In 2005, the Ontario Government passed a law called the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to ensure a more accessible province for people with disabilities. The goal of the AODA is for all of Ontario to be fully accessible by 2025. All public sector organizations including hospitals must be in compliance by 2021.
A new, harmonized policy for SHN was approved in early 2019. The policy establishes accessibility standards at SHN in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005). This policy applies to all employees, agents, volunteers, physicians, students, patients, families and contracted service staff of SHN. Topics covered by the policy include: Providing Goods & Services to People with Disabilities, Procurement, Kiosks, Communication and Format of Documents, Notice of Availability of Documents, Accessibility Internet Websites and Content, Notice of Temporary Disruptions, Inclusive Meetings, Telephone Services, Assistive Devices, Feedback Process, Emergency Procedures, Plans or Public Safety Information, Workplace Emergency Response, Employment, Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, Accessibility Training, and Service Animals.
As SHN continues to harmonize processes and structures, we currently have two legacy Accessibility Plans. They identify and put into action the removal and prevention of barriers that impact the accessibility of people with disabilities, including our patients, their families, staff, volunteers and community members.
We are committed to ensuring that our patients clearly understand clinical issues and health outcomes. The hospital provides assistive devices for our patients and ensures that staff members are knowledgeable about how to access and use these devices. Devices include, but are not limited to:
- Staxi Chairs, which are available at both main campuses
- Accessible washrooms, which are available at all of our locations
- Text Telephones (TTY) and access to sign language, which are available for deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing patients