The Township of Bonnechere Valley
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ACCESSIBILITY

Municipal Accessibility Policy

Prologue

The Township of Bonnechere Valley is committed to the vision of providing a vibrant, safe and attractive community where efficient services make it possible for families, individuals and the business community to grow, prosper, and enjoy a high quality of life without barriers due to a disability. The municipality is committed to being responsive to the needs of all its residents. To do this, we must recognize the diverse needs of all our residents and respond by striving to provide services and facilities that are accessible to all. As an employer, and a provider of services, the Municipality is committed to ensuring all its services are provided in an accessible manner.

The Township of Bonnechere Valley will promote accessibility to all our residents and visitors regardless of their disabilities through the development of policies, procedures and practices. To do this we must ensure the policies, procedures and practices address integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity.

Legislative Background

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2005 is the guiding document for accessibility in the province and replaces the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) 2001. The intent of the legislation is to make Ontario fully accessible for people with disabilities by the year 2025. The scope of the legislation includes the private sector as well as government and the broader public sector.

The development of mandatory standards to address the full range of disabilities and barriers; the introduction of timelines to identify that the standards are implemented and the development and implementation of an enforcement tool to ensure compliance with the standards is the primary focus of the AODA. The accessibility standards are being developed in consultation with persons with disabilities and organizations that have obligations under the Act.

The Province has enacted the Customer Service Standards, the first set of standards to be approved. The Customer Service Standards came into force January 1, 2008.

Standards Development Committees have been established for Information and Communications, Employment and the Built Environment.

Until such time as those standards have been developed and implemented, the Township of Bonnechere Valley is obligated to follow through with its responsibilities for Accessible Customer Service as outlined in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, including the preparation of the annual Accessibility Plan.

Municipal Background

The Township of Bonnechere Valley is a lower tier municipality; the Township has one village (Eganville) and several settlement areas. The Township has approximately 4000 permanent residents which increase to 12000 during the summer months with cottagers, campers and tourists.

Municipal services / departments available to residents or visitors are summarized as follows:

  1. Municipal Council / Representation for Residents
  2. Municipal Government services (Tax collection, dog tags, municipal administration etc)
  3. Website information service
  4. Library
  5. Fire and Protective Services
  6. Building Permits and Inspections
  7. By-law Enforcement Services
  8. Parks and Recreation Services
  9. Community Center & Arena
  10. Township Road Maintenance and construction
  11. Public Works
  12. Municipal Water & Sewer services
  13. Bonnechere Valley Dog Pound which services 9 other Municipalities
  14. Waste collection and disposal services

Services to residents are delivered from several facilities, including

  1. The Municipal Offices in Eganville
  2. Municipal Water Plant / Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plant
  3. Municipal Works Department on Foymount Road
  4. Spring Creek Municipal Works Yard
  5. Sebastopol Works Garage / Fire hall
  6. 2 Municipal Garages on John street in Eganville
  7. Eganville arena and community Centre located on Jane Street in Eganville
  8. Municipal Waste sites located at Snow Drifters Road, Lake Clear, Highway 41, Ruby Road and Sno-drifters Road.
  9. Bonnechere Union Library located on Bruce Street
  10. Tourist Information booth located on Bonnechere Street
  11. Bonnechere Valley Dog Pound located on Highway 41
  12. Centennial Park
  13. Legion Field
  14. Youth Activity Centre services building & Skate Park located at Legion Field
  15. Tennis Courts
  16. Curling Club
  17. Foymount Park
  18. Opeongo Park
  19. Cormac Park
  20. Eganville hydro generation
  21. Eganville District Seniors Needs

Target Group

The target groups in this Municipal Accessibility Plan are the concerned general public, persons with mobility, physical, audio or visual impairments, seniors, and supportive stakeholders. The Municipality will conduct visual inspections and gather information on barriers that would affect every day activities for those individuals that have disabilities. The Municipality shall work towards eliminating those barriers over time. The Municipality shall have high regard to barriers when constructing new facilities and making renovations to existing facilities. In addition to physical modifications, regard must be had to programs, processes and policies that are reviewed and/or created. All new programs and services offered shall be reviewed with consideration given to accessibility and attempt to ensure that the programs are as inclusive as possible

Procedures and practices

Reasonable efforts will be taken to ensure that our municipal practices strive to reflect or achieve the following:

  • That goods and services be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
  • The provision of goods and services to people with disabilities, and others, will be integrated unless an alternate measure is necessary, whether temporarily or permanently, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods and services.
  • That People with disabilities be given an opportunity equal to that given to others
  • That communication will be considered, in a manner that takes into consideration a person’s disability.
  • Those Persons with disabilities accompanied by a guide dog or service animal will be permitted in those areas of the premises owned or operated by the Township of Bonnechere Valley and that are open to the public.
  • That staff will receive appropriate training.

Support Persons

Support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

The Municipality has adopted a policy that allows for people with disabilities, who require, to be accompanied by a support person be admitted in all municipally owned and operated public facilities.

The Municipality will waive admission fees for a support person who accompanies a person with a disability, into any event sponsored by or controlled by the municipality. This waiver shall cover the cost of admission to the event only. Any ancillary costs such as but not restricted to food, beverages or other costs associated with the event are the responsibility of the support person or person being supported.

The Municipality will recommend that this policy be adopted by any person or group hosting any event on municipal property; however the person or group hosting any event is under no legal obligation to follow this guideline.

The municipality reserves the right to request the person with a disability be accompanied by a support person, in the event that it is considered necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability or others on the premises.

The municipality reserves the right to request documentation that the person in question requires a support person where the necessity of such person is not self evident.

Feedback Process

Suggestions:

Any member of the public wishing to provide the Municipality with a suggestion on how to improve our service shall:

  • Submit the comment or suggestion in writing to the Municipal Accessibility Coordinator.
  • The Accessibility Coordinator shall in cooperation with the accessibility committee review the comment(s) or suggestion(s)
  • The Accessibility coordinator shall respond within 15 days to the person bringing forth the suggestion or comment with an explanation of how we will implement the suggestion, a response indicating further investigation or an explanation why we are unable to implement the suggestion.

Complaints

Should a member of the public wish to make a complaint in regards to the service they have received they shall submit the complaint in writing to the Municipal Accessibility Coordinator who shall:

  • Within 2 business days begin an investigation into the complaint: and
  • Within 5 Business days convene a meeting to include the CAO and department head of the employee or service to which the complaint was directed.
  • Within 10 days respond to the person making the complaint with an explanation of the municipality’s response to the complaint.

Service Disruption

If, in order to obtain, use or benefit from a provider’s goods or services, people with disabilities usually use particular facilities or services and if there is a temporary disruption in those facilities or services in whole or in part, the municipality shall give notice of the disruption to the public. Notice of the disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available. Notice will be given by posting the information at a conspicuous place on the premises as well as by posting it on the municipal website.

Format of Documents

Any member of the public may request that any document produced by or on behalf of the Municipality be made available in an alternative format that takes into account the person’s disability except where the publication or divulgence of that document is prohibited under the Freedom of Information or Municipal Freedom of Information Act(s)

Material printed in-house and publications produced on behalf of the municipality will contain a note indicating, “Alternate formats are available upon request” and include relevant contact information.

The municipality and the person with a disability will try to agree upon the format to be used for the document or information, subject to feasibility requirements of this policy. Alternative formats that should be considered by the municipality and the person with the disability will include, but are not limited to:

Print Requests:

Requests for alternate formats should be honored in the most practical manner depending on the media chosen, the size and complexity of the document, the quality and source of the documents, the feasibility of the request (including the cost) and the number of documents to be converted. It should be noted that when a request for one of these formats is received and deemed feasible, staff should make every attempt to respond to the request in the most practical manner and to the satisfaction of the requestor. If it is determined that the format requested is not feasible, then other alternate methods of providing the information should be explored that will still meet the needs of the requestor (e.g. Audio CD or explaining the information verbally etc.).

  • Employee receives request from member of the public for alternate format;
  • If it is a simple request the employee performs the printing task and forwards the information to the member of the public.
  • If the print request is complicated or involves multiple documents the employee will forward the request to the accessibility coordinator for action.
  • The Accessibility Coordinator in cooperation with the CAO and department head will comply with the request in an appropriate and timely manner taking into account the feasibility, complexity and cost of the request.
  • If not feasible; contact individual with an alternative solution or to advise them that no alternative is available.

Note

The feasibility of supplying documents will be determined based upon cost in relation to size of document and time associated with processing document requests.  This will also be conducted "At a cost no greater than providing the service to others in a regular format."

The time frame attached to the conversion process varies depending on the media chosen, the size, complexity, quality of source documents and number of documents to be converted. Documents shall be returned in a timely manner depending on the factors previously noted.

Conversion shall be processed in-house wherever possible. In-house printing, where possible, should adhere to the CNIB’s Clear Print Standards where applicable.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Request:

When a request is received to have an ASL interpreter present in order to ensure full participation by a person with a hearing disability the following procedure shall be followed:

  • When the Municipality receives request from public for ASL Interpreter;
  • The employee passes the request to the Accessibility coordinator
  • The Accessibility coordinator will contact the Canadian Hearing Society to make request;
  • Once Canadian Hearing Society confirms attendance of ASL Interpreter, the employee contacts individual; and
  • If ASL Interpreter is not available, individual will be contacted with an alternate solution or to advise them that no alternative is available.

Training

The municipality shall ensure that every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the municipality, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise shall receive training on the provision of its goods or services to people with disabilities:

Training shall include but is not limited to:The municipality will log and retain records which will record the details of the training provided, as well as the name of the person, location, and date the training was completed.

  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disability, as outlined in this policy and procedures.
  • How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person, as outlined in this policy and procedures.
  • How to use equipment or devices available on the provider’s premises or otherwise provided by the provider that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability.
  • What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing the provider’s goods or services.

The municipality will customize the training going forward, based on the implementation of the additional standards of the Act.

Assistive Devices

The municipality will allow people with disabilities to use their own personal assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from the services offered by the municipality. Should a person with a disability be unable to access the municipalities services through the use of their own personal assistive device, the municipality will ensure the following measures:

  • Determine if service is inaccessible, based upon individual requirements.
  • Assess service delivery and potential service options to meet the needs of the individual.
  • Notify person with a disability of alternative service and how they can access the service, temporarily or on a permanent basis: or
  • Notify the person with the disability that providing access to that service cannot be reasonably done and what alternate options can be put in place.

Operational Review

Planned reviews will be set for every twelve months. Rationales for the planned timed reviews are within the scope of activity to further investigate possible barriers and to overcome the barriers, resources that are needed to cover the cost to overcome the barrier, and the design of the facility or service in question. Some buildings have architectural design barriers. Methodologies that will be used to conduct reviews of barriers are to seek public input, construction process/policies, renovation process, and building accessibility. Public input will be mainly sought through the publication of the Accessibility plan and gathering of comments and suggestions from residents. The Accessibility Plan will be available on the Municipalities Website along with a request for comments/suggestions page.

  
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