Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Please Send Us Your Feedback on the AODA Alliance’s Draft Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee on the Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System
July 23, 2021
Did we get it right? Let us know!
We’ve been busy as can be, writing a brief that we plan to submit by August 11, 2021 to the Health Care Standards Development Committee. The Ontario Government appointed that Committee back in 2017 to come up with recommendations on what the promised Health Care Accessibility Standard should include. The Health Care Accessibility Standard is a law that is to be enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to tear down the barriers that obstruct people with disabilities in Ontario’s health care system.
We’ve come up with a draft brief. We want your feedback on it to help us finalize it.
Back on May 7, 2021, the Ford Government made public the initial report of the Health Care Standards Development Committee. That initial report makes a series of recommendations on what the promised Health Care Accessibility Standard should include. The Government is inviting public feedback on that initial report up to August 11, 2021. The Health Care Standards Development Committee will be given all that public feedback. It can use that feedback to finalize its recommendations to the Government. We want our brief to give as much help as possible to the Health Care Standards Development Committee.
Below we set out a summary of what our draft brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee recommends. We applaud and agree with most of what the Health Care Standards Development Committee wrote. However, we make a number of recommendations on how it can improve its report.
Our draft brief builds upon all the feedback we have received over the years about disability barriers in the health care system. You can download our draft brief by visiting https://www.aodaalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/July-23-2021-Draft-AODA-Alliance-brief-on-health-Care-Standards-Development-Committee-initial-report.docx
Please send us your suggestions on our draft brief by August 1, 2021. We will then have to rush to turn our draft brief into a finished product.
Here are resources that you might find helpful:
- The Health Care Standards Development Committee’s initial report, recommending what the promise Health Care Accessibility Standard should include.
- A captioned talk by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky two years ago about disability barriers in the health care system.
- A captioned talk earlier this year by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky about the disability discrimination in Ontario’s critical care triage protocol that is now embedded in Ontario hospitals.
- The AODA Alliance website’s health care page, which documents our advocacy efforts over the past decade to make health care services accessible to people with disabilities.
A long 904 days ago, the Ford Government received the blistering final report of the Independent Review of the AODA’s implementation by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. It called for urgent action to speed up and strengthen the AODA’s implementation and enforcement. Since then, the Ford Government has announced no comprehensive plan of action to implement that report.
Summary of the July 23, 2021 Draft AODA Alliance Brief to the Health Care Standards Development Committee
- a) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should recommend more concrete actions to ensure that disability barriers are removed and prevented, rather than instead giving primary emphasis to individually accommodating patients with disabilities and having hospitals plan for accessibility.
- b) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should more forcefully address all barriers in the hospital sector and the broader health care system.
- c) The Health Care Accessibility Standard should ensure that all disability barriers are removed and prevented in hospitals, not just those the Accessibility Minister asked the Standards Development Committee to focus on.
- d) The Health Care Accessibility Standard should not assume that smaller hospitals always need more time to comply.
- e) The initial report incorrectly understates the role of the Health Care Standards Development Committee.
- f) The proposed long-term objective of the Health Care Accessibility Standard should be strengthened.
- g) The initial report’s vision of a barrier-free health care system should be strengthened.
- h) Additional recommendations are needed to ensure accountability for accessibility within a hospital or other health care provider’s organization.
- i) Specific requirements for accessibility of health care facilities’ built environment are needed.
- j) Specific actions should be recommended to ensure that diagnostic and treatment equipment are accessible.
- k) Specific actions are needed to ensure the accessibility of health records.
- l) The initial report’s recommendations on training of health care providers should be strengthened.
- m) Detailed recommendations are needed to protect the right of patients with disabilities and of any patients’ support people with disabilities to physically get to health care services.
- n) Action is needed to guarantee the right of patients with disabilities to the privacy of their health care information.
- o) Additional recommendations are needed to help ensure the rights of patients with disabilities and of patients’ support people with disabilities to accessible information and communication in connection with health care.
- p) The initial report’s recommendations should be strengthened to effectively protect the right of patients with disabilities to the support services they need to access health care services.
- q) Additional measures should be recommended to ensure right of patients with disabilities to identify their disability-related accessibility needs in advance and to request accessibility/accommodation from a health care provider or facility.
- r) Patients with disabilities and support people with disabilities should be assured accessible complaint processes at health care providers’ self-governing colleges, and to have those colleges ensure that the profession they regulate are trained to meet the needs of patients with disabilities.
- s) Systemic accessibility safeguards should be built into the health care system from top to bottom.
- t) The experience and expertise of people with disabilities working in the health care system should be harnessed to expedite the removal and prevention of barriers facing patients, and those facing their support people with disabilities.
- u) The Health Care Standards Development Committee should endorse the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee initial report’s health care recommendations.
- v) Further steps should be recommended to supplement the initial report’s recommendations arising from the covid-19 pandemic.
- w) The initial report’s recommendations on strengthening AODA enforcement are heartily applauded.t