Accessibility

Accessibility for Clients with Disabilities

PURPOSE

This policy describes how CMHA Middlesex will ensure it takes all reasonable measures to provide accessible service to clients with disabilities.

POLICY

CMHA Middlesex is committed to ensuring all clients have equal access to the services that the organization provides. This will be done by:

  • Establishing policies, procedures and practices that describe how to serve people with disabilities
  • Using reasonable effort to ensure CMHA Middlesex service policies are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration of services and equality of opportunity
  • Dealing with the use of assistive devices for people with disabilities
  • Communicating with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disabilities
  • Welcoming people accompanied by guide dogs, service animals or support people and providing information about access
  • Providing clear, complete, timely, and prominent notice of temporary disruption of any CMHA Middlesex facilities that are used by people with disabilities; this notice will include information about the reasons for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
  • Providing timely and ongoing training to CMHA Middlesex Board of Trustees, employees, volunteers, and students
  • Implementing and communicating CMHA Middlesex processes for receiving and responding to feedback, including complaints about how the organization provides services to people with disabilities
  • Complying with documentation standards, including availability and format of documents

LIMITATIONS

This policy does not cover:

  • Physical features or characteristics of CMHA Middlesex buildings and properties
  • The types or content of the programs or services that CMHA Middlesex provides
  • Acceptance criteria for an individual to become a client of CMHA Middlesex programs and services

Assistive Devices

PURPOSE

This policy outlines how people with disabilities who use personal assistive devices will be treated whenever they are on CMHA Middlesex property or are using CMHA Middlesex services. This policy further outlines how information about the availability of assistive devices on the organization’s premises will be kept and communicated.

POLICY

CMHA Middlesex is committed to ensuring all clients and visitors with disabilities who use personal assistive devices will be able to use their assistive devices at CMHA Middlesex. This will be done by:

  • Using reasonable effort to ensure clients and visitors with disabilities and who use assistive devices are treated with dignity, independence, integration of services and equality of opportunity
  • Educating staff about personal assistive devices
  • Allowing clients and visitors with disabilities who use CMHA Middlesex services or visit CMHA Middlesex premises to use their personal assistive devices

CMHA Middlesex is also committed ensuring that it informs all clients and visitors with disabilities about the personal assistive devices available for their use on CMHA Middlesex premises. This will be done by:

  • Keeping an updated inventory of assistive devices available for use by clients and visitors to CMHA Middlesex and making that information available to them in accessible formats and locations
  • Striving to expand the organization’s inventory of assistive devices when making budgeting and purchasing decisions
  • The assistive devices could include telephones for the hearing impaired, software/screens that magnify typing for visually impaired individuals etc

LIMITATIONS

This policy does not cover devices that are used by people without disabilities or devices that are not related to disability. The policy does not supersede health and safety laws, regulations, or policies.

Communicating with People with Disabilities

PURPOSE

This policy outlines how CMHA Middlesex communications will take into account a range of disabilities. This policy further outlines the communication criteria that must be taken into account when communications are developed and distributed.

POLICY

CMHA Middlesex is committed to communicating effectively with people with disabilities. This will be done by:

  • Taking into account individual disabilities when communicating
  • Educating Board Trustees, employees, students, volunteers, and others about providing effective ways of communicating with people with disabilities
  • Using appropriate language when referring to people with disabilities and taking action when unacceptable terms are used
  • Soliciting feedback about the organization’s communication from clients, visitors, stakeholders, experts, and others
  • Keeping current with communication technology and standards for people with disabilities

CMHA Middlesex will develop and enforce communication criteria that provide a range of options to make all communication within the organization more accessible to people with disabilities. This will be done by:

  • Adapting current best practices whenever possible
  • Ensuring that there is a quality control process for communications

This policy applies to all Board Trustees, employees of CMHA Middlesex, students, volunteers, contractors, consultants and others working on behalf of CMHA Middlesex and who communicate with clients, visitors and the public.

LIMITATIONS

This policy does not cover:

  • Internal communications
  • Communications that are from third-parties which are forwarded to others
  • Communications that are under copyright and cannot be altered by the organization

Guide Dogs and Service Animals

PURPOSE

This policy outlines how people with disabilities and their service animals will be treated on CMHA Middlesex premises.

POLICY

CMHA Middlesex is committed to allowing full access to its premises to people with disabilities and their service animals wherever possible. This will be done by:

  • Allowing full access to CMHA Middlesex premises, unless an area of the organization is not open to the public or other third parties or animals are excluded by other laws such as public health
  • Educating Board Trustees, employees, volunteers, students, contractors, and others dealing with the public to interact appropriately with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal
  • Assisting people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal when they request help with their animal if it is safe and reasonable to do so
  • Providing other measures to access CMHA Middlesex programs and services for people with disabilities if their service animal is excluded by law from certain areas of CMHA Middlesex premises

LIMITATIONS

This policy does not cover:

  • Events held off premises over which CMHA Middlesex does not have control
  • Animals that do not come under the definition of “guide dog” or “service animal”

PROGRAM LIMITATIONS

Treatment Services

  • Service animals will be accommodated in the facilities; however, admission may be delayed due to current resident composition (i.e. if clients currently residing in a residence have allergies or trauma related to the type of service animal, the client with the service animal will be accommodated when an appropriate bed becomes available).
  • If a client is admitted with a service animal, the client is fully responsible for the animal and the animal’s behaviour.

DEFINITIONS

Guide Dog – A dog that has successfully completed the training program at any of the facilities listed in the Blind Persons’ Rights Act and has been qualified as a guide dog.

Service Animal – May also be called “assistance animals,” “assist animals,” “support animals” or “helper animals” if:

  • It is readily apparent the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • The person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability

Support Persons

PURPOSE

This policy outlines how people with disabilities and their support persons will be treated on CMHA Middlesex premises and at CMHA Middlesex-sponsored programs or events.

POLICY

CMHA Middlesex is committed to allowing clients with disabilities to participate in CMHA Middlesex-sponsored programs or events with a support person. CMHA Middlesex is also committed to allowing access to its premises to clients or guests with disabilities and their support persons. This will be done by:

  • Ensuring that a person with a disability and his/her support person are able to enter the premises together and that the person with a disability has access to his/her support person while on CMHA Middlesex premises
  • Taking all steps necessary to allow a CMHA Middlesex client with a disability to participate in CMHA Middlesex programs with the assistance of his/her support person
  • Orientating all support persons on all relevant CMHA Middlesex policies, including privacy, confidentiality, and the role of a support person in CMHA Middlesex programs and services
  • Educating Board Trustees, employees, volunteers, students, contractors, and others dealing with the public about how to interact appropriately with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person
  • Giving advance notice about the fee, if any, that will be charged for a support person who accompanies a person with a disability to programs and services offered by the organization on CMHA Middlesex premises or sponsored by CMHA Middlesex at other venues. Fees may include transportation, admission fees, food, rent, etc.

LIMITATIONS

This policy does not cover:

  • Events held on CMHA Middlesex premises but are not sponsored by CMHA Middlesex
  • CMHA Middlesex events held off premises for which CMHA Middlesex does not have control
  • Volunteer orientation requirements CMHA Middlesex retains the right to request that a support person complies with program guidelines and expectations. If the organization determines that the support person has exceeded the boundaries of his/her prescribed support role, CMHA Middlesex will have the right to request that the support person leave the specific program of CMHA Middlesex.

PROGRAM LIMITATIONS

Treatment Services

  • Residences with only one room or one bedroom suites will not be able to accommodate a support person as a live-in. If a two bedroom unit is available a support person could be accommodated but would be responsible for market rent of his/her portion of the residence.
  • Treatment Services will accommodate a support person in any of the groups or meals, with advance notice, and with the support person being responsible for any cost associated with that group or meal.

DEFINITIONS

Fee – The amount charged to the support person when attending a CMHA Middlesex-sponsored event while providing support for a client of CMHA Middlesex, or the amount charged specifically to the support person for housing rental rates.

Support Person – May also be called “support professional,” “caregiver,” “interpreter,” or “friend” to name a few. For CMHA Middlesex clients, a support person is a person formally identified by the client’s physician or other health-care or social service professional who assists an individual with a disability to lead a self-directed life and who accompanies him/her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs, or access to goods or services. This may be a professional, relative, volunteer, or friend.