Coast EMS is committed to maintaining an accessible environment for persons with disabilities. We will use reasonable efforts to ensure that our policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of our services to persons with disabilities are consistent with the following principles:
Services are provided in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
Persons with disabilities are able to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other staff or visitors; and
Persons with disabilities have opportunities equal to others to obtain, use and benefit from Coast EMS’s goods or services.
For the purposes of this policy: "Disability" means:
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.
"Service animal" means an animal accompanying a person with disabilities where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability or where the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that he or she requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability. This definition includes guide dogs used by the blind or visually impaired.
Support person means, in relation a person with disabilities, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services.
- Application of Policy
This policy applies to Coast EMS services that are provided to the public. The policy applies to all staff and visitors at Coast EMS, who are accountable for providing accessibility to persons with disabilities.
- Providing Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
We are committed to excellence in serving all visitors, including persons with disabilities, and will carry out our functions and responsibilities by:
Communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
Serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices. Ensuring that persons with disabilities who are accompanied by their guide dog or other service animals are permitted to enter the premises of Coast EMS with the animal and to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is excluded by law from the premises.
Ensuring that persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person are permitted to enter Coast EMS’s premises with their support person. At no time will persons with disabilities who are accompanied by their support person be prevented from having access to their support person while on Coast EMS premises.
- Support Persons
Person with disabilities may enter Coast EMS’s premises with a support person and have access to the support person while on the premises. In certain circumstances, Coast EMS may require persons with disabilities to be accompanied by a support person when on the premises, but only if a support person is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with disabilities or the health or safety of others on the premises.
- Service Animals
A person with disabilities may be accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal when on Coast EMS’s premises. In the event that service animals are excluded by law from the premises or a part thereof (e.g. an area where food is being prepared), Coast EMS will provide other resources or support to enable the person with disabilities to access the services and goods offered by Coast EMS.
- Notice of temporary disruption
Coast EMS will notify the public in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities. This notice will include information about its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. Notice will be posted on the doors of the device (i.e. elevator door), or communicated by such method as is reasonable in the circumstances.
- Training for staff
Coast EMS will train its staff and other individuals who provide services to the public on Coast EMS’s behalf on the provision of its services to persons with disabilities. This policy will also be shared as soon as practicable with new hires. Coast EMS’s training will include the following topics:
The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard;
How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog, service animal or a support person;
How to use or access the equipment or devices available on Coast EMS’s premises or otherwise that may help with the provision of services to persons with disabilities;
What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty in accessing Coast EMS’s goods and services; and This policy.
Coast EMS will provide training on an ongoing basis when changes are made to Coast EMS’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to persons with disabilities.
- Feedback process
Coast EMS welcomes any feedback regarding the methods we use to provide services to persons with disabilities. Individuals may provide their feedback in person, by telephone, in writing, or email.
The VP of Human Relations will review and assess all feedback received with respect to Coast EMS’s accessibility practices and policies. If the feedback is in the nature of a complaint, the comment(s) or allegation(s) will be investigated, unless they are made in bad faith, or are frivolous or vexatious. When investigating complaints, those staff who directly interacted with the complainant or those who would typically interact with the complainant, if any, will be asked to comment on the allegation(s) made in the complaint. After reviewing and investigating a complaint, the VP of Human Relations will provide a written response to the individual who provided the feedback. Responses shall be provided within a reasonable amount of time and will depend on the complexity of the issues raised.
- Modifications to this policy
Modifications to this or other policies Changes will not be made to this policy unless the impact of the changes on persons with disabilities has been considered. Any Coast EMS policy that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.
- Questions about this policy
If anyone has a question about the policy, or if its purpose is not understood, please contact the VP of Human Relations. Coast EMS welcomes suggestions from staff for improving this policy and the manner in which we provide services to persons with disabilities.
- Requests for AODA compliance documents
Upon request, Coast EMS shall provide a copy of this policy to any person. When a request for this policy is received, Coast EMS will provide the document or information in a format that takes into account the requestor’s disabilities.