Accessibility

Accessibility

Policy & Statement of Commitment

The College of Midwives of Ontario is committed to providing inclusive and responsive services and employment supports in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of all persons with disabilities. The College will enable access to assistive devices and the use of service animals and support persons to the best of its ability.

Definitions

Under the Human Rights Code, disability means:

  1. 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,
  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. A mental disorder, or
  5. 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.

Example: A person with arthritis has a disability that over time may increase in severity
Example: A person with a brain injury has a disability that is not visible
Example: A person with multiple sclerosis has a disability that causes them to experience periods when the condition does not have an effect on their daily routine and other periods when it does.

Assistive Devices: Devices used to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons or organizations. Assistive devices include, but are not limited to, wheelchairs, reading machines, recording machines, hearing devices and devices for grasping.

Service Animals: an animal used by a person with a disability,

  1. if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons related to his or her disability;
    or
  2. if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

The customer service standard’s provisions include animals used by people with autism, mental health disabilities, those with physical or dexterity disabilities as well as others.

Guide Dog-a dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulation. R.S.O. 1990,c. B.7, s. 1 (1) Blind Persons Rights Act. A guide dog is a dog that has been trained at one of the facilities listed in Ontario Regulation 58 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act to act as a guide dog for people who are blind.

Support Persons: A support person is an individual hired or chosen by a person with a disability to provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods and services. The support person could be a paid personal support worker, a volunteer, a friend or a family member. She or he does not necessarily need to have special training or qualifications.

Procedure

The College recognizes that accessibility barriers present in many forms and is committed to undertake a number of processes and initiatives to improve access as much as possible, with the goal of continuous improvement, as well as monitoring the needs of our internal community. It is important to understand that information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially.

  1. Communication methods that can be used to increase accessibility include language interpreter, sign language interpretation, large print font and web-based communication.
  2. People with disabilities have a right to use their own personal assistive devices while accessing the services provided by the College, unless there is a defined risk associated with that use.
  3. People with disabilities who use a service animal, while accessing services or during their employment, have the right to enter the College with the animal and keep the animal with them.
  4. People with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person have the right to have access to their support person while accessing services at the College. The College does not provide payment or cover costs related to an individual’s use of a support person.
The College of Midwives of Ontario Accessibility Training and Education Plan
  1. All College employees and volunteers and any other people who interact with the public on behalf of the College will receive training on providing services to people with disabilities. A variety of training methods will be used. Information will also be provided at the College Orientation to make a new employee aware of accessibility supports at the College and their responsibilities for equitable and accessible provision of services.
  2. Training will include:

i) The purposes of accessibility features and supports at the College.
ii) How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
iii) How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person
iv) What to do if a person with a disability is having difficultly accessing the College services.
v) Staff will be trained on policies, practices, and procedures that affect the way services are provided to people with disabilities.
vi) Staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices, and procedures.

Accountability

The Director of Operations is accountable for compliance with these policies and procedures. Complaints or questions regarding accessibility should be directed to the Director of Operations who can be reached at 21 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 303, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1L9 416-640-2252, operations@cmo.on.ca.

References

Adapted with permission from the Toronto Birth Centre’s Access for People with Disabilities (C.01.5)

The Ontario Human Rights Code

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act – The Ontarians with Disabilities Directorate – Ontario Regulation 429/07