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News Features

To obtain this article in large print or alternate format, please contact the City of Cornwall's City Clerk at 613-932-6252 or mlevesque@cornwall.ca.

 

Persons Who Are Deaf, Deafened Or Hard Of Hearing

. Hearing disabilities can be the partial or total inability to hear.

. There is "capital D" Deaf and then "small d" deaf. A person who is "capital D" Deaf has probably learned sign language at a very early age and was raised in a Deaf school or Deaf community. They easily communicate using sign language with other individuals who are Deaf.

. Generally a person who is "small d" deaf does not associate with other members of the deaf community, and strives to identify themselves with hearing people, and regard their hearing loss solely in medical terms.

. Noise is the cause of approximately half of all cases of hearing loss.

. 75 to 80% of hearing loss is genetic.

. There are people who have single sided deafness - hearing loss in one ear.

What helps me in the workplace?

. When communicating with me, keep your hands and other objects away from your face and mouth. Speak clearly and look directly at me when you are speaking.

. When there is a group of people, speak one at a time and pause in between speakers. I first need to determine which one of you is speaking, and then begin to grasp what you are saying. By then I have usually missed the first few words, need to determine the subject you are speaking about and decipher what you are saying.

. It can also help if you raise your hand before speaking so I know where to direct my vision too.

. If there is a presenter in a meeting, it helps if I sit close to the presenter so that I can more easily take in what the speaker is saying. Power point presentations are helpful as I now have a visual.

. For a meeting, sending minutes, agendas and information in advance gives me time to understand and digest the materials. This way, I am better prepared, and can concentrate on the conversations taking place. I do not want to be reading with my head down and miss important decisions and or information.

. If you are doing a round table introduction at a meeting, speak slowly and pause between people so that I can meet and know your background too.

. Be patient if I ask you to repeat a sentence. It may only be one word in the sentence that I am not grasping, so change it up a bit. For example, if I was asking you what time it was and you said 10:15, I may not know if you are saying 10:15 or 10:50. Change it to "quarter after 10".

. Texting information can be very helpful or simply writing information back and forth works too!

. If you have important information for me that I need to know, send it to me electronically and I can save and store that information.

. Hearing aids amplify all the noise in a room. Background noise like air conditioners, projector fan, humming lights, music and side conversations, make it more difficult to hear what you are saying.

One thing I want people to know:

"Take the time to say hi and communicate with me.  It can be a very lonely world being deaf." Adam

 

 

September Posting by:

www.accessibilityexperts.ca

 Reminders to the Disability Community


A person driving a wheelchair upon a roadway shall:

(a)        drive as near the right-hand side of the roadway as practical, and

(b)        exercise due care when passing a parked, stopped or standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(c)        bear the slow moving vehicle sign required by the Highway Traffic Act. Regulation 616 and comply with any other provisions required by any applicable legislation, including Regulation 625 of the Highway Traffic Act.

(d)        be equipped with mirrors attached to the wheelchair or to the operator and placed in such a position as to afford the operator a clearly reflected view of the roadway in the rear, or of any vehicle approaching from the rear.

A person driving a wheelchair upon a roadway designated for one-way traffic shall:

(a)        obey and follow the designated one way street direction.

(b)        drive as near the right-hand side of the roadway as practicable, and

(c)        exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

Persons driving wheelchairs upon a roadway shall do so in single file.

When on the roadway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 meters or less, a wheelchair shall carry on the front thereof a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light and on the rear thereof a lighted lamp displaying a red light.

No person driving a wheelchair shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the operator from keeping both hands on the handle bars or one hand on the joystick control, which would prevent safe operation of the wheelchair.

No wheelchair towing, hauling, pulling or pushing any kind of attachment, except those provided by the manufacturer as integral part of the equipment for the wheelchair, shall be operated upon a public highway or sidewalk.

No operator of a wheelchair shall permit any person riding upon a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, skis, wagon, toboggan, sled, or toy vehicle to attach the same, himself or herself to the wheelchair.

No person shall park a wheelchair on a highway except in such a manner as to cause the least possible obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

No wheelchair shall be operated upon a public highway or sidewalk except for the purpose of the carriage of a person who has a disability.

 

Accessibility Makes $ense
by Sandra Elsey, Committee Member

Approximately 1.85 million people in Ontario have disabilities, representing 15.5% of the population. As our population ages, this number will grow.

The number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to more than double by 2036. By 2017, for the first time, seniors will account for a larger share of the population than children aged 0-14. Boomers represent 40% of the income share in Ontario. As they age, it is expected that they will drive society to meet their needs and demands. This is a huge demographic that cannot be ignored.

There is a growing need to market to and to develop products for persons with disabilities in order for Ontario businesses to grow, compete and succeed.

Tourism could see a 3 - 7% increase in visits and could result in additional tourism revenues of $700 million to $1.6 billion over the next five years. Retail could see increase in sales ranging from $3.8 to $9.6 billion over the next five years.

People with disabilities travel, shop, do business in our community, and visit our city as tourists with their friends and families. By learning how to serve people with disabilities, businesses may attract more customers, build customer loyalty and improve their services for everyone.

Accessibility not only helps people with disabilities, it benefits: seniors (especially those with mobility difficulties), families travelling with young children (strollers, wagons, etc.), and visitors with luggage.

The Ontario Government is issuing standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the "AODA") to achieve the vision of a barrier-free Ontario by 2025. The first is the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 ("OR 429/07") which came into force on January 1, 2008. By January 1, 2012, all organizations (public, private and non-profit) that provide goods or services either directly to the public or to other organizations in Ontario and that have one or more employees in Ontario must be in compliance. This includes consultants, manufacturers and wholesalers as well as other businesses and professional services.

Accessible customer service is not about ramps or automatic door openers. It's about understanding that people with disabilities may have different needs. Providing accessible customer service is easy and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is there to help you. To find out what you need to do, please visit its AccessON website or call its hotline 1-866-515-2025 TTY: 1-800-268-7095.

 

May I Help You?
by Councillor Maurice Dupelle

I am writing this feature in regards to the City of Cornwall's "MAY I HELP YOU?" training modules. I was elected to Cornwall City Council in October 2010 as a City Councillor. I was appointed as the Council representative to the City of Cornwall's Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee (commonly referred to as MAAC) following the election.

I was truly amazed by the hard work and dedication this Committee has rendered and continue to render to this community in order to provide an accessible and inclusive community.

I am very pleased to hear that the City of Cornwall trains all its employees, agents, volunteers and other third parties on how to provide accessible customer service.  Even MAAC members were required to take this training!  This was truly a valuable opportunity to gain more knowledge on how to break down barriers that people within our community face and on how to provide consistent customer service to persons with disabilities by putting into practice these four key principles: Dignity, Independence, Integration and Equal Opportunity.

I encourage all residents and businesses to refer to the City of Cornwall's website to view the various types of training modules or to contact the Office of the City Clerk to obtain more information regarding this training.

 

Accessible Transportation

The City of Cornwall has a fantastic way for people with disabilities to travel within the city limits; it is called CORNWALL TRANSIT.   

Transportation restrictions can be one of the biggest barriers for social inclusion to people with disabilities.  Accessible transportation means people with disabilities can participate equally in society and have more independence and a better quality of life.   Cornwall's bus services can mean greater opportunities for employment, education and social activities for those with disabilities. 

Here are the services the City provides:

Handi-Transit Service
The Handi-Transit Service is a door-to-door service where driver assistance is provided.  You need to be registered and qualify to use this service.  Reservations can be made two weeks in advance and up to the day before, depending on availability.  The service is provided in fully accessible buses.  For those people requiring the assistance of an attendant, the attendant travels free of charge while using this service.

Companion Card
Cornwall Transit offers a Companion Card to seniors and to people with disabilities who are registered for the Handi-Transit who require a companion to travel with them on the conventional (regular bus) or community bus routes.  This Companion Card is available at a one-time administrative cost of $10.00.  The Card entitles the recipient and the companion to travel for the cost of one fare.  As well, people with visual impairments can use their CNIB identification card to obtain a free ride on both the conventional and community bus routes. 

Community Bus Service
The Community Bus Service, which operates on fixed routes, is open to everyone. This service is provided in low floor, fully accessible buses and can be identified by the large yellow 'Community Bus' lettering.  This service is primarily used by seniors and by persons with disabilities as it links seniors' and private apartments and other residences to major shopping, recreation and medical facilities.  Unlike the Handi-Transit Service, no reservations are required, but door-to-door service and driver assistance are provided.

An Automated Annunciation Voice System has been installed on the entire Cornwall Transit fleet of 14 buses.  The new system alerts riders verbally and visually to approaching bus stops. This new system is not only beneficial to people who are visually or hearing impaired, but to new riders who are not familiar with the bus routes or its neighbourhoods, to our older and younger riders, to people with cognitive or developmental disabilities and to people who simply want to feel confident they are exiting at the right place.

Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the City, whether the person does so as an employee, agent, volunteer or otherwise and every person who participates in developing the City's policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or other third parties have undergone Accessible Customer Service training.  This means that City Staff have received the message that providing consistent customer service to persons with disabilities is putting into practice these four key principles: Dignity, Independence, Integration and Equal Opportunity.

Thank you MAAC, Cornwall Transit and City Council for supporting accessible public bus transit!

 

Spring is Here!

Spring is finally upon us.  The familiar sight of people enjoying the fresh air, the sights and sounds of our lovely city by walking everywhere is evident. 

The grand majority of people walk easily on the sidewalks, able to avoid any obstacles that may be in their path.

There is, however, a separate section of our society where obstacles could, and many times do, become quite problematic; a parent pushing a stroller, a person walking with a cane, crutches, walker or simply being aided by a support person, and especially a person with impaired vision walking with the aid of a white cane or a person in a wheelchair. These are examples of our neighbours who would have a difficult time moving along city sidewalks if they were filled with obstacles.

Please remember, as a caring citizen of this city, do not park your bicycle or vehicle on the sidewalk.  If part of the sidewalk around your house is broken and hazardous, report it to the City.  Do not allow branches from trees and shrubs to grow into the walking area of the sidewalk.  Pick up garbage cans and recycling boxes quickly after the collection is completed.  Pick up your children's toys that might have been left on the sidewalk after play time. 

In short, please consider the effects obstacles on a walkway may have on the enjoyment of everyone who strolls on them.

 

Voting for Electors With Special Needs
by Manon L. Poirier, Deputy City Clerk and Accessibility Advisor

All voting locations are accessible with ramps and appropriate furniture for electors with special needs.  Additionally, to better enable electors with visual impairments to vote independently, advance polls at Cornwall Square and Eastcourt Mall, October 12 to 16, and Election Day polls at Cornwall Square and Eastcourt Mall, October 25, will be equipped with touch screen voting machines.  These touch screen units offer enhanced visibility and brightness, plus voice guidance technology.

If you require assistance at the voting location, election officials will be available to help you.

For more information, contact the Municipal Elections Office at 613-930-2787 ext 2106. 
 

Hidden Disabilities 

Many residents in our community are living with hidden disabilities. Every day can be a huge challenge and if they are out not using a regular cane, white cane, walker, wheelchair or scooter, other members in the community can often be unaware that these residents even have a disability.

Some hidden disabilities can include fatigue, weakness, balance, numbness and visual problems and they can be caused by a variety of issues such as an accident, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, heart disease, etc. These symptoms can often come and go and easily be misunderstood by the general public.

A person with hidden disability may be able to walk only a short distance and having an accessible parking permit will allow them to park and enjoy the community like everyone else. So please, try not to judge someone using an accessible parking space-you may not know the whole story!

On the other hand, drivers and care givers must remember that, if the person with a disability is not in the car, they should not be using these parking areas for themselves.

 

 

Accessibility at Special Events

 We all know that, in today's world, people with disabilities go out into the community and that is why many facilities and services in the City are accessible.  

Being someone in a wheelchair, I can tell you that I love taking part in all types of activities.  MAAC encourages all Event Organizing Committees to create a section at their events where people can see the activity from the comfort of their wheelchairs and also to create extra accessible parking during large events the way the City of Cornwall does.  Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off and the Cornwall Motor Speedway are great examples of two organizations who hold local events where these sections have been incorporated into the set up design.

Please keep in mind that accessibility affects, not only the person with the disability, but the accompanying friends and family as well.  If a person with a disability cannot attend an event, the same goes for the ones that find themselves with that person.  

Please remember that, if you take away the disability, a person with a disability is just like anyone else.  

For more information on holding accessible events, please visit www.AccessOn.ca.

 

 

Understanding the Universal Symbols of Accessibility
by Manon L. Poirier, Deputy City Clerk and Accessibility Advisor

The following symbols can be used to promote and publicize accessibility of places, programs and other activities for people with various disabilities. 

 International Symbol of Accessibility International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA)
This is probably the most recognizable symbol of accessibility. The wheelchair symbol should only
be used to indicate access for individuals with limited mobility, including wheelchair users. For
example the symbol is used to indicate an accessible entrance, bathroom or that a phone is
lowered for wheelchair users.
 Braille Symbol

Braille Symbol
This symbol indicates that printed matter is available in Braille, including exhibition labeling,
publications and signage.

 Accessible Print Accessible Print
The symbol for large print is "Large Print" printed in 16-20 font size. In addition to indicating that
large print versions of books, pamphlets, museum guides and theatre programs are available,
you may use the symbol on conference or membership forms to indicate that print materials may
be provided in large print.
 Assistive Listening Systems Assistive Listening Systems
This symbol is used to indicate that assistive listening systems are available for the event. The
systems may include infrared, loop and FM systems.
 Sign Language Interpretation Sign Language Interpretation
This symbol indicates that Sign Language Interpretation is provided for a lecture, meeting,
performance, conference or other program.
 Closed Captioning Closed Captioning (CC)
This symbol indicates that a television program or videotape is closed captioned for deaf or hard
of hearing people (and others).

 

 

The Bus...How Accessible It Is!

Did you know that Cornwall Transit offers a variety of services to meet the needs of people with disabilities? 

Handi-Transit Service

The Handi-Transit Service is a door-to-door service where driver assistance is provided.  You need to be registered and qualify to use this service.  Reservations can be made two weeks in advance and up to the day before, depending on availability.  The service is provided in fully accessible buses.  For those people requiring the assistance of an attendant, the attendant travels free of charge while using this service.

Companion Card

Cornwall Transit offers a Companion Card to seniors and to people with disabilities who are registered for the Handi-Transit who require a companion to travel with them on the conventional (regular bus) or community bus routes.  This Companion Card is available at a one-time administrative cost of $10.00.  The Card entitles the recipient and the companion to travel for the cost of one fare.  As well, people with visual impairments can use their CNIB identification card to obtain a free ride on both the conventional and community bus routes. 

Community Bus Service

The Community Bus Service, which operates on fixed routes, is open to everyone. This service is provided in low floor, fully accessible buses and can be identified by the large yellow 'Community Bus' lettering.  This service is primarily used by seniors and by persons with disabilities as it links seniors' and private apartments and other residences to major shopping, recreation and medical facilities.  Unlike the Handi-Transit Service, no reservations are required, but door-to-door service and driver assistance are provided.

Automated Annunciation Voice System

An Automated Annunciation Voice System has been installed on the entire Cornwall Transit fleet of 14 buses.  The new system alerts riders verbally and visually to approaching bus stops. This new system is not only beneficial to people who are visually or hearing impaired, but to new riders who are not familiar with the bus routes or its neighbourhoods, to our older and younger riders, to people with cognitive or developmental disabilities and to people who simply want to feel confident they are exiting at the right place.

Purchase of New Buses

As of March of this year, three new 30-foot low floor, fully accessible buses have joined the fleet.  This purchase brings up the count to six low floor fully accessible buses that are now available on the conventional bus routes.

Community Bus Passes

In April of 2009, Cornwall Transit introduced a one-year pilot project offering Community Bus Passes for adults, students or children at the same low price of a senior's monthly bus pass ($34.00).  The Community Bus Pass can be used to travel on the Conventional or Community Bus routes.  Registered Handi-Transit users can purchase 25 single ride tickets for the same monthly low price of $34.00 (and $36 effective May 1, 2010).  To qualify, you need to be a recipient of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works.  A limit of 150 Community Bus Passes are available each month on a first-come first-served basis.  These Passes will continue to be offered pending Council's approval of the 2010 Budget. 


For more information on the Community Pass or any other services Cornwall Transit provides to residents of the City of Cornwall please call:  613-930-2636 or visit www.Cornwall.ca.

 

 

Accessible Customer Service
by Manon L. Poirier, Deputy City Clerk and Accessibility Advisor

 The Ontario Government is issuing five sets of standards under the AODA to achieve the vision of a barrier-free Ontario by 2025. The first set is the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 ("OR 429/07") which came into force on January 1, 2008. By January 1, 2010, municipalities must have policies, practices and procedures in place.

This Regulation applies to every designated public sector organization and to every other person or organization that provides goods or services to members of the public or other third parties and that has at least one employee in Ontario.

The City of Cornwall, through municipal Client Services, strives to provide its services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.  The City is also committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access its goods and services and allowing them to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.

Starting this month, all full time and part time staff, volunteers, contractors and agents will be trained in the following Accessible Customer Service areas: 

Use of Service Animal
Use of Support Person
Notice of Temporary Disruption
Training
Feedback Process
Availability of Documents
Alternate Formats

For more information on the Training Program or on the Accessible Customer Service Policy, please visit our website or contact the Office of the Deputy Clerk at 613-932-6252 or by e-mail by clicking here.

Please visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services' website for more information on the following standards under development:

Transportation
Information and Communications
Employment
Built Environment

www.mcss.gov.on.ca


To view other articles, click on the following links.

Accessible Summer Programs (PDF)

Spring and Sidewalks (PDF)

Accessibility at Outdoor Events (PDF)

How Accessible is the Bus? (PDF)

Be a Responsible Dog Owner (PDF)

What's in a Name? (PDF)

Keep Your Sidewalks Clear (PDF)

What's in a Sign? (PDF)

Something to be Proud of as we Look Back (PDF)

Don't be a Fish out of the Water (PDF)

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