About Bruyère

Accessibility Standards for Customer Services for Persons with Disabilities

  • Policy Number: PHIL 05
  • Effective Date: 2010-04
  • Applies to: Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, Saint-Vincent Hospital, Saint-Louis Residence, Élisabeth Bruyère Residence
  • Last Revision Date: 2016-04
  • Department Responsible: Quality, Patient Safety, Risk 

Patients refer also to residents.

Note: The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) (AODA) was created to ensure the development, implementation, and enforcement of accessibility standards for Ontarians for customer service, built environment, communication, and information, transportation and employment.


1.1 In keeping with the values of Bruyère Continuing Care, Senior Leadership shall ensure that all services meet the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner by:

  • creating policies that are consistent with the provisions of the legislation, i.e., that: 
    • respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
    • are integrated when possible;
  • are equally available to persons with disabilities. 
  • providing training to all staff; 
  • conducting an annual review of compliance to the Act and to our policies. 

1.2 All managers shall ensure that the services under their supervision are accessible as required by law.



2.1 Staff: employees, physicians, learners, consultants, contract employees, and volunteers of Bruyère Continuing Care, the Bruyère Foundation and Bruyère Research Institute. 


2.2 Disability:

  • any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect, or illness, including but not limited to 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, physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or assistive 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 (e.g., thought disorders such as psychosis, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders such as phobias). 

2.3 Support person: an individual chosen by a person with a disability (whether or not the individual is remunerated) to accompany or provide services or assistance with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs, or access.

2.4 Assistive device: a tool, technology or other mechanism that enables a person with a disability to do everyday tasks and activities such as moving, communicating or lifting, and that helps the person to maintain their independence at home, at work and in the community.

2.5 Service animals: working animals that have special training to assist a person to overcome barriers. It must be readily apparent that the animal is being used because of a person's disability or the person may be requested to provide a letter from a health practitioner confirming that it is required because of his or her disability. Service animals are not pets.

2.6 Accessible formats: alternatives to standard print that are accessible to people with disabilities, may including, but not limited to large print, Braille, and audio electronic formats such as DVDs, CDs.

2.7 Communication supports: supports including but not limited to captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language, and other supports that facilitate effective communications.


3.1 All Bruyère staff and volunteers providing goods and service including those who develop the policies and practices governing the provision of goods and services receive accessibility training which includes information about:

  • purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act;
  • requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07);
  • requirements of the Act's Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11);
  • Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities;
  • how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  • how to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person;
  • how to use equipment or devices made available by Bruyère or otherwise provided by the provider that may help with the provision of goods or services to a person with a disability;
  • what to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing our goods or services.

3.2 The training provided will be appropriate to the duties of the staff member or volunteer and will take place as soon as is practicable. Upon completion, a record is to be maintained of the training provided, including the dates when it took place.


4.1 Assistive devices: The right of individuals to use personal assistive devices while accessing our services is respected and accommodated. Efforts are made, within reason, to ensure an accessible environment, recognizing that some inherent facility issues do not allow barrier free access. Individuals who need immediate assistance to facilitate access to our environment can contact a staff person or Telecommunications.

4.2 Support persons: The right of individuals to be accompanied by support persons while accessing our services is respected and accommodated. Support persons are required to maintain full confidentiality of any information that they are privy to, and may be required to complete our Privacy Commitment form (A1200052).

  • If the separation of an individual from his/her support person (e.g., medical procedure) is required, the individual is informed in advance and alternatives considered.
  • Support persons may accompany individuals to events organized by Bruyère. Event organizers should be notified so that necessary arrangements can be made.

4.3 Temporary disruption of facilities or services: Information pertaining to the temporary disruption of facilities or services is posted at designated locations (elevators, access ramps, handicap parking, washrooms), including the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. Notices regarding planned disruption will be posted in advance; notices of unexpected disruption will be done as soon as possible.

4.4 Feedback regarding accessibility can be made orally or in writing, as described in the policy ADMIN 02 and Concerns from Patients and Family.


Refer to policy CLIN CARE 20 Visits regarding pets and therapy animals

5.1 Bruyère staff and volunteers will accommodate the use of service animals by people with disabilities who are accessing Bruyère's services or goods unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law and prohibited from entering areas due to infection control according to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7.


6.1 Bruyère will produce a multi-year accessibility plan to be posted on our external website and made available in an accessible format with communication supports, upon request. Progress on the plan will be provided annually in an update report to the Senior Leadership. The Accessibility Plan will be reviewed and, if necessary, updated at least once every five years.