CMA Accessibility Policy

Purpose

This policy describes how the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) provides goods and services to persons with disabilities, in a way that respects a person’s dignity, independence, integration and equality of opportunity.

The CMA promotes an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect with all stakeholders. We do this because we believe it leads to a higher level of personal and corporate performance that ultimately delivers better outcomes for all. Our values are consistent with the principles outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (otherwise known as AODA) to effectively provide services to people with disabilities. In keeping with our values, CMA aims at all times to provide (goods and) services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

We honour a person’s dignity by ensuring we provide the same level of service, quality or convenience ― regardless of that person’s position or ability.

We honour a person’s wish for independence by respecting his or her choices and integrate our services to ensure persons with disabilities fully benefit from the same services, in the same place and in the same or similar way as other CMA members.

We make efforts to ensure persons with disabilities have the same chances, options, benefits and results as others. We offer a variety of means to access our services to help ensure persons with disabilities do not have to make significantly more effort to access or obtain a service.

Scope

As noted in our Code of Conduct, we promote an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect; this policy is a reflection of how we do that while meeting the requirements of the Customer Service Standard1. This policy is a subset of the Code of Conduct and applies to all employees dealing directly with our members, including former and prospective members, for the purposes of providing goods or services.

1Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07

Definitions

  1. Assistive devices: includes a broad range of products such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, portable chalkboards and electronic communication devices that people may bring to our premises
  2. Disability: includes physical, mental or developmental disabilities which may or may not be visible or permanent*
  3. Feedback: comments regarding the manner in which we provide goods or services to persons with disabilities

Roles and responsibilities

  1. The Vice-President, Strategy & Organization Effectiveness, or his or her delegate, is responsible for ensuring all persons with disabilities are treated in a manner that meets the expectations of the policy. This includes:
    • providing training to all employees, as applicable
    • ensuring the office building is an accessible structure, or that alternate locations are provided for meetings
    • reviewing all feedback provided about how we provide goods and services
    • providing notice of temporary disruptions of services
  2. The Director, Governance and Legal Services and Chief Privacy Officer, or his or her delegate, is responsible for creating, maintaining and reporting on this policy.
  3. The Director, Human Resources and Organizational Development, or his or her delegate, is responsible for ensuring communications produced meet the expectations of this policy.

Communications

CMA offers products and services through four channels: voice, mail, face-to-face and electronic. When communicating with a person with a disability, we will offer to communicate by the method best suited to his or her communication needs.

  1. Advertising
    • When creating or updating communications whose purpose is to offer goods or services, we document how they meet the requirements of this policy.
    • The format in which they are produced may dictate how flexible the communications can be. In cases where the communication cannot be offered in an alternate format, we document how persons with disabilities can obtain the information through an alternate channel.
  2. Telephone services
    • Where service by telephone is not accessible for persons with disabilities, we offer alternate channels such as a TTY line or face-to-face meeting.
  3. Assistive devices
    • We will allow (as technology permits) individuals with disabilities the use of their assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. Where an individual with a disability is unable to access our services through the use of their own personal assistive device(s), we will assess service delivery and potential options to meet the individual’s needs.

Use of service animals and support persons

  1. Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal will be permitted to enter parts of our premises that are common areas and to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law or for any other reason (health of the occupants) from the premises. If the animal is legally excluded from some parts of the premises, alternative measures to enable the person to obtain, use or benefit from CMA services will be made available.
  2. A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter CMA’s premises together with the support person, and will not be prevented from having access to the support person while on our premises.

Feedback

  1. Feedback regarding the way the CMA provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made through any medium in which CMA is engaged.
  2. All feedback addressing issues or concerns is treated as a complaint and is dealt with through the standard complaint procedures.
  3. Information about how to give feedback is maintained on all websites.

Notice of temporary disruption

  1. CMA will provide notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services used by people with disabilities. This 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 posted on the premises, where appropriate.
  2. When the website is not working, notification is posted to the website as soon as possible after service is restored.
  3. When phone lines are not working, calls are rerouted or a message is provided to inform the caller of the disruption.

Training

  1. All CMA staff will receive training about the provision of services to persons with disabilities. Training will be updated as needed.
  2. Training involves informing employees of their responsibility to meet the expectations of this policy and includes:
    • explaining the purpose and requirements of the Act
    • tips for serving persons with disabilities
    • definitions of assistive devices, support persons and service animals
    • feedback mechanism
    • link to resources and more detailed courses

Enforcement

A breach of this policy is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may only be granted by the Vice-President, Strategy & Organization Effectiveness or his or her delegate.

Record retention

Unless otherwise stated, records are kept for seven years from the date of publication.

Impacting regulations

Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07

*

  1. 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, 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
  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language
  4. A mental disorder
  5. The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible, and disabilities the effects of which may come and go.