New Disability Legislation in Ontario

Joint QBT/machealth Blog about new legislation re disabilities

I am delighted to share this Blog space with Dr. Anthony Levinson who maintains our links at machealth.ca to share the new links about new disability legislation in Ontario. Even for those members in other Canadian provinces and in other countries these links may be useful resources for making your offices disability accessible.

This applies to Indicator B.1 Equitable Care and B.1.3 The clinical team identifies and provides additional services for patients with special needs. (B.1.3 also see Quality Book of Tools p65)

New Accessibility Standards for Medical Offices, Clinics Effective Jan. 1, 2012
In 2005, The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was enacted to develop standards to recognize the history of discrimination and “to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.”

On January 1, 2012, part of the legislation came into force. The new requirements — known as the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service — is the first standard applicable to all medical offices, clinics, and facilities in the province.

Some examples of what offices are required to do in regards to this legislation include:
• Ensure we know how to communicate with people with visual or hearing impairment, or with learning disabilities.
• People with disabilities who require a guide dog or other service animal must be allowed to bring the animal onto the premises.
• People with disabilities who require a support person must not be denied access to the support person while on the premises.
• Notice must be given to the public of any disruptions in service that are caused by the temporary unavailability of facilities usually used by persons with disabilities.

The OMA Legal Services Department has created sample materials for physicians and their staff to understand and implement office policies to comply with the standard with minimal disruption of day-to-day work.

OMA members can refer to the OMA website for sample compliance policies and procedures and staff training materials: (https://www.oma.org/Member/Programs/Legal/Pages/AODA.aspx). For all other members we have published these resources with OMA permission at our QBT machealth.ca link(follow the links to B.1.3)

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us on these new tools and applying them in your practices, through this Blog or by contacting us.

Cheryl and Anthony

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