This multi-year accessibility plan outlines our statement of commitment, our achievements to date and our next steps to fulfill our commitment and meet the requirements of the AODA.

Statement of Commitment

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and all of the standards under it in order to meet the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner. We believe in integration, equal opportunity and treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence.

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

The Porcupine Health Unit has been in compliance with the Accessible Customer Service Regulation under the AODA since 2012. This is the relevant policy statement:

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to fulfilling the requirements set out in Ontario Regulation 429/07 Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. This policy shall apply to all Porcupine Health Unit staff, volunteers, board members and third parties who provide programs and services on behalf of the Porcupine Health Unit.

The Porcupine Health Unit shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the following principles:

  • Programs or services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
  • The provision of programs or services to persons with disabilities, and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the program or services;
  • Persons with disabilities will be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the program or services;
  • Persons with disabilities may use assistive devices and/or support persons in the access of programs and services;
  • When communicating with a person with a disability, Porcupine Health Unit employees shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Review Policy, Procedures and Training by December 31, 2015

Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

Emergency Procedure, Plans or Public Safety Information

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to ensuring emergency information that we provide to the public will be available in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Review Policy and Procedures by December 31, 2015

Workplace Emergency Response Information

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to ensuring that when made aware of the need for accommodation, it will provide individualized workplace emergency response information for those employees who have a permanent or temporary medical condition or disability.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed
Planned Action: Review Policy and Procedures by December 31, 2015

Training

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to ensuring all employees, volunteers and all other persons who provide goods, services and facilities on PHU’s behalf are provided with appropriate training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.

All employees have been taking Customer Service training since 2012. Effective January 2015, all current and new employees will additionally be required to take training that includes the IASR and the Human Rights Code.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2015
Status: In Process
Planned Action: Deliver Training to Employees and include in new Employee’s Orientation

Information and Communication Standards

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to complying with the provisions of the AODA in respect of this requirement, with the objective of making applicable company information and communications accessible to persons with disabilities:

(i) Feedback, Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

In accordance with the IASR, the PHU will:

  • Ensure that feedback processes are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communications supports, upon request;
  • Except as otherwise provided for under the IASR, provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports upon request for persons with disabilities in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs;
  • Consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support;
  • Notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

Required compliance date:
January 1, 2015 – Feedback-related provisions
January 1, 2016 – Accessible formats and Communication Supports- related
Status: Information on feedback options is available on website and upon request. Other requirements are in process.
Planned Action: Review current feedback information and implement support procedures by December 31, 2015.

(ii) Accessible Websites and Web Content

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to ensuring that PHU’s public website and online content conforms with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in order to make content accessible for the public.

Required compliance date:
January 1, 2014 – WCAG 2.0 Level A for new Internet websites and web content.
Status: Completed
January 1, 2021 – WCAG 2.0 Level AA for all Internet websites and web content
Status: Future dated
Planned Action: Apply WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards for next major website update expected for completion by December 31, 2016.

5. Employment Standards

(i) Recruitment

The Porcupine Health Unit is committed to complying with the provision of the AODA in respect of this requirement, with the objective of making the recruitment process accessible to persons with disabilities.

Planned Action:

In accordance with the IASR, the PHU will do the following:

Recruitment General

PHU will notify employees and the public of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures, processes and templates;
  • Specifying that accommodation is available for applicants with disabilities, on PHU’s website and on job postings.

Recruitment, Assessment and Selection

When job applicants are individually selected to participate in an assessment or selection process, they will be notified that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used in the assessment/selection process. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures, processes and templates;
  • Inclusion of availability of accommodation notice as part of the script in the scheduling of an interview and/or assessment;
  • If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, consult with the applicant and arrange for provision of suitable accommodations in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.

Notice to Successful Applicants

When making offers of employment, PHU will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. This will include:

  • A review and, as necessary, modification of existing recruitment policies, procedures, processes and templates;
  • Inclusion of notification of PHU’s policies on accommodating employees with disabilities in offer of employment letters.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: In process

(ii) Employee Supports

The PHU is committed to complying with the provisions of the AODA in respect of this requirement, with the objective of informing employees of available accessibility supports.

Planned Action:

The Porcupine Health Unit will:

  • Inform it employees of its policies used to support its employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to, policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability;
  • Provide the information required to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment;
  • Provide updated information to its employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability;
  • Where an employee with a disability requests it, consult with the employee to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for:
    • Information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job; and
    • Information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: In process

(iii) Documented Individual Accommodation Plans/Return to Work Process

The PHU is committed to complying with the provision of the AODA in respect of this requirement with the objective of improving accommodation and return to work processes in the workplace.

Planned Action:

The Porcupine Health Unit will:

  • Review, assess and as necessary, modify existing policies, procedures, practices and templates to ensure they include a process for development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with a disability and/or to facilitate an employee’s return to work after absenteeism due to disability;
  • Ensure the process for development includes all elements as detailed in the IASR;
  • Ensure individual accommodation plans will if requested; include any information regarding accessible formats and communications supports provided;
  • Ensure individualized workplace emergency response information will be included, if required.

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: In process

(iv) Performance Management, Career Development and Redeployment

The PHU will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans:

  • When using its performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities;
  • When providing career development and advancement to its employees with disabilities;
  • When reassigning employees with disabilities.

Planned Action:

The Porcupine Health Unit will:

  • Review, assess and as necessary, modify existing policies, procedures, practices and templates to ensure compliance with the IASR;
  • Take the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and, as applicable, their individualized accommodation plans, into account when:
    • Assessing performance
    • Managing career development and advancement
    • Reassigning as required

Required compliance date: January 1, 2016
Status: In process

For further information, please email accessibility@porcupinehu.on.ca