PAARC is committed to achieving a fully accessible organization, in compliance with the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). Each year, PAARC reviews its responsibilities under the Act, and establishes an action plan to identify and achieve elements of accessibility.
To achieve this commitment, all PAARC staff and students share in the responsibility for advancing accessibility by playing unique and important roles in identifying, removing and preventing barriers to participation.
PAARC strives at all times to provide its programs and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. PAARC is committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access and benefit from the same programs and services, in the same place and in a similar way as other service users. This policy outlines PAARC’s responsibilities in providing programs and services to people with disabilities in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (2005), and Accessible Customer Service Standard.
A disability, as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, includes physical, mental health, developmental and learning disabilities. Disabilities come in many different forms, sometimes obvious and sometimes not. Disabilities may be visible or invisible, they may differ in severity, and the effects of a disability may be continuous or intermittent.
- A person with a brain injury has a disability that is invisible.
- A person with arthritis has a disability that over time may become more severe.
- A person with multiple sclerosis has a disability that may sometimes affect daily routine and other times not.
PAARC is committed to excellence in serving all service users, including people with disabilities. This commitment is demonstrated in a variety of ways that are detailed below.
1.1 When communicating or providing information or services to a person with a disability, we will do so in a manner that takes the person’s disability into account. This will be guided by the person with the disability.
1.2 If a person with a disability needs an accessible format, or help to communicate with us, we will work with the person to provide the format or support that will meet their needs — at no additional cost to them.
1.3 If we are not able to meet the person’s particular requirement in a reasonable timeframe, we will inform them and will work with them to determine an alternate method or will provide a summary of the information.
- Telephone Services:
2.1 Accessible telephone service is provided to service users within the scope of PAARC’s resources.
2.2 When communicating with service recipients and participants, personnel shall speak clearly and at a pace the person can understand.
2.3 If telephone communication is not suitable to a person’s communication needs or is not available, communication with service users can be done through written means.
- Assistive Devices:
- People with disabilities may use their own personal assistive devices. Where assistive devices are available in our buildings, our staff have been trained on how to use them.
- Use of Service Animals:
4.1 PAARC welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
4.2 At no time shall a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal be prevented from having access to their service animal.
4.3 People with disabilities may use their service animal in all parts of our premises that are open to the public, unless the animal is excluded by law, such as in food preparation areas. In this case, we will ensure that appropriate alternative arrangements are made to ensure that the person can access the service.
- Use of Support Persons:
5.1 PAARC welcomes people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person.
5.2 At no time shall a person with a disability, who is accompanied by a support person, be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.
5.3 People with disabilities can access their disability-related support person while using our services.
5.4 In situations where confidential matters will be discussed, the support person may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement or the role of the support person may need to be agreed to in advance of the meeting.
- Notice of Temporary Disruption:
6.1 In the event of a planned or unexpected service disruption, PAARC shall provide service users with as much advance notice as is reasonable.
6.2 This notice shall include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
6.3 The notice shall be placed at all of PAARC’s public entrances and at reception counters on PAARC premises. If service recipients/participants do not have access to notifications through the above mentioned, personnel shall make every effort to contact them by phone to inform them of the disruption.
6.4 If there is a problem with facilities, equipment or services that people with disabilities rely on, we will provide notice to the public.
6.5 The way we provide the notice will be determined by the nature of the problem.
6.6 We will always try to make alternative arrangements to provide service where possible.
- Training for Personnel:
7.1 PAARC shall provide training to all staff, students and volunteers who deal with the public or other third parties on its behalf.
7.2 This training shall be provided within 3 months of the date of hire after personnel commence their duties. The following people/positions shall take lead responsibility with respect to this:
- The Hiring Manager shall ensure all newly hired staff members undergo training as part of their orientation.
- The Student Coordinator shall ensure all students undergo training as part of their orientation to their placement.
- The Coordinator, Volunteer Services shall ensure all volunteers undergo training as part of their orientation to their position.
- 7.3. Training shall include the following:
- 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 people with various types of disabilities
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing PAARC’s programs and services
- PAARC’s policy on Accessibility
- Staff and students shall report completion of training to the appropriate person, as indicated in section 8.1, within one month of their date of hire/placement.
This training shall be accessed electronically at the following web site:
Training for an Accessible Ontario
- Staff who require accommodation for emergency situations such as: evacuation, will be provided, when necessary, with accessible and customized emergency plan.
- Feedback, Complaints and Questions:
8.1 Feedback, complaints and questions regarding accessibility should be addressed to any PAARC staff member.
8.2 We will inform our service recipients of the choices available for them to give feedback.
Feedback may be provided:
- In person
- By telephone / TTY
- In writing
- By e-mail
- By any other communication technology as required
8.3 If service recipients with disabilities would prefer to give their feedback, and receive a response to it, using an alternate method than the one offered, they may request it.
- Modifications to Policies:
9.1 All policies about PAARC shall respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Any that do not do so shall be reviewed and a decision shall be made about whether it shall be modified or removed.
Other useful resources:
Ontario Interpreting Service
http://www.chs.ca/en/ and search for Accessibility Services
CHILD CARE POLICY
PAARC is unable to provide child care services at this time. It is highly recommended that visitors do not bring children into the agency as we cannot provide supervision of children.
We understand that there may be times when clients who are accessing our services are unable to secure child care for their child during their appointment time, and every effort will be made to reschedule clients to a more suitable time. If clients must bring children with them, the children must remain in the presence of the client at all times during their visit to our agency. This may affect the client’s ability to participate in the session as they may be distracted by their children. As well, having children present in the session may influence the topic that PAARC staff chooses to discuss with the client. Sensitivity must be given to the age and comprehension level of the child, as well as the possibility that the child may witness their parent in emotional distress.
ACCESS TO SERVICE POLICY
PAARC follows “no wrong door” protocols as outlined in “Toward an “Every Door is the Right Door” Service System, 2012. All individuals approaching PAARC for assistance or services are screened efficiently and effectively using standardized tools and/or forms to determine eligibility, urgency, and next steps. Individuals whom PAARC cannot support directly are smoothly transitioned to the right external service to meet their needs. PAARC participates in the system access model for both the Mississauga Halton (MH) and Central West (CW) Local Health Integration Network (LHINs) – now known as Ontario Health Central Region. These models include specific pathways for clients to access all addiction and mental health services within the specified regions they cover.
Clients approaching PAARC for assistance or services will be screened either face-to-face or via telephone through PAARC’s Clinical Intake, using the standardized Clinical Intake Form and the GAIN-SS where appropriate. For persons referred to PAARC from one of the system access models, a screening will be conducted and clients will be streamed directly into the assessment phase of service. PAARC has a Clinical Intake Worker; however, all PAARC clinical staff are trained in conducting clinical intake in order to serve all clients as promptly as possible. Every effort is made to follow-up with an individual within 48 hours or two business days of receiving an enquiry. Clients who are put on our waitlist after intake will be offered interim support through our internal stabilization program. Clients will also be invited to participate in our Weekly Support Group. The system access model, one-Link also provides client waitlist support if PAARC does not have the capacity to self manage waitlist. Specific PAARC services, depending on the funding source and partnership agreement(s), may have their own program-specific screening requirements which engage the potential client in more detailed conversation around client specific needs.