This policy has been developed in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and addresses how the Lakelands Family Health Team will meet our responsibility and legal obligation to provide our services in an equitable and accessible manner.
Lakelands Family Health Team (LFHT) is committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, and providing persons with disabilities with equal opportunities and standards of goods and services. We are dedicated to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence.
“Disability” shall mean the same as the definition of disability found in the Ontario Human Rights Code:
- 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;
- A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
- A learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
- A mental disorder, or
- An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Use of Service Animals, Support Persons, and Assistive Devices
Persons with disabilities may enter our premises accompanied by a service animal and keep the animal with them, if the public has access to such premises, and the animal is not otherwise excluded by law. It is the responsibility of the person with a service animal to control the animal at all times.
In the event a staff member or patient is allergic to animals, alternative arrangements will be negotiated.
Persons with disabilities may enter our premises accompanied by a support person and may have access to that support person at all times. Consent from the person with a disability is required when communicating private issues related to the person with a disability, in the presence of a support person.
The LFHT will ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies receive training as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. In addition, training will be provided on a continuous basis to all newly-hired staff as part of our onboarding process.
Training will include:
- The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005;
- The requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service;
- How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
The LFHT will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This means employees will communicate in a means that enables persons with disabilities to communicate effectively for purposes of using, receiving, and requesting our goods, services, and facilities.
Disruption of Services
In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that persons with disabilities rely on to access or use the LFHT’s services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible. When disruptions occur, the LFHT will provide notice by: posting notices in conspicuous places including at the main entrance, posting on the LFHT website, contacting patients with appointments, and/or any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
As listed in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, the LFHT will ensure that our internet website, including web content, conforms to:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- WCAG 2.0 Level AA Standard – compliant to 2021 standards
We welcome feedback about the delivery of our services to persons with disabilities.