Canadian Medical Association

At the CMA, we’re committed to making sure people with disabilities have access to our resources and services in ways that respect their dignity and independence. Our accessibility policy spells out how we do that, covering areas such as communication, training and more.

Accessibility policy

Purpose

To describe how the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) provides goods and services to persons with disabilities, while respecting a person’s dignity, independence, integration and equality of opportunity. 

Our values are consistent with the principles outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), ensuring we serve effectively.

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

We honour a person’s wish for independence by respecting their 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 members.

We make efforts to ensure persons with disabilities have the same chances, options, benefits and results as others. We offer a variety of ways 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 CMA’s 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 AODA’s customer service standard. This Policy is a subset of the Code of Conduct and applies to all employees who provide goods or services to current, former and prospective members.

Definitions

  1. Assistive Devices: A broad range of products such as wheelchairs, walkers, white canes, oxygen tanks, portable chalk boards and electronic communication devices that people may bring to our premises.
  2. Disability: Physical, mental or developmental disabilities that may or may not be visible or permanent.i 
  3. Feedback: Comments regarding how we provide goods or services to persons with disabilities. 

Roles and responsibilities

  1. The Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, 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 responsibility includes:
    • Providing training to all applicable employees;
    • Ensuring the office building is accessible, or that alternate locations are provided for meetings;
    • Reviewing all feedback provided about the way we provide goods and services;
    • Providing notice of temporary disruptions of services; and
    • Ensuring CMA communications meet the expectations of this Policy.
  2. The Vice-President, Legal and Governance,  Chief Privacy Officer, or his or her delegate, is responsible for creating, maintaining and reporting on 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 their 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 Text Telephone (TTY) line or face-to-face meeting.
  3. Assistive devices
    • We will allow (as technology permits) persons with disabilities to use their assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. Where a person with a disability is unable to access our services using their own personal assistive device, we will assess service delivery and potential service options to meet their 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, we will make available alternative measures to allow the person to obtain, use or benefit from the animal’s services.
  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 persons with disabilities can be made through the Member Service Centre or any of CMA’s other communications channels. 
  2. All feedback submitted to the CMA addressing issues or concerns is treated as a complaint and dealt with through our standard complaint procedures, as outlined in the Code of Conduct and the CMA’s Respectful Workplace policy.
  3. Information about how to give feedback is maintained on our internal and external websites. 

Notice of temporary disruption

  1. CMA will give notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, how long it’s expected to last, and a description of any available alternative facilities or services. The notice will be posted on the premises where appropriate in the circumstances. 
  2. Where the website is not working, notification is posted to the website as soon as possible.
  3. Where the phone lines are not working, the calls are rerouted or a message is engaged to inform the caller of the disruption.

Training

  1. All CMA staff is trained on the provision of services to persons with disabilities on an annual basis. Training is updated as required.
  2. Training includes informing employees of their responsibility to meet the expectations of this policy and will include:
    • Purpose and requirements of the AODA
    • 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 CMA’s Code of Conduct.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this Policy may only be granted by the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, 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

Footnotes

  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, 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,
  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, or,
  4. A mental disorder.
  5. The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities with effects that come and go.