The Ontario Disability Act (Bill 125) requires that Municipalities prepare an accessibility plan annually and consult with persons with disabilities. The accessibility plan shall address the identification, prevention and removal of barriers to persons with disabilities. This is to be accomplished through the by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services of the Municipality.

If you'd like a copy of the 2019-2024 plan, please submit a request and we will email or print you a copy.

Accessible Customer Service Policies and Procedures

The Corporation of the Township of Laurentian Valley
Accessible Customer Service Policies and Procedures

Approved: January 19th, 2010

Policy

Policy

The Corporation of the Township of Laurentian Valley is committed to eliminating barriers and improving accessibility in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Laurentian Valley permits persons with a disability to use their own assistive devices when accessing goods or services as well as those owned and operated by Laurentian Valley. These assistive devices may include but are not limited to: support persons, service animals, communication aids, cognition aids, mobility aids and medical aids.

Applicability

The Accessible Customer Service Policy and Procedures apply to members of Council, all Municipal employees as well as volunteers, agents and/or contractors who represent the Corporation of Laurentian Valley Township in any manner.

Definitions

Assistive Device is a technical aid, communication device, or medical aid modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities.

Barrier, as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, 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 an information or communications barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or practice.

Customer is a person who buys, receives, or uses goods or services.

Disability, as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, is:

  • 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 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,
  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • a mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Service Animal, as defined in Ontario Regulation 429/07, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Person, as defined in Ontario Regulation 429/07, a 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.

Procedures

Assistive devices:

The use of assistive devices by persons with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from the Township of Laurentian Valleys goods or services is recognized unless otherwise prohibited due to health and safety or privacy issues.

Support persons:

Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their support person in areas/premises that are open to the public, when accessing goods or services provided by the Township of Laurentian Valley. If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the provider of goods or services shall ensure that both persons are permitted to enter the premises together and that the person with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises.

Where admission fees for the support person are applicable, the Municipality will waive collection of admission fees for the support person

The Township of Laurentian Valley may deem it necessary to require a support person for a person with a disability in order to protect the health and safety of that person or of others on the premises. This will only occur after consultation with the person with a disability and when it is the only means to allow the person with a disability to access the Township of Laurentian Valleys goods or services.

Service animals:

Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal and keep that animal with them in areas/premises that are open to the public, when accessing goods and services provided by the Township of Laurentian Valley, unless superseded by other legislation (health & safety or privacy).

In the event that a service animal is otherwise prohibited by law from the premises, the Township of Laurentian Valley will ensure that other measures are available to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from Laurentian Valleys goods and services.

Service disruptions:

In the event of a planned service disruption to facilities, services or systems that are relied upon by persons with disabilities to access the Township of Laurentian Valleys goods or services, notice of the disruption shall be provided in advance.

Notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternate facilities, services or systems that may be available.

Notice may be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place on premises owned or operated by the provider of goods or services, or posted on the Municipal web site or by such other method as is reasonable under the circumstances. In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as possible.

Training

The Township of Laurentian Valley will provide training to:

  • every person who participates in developing the policies and procedures under Ontario Regulation 429/07 - Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
  • Every person who deals with the public on behalf of the Township of Laurentian Valley, including third parties such as employees, volunteers and agents.
  • Current employees, volunteers and others who deal with the public will receive their training starting January 4, 2010
  • New employees, volunteers, management, etc. shall receive their training as soon as Apractical@ after commencing their duties.
  • Agents working on various projects for the municipality and who have been approved by successful tender shall be responsible for providing their own training to meet the requirements of Ontario Regulation 429/07

Training will include the following:

  • The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard,
  • How to interact and communicate with all people seeking to use municipal services
  • How to operate any assistive device in operation at the Municipal Office and the Recreation Centers at a given time
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the Township of Laurentian Valleys goods and services, and
  • The Township of Laurentian Valleys Accessible Customer Service Policies and Procedures.

Staff will be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies and procedures and when further standards are developed. Training records will be kept of the dates and persons who attended, and the subjects covered.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2019 - 2024

Accessibility Plan

Introduction

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires that Municipalities prepare and maintain multi-year plans to remove accessibility barriers in our municipality. The accessibility plan shall address the identification, prevention and removal of barriers to persons with disabilities. This is to be accomplished through the by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services of the Municipality.

This is the sixth accessibility plan completed by the Municipality. This report provides a baseline of the accessibility measures taken in the past, what barriers where removed since 2003 and identifies what measures need to be addressed in 2020 and the future. The inspections and report were completed by municipal staff.

Laurentian Valley Township Demographics

Laurentian Valley Township was formed by the amalgamation of the former Townships of Stafford-Pembroke and Alice & Fraser on January 1, 2000. 2016 Census Statistics indicate the Municipality has a population of 9,387 residents, with 3,992 households. The Township of Laurentian Valley surrounds the City of Pembroke and is south of the Town of Petawawa.

Land uses range from rural residential and farming properties on private water and on-site sewage disposal systems to suburban and residential and highway commercial on municipal water and sewer. There are several blocks of industrial properties in the municipality and regionally significant mineral aggregate resources. The Township has approximately 20 kilometres of Ottawa River frontage.

The Municipality has seven significant properties with structures; the Municipal Office and Public Works Complex, Highway 41 Multi-Use Building, Laurentian Valley Fire Hall, three Recreational complexes. The Township technically owns the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre Property, however the OVWRC has their own board which manages their site specific accessibility plan.

Council Commitment to Accessibility Planning

The Council of the Corporation of the Township of Laurentian Valley is committed to the continuous improvement of access to all municipally owned facilities, premises and services for all those with disabilities. (Accessibility Policy & Plan– January 7th, 2014, Customer Service Policy January 19, 2010)

Council has instructed the Chief Administrative Officer to conduct the audits and prepare the accessibility plan to meet these commitments.

2019 Audit

Information Services

The Municipal website is mostly disabled accessible. It is in a text only format which allows the visually impaired to use web reading software to navigate the site and read the graphics. There is however an increasing use of adobe formatted documents which are mostly in-accessible. Two pages of the current website were assessed through an online tool and found to be WCAG 2.0 compliant. The previous polices and plans are not posted on the web-site, as required by the current legislation.

By-Laws

The Municipality passed a Disabled Parking By-law No. 03-03-167 in March 2003. Short form wording has been approved by the Crown. The set fine is $300.00 as required by the province. Disabled parking and access are considered when planning new developments.

The Building Department has enforced Section 3.8 since its introduction into the Ontario Building Code.

There are references to accessibility in the Official Plan and the Zoning -By-law.

Municipal Buildings

On September 9, 2003 staff completed an initial Part 3.8 Building Code audit of the municipally owned buildings and follow up inspections were completed on August 19, 2004, August 21, 2007, September 8, 2008 and November 2013. The audits were conducted to assess the existing compliance of the Municipal buildings and properties, to the AODA standards. Numerous barriers were identified in the older facilities that required remedial work to remove. The barriers previously identified and not yet corrected, and new barriers discovered will be discussed further in this document under Barriers Identified. The barriers that have been removed, can be identified by reviewing the 2014 Report.

Transportation & Roads

The Municipality now provides limited mass transit in the Stafford built up area. There are very few sidewalks in the Municipality. There are a couple of areas in the Municipality that are signed to caution traffic for local disabled persons. This signing has been done on a request basis in the past.

The Municipality provides grants to the Friends of the Disabled towards the expenses for operating the Pembroke Handi-bus service.

Barriers Identified

Municipal staff conducted an inspection of Municipal Properties and buildings in November of 2019. The following chart gives a list of deficiencies identified and the strategy for their removal, in the future.

Laurentian Valley Municipal Office
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
None identified    
Public Works Complex
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
None identified    

Highway 41 Complex
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Parking spaces are not painted and signed Architectural Paint lines for parking and install signs
There is a 1” bump at door threshold Architectural  
There is no barrier free accessible washroom in this building Architectural If and when this building is renovated it will have to be redesigned to accommodate an accessible washroom
Lunchroom, shop area not accessible Architectural Redesign layout to provide a route to the lunchroom and shop area.
Stafford Recreation Centre
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Paved parking lot, not marked spaces Architectural Mark a couple of spaces
The washrooms are not signed as being accessible Architectural Municipal Staff to locate a supplier and obtain proper signs for all the Municipal buildings
Door knobs are round twist type Architectural When replacing door hardware, lever type hardware is to be specified
Faucet handles are round type Architectural When replacing faucets, lever type hardware is to be specified
Shady Nook Recreation Centre
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Door opening device has round knobs Architectural Change door knobs to lever type
Hall phone height is too high Architectural Lower phone so that it is accessible (not a public phone)
Laurentian Valley Fire Hall
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Parking spaces are not painted and signed Architectural Paint lines for parking and install signs
There is a 2” bump at door threshold Architectural Repair concrete walkway at door
Waste receptacle blocks access to water closet in the women’s washroom Physical Relocate the waste bin
Hand dryers are too high in both washrooms Physical Relocate dryers lower
Mirrors are too high Physical Lower the mirrors
Alice & Fraser Recreation Centre
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Gravel parking lot, no signed spaces Architectural

Order and sign some parking spaces.

Install a paved parking area.
Entrance is not a level area at the door Physical Design and install a sidewalk with level entry at main door
Some doors have round knobs Architectural Replaced round knobs with lever
Men’s washroom does not have a spring or gravity door closer or a pull door, soap dispensers are too high Physical Install a spring or gravity door closer, door pull and lower soap dispensers

New Recreational Facilities

Outdoor Skating Trail
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Gravel parking lot, no signed spaces Architectural

Order and sign some parking spaces.

Install a paved parking area.
Signage Requirements Architectural Signs required indicating length, maximum grades, noting rest areas.
Splash Pad
BarrierTypeStrategy for removal
Parking, same concerns as Stafford Recreation Architectural

Mark a couple of spaces

Barriers to be addressed in 2019 - 2024

Information Services

The administration will make enquires at the Clerks and Treasurers Association to see what other Municipalities are doing with their tax bills and notices, to make them more accessible, if possible. The Municipality will consult with the visually impaired when format changes to the website, tax bills and notices are contemplated.

Municipal Buildings

Staff will be instructed to include the other Municipal properties and Recreational complexes in any tenders for parking lot painting and signing.

The recreation facilities are managed by volunteer committees. The Municipality has advised them of their obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the deficiencies found during the recently completed inspection.

The Stafford Works Garage/Highway 41 Complex is currently leased to two entities, enquiries should be made to establish their legislated requirements. Estimates could be sought to design and renovate to accommodate the disabled, for Councils and the tenant’s decision to proceed.

Planning & Building

The Official Plan will include enhanced text, advising developers of the requirement for Accessibility Design in their proposals.

The Zoning By-law will require more specifications in respect of Accessibility Design, relating to parking and access to buildings (the OBC does not stray more than 1 metre from the building proper in the regulations, so there are some gaps).

Accessibility Policies

The Municipalities has an Accessible Customer Service Policy and Procedures in which Council, municipal staff, and as well as volunteers, agents and/or contractors who represent the Corporation of Laurentian Valley Township in any manner follow. This policy is now 10 years old and should be reviewed and updated, to remain in compliance with O.Reg 191/11.

Communication

This report will be made available on the Municipal website as well as the Municipal Office. The report will also be circulated to the local groups that deal with the disabled for their review and comments. A section of the website will be established to post the Policies & Procedures and past Accessibility Reports.

Review and Monitoring

Council is committed to following through with this plan. This plan will be updated semi-annually to allow Council, staff and the public to monitor the progress the Municipality is making to remove all barriers under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Download a copy of this plan

 

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