As a hospital and a publicly-funded facility in Ontario, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is obligated to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005. As an organization whose primary mandate is to create a world of possibility for children with disability, Holland Bloorview embraces our leadership role in ensuring accessibility for everyone.
The purpose of the AODA is to develop, implement and enforce standards for accessibility in Ontario related to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation and buildings by 2025. As a designated Public Sector organization, Holland Bloorview has two obligations under this Act:
- Develop an annual Accessibility Plan, make it available to the public, and follow through on the implementation of the plan.
- Comply with the Customer Service Standard and the Integrated Accessibility standards.
Ontario Human Rights Code definition of disability
For the purposes of Holland Bloorview's Accessibility Planning, Holland Bloorview uses the Ontario Human Rights Code definition of 'disability', which is also the definition used in the development of the AODA.
- 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 "handicap".
AODA definition of a barrier
In addition, Holland Bloorview references the AODA's definition of a "barrier", which is anything that stops a person with a disability from fully taking part in society because of that disability. Some barriers include:
- physical barriers, for example a step at the entrance to a store;
- architectural barriers, for example no elevators in a building of more than one floor;
- information or communications barriers, for example a publication that is not available in large print;
- attitudinal barriers, for example assuming people with a disability can't perform a certain task when in fact they can;
- technological barriers such as traffic lights that change too quickly before a person with a disability has time to get through the intersection; and barriers created by policies or practices, for instance not offering different ways to complete a test as part of job hiring.
Holland Bloorview has been recognized by the National Academy for Design and Health as "an inspirational building..which speaks to a child's right to participate in our society." For a tour of our fully accessible building, you can watch our series of Welcome tours on YouTube as well as the Virtual Tour.
Holland Bloorview strives to include accessibility in its built structures and programs. For example, Holland Bloorview is the proud owner of Canada’s first child-friendly and fully accessible research MRI Suite. The technology delivers an experience that is simultaneously immersive and calming for patients. We also have an accessible playground with an universal design which allows accessible functionality to be seamlessly blended into the equipment.
In 2022, the Rick Hansen Foundation conducted an accessibility audit on Holland Bloorview, examining the hospital’s infrastructure from the parking lot to the workspaces and pool change rooms. The audit awarded Holland Bloorview with a gold certification.