Enforcement Framework for Accessibility in Healthcare


Currently, there are still no AODA healthcare standards. However, an AODA standards development committee drafted recommendations of guidelines that AODA healthcare standards should include. These guidelines include an enforcement framework for accessibility in healthcare.

The committee’s mandate from the Ontario government requires recommendations focused on the hospital setting. However, patients and healthcare workers with disabilities also face barriers in other parts of the healthcare system, including:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Wellness centres
  • Pharmacies
  • Labs
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient rehabilitation centres
  • Health regulatory colleges

Therefore, enforcement frameworks to ensure accessibility should also apply to all these settings.

Enforcement Framework for Accessibility in Healthcare

The committee reports that many hospitals are not complying with accessibility requirements under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). Therefore, the committee recommends that the government should strengthen its existing enforcement framework, and create an additional framework to enforce accessibility in healthcare.

Under the current framework, the government assesses compliance based on reports that organizations submit about their own accessibility. In other words, organizations assess themselves. The committee recommends that the reporting process should include more incentives for organizations to complete these reports accurately, such as:

  • More examples of compliance and non-compliance, to support staff in understanding the report
  • Reminders of fines for organizations that do not comply

In addition, the committee recommends mandated on-site inspections, so that the government can verify that hospitals are complying with the law. Both the report and inspection should assess hospitals’ patient relation processes, to verify that they are:

Furthermore, hospitals should also create plans to remove or prevent the accessibility barriers that are documented within their complaint processes, feedback processes, or independent evaluations. Hospitals should post their plans within the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility’s publicly searchable database. As a result, patients and visitors can know which hospitals are most committed to compliance. Moreover, funding that hospitals receive from the government should be based on whether they have created and followed such accessibility plans. Similarly, funding should also depend on how well hospitals make improvements recommended during the reporting or inspection processes.

Finally, hospitals should have accessible websites, as required under the Information and Communications Standards. These websites should include information about the hospital’s accessible services, such as:

New Enforcement Framework for Hospitals

In addition to enhancing existing frameworks under the IASR, the government should also create a new enforcement framework specifically supporting the healthcare standards. The government should create and establish this framework over the next three (3) years. Moreover, the government should develop the framework while consulting with:

Under this framework, hospitals would work with the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility to set accessibility goals. These goals would help hospitals decide which accessibility issues to address first. Goals would also include timelines and penalties for non-compliance with the IASR or with a hospital’s own accessibility plan, under the existing framework. Penalties could be fines, or other consequences. However, each hospital would receive clear guidance about what constitutes compliance, and the consequences of non-compliance.

The government should post the framework online, in English and French, and in accessible formats. Furthermore, the government should review and update the framework every three to six (3-6) years. The results of the review should also be publicly available online. In addition, hospitals should post their accessibility plans on the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility’s publicly searchable database. After every government review of the framework, hospitals should also post their progress toward achieving their goals. In this way, the public can assess how well each hospital is identifying and removing barriers to accessibility.




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With a Federal Election Looming, Two Captioned Videos Explain Why Canada Needs a Strong Accessible Canada Act and Why the One that Passed in 2019 Needs to Be Strengthened


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: https://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 28, 2021

It sure looks, sounds, tastes and smells like there is a federal election in the air. That means it is time for disability advocates to gear up to ask the federal parties for election commitments on accessibility for over six million people with disabilities in Canada!

To get ready, we would welcome your feedback. What should we be asking for regarding the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act. It was passed over two years ago. Yet the Federal Government has still not hired the national Accessibility Commissioner or the Chief Accessibility Officer to lead its implementation. No accessibility standards have yet been enacted to require specific action to remove and prevent disability barriers.

To learn more about this subject, we today unveil for you two captioned videos. Together, they bring you up to speed.

The first video, ” What should Canada’s promised national accessibility legislation include?” tells you why Canada needs a strong national accessibility law. It is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzUKVs28T8U

The second video, called “2018-2019 Campaign to get Canada’s parliament to Pass a Strong Accessible Canada Act,” gives you the history of the trip that the Accessible Canada Act took through Canada’s House of Commons, Senate, and back to the House of Commons again, in 2018-2019. That video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMdC0wi5FlM
Together these videos show that the Accessible Canada Act is helpful, but too weak. We and many others were especially worried because it commendably gave the Federal Government new powers, without imposing needed time lines on the Government to ensure that the law is implemented in a timely and effective way. By splintering its implementation and enforcement across three federal agencies, it made the law unnecessarily complicated and hard to navigate. Events since then have proven us correct.

In the October 2019 federal election, the governing Liberal party made election commitments on its implementation. It pledged to use a disability lens for all Government decisions. It also committed:

” We are fully committed to the timely and ambitious implementation of the Accessible Canada Act so that it can fully benefit all Canadians.”

Have they kept their word? What promises should we ask all the major parties to make? The Accessible Canada Act requires Canada to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2040, at least within federal jurisdiction. In the two years since the Accessible Canada Act was passed, has Canada made two years’ worth of progress towards that goal? Are we on schedule?

Send us your feedback. Write us at [email protected]

For even more background on the AODA Alliance’s efforts regarding the Accessible Canada Act, visit the AODA Alliance website’s Canada page.




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Accessibility Awareness in Healthcare


Currently, there are still no AODA healthcare standards. However, an AODA standards development committee drafted recommendations of guidelines that AODA healthcare standards should include. These guidelines include accessibility awareness in healthcare.

The committee’s mandate from the Ontario government requires recommendations focused on the hospital setting. However, patients and healthcare workers with disabilities also face barriers in other parts of the healthcare system, including:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Wellness centres
  • Pharmacies
  • Labs
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient rehabilitation centres
  • Health regulatory colleges

Therefore, outreach programs to spread awareness about the importance of accessible healthcare should support all these settings.

Accessibility Awareness in Healthcare

Members of the public are often unaware of how hospitals accommodate patients with disabilities, including:

As a result, patients may not request or receive accommodations they need. Therefore, the committee recommends that the government should create an outreach campaign to raise awareness about the accessible services in hospitals. For example, the campaign should include public service announcements appearing in different forms of media, such as:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Podcasts
  • Print media
  • Virtual or Internet ads
  • Social media

The outreach campaign should be available in English, French, and additional languages. Similarly, the ads should include communication supports, such as Sign language interpretation and Real-Time Captioning. Likewise, outreach materials should be available in accessible formats.

Moreover, the government should work with each hospital to develop announcements specific to its services. For instance, one announcement should describe a local hospital’s process for receiving and responding to accessibility complaints, including:

  • How to file a complaint about inaccessible goods, services, or facilities
  • The timeline for the complaint process
  • How to ensure accessible communication during the process

Likewise, the government should also consult people with disabilities to develop the announcements.

Announcements should inform the public about how each hospital:

Announcements should show hospitals accommodating patients with a variety of disabilities. In addition, announcements should reveal how lack of accommodation can lead to poor health outcomes. Finally, the campaign should emphasize that all hospitals must be fully accessible by 2025, to comply with the AODA.

This campaign should help Ontarians learn about and advocate for more accessible ways to receive healthcare.




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Opt Out of e-Scooters Before It’s too Late, Accessibility Committee Warns


A letter from the accessibility advisory committee has been sent to council Tuesday Angela McInnes, CBC New
Posted: Jul 27, 2021

Adding e-scooters to London’s proposed pilot bike share program will do more harm than good, according to the accessibility advisory committee.

The city has been surveying Londoners for their input on the matter since May.

Jay Menard, chair of London’s accessibility advisory committee, has written a letter to the Community and Protective Services Committee about concerns around e-scooters.

“Essentially, our committee realizes that there’s a number of unintentional barriers that impede people with accessibility challenges from getting around the city,” Menard said.

“Our concern with the implementation of a trial on e-scooters is that we would be having an intentional barrier that we’ve seen in other communities has caused problems, not just for people with disabilities, but for anybody who has mobility challenges.”

Menard said that properly maintaining the electronic scooters will likely be too much upkeep for Londoners, ultimately leading to a misuse of municipal funds.

He worries the e-scooters will be abandoned throughout the city, obstructing pathways and harming the environment.

Toronto, Montreal opt out of e-scooter programs

Menard cited anecdotal evidence from Montreal, where shared e-scooters were banned last year due to noncompliance with the rules to safely park them.

Ontario launched a five-year e-scooter pilot program from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2024. The program aims to evaluate the use of both personal and shared e-scooters in accordance with the province’s rules of the road.

In May, Toronto City Council unanimously voted to opt-out of the e-scooter pilot, due to safety concerns for seniors and those living with disabilities.

“The ideal outcome is that we don’t engage in the pilot project, that we look to communities like Toronto that have examined this and have resisted the lobbyists and have listened to the accessibility communities and done an evaluation where they said this really isn’t worth any of the benefit,” said Menard.

Environmental benefits may make scooters worth a try

Allison Miller, London’s coordinator of transportation demand management, is more optimistic for the environmental impact of a shared e-scooter program.

“The idea with the scooter is that they have an electric powered motor as opposed to your personal vehicle, which uses gasoline, for example. So right off the bat, if you’re replacing a car trip with an e-scooter trip, then there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions,” Miller said.

A service provider would be responsible for running the program, she said. A GPS tracking device would allow for the company to track and recoup discarded e-scooters within a given time limit.

For safety, rules would be in place to prevent riders from overtaking sidewalks. The e-scooters would be painted a highly visible colour, and emit an audible warning to pedestrians.

Miller said she is aware of the accessibility advisory committee’s concerns.

“They are very much valid concerns, and other municipalities have had to grapple with this before us, but we’re learning from those municipalities, too,” she said. “And I do think that the scooter share providers don’t want their scooters to become a nuisance and to become dangerous either, so they’re doing their best as well. We’ll see what council decides and we’ll move forward from there.”

The survey for input on e-scooters has had a range of responses so far. It does not yet have an end date as more data is being collected.

Miller said that a staff report with recommendations based on the feedback will most likely be submitted to council in early fall.

Original at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/opt-out-of-e-scooters-before-it-s-too-late-accessibility-committee-warns-1.6118337




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Accreditation Processes for Accessibility in Healthcare


Currently, there are still no AODA healthcare standards. However, an AODA standards development committee drafted recommendations of guidelines that AODA healthcare standards should include. These guidelines include creating accreditation processes for accessibility in healthcare.

The committee’s mandate from the Ontario government requires recommendations focused on the hospital setting. However, patients and healthcare workers with disabilities also face barriers in other parts of the healthcare system, including:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Wellness centres
  • Pharmacies
  • Labs
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient rehabilitation centres
  • Health regulatory colleges

Therefore, all these settings should have accreditation processes.

Accreditation Processes for Accessibility in Healthcare

Under the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), hospitals must provide accessible services, including:

However, hospitals may not be providing these services. As a result, the committee recommends that the government should create processes to accredit hospitals that do obey provincial accessibility laws. For instance, Accreditation Canada should change its Leadership and Governance Standards, to address the need for accessible service in healthcare. These changed standards should include:

  • A statement about the need to provide accessible services
  • Guidelines for providing these services
  • Assessments to verify whether hospitals are complying with IASR requirements

The government should consult people with disabilities, or organizations representing them, during the creation of these guidelines.

Moreover, the accreditation process should involve observing families during their interactions with hospital services and staff. Accreditors can use these observations to determine if a hospital is providing all required accommodations and following accessibility best practices. Likewise, accreditors should also view hospitals’ documentation, to ensure that it accurately reflects the services a hospital is providing. For example, a hospital’s customer service policy might express welcome for support persons. However, in practice, the hospital might separate patients from their support persons.

In addition, the government should create a toolkit to help hospitals recognize and comply with the AODA. Likewise, a resource containing best practices would also support hospitals in complying with current and future AODA standards.




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Please Send Us Your Feedback on the AODA Alliance’s Draft Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee on the Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities

Web: www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

Please Send Us Your Feedback on the AODA Alliance’s Draft Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee on the Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System

July 23, 2021

            SUMMARY

Did we get it right? Let us know!

We’ve been busy as can be, writing a brief that we plan to submit by August 11, 2021 to the Health Care Standards Development Committee. The Ontario Government appointed that Committee back in 2017 to come up with recommendations on what the promised Health Care Accessibility Standard should include. The Health Care Accessibility Standard is a law that is to be enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to tear down the barriers that obstruct people with disabilities in Ontario’s health care system.

We’ve come up with a draft brief. We want your feedback on it to help us finalize it.

Back on May 7, 2021, the Ford Government made public the initial report of the Health Care Standards Development Committee. That initial report makes a series of recommendations on what the promised Health Care Accessibility Standard should include. The Government is inviting public feedback on that initial report up to August 11, 2021. The Health Care Standards Development Committee will be given all that public feedback. It can use that feedback to finalize its recommendations to the Government. We want our brief to give as much help as possible to the Health Care Standards Development Committee.

Below we set out a summary of what our draft brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee recommends. We applaud and agree with most of what the Health Care Standards Development Committee wrote. However, we make a number of recommendations on how it can improve its report.

Our draft brief builds upon all the feedback we have received over the years about disability barriers in the health care system. You can download our draft brief by visiting https://www.aodaalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/July-23-2021-Draft-AODA-Alliance-brief-on-health-Care-Standards-Development-Committee-initial-report.docx

Please send us your suggestions on our draft brief by August 1, 2021. We will then have to rush to turn our draft brief into a finished product.

Here are resources that you might find helpful:

  1. The Health Care Standards Development Committee’s initial report, recommending what the promise Health Care Accessibility Standard should include.
  1. A captioned talk by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky two years ago about disability barriers in the health care system.
  1. A captioned talk earlier this year by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky about the disability discrimination in Ontario’s critical care triage protocol that is now embedded in Ontario hospitals.
  1. The AODA Alliance website’s health care page, which documents our advocacy efforts over the past decade to make health care services accessible to people with disabilities.

A long 904 days ago, the Ford Government received the blistering final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. It called for urgent action to speed up and strengthen the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. Since then, the Ford Government has announced no comprehensive plan of action to implement that report.

            MORE DETAILS

Summary of the July 23, 2021 Draft AODA Alliance Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee

  1. a) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should recommend more concrete actions to ensure that disability barriers are removed and prevented, rather than instead giving primary emphasis to individually accommodating patients with disabilities and having hospitals plan for accessibility.
  1. b) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should more forcefully address all barriers in the hospital sector and the broader health care system.
  1. c) The Health Care Accessibility Standard should ensure that all disability barriers are removed and prevented in hospitals, not just those the Accessibility Minister asked the Standards Development Committee to focus on.
  1. d) The Health Care Accessibility Standard should not assume that smaller hospitals always need more time to comply.
  1. e) The initial report incorrectly understates the role of the Health Care Standards Development Committee.
  1. f) The proposed long-term objective of the Health Care Accessibility Standard should be strengthened.
  1. g) The initial report’s vision of a barrier-free health care system should be strengthened.
  1. h) Additional recommendations are needed to ensure accountability for accessibility within a hospital or other health care provider’s organization.
  1. i) Specific requirements for accessibility of health care facilities’ built environment are needed.
  1. j) Specific actions should be recommended to ensure that diagnostic and treatment equipment are accessible.
  1. k) Specific actions are needed to ensure the accessibility of health records.
  1. l) The initial report’s recommendations on training of health care providers should be strengthened.
  1. m) Detailed recommendations are needed to protect the right of patients with disabilities and of any patients’ support people with disabilities to physically get to health care services.
  1. n) Action is needed to guarantee the right of patients with disabilities to the privacy of their health care information.
  1. o) Additional recommendations are needed to help ensure the rights of patients with disabilities and of patients’ support people with disabilities to accessible information and communication in connection with health care.
  1. p) The initial report’s recommendations should be strengthened to effectively protect the right of patients with disabilities to the support services they need to access health care services.
  1. q) Additional measures should be recommended to ensure right of patients with disabilities to identify their disability-related accessibility needs in advance and to request accessibility/accommodation from a health care provider or facility.
  1. r) Patients with disabilities and support people with disabilities should be assured accessible complaint processes at health care providers’ self-governing colleges, and to have those colleges ensure that the profession they regulate are trained to meet the needs of patients with disabilities.
  1. s) Systemic accessibility safeguards should be built into the health care system from top to bottom.
  1. t) The experience and expertise of people with disabilities working in the health care system should be harnessed to expedite the removal and prevention of barriers facing patients, and those facing their support people with disabilities.
  1. u) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should endorse the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee initial report’s health care recommendations.
  1. v) Further steps should be recommended to supplement the initial report’s recommendations arising from the covid-19 pandemic.
  1. w) The initial report’s recommendations on strengthening AODA enforcement are heartily applauded.t



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Please Send Us Your Feedback on the AODA Alliance’s Draft Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee on the Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: https://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 23, 2021

SUMMARY

Did we get it right? Let us know!

We’ve been busy as can be, writing a brief that we plan to submit by August 11, 2021 to the Health Care Standards Development Committee. The Ontario Government appointed that Committee back in 2017 to come up with recommendations on what the promised Health Care Accessibility Standard should include. The Health Care Accessibility Standard is a law that is to be enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to tear down the barriers that obstruct people with disabilities in Ontario’s health care system.

We’ve come up with a draft brief. We want your feedback on it to help us finalize it.

Back on May 7, 2021, the Ford Government made public the initial report of the Health Care Standards Development Committee. That initial report makes a series of recommendations on what the promised Health Care Accessibility Standard should include. The Government is inviting public feedback on that initial report up to August 11, 2021. The Health Care Standards Development Committee will be given all that public feedback. It can use that feedback to finalize its recommendations to the Government. We want our brief to give as much help as possible to the Health Care Standards Development Committee.

Below we set out a summary of what our draft brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee recommends. We applaud and agree with most of what the Health Care Standards Development Committee wrote. However, we make a number of recommendations on how it can improve its report.

Our draft brief builds upon all the feedback we have received over the years about disability barriers in the health care system. You can download our draft brief by visiting https://www.aodaalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/July-23-2021-Draft-AODA-Alliance-brief-on-health-Care-Standards-Development-Committee-initial-report.docx

Please send us your suggestions on our draft brief by August 1, 2021. We will then have to rush to turn our draft brief into a finished product.

Here are resources that you might find helpful:

1. The Health Care Standards Development Committee’s initial report, recommending what the promise Health Care Accessibility Standard should include.

2. A captioned talk by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky two years ago about disability barriers in the health care system.

3. A captioned talk earlier this year by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky about the disability discrimination in Ontario’s critical care triage protocol that is now embedded in Ontario hospitals.

4. The AODA Alliance website’s health care page, which documents our advocacy efforts over the past decade to make health care services accessible to people with disabilities.

A long 904 days ago, the Ford Government received the blistering final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. It called for urgent action to speed up and strengthen the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. Since then, the Ford Government has announced no comprehensive plan of action to implement that report.

MORE DETAILS

Summary of the July 23, 2021 Draft AODA Alliance Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee

a) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should recommend more concrete actions to ensure that disability barriers are removed and prevented, rather than instead giving primary emphasis to individually accommodating patients with disabilities and having hospitals plan for accessibility.

b) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should more forcefully address all barriers in the hospital sector and the broader health care system.

c) The Health Care Accessibility Standard should ensure that all disability barriers are removed and prevented in hospitals, not just those the Accessibility Minister asked the Standards Development Committee to focus on.

d) The Health Care Accessibility Standard should not assume that smaller hospitals always need more time to comply.

e) The initial report incorrectly understates the role of the Health Care Standards Development Committee.

f) The proposed long-term objective of the Health Care Accessibility Standard should be strengthened.

g) The initial report’s vision of a barrier-free health care system should be strengthened.

h) Additional recommendations are needed to ensure accountability for accessibility within a hospital or other health care provider’s organization.

i) Specific requirements for accessibility of health care facilities’ built environment are needed.

j) Specific actions should be recommended to ensure that diagnostic and treatment equipment are accessible.

k) Specific actions are needed to ensure the accessibility of health records.

l) The initial report’s recommendations on training of health care providers should be strengthened.

m) Detailed recommendations are needed to protect the right of patients with disabilities and of any patients’ support people with disabilities to physically get to health care services.

n) Action is needed to guarantee the right of patients with disabilities to the privacy of their health care information.

o) Additional recommendations are needed to help ensure the rights of patients with disabilities and of patients’ support people with disabilities to accessible information and communication in connection with health care.

p) The initial report’s recommendations should be strengthened to effectively protect the right of patients with disabilities to the support services they need to access health care services.

q) Additional measures should be recommended to ensure right of patients with disabilities to identify their disability-related accessibility needs in advance and to request accessibility/accommodation from a health care provider or facility.

r) Patients with disabilities and support people with disabilities should be assured accessible complaint processes at health care providers’ self-governing colleges, and to have those colleges ensure that the profession they regulate are trained to meet the needs of patients with disabilities.

s) Systemic accessibility safeguards should be built into the health care system from top to bottom.

t) The experience and expertise of people with disabilities working in the health care system should be harnessed to expedite the removal and prevention of barriers facing patients, and those facing their support people with disabilities.

u) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should endorse the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee initial report’s health care recommendations.

v) Further steps should be recommended to supplement the initial report’s recommendations arising from the covid-19 pandemic.

w) The initial report’s recommendations on strengthening AODA enforcement are heartily applauded.t




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Accessible Complaint Processes in Healthcare


Currently, there are still no AODA healthcare standards. However, an AODA standards development committee drafted recommendations of guidelines that AODA healthcare standards should include. These guidelines include accessible complaint processes in healthcare.

The committee’s mandate from the Ontario government requires recommendations focused on the hospital setting. However, patients and healthcare workers with disabilities also face barriers in other parts of the healthcare system, including:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Wellness centres
  • Pharmacies
  • Labs
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient rehabilitation centres
  • Health regulatory colleges

Therefore, all these settings should have accessible complaint processes.

Accessible Complaint Processes in Healthcare

When patients experience accessibility barriers in healthcare, they may be unaware that they can use complaint processes to alert their healthcare providers to the barriers. Moreover, these processes can help providers learn about frequent barriers that patients face, and begin removing or preventing these ongoing barriers. Therefore, the committee recommends that all hospitals should have timely and efficient processes for patients to express their concerns.

Hospitals should document their accessible complaint processes, and make these documents available to the public. Moreover, hospitals should inform new patients about their processes, and that patients can make complaints without reprisals. In addition, patients should be able to make their complaints in various ways, including in accessible formats. Patients should also be able to make complaints anonymously, if they wish. Hospitals should use these anonymous reports to discover repeated instances of the same accessibility barriers.

Hospitals should also create and implement processes to frequently review their policies and practices, based on patterns of inaccessible services patients have experienced. Staff should then update their policies and practices to improve accessibility.

Furthermore, the committee recommends that the government should amend requirements for patient complaint processes, under the Excellent Care for All Act (2015). For example, the Act should allow a fast process for urgent accessibility-related complaints during emergency situations or pandemic conditions, such as complaints about:

  • Ableism and discrimination in medical triage protocols
  • The need for visitors to be designated as essential, for accessibility reasons

Finally, the government should also amend the Act’s requirement for a robust patient relations process. This process involves a delegate whom patients can contact. The delegate’s contact information should be available in accessible formats for patients who request it. Likewise, patients should be able to contact the delegate in accessible formats.

These processes will improve hospital accessibility, for patients and staff.




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Attend CNIB’s July 27, 2021 Virtual Town Hall on Dangers that Electric Scooters Pose for People with Disabilities if London Ontario Allows Them


and— Please Fill Out an Important Online Survey About Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Courts

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: https://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 22, 2021

SUMMARY

Here’s a buffet of recent news from the trenches of the battle for accessibility for people with disabilities:

1. Please come to CNIB’s July 27, 2021 Virtual Town Hall between 5 and 7 pm local time to discuss the dangers that e-scooters pose if the City of London Ontario allows them. Read on for details on how to register to take part.

2. Please complete an important online survey before September 30, 2021 about disability barriers you have experienced in Ontario’s Courts. See below for more information on this.

3. What do you think of the initial reports of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee or the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee on what needs to be done to tear down the many disability barriers that impede students with disabilities in Ontario? Let us know! Once again, read on for more about this.

Believe it or not, 903 days ago, the Ford Government received the blistering final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. It called for urgent action to speed up and strengthen the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. Since then, the Ford Government has still announced no comprehensive plan of action to implement that report. Numbering at least 2.6 million, Ontarians with disabilities deserve better.

MORE DETAILS

1. Come to CNIB’s July 27, 2021 Virtual Town Hall on Dangers to People with Disabilities if London, Ontario Allows E-Scooters

It is very troubling that London, Ontario is considering allowing e-scooters. After an incredibly tenacious effort, people with disabilities managed to convince the City of Toronto not to allow e-scooters because they endanger people with disabilities, seniors, children and others. Now it is time to mount a similar campaign in other cities in Ontario that are thinking of creating the same danger for people with disabilities.

London, Ontario is now actively considering the possibility of conducting a “pilot project” with e-scooters. The corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies are unquestionably behind this, as they were in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor and elsewhere.

We are thrilled that on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 from 5 to 7 pm local time, CNIB will be hosting an on-line Virtual Town Hall for people with disabilities to discuss concerns about the possibility of London allowing e-scooters and to explore what you can do about this danger. Please plan to take part! To register for this event, contact Larissa Proctor [email protected] and let her know if you have any accommodation needs.

For background you can check out our short, widely viewed, captioned online video by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky about the dangers that e-scooters pose for people with disabilities. It formed part of our successful campaign against allowing e-scooters in Toronto.

Toronto City staff did a comprehensive job of documenting the dangers that e-scooters pose for people with disabilities, seniors, children and others. That research led Toronto City Council to unanimously defeat a proposal to allow e-scooters, which was heavily backed by the e-scooters corporate lobbyists. We call on all other Ontario cities to show the same wisdom and concern for the safety of people with disabilities and others.

To learn all about our campaign over the past two years to protect Ontarians with disabilities from the dangers that e-scooters pose, visit the AODA Alliance website’s e-scooters page.

Why are we having to fight this battle one city at a time? Sadly, this is all due to Premier Doug Ford refusing to listen to us about this while listening instead only to the e-scooter corporate lobbyists. Two years ago, e-scooters were not allowed in public places in Ontario, thanks to Ontario law. As the AODA Alliance website’s e-scooters page amply documents, the Ford Government decided to change all that in 2019. It passed a harmful regulation that let each municipality conduct a pilot project if they wished with e-scooters over a 5-year period. We tried to convince the Ford Government not to do this, because of the dangers posed to people with disabilities and others. The Ford Government decided, however, to give in to the corporate lobbyists and to entirely reject our concerns.

People with disabilities won this uphill battle against the corporate lobbyists in Toronto. We can do the same in London and elsewhere, with your help. Please register to take part in the July 27, 2021 Virtual Town Hall to get involved.

2. Please Take Part In an On-Line Survey About Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Court System

Have you had experience encountering any disability barriers in any court proceedings in Ontario? Here is an amazing chance for you to anonymously share your experience and help with an ongoing effort to make Ontario’s courts barrier-free for people with disabilities by 2025, as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires.

In 2007, a major official report, the Weiler Report, mapped out actions needed to make Ontario’s courts fully accessible for court participants with disabilities. It was prepared by a group including representation from the courts, the Government, the legal profession and the disability community. That group was appointed by Ontario’s then Chief Justice Roy McMurtry. It was chaired by then Court of Appeal Justice Karen Weiler. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky was a member of that group.

Among other things, the Weiler Report recommended that a permanent committee be established to monitor and oversee progress in this area. This led to the creation of the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee (OCAC), which has been in action since then. A successor to the Weiler group, OCAC also includes representatives from the courts, the Government, the legal profession and the disability community. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has also been a member of that committee since it began.

To help OCAC with its ongoing work, an online survey is underway until September 30, 2021. It gives you a chance to give your input without sharing your identity. Please take part in the survey. Please publicize it to others, and urge them to take part as well.

The online survey about disability barriers in Ontario’s courts is available in English at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OCACSurveyEN and in French at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OCACSondageFR

To learn more about the AODA Alliance’s advocacy for accessibility in Ontario’s courts, visit the AODA Alliance website’s courts accessibility page.

3. Reminder to Send Us Input to Help Us Give Feedback on Barriers in Ontario Schools, Colleges and Universities Facing Students with Disabilities

As we earlier announced, we are preparing briefs to submit to the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee on its initial report and to the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee on its initial report. These reports address barriers facing students with disabilities in schools, colleges and universities respectively. Send your input to us at [email protected] to help us with the preparation of our briefs.

We will also very shortly be sharing with you a draft of the brief on disability barriers in the health care system facing patients with disabilities, to see how you like it. That brief, once finalized will be shared with the Health Care Standards Development Committee.

It is extremely rare that people with disabilities get a chance to have input into such important issues. They are all happening at the same time. Let’s take advantage and be sure we all have our say.

To help you, we have made available a captioned online education video that summarizes the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee’s initial report. Check it out. We have also made available for you an Action Kit on how to take part, as well as a 15-page summary and a 55-page summary of the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee initial report. Choose which of these offerings is the most helpful for you.

Learn more about our advocacy efforts in the area of education for students with disabilities by visiting the AODA Alliance website’s education page.




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