Accessibility Policy

INTRODUCTION

The Dental Team is committed to an accessible workplace and excellence when providing services to all patients and public, including those with disabilities.

This policy has been established pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

DEFINITIONS 

The following definitions can be found in the AODA, or in the regulations made pursuant to the Act. “Disability”:  (a)  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 coordination, 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

     (b)  A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,

     (c)  A learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes  involved in the understanding or using symbols or                        spoken language

     (d)  A mental disorder, or

     (e)  An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

“Barrier”

Means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, or a policy or practice.

“service animal”

An animal that is specially trained to assist a person with a disability. A service animal must be readily identifiable as a service animal.

“support person”

This 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.

1) OUR MISSION

At The Dental Team, we provide innovative and inspired leadership to deliver exceptional value by: promoting the highest standards of dental care and supporting our diverse membership in their 

pursuit of professional excellence and personal fulfillment; fostering a collaborative workplace environment that promotes creativity and personal growth

while celebrating achievements; and advocating with a unified voice for accessible and sustainable optimal oral health for all Ontarian’s.

2) OUR COMMITMENT

We are committed to excellence when serving all patients and the public, including persons with disabilities, and to carry out our functions and responsibilities in accordance with the principles of respect for dignity and independence, integration, and equal opportunity.

3) PROVIDING SERVICES TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES:

This policy will guide decision-making related to accessibility issues and initiatives. Our goals in the area of accessibility and customer service include:

Communication

We will train staff on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.

Telephone services

We will train staff to communicate over the telephone in plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. If we are notified that telephone communication is not suitable to an individual’s communication needs, we will aim to find an alternative means of communication.

Assistive devices

We will ensure that our staff is trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by persons with disabilities while accessing our services. We will provide a manual wheelchair if an electronic assistive device (such as a scooter or automatic wheelchair) is unable to move safely around the building.

Billing

We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all people to whom we issue invoices. For this reason, invoices will be provided in alternate formats upon request. We will answer any questions about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone, or e-mail, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

4) USE OF SERVICE ANIMALS AND SUPPORT PERSONS

All of The Dental Team staff and volunteers (where applicable) are required to follow the procedures outlined below when providing service to persons with disabilities: Service Animals

We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law, in which case steps will be taken to ensure that other

measures are available to enable a person with a disability to access our goods and services. We will also ensure that all staff and volunteers (where applicable) dealing with anyone entering our premises are properly trained in how to interact with persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.

Support Persons

We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are The Dental Team premises accompanied by a support person and they will be permitted to enter The Dental Team premises together. At no time will 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 The Dental Team premises. The Dental Team may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on its premises, but only if a support person is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises.

5) NOTICE OF TEMPORARY DISRUPTION

If there is a temporary disruption of The Dental Team facility or services usually used to allow a person with a disability to access The Dental Team office goods or services, The Dental Team will place notices of the disruption in appropriate locations including all entrances using a suitable medium. The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be given in accordance with requirements under Section 5 of the AODA.

6) TRAINING FOR STAFF

The Dental Team will provide training to all employees, independent contractors, volunteers (where applicable), and others who deal with patients and the public on The Dental Team’s behalf, or who are involved in developing policies, practices, and procedures. Training will be provided to existing staff at the time this policy is implemented; for new staff when they commence their duties, and for all on an ongoing basis. Training will cover: the purposes and requirements of the AODA, associated standards, and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities; 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 service animal or a support person; how to use the equipment, devices, services and/or facilities currently available on our premises;  what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing The Dental Team office goods or services; The Dental Team policies, practices and procedures relating to the customer service standard; and what to do with feedback concerning the manner in which The Dental Team provides goods or services to persons with disabilities.

7) INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

The Dental Team is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. As required, we will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.

The Dental Team is committed to providing customers and clients with publicly available emergency information, and all print documents and information provided to the public, in an accessible format upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary. Employees will be given any information that they need to perform their jobs, including any general information that is available to all employees, such as emergency procedures, in an accessible format on request.

8) SELF-SERVICE KIOSKS

Employees of The Dental Team will consider the needs of people with disabilities when designing, procuring, or acquiring self-service kiosks.

9) EMPLOYMENT

The Dental Team is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. As required, The Dental Team will integrate accessibility into regular workplace processes, including recruitment, employee accommodation, and performance management, and career development.  The Dental Team will consider the needs of persons with disabilities throughout their employment, including performance management.  The Dental Team will provide employees with disabilities with individualized accommodation plans, including emergency response information and return to work plans as necessary.

10) FEEDBACK PROCESS

Feedback from the public and patients on this Accessibility Plan and Policy Statement is welcome and can be provided by any method, (e.g. in person, by mail, by email, by telephone, or another appropriate medium). To provide feedback, contact The Dental Team by email at [email protected]

11) QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POLICY

If anyone has a question about this policy, he or she is encouraged to contact The Dental Team.  A copy of this document will be provided to individuals in an accessible format, on request.

12) INVESTIGATIONS

Dr. David Meisels will respond to any complaints about The Dental Team’s manner in providing goods and services to persons with disabilities, within a reasonable time. Dr. Meisels will also assist any individual who informs Dr. Meisels that he or she needs assistance in preparing a complaint. Professional Affairs Policy Manager.

Applicable Legislation and Reference Documents

The following legislation and reference documents apply:

Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act, 2005 

Ontario Human Rights Code 

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 

Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11