Executive summary

Under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), ministries are required to produce, and make available to the public, annual plans that identify how ministries will identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.

Like all ministries, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) complies with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (ASCS) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). These regulations establish phased-in requirements for the following accessibility standards:

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Employment
  • Transportation
  • Design of Public Spaces

In 2012, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) released its first multi-year accessibility plan (MYAP) entitled Accessibility in the Ontario Public Service: Leading the Way Forward. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s 2015 ODA Plan, celebrates the tenth anniversary of the AODA and demonstrates how the measures taken in 2015 and proposed for 2016 support the key outcomes and deliverables of the OPS MYAP as we continue on our path to an accessible Ontario in 2025.

Section one: report on measures taken by the ministry in 2015

Customer service

OPS MYAP key outcome

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

Measures taken by the ministry in 2015

2014 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

  • Staff and customer feedback sought on accessibility innovations and improvements.
  • Inclusion Lens applied to all policies and practices to assess and ensure their accessibility.
  • Accessibility is part of all OPS business.

2015 - proposed measures

  • Customers and staff have several options available to provide feedback on the accessibility of the ministry’s customer service, including via telephone, TTY, fax, email, and through the Contact Us form on the ministry’s website. A process is in place to ensure that all feedback collected is reviewed and analysed to identify potential gaps in customer service accessibility, and ensure that appropriate actions are taken to remediate gaps.
  • The ministry will continue to make staff aware of the tools and resources available to help them understand and apply the OPS Inclusion Lens when developing new policies or programs.
  • All staff will be encouraged to include the OPS Inclusion Lens e-course in their annual learning plans, available through the Centre for Leadership and Learning.

Achievements

Responded to feedback on accessibility received through the public facing portals/points of engagement.

Actions were taken by managers to remediate gaps and accessibility barriers identified by staff or customers of the MOHLTC.

Activities and meetings were planned and organized in a way that accommodated attendees with accessibility needs.

New and existing staff completed the OPS Inclusion Lens training and mandatory AODA training obligations, and were able to integrate accessibility best practices into routine activities.

Information and communications

MYAP key outcome

Information and communications are available in accessible formats, or with necessary supports, to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures taken by the ministry in 2015

2014 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

  • Communications, websites, technology solutions and documents employ accessibility best practices.
  • Accessibility Expo continues annually.

2015 - proposed measures

  • Staff will incorporate accessibility considerations into the preparation of documents to ensure that information is accessible to everyone.
  • The ministry will continue to make staff aware of the tools and resources available through the Accessibility@Source program, to help them prepare their documents in accessible formats.
  • Participation of staff in future annual Expo/JOIN accessibility conferences will continue to be encouraged, with the goal of increasing the number of ministry participants.

Achievements

Ministry staff were made aware of the tools and resources available through the Accessibility@Source program, and used these resources to help them prepare their documents in accessible formats.

Managers continued to encourage staff to attend the OPS Accessibility Expo.

Employment

MYAP key outcome

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures taken by the ministry in 2015

2014 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

  • 2014 - MYAP Deliverables and Timelines Best practices on employment accommodation and return to work are implemented.
  • Better accommodation for employees with disabilities, resulting from management review.
  • Managers and staff have accessibility performance commitments.

2015 - proposed measures

  • The OPS Employment Accommodation and Return to Work Operating Policy will be used to help employees return to work after having been absent due to a disability.
  • Managers will continue to take into account an employee’s accessibility needs when assessing their performance management, career development and advancement, as well as redeployment opportunities.
  • Managers will be encouraged to continue to include accessibility performance commitments in the annual performance plans of their staff.

Achievements

  • Managers were made aware of best practices for supporting employees with disabilities. Managers continued to consult with HR advisory and Disability Support Specialists and HR Ontario to ensure best practices regarding employee accommodation and return-to-work needs were followed.
  • Managers committed to implementing accessibility measures/best practices in their Performance Development Plans.
  • Managers supported all employees to ensure they could participate fully and meaningfully in services and employment available to them.

Built environment

MYAP key outcome

OPS facilities and public spaces and their immediate surroundings are more accessible.

Measures taken by the ministry in 2015

2014 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

OPS ready to implement requirements included in the AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards, and updates to the barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

2015 - proposed measures

The ministry will ensure that appropriate staff are aware of accessibility requirements for the built environment under AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards, and updates to the barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code, which will apply to the OPS starting January 1, 2015.

Achievements

  • Managers continued to work with ministry facilities management staff whenever making renovations to existing office space, or moving into new office space, to ensure a barrier-free workplace.
  • Managers and required staff were made aware of and trained on the IASR Information and Communications Standards and the IASR Employment Standards requirements.

General outcomes

MYAP key outcome

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis, throughout the organization.

Measures taken by the ministry in 2015

2014 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

Accessibility continues to be a strong organizational commitment.

2015 - proposed measures

The ministry will continue working towards full compliance with accessibility legislation and associated regulations, and will adhere to deadlines identified in the regulations.

Achievements

  • The ministry’s accessibility plan was posted on its public website in an accessible format.

Section two: report on measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

Customer service

MYAP key outcome

People with disabilities who are OPS customers receive quality goods and services in a timely manner.

Measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

2016 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

Staff and customer feedback sought on accessibility innovations and improvements.

Inclusion Lens applied to all policies and practices.

Accessibility is part of all OPS business.

2016 - proposed measures

  • Continue to increase staff awareness of accessibility best practices for customer service and workplace accommodation.
  • Analyze ministry responses to the OPS Employee Survey to identify and assess potential barriers to employees with disabilities.
  • New staff to be trained on accessibility and encouraged to incorporate the OPS Inclusion Lens into planning processes.
  • Accessibility Leads remain available to provide guidance regarding tools, resources and requirements for ensuring accessibility.

Information and communications

MYAP key outcome

Information and Communications are available in accessible formats, or with necessary supports, to all OPS staff and customers.

Measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

2016 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

Communications, websites, technology solutions and documents employ accessibility best practices.

Accessibility Expo continues annually.

2016 - proposed measures

  • Ministry to continue to encourage delegate participation at future OPS Accessibility Expo events.
  • Ensure that communications, websites, technology solutions and documents employ accessibility best practices.
  • Required ministry internet/intranet content continues to conform to the level AA accessibility best practices, laid out in the World Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, as per IASR stipulations that came into force as of January 1, 2016.

Employment

MYAP key outcome

OPS employees with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully in their employment.

Measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

2016 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

Best practices for employment accommodation and return to work implemented.

Better accommodation for employees with disabilities resulting from management review.

Managers and staff have accessibility performance commitments.

2016 - proposed measures

  • Continue to follow return-to-work protocols and meet accommodation requirements.
  • Management to regularly promote accessibility training for all employees and encourage the inclusion of that training in the annual PDPs of all ministry staff, including management.
  • Encourage ministry staff to assess potential barriers to accessibility across all areas of work, and continue to increase staff awareness of accessibility best practices in customer service and the workplace.

Built environment

MYAP key outcome

OPS facilities and public spaces and their immediate surroundings are more accessible.

Measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

2016 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

OPS ready to implement requirements included in the AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards and updates to the barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

2016 - proposed measures

  • Continue to work to improve the accessibility of the ministry’s built environment.
  • Management will work closely with facilities management to ensure that all public space in the new workspace and retrofits comply with IASR requirements.
  • Support continued manager awareness of built environment requirements in the AODA/IASR, Building Code Act, and OPS barrier-free requirements for government facilities.

General outcomes

MYAP key outcome

OPS staff are able to identify barriers to accessibility in OPS policies, programs, services and facilities, and actively seek solutions to prevent or remove them on a continuing basis throughout the organization.

Measures proposed by the ministry for 2016

2016 - MYAP deliverables and timelines

Accessibility continues to be a strong organizational commitment.

2016 - proposed measures

  • Ensure internal policies, procedures and practices comply with accessibility requirements whenever OPS business is conducted, particularly when introducing new or amending existing processes.
  • Continue to ensure that all ministry staff are trained on accessibility.
  • Continue to implement appropriate accommodations as needed, and, led by the management team, continue to support accessibility in the workplace through regular communication, monitoring compliance and resolution of issues.

Section three: addressing the identification of barriers in legislation

Introduction

The ODA establishes that a ministry’s accessibility plan shall include the measures in place to address the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities in the Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services administered by the ministry.

In 2005, the government introduced the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, with the goal of making Ontario accessible by 2025. In support of this goal, the government subsequently committed to review Ontario legislation to identify and address accessibility barriers, and undertook a coordinated review of 51 statutes considered to have a high impact on persons with disabilities. This review has now been completed.

Our ministry remains committed to the goal of ensuring that Ontario legislation does not create barriers to persons with disabilities. We will continue to report, through our accessibility plan, on the actions taken to identify and remove barriers in ministry Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services, as well as the Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services to be reviewed in the coming year. The findings of the coordinated review of high impact statutes will inform our ministry’s approach to carrying out this work.

Actions taken in the past year

In 2015, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care reviewed the following Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services for potential barriers and accessibility issues:

Following the accessibility review of these statutes, amendments to the following pieces of legislation are proposed by MOHLTC:

Upcoming plans for review

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to continuing to review its Acts, regulations, policies, programs and services for barriers to persons with disabilities.

Updated: September 23, 2021
Published: April 14, 2016