INTRODUCTION

In 2005, the Ontario government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), with the goal of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025.  The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), under the AODA, requires the Ontario Medical Association to develop and maintain a multi-year accessibility plan which outlines the organization’s strategy for improving opportunities and accessibility for people with disabilities, while removing and preventing barriers, as required under the IASR.

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT

The Ontario Medical Association strives at all times to respect the dignity and independence of all people with disabilities. We are committed to providing a barrier-free environment for our members, employees, visitors, stakeholders and all other members of the public who enter our premises, access our information, or use any of our services. 

As an organization, we respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), the existing Customer Service Standard Regulation, and other standards governed by the IASR - Information and Communications, Employment, Transportation and the Built Environment.  The OMA is committed to ensuring that new and existing OMA policies and procedures will be developed, implemented and maintained, as required, to ensure we have achieved accessibility by meeting our obligations under the IASR and in meeting the needs of all people with disabilities, in a timely and effective manner.

MULTI-YEAR ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

The following multi-year accessibility plan outlines the organization’s commitment and strategy for improving opportunities for people with disabilities, while removing and preventing accessibility barriers and meeting Ontario’s accessibility laws.

The OMA multi-year accessibility plan provides a mechanism for planning, reviewing and evaluating the implementation of the Integrated Accessibility Standards under the AODA.

In accordance with the requirements, the OMA will:

  • Post a copy of this plan on the corporate website (www.oma.org);
  • Provide all information relating to the plan in alternative formats, upon request;
  • Review and update the plan at least once every five years.

STANDARD FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE 

The Accessible Customer Service Standard under the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation requires the OMA to provide accessible service to people with disabilities and to ensure that policies and procedures are in place to support this requirement.

An accessible OMA ensures that people with disabilities receive quality goods and services in a timely manner, supported by effective policies, procedures, tools and resources that promote accessibility in customer service. 

To date, the OMA has been in compliance with the Customer Service Standard Regulation under the AODA, and will continue to improve on, maintain and report on this standard, as required under the legislation; additional measures for barrier-free access include:

  • Establishing policies, procedures and practices for providing goods and services to people with disabilities, as per the OMA policy, “Providing Goods and Services to Ontarians with Disabilities”, and posting the policy on the corporate website;
  • Providing accessibility awareness, AODA and customer service standard training to all OMA employees, volunteers, contractors and any other persons engaging with members, and/or other people with disabilities, on behalf of the OMA;
  • Communicating the customer service policy to staff and training staff so that (among other legislated requirements), employees understand how to:
  • Interact and communicate with members/people with various types of disabilities;
  • Interact with members/people with disabilities who use assistive devices; or require the assistance of a guide dog, service animal, or service dog; or require the use of a support person;
  • Use equipment or devices that may be available on the premises or that may assist customers with disabilities, if any;
  • Assist members/people with disabilities that may have difficulty accessing any of the goods or services provided by the OMA;
  • Maintaining existing partnership with eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ to provide enhanced communication support for people who have challenges with reading, typing or moving a mouse – an added feature on our corporate website for enhanced accessibility offerings;
  • Reporting compliance with the Customer Service Standard via the Accessibility Compliance Reporting tool at ServiceOntario’s ONe-Source for Business website;
  • Tracking attendance for accessibility training courses.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2012

EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND EVACUATION PLANS

The OMA has incorporated accessibility considerations into its emergency response and evacuation plan and procedures, as required under the IASR, such that:

  • The emergency response plan, the OMA Safety and Securities Plan, will be provided in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, upon request;
  • Individualized workplace emergency response plans are available to employees who disclose a disability, and such employees will be accommodated according to their disability, if requested, when and if an emergency or disaster occurs;
  • Individualized emergency response information is reviewed when:
  • An employee moves to a different location in the organization;
  • An employee’s overall needs or plans are reviewed; and
  • When reviewing general emergency response policies.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2012


Part 1:  GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INTEGRATED REGULATION

Accessibility Policies and Statement of Commitment to IASR

The OMA is committed to ensuring that new and existing OMA policies and procedures will be developed, implemented and maintained as required to ensure we have achieved accessibility by meeting our obligations under the IASR and in meeting the needs of all people with disabilities.

The OMA will:

  • Develop a policy that addresses how the OMA will achieve or has achieved accessibility through meeting the IASR's requirements – see OMA Integrated Accessibility Policy;
  • Develop a statement of organizational commitment to meet the accessibility needs of people with disabilities;
  • Make policy documents available to the public, in an accessible format, upon request.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2014

Accessibility Plan and Maintenance

The OMA will establish, implement and maintain a multi-year accessibility plan, which outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet current and future requirements of the AODA.

The OMA will:

  • Post the accessibility plan on the organization’s website and provide the plan in accessible format, upon request.
  • Review and update the accessibility plan at least once every five years.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2014

Procurement or Acquisition of Goods, Services, or Facilities

At this time, the requirement to incorporate accessibility in the procurement or acquisition of goods, services or facilities applies only to designated public sector organizations; however, if this requirement becomes applicable to the OMA, the OMA will:

  • Incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practical to do so;
  • Upon request, provide an explanation when it is not practical to do so.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2014

Self-Service Kiosks

At this time, the Ontario Medical Association does not employ self-service kiosks. 

If, however, at any time, the OMA employs self-service kiosks, it will have regard to accessibility criteria features when designing, purchasing and/or obtaining these kiosks.

The OMA will:

  • Consider accessibility criteria and features when acquiring and using self-service kiosks, except where it is not practical to do so;
  • Upon request, provide an explanation when it is not practical to do so.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2014

Training

The OMA will ensure that all employees, volunteers, contractors, and any other persons engaging with members and/or other people with disabilities on behalf of the OMA, will receive the appropriate training that meets the requirements under the Integrated Regulation.

The OMA will:

  • Provide training on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to people with disabilities - to all employees , volunteers, contractors, and/or other third parties who interact with members/people with disabilities on behalf of the OMA;
  • Keep and maintain a record of the dates when training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it was provided;
  • Ensure training is provided on the requirements of the accessibility standards, as soon as practicable;
  • Ensure training remains ongoing and all are continually updated and trained as required, and/or when there are any relevant changes to the organization’s policies.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2015

Part 2:  STANDARD FOR INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

The OMA is committed to making information and communications accessible to all people with disabilities. The information we provide and the ways we communicate with others is key to delivering our goods, programs and services to our members and/or people with disabilities.

Access to information involves matters relating to format and availability of content, including the means of access and technologies associated with it. While access to publications and information is usually the responsibility of the Technology department, there are also related responsibilities in all departments and units that produce publications and websites, such as promotions, marketing and communications.

The OMA will incorporate enhanced accessibility under the Information and Communications Standard to ensure that its information and communications systems and platforms are accessible and provided in accessible formats that meet the needs of people with disabilities.

The OMA will take into account a person’s disability when communicating or providing information to the person with a disability and will provide the necessary information in a timely manner and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to any other person (if applicable).

Feedback Processes

The OMA will:

  • Ensure that feedback processes are accessible via alternate formats and/or communication supports, upon request;
  • Notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports by posting a statement on the company website.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2015

  • Accessible Formats and Communication Supports

The OMA will:

  • Provide accessible formats and communication supports in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs due to disability;
  • Consult the person making the request to determine suitability of format;
  • Post a statement on the website about accessibility such that information and communications will be made available in accessible formats to all OMA employees, members, clients and customers.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016

Emergency Procedure Plans and Public Safety Information

The Ontario Medical Association does not typically prepare emergency procedures, plans or public safety information for the public audience.  In the event that it does, it will be provided in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request.

Required legislative compliance:  January 1, 2012

Accessible Web Sites and Web Content

The OMA will ensure that OMA internet and intranet websites and web content conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, such that:

  • New websites and any new web content conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A by January 1, 2014;
  • All websites and web content conform to WCAG Level AA by January 1, 2021 (other than live captions and audio descriptions).

Required legislative compliance:  January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2021

The following requirements under the Information and Communications Standard do not apply to the Ontario Medical Association:

  • Educational and training resources or materials produced by educational or training institutions
  • Training to educators
  • Producers of educational or training material
  • Libraries of educational and training institutions
  • Public Libraries

Part 3:  STANDARD FOR EMPLOYMENT

The OMA is committed to fair and accessible employment practices that attract and retain talented employees with disabilities.

Recruitment

The OMA will incorporate new accessibility requirements under the Employment Standard to ensure that barriers in recruitment are eliminated and corporate policies are followed, where applicable.

The OMA will:

  • Specify that accommodation is available for job applicants with disabilities in job advertisements and on the OMA website where jobs are posted;
  • Notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation in its recruitment processes for applicants with disabilities;
  • Inform candidates about the availability of accommodations:
  • when called for an interview;
  • during the selection process;
  • at the time of job offer;
  • at orientation;
  • Consult with the applicant and arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs, if the selected applicant requests an accommodation;
  • Notify the successful applicant of policies for accommodating employees with disabilities when making an offer of employment.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016

Support Information for Employees

The OMA will incorporate new accessibility requirements under the Employment Standard to ensure that barriers in information that supports employees are eliminated and corporate policies are followed, where applicable.

The OMA will:

  • Inform current employees and new hires soon after they begin employment of OMA’s policies supporting employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to, policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability;
  • Provide information under this section to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment;
  • Keep employees up to date on changes to policies and provide retraining where a change in policy has been made;
  • Provide accessible formats and communication supports to any employee(s) who requests them. If requested, the employer will consult with the employee to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for:
  • information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job;
  • information that is generally available to employees in the workplace;
  • Take into account the accessibility needs of new hires/employees with disabilities, including review and, if necessary, modification of employee (new hire) checklists.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016

Documented Individualized Plans

(i.e. workplace emergency response information, return to work plan, accommodation plan)

The Ontario Medical Association will incorporate new accessibility requirements under the Employment Standard to ensure that barriers in accommodation and any other plans that support employees are eliminated and corporate policies are followed, where applicable.

Workplace Emergency Response Information

Where the OMA has been made aware that an employee has a disability and is in need of accommodation in an emergency, the OMA will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to the employee as soon as practicable, after becoming aware of the need.

The OMA will:

  • Develop a process for documenting workplace individualized emergency response information for any employee who has a disability and requires the accommodation;
  • Consult with the employee to determine their needs and provide the plan as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need;
  • Provide the information only to the person that has been designated to provide assistance to the employee with the disability, upon the employee’s consent;
  • Review individualized workplace information when:
  • the employee moves location(s);
  • individual plans are reviewed;
  • general emergency policies are reviewed.

Return to Work and Accommodation Plan(s)

The OMA will review its return-to-work and accommodation plans, policies, practices and procedures, and incorporate new accessibility requirements under the IASR to ensure that barriers in accommodation and return to work are eliminated.

The OMA will:

  • Include in the process the manner in which the employee can participate in the development of the plan;
  • Include in the process the means by which the employee is assessed on an individual basis;
  • Include in the process the means by which the OMA can request an evaluation by an outside medical or other expert, at the OMA’s expense, to assist the OMA in determining how accommodation can be achieved;
  • Include in the process the manner in which the employee can request union representation (if applicable);
  • Take steps to protect the privacy of the employee’s personal information;
  • Outline the frequency in which individual accommodation plans will be reviewed and updated and the manner in which it will be done;
  • Provide the employee with the reasons for the denial if the individual accommodation plan is denied;
  • Include in the process the means of providing the individual accommodation plan in a format that takes into account the employee’s accessibility needs.

If individual accommodation plans are established, the OMA will ensure that they include:

  • Individualized workplace emergency response information that is required;
  • Any information regarding accessible formats and communication supports that have been provided for or arranged, in order to provide the employee with information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job, and/or information that is generally available to employees in the workplace;
  • Any other accommodation that is to be provided to the employee.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016

Performance Assessment, Career Development and Advancement, and Redeployment

The Ontario Medical Association will incorporate new accessibility requirements under the Employment Standard to ensure that barriers in performance assessment, career development and advancement, and redeployment are eliminated and corporate policies are followed, where applicable.

The OMA will:

  • Ensure the needs of the employees with disabilities are taken into account for the purposes of performance management, career development, advancement and redeployment;
  • Include accessibility considerations in performance management processes;
  • Include accessibility considerations and individual accommodation plans in career development and advancement, including additional responsibilities within current position;
  • Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when redeploying employees, including review and, if necessary, modification of employee (transfer) checklists.

Required legislative compliance: January 1, 2016

Part 4:  STANDARD FOR TRANSPORTATION

The Transportation Standard provides minimum obligations for the provision of appropriate transportation-related services for people with disabilities across the province.  This standard applies primarily to organizations that provide public or specialized transportation services. 

The Ontario Medical Association is exempt from this standard.

Part 5:  STANDARD FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

The Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment in Ontario focus on removing barriers in two areas: public spaces; and, buildings.

The Ontario Medical Association is committed to greater accessibility in, out of, and around the buildings we use. We will ensure that our office facilities incorporate the standards for barrier-free design as existing spaces are renovated and/or new spaces are obtained.