Table of Contents
2. Section 1: Customer Service Policies, Practices and Procedures
3. Section 2: Service Animals and Support Persons
4. Section 3: Service Disruptions
5. Section 4: Training
6. Section 5: Receiving and Responding to Feedback
7. Normal Farm Practices Protection Board Public Complaints Policy
8. Board Complaints Procedure
1. This accessibility document is designed to ensure that the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (the "Board") continues to be accessible to all Ontarians, including Ontarians with disabilities, and to comply with its legal requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the Act).
2. This document includes the five customer service documents required by the Customer Service Standard under the Act. They are:
A. Policies, practices and procedures
B. Service animals and support persons
C. Service disruptions
E. Feedback process.
3. "Disability" is defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act as follows:
A. 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,
B. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
C. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
D. a mental disorder, or
E. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; ("handicap").
4. This document will be posted on the Internet on the Board's website and may be printed from here.
5. This document may be amended by the Board at any time. In the event any changes are made, an amended document will be posted on the Board's website.
6. On request, the Board will provide this document, or the information contained within it, in an alternate format appropriate to the particular needs of a person with a disability.
7. The Board provides services to its clients; it does not provide goods.
8. The Board is committed to:
A. being inclusive and accessible to all Ontarians,
B. providing barrier-free access to its Hearings and meetings, and
C. providing quality service to every individual seeking its services.
9. The Board respects the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.
10. All persons receiving services from the Board shall be treated with respect.
11. The Board will select Hearing locations that are wheelchair accessible and have accessible washrooms.
12. All formal notices of Hearings, meetings and other events are to include a reference to this accessibility document and information on how to contact the Board should accommodation be required.
13. All persons with disabilities who are parties or witnesses at Board Hearings and who require accommodation will be accommodated.
14. Parties to a Hearing, and their witnesses, will be asked to notify the Board as soon as possible, and no later than ten business days before the Hearing, if they are persons with disability seeking accommodation from the Board. The Board will then work with the person with a disability to develop an accommodation plan to enable the person to participate fully. If notice is received less than ten business days in advance, the Board will accommodate the person as best it can on short notice.
15. When accommodation is required, the Board Secretary shall discuss accommodation requirements and options with the person with a disability and shall develop a plan to accommodate the individual.
16. The accommodation plan shall specify:
• any changes in room configuration, furniture requirements and lighting required
• any requirements for specialty equipment
• any adjustments that may be made to the Hearing schedule (e.g. breaks) that may be required
• any modifications that may be required to the format of documents or alternative communication methods
• whether or not a service animal or support person will be accompanying the individual, and any special needs of the animal or support person
17. The Chair of the Board, or the Vice Chair acting in the capacity of the Chair, will review the accommodation plan. If the Chair or Vice-Chair is of the view that it is not possible or not practical to implement the accommodation plan, the plan may be modified, in consultation with the person with a disability and his/her support person if appropriate, or service may be provided to the individual in an alternate format acceptable to the person. If there is any concern as to the health and safety of any individual attending the function, it will be addressed prior to the date of the function, when possible.
18. In the event that it is neither possible nor practical to accommodate a person with a disability at a specific Hearing, the Board will consider alternative arrangements such that the person with a disability may participate. These situations will be addressed on a case by case basis according to the individual's needs.
19. The Board Secretary shall be responsible for ensuring that the approved accommodation plan is implemented, and shall ensure that the person with a disability is provided with a contact number to call in the event of any difficulty accessing the facilities.
Use of Assistive Devices
20. Persons with disabilities may use personal assistive devices (e.g. note-taking devices, walkers, oxygen tanks) when attending Board Hearings or meetings. The Board may require that the person using the assistive device be seated in a specific location within the meeting room for greater safety and effectiveness.
21. The Board will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This means that Board members and staff will communicate in a manner that enables persons with disabilities to communicate effectively for the purpose of participating in Hearings before the Board.
22. The Board website is contained within the website of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). OMAFRA uses the Ontario Public Service's Enterprise Content Management System (Stellent) to ensure that the internet site is barrier-free.
23. The Tribunal's general enquiry telephone line is not equipped with TTY. However information can be obtained from the Tribunal by contacting the Ministry's TTY telephone line at (519) 826-7402.
24. The Board shall file annual accessibility reports in a form and according to a schedule approved by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as prescribed in Section 14 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Additional reports will be filed as required. The Board will make accessibility reports available to the public on request.
25. When a person with a disability attends a Board function with a service animal, the Board Secretary shall ensure that the service animal is allowed to enter the premises and remain with the person with a disability.
26. Where it is known in advance, subject to section 14, that a person with a disability will be attending a function and will be bringing a service animal, the Board will:
• Provide seating that allows space for the service animal to comfortably lie down by the person with a disability
• Allow sufficient time at breaks for the person with a disability to attend to the animal's needs as well as the person's own needs
27. Where it is not known in advance that a service animal will be present, an effort will be made to accommodate the person with the service animal to the extent possible on short notice or provide the service in an alternate forum.
28. The Board Secretary shall inform building security if a service animal is to accompany the person with a disability.
29. Where it is not readily apparent that an animal accompanying a person with a disability is a bona fide service animal, the Board will accept that the animal is a service animal if the person provides a letter from a doctor or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
30. Where it is known in advance, subject to section 14, that a person with a disability will be accompanied by a support person, the Board will:
• Ensure there is adequate seating and ensure that the support person can sit next to the person with a disability
• Ensure that the person with the disability is not prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises
• Provide copies of any written material handed out to both the person with a disability and the support person
• Ensure adequate lighting, location and space for a sign language interpreter, if one is to be present.
• Ensure that there is adequate space for any equipment that the support person has indicated that he/she will be using (e.g. real time caption steno, laptop and screen)
• Notify the person with a disability if there are any parking fees which are payable by the support person for attending the Hearing or meeting.
31. Where it is not known in advance that a support person will be accompanying the person with a disability, an effort will be made to accommodate the person with disability and the support person to the extent possible on short notice or provide the service in an alternate format.
32. If matters of a confidential matter are to be discussed with a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person, the Board will require:
• the person with a disability to consent to sharing confidential information with the support person
• the support person to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Practice for Assessing the Need for a Support Person
33. The Chair of the Board, or the Vice Chair acting in the capacity of the Chair, may require that a person with a disability be accompanied by a support person while on premises used by the Board, if a support person is considered necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with the disability, or the health and safety of others on the premises.
34. In considering whether or not it is necessary to require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person, the Chair or Vice Chair shall consider:
• if there is a significant risk to the health or safety of the person with a disability by attending the Hearing, or to the health and safety of others expected to be in attendance at the Hearing;
• if the risk is higher for the person with the disability than for the other persons attending the Hearing;
• whether or not the risk can be mitigated by other means;
• the duration of the risk, the nature and severity of potential harm, the likelihood that potential harm will occur and the imminence of potential harm.
35. Where there are temporary disruptions in services to people with disabilities in the premises where the Board is holding a Hearing or meeting, the Board Secretary will ensure that notices are posted:
A. at the Hearing location
B. directly to persons with disabilities identified through section 14, through appropriate formats
C. on the Board's website.
36. In the event that the Board knows in advance that its website or telephone line will be temporarily unavailable to the public for more than 48 hours, the Board will give advance notice on its website and voice mail message of the expected dates and times that the website or telephone line will be unavailable and the reason that it is to be unavailable. In the event of a planned temporary disruption in services that is expected to last for less than 48 hours, no advance notice will be given.
37. Within three months of their appointment to the Board, all appointees are to receive training on:
• the Board's accessibility policies, practices and procedures
• the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
• regulatory requirements of the Board related to accessibility
• how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disability, including those who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
38. This training will be provided to current appointees prior to December 31, 2009.
39. In the event the Board makes any changes to its accessibility policies, practices or procedures, it will ensure that all members are familiar with the change and receive any additional training that may be necessitated by the change.
40. Training may be provided by employees in the Ontario Public Service, an outside service provider, a web-based training module or through the provision of electronic or written training materials. Accessibility training will be incorporated into orientation sessions for new members.
41. Records of training including the names of individuals who receive the training, the number trained and the dates on which they receive the training are to be kept by Board Secretary.
42. The Chair will ensure that the Board Secretary is trained, through OMAFRA, on the AODA and how to interact with persons with disabilities.
43. Feedback on the Board's provision of services to persons with a disability may be made to the Secretary:
• in person
• by telephone to 519-826-3433
• in writing to the Secretary, NFPPB, 1 Stone Road West 2nd floor, Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
• by electronic mail to NFPPB@ontario.ca
• by facsimile transmission to 519-826-4232
• by e-text on diskette, compact disk or memory stick readable with Microsoft Suite software
44. Where possible, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort to address. The Board Secretary will acknowledge verbal or telephone complaints within two business days, and complaints received by mail, email, fax or diskette within 15 business days.
45. If the complaint cannot be resolved immediately, the acknowledgement will indicate when it will be resolved, within a 30-day limit.
46. Communication with the complainant will be done in a way that takes the person's disability into consideration.
The Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) is committed to providing quality service to the public.
• The Board is open and honest in its behaviour, responsive to change, and committed to continuous self-improvement and integrity.
• The Board will make every reasonable effort to resolve an issue in a fair, consistent manner and is committed to effective relationships with the general public, clients and other staff within and across ministries, and with elected officials.
From time to time, the Board may receive complaints about the quality of service related to Board policies and procedures, the application of those policies and procedures or the conduct of the Board members and staff. The purpose of this policy is to create a transparent and fair method of responding to public complaints.
Important Points about the Policy
• Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a decision is not a complaint. Such an issue cannot be resolved by the Board directly. The complaint procedure is not another form of reconsideration, appeal or judicial review. If your complaint would best be resolved through a reconsideration, appeal or judicial review, the Board Secretary will advise you of the appropriate procedure.
• As part of the Board's commitment to service quality, the Board will accept complaints from the public about quality of the Board's service. Persons who can make a complaint include a party to a Hearing; a party's representative, friend or family member; a witness; or any member of the public who has dealt with the Board.
• Where possible, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort to address. The Board Secretary will acknowledge verbal or telephone complaints within two business days, and complaints received by mail, email, fax or diskette within 15 business days.
• If the complaint cannot be resolved immediately, the acknowledgement will indicate when it will be resolved, within a 30-day limit.
• The Board will respond to your complaint and make every reasonable effort to resolve it in a fair and consistent manner.
• This policy does not affect your right to raise your concerns with the Ombudsman of Ontario if you are dissatisfied with the responses provided by the Board.
Confidentiality: Complaints are kept strictly confidential. However, for a thorough and fair review, the Board must advise the person who is the subject of the complaint.
Making a Complaint about Agency Policies and Procedures
• Take your complaint to the Board Secretary. If the Secretary cannot resolve it, the Secretary will take it to the Chair. The Secretary's contact information is shown below.
Making a Complaint about the Secretary
• You can raise a complaint about the Secretary directly with the Secretary. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you can refer the complaint to the Manager Support Services (contact information below). You can also bypass the Secretary and take the complaint directly to the Manager.
Making a Complaint about a Board Member (other than the Chair)
• If you have a complaint about the conduct of a Board member while the Hearing is in process, take it to the Board Secretary. Except in unusual circumstances, the Chair may defer the review in order to maintain the integrity and impartiality of the Hearing process. The Chair will provide an initial response within 15 days. The Chair will advise the Board member, conduct a review and fully respond to the complaint as soon as, in the Chair's opinion, it is appropriate to do so.
• If your complaint about the Board member occurs after the Hearing is finished, or if the Board member is not involved in the Hearing, the chair will respond within 15 days.
Making a Complaint about the Board Chair
The Minister or Minister's delegate is the most appropriate choice for reviewing complaints against the Board Chair. You can submit the complaint in writing, or in other forms as appropriate for persons with disabilities, either through the Board Secretary or directly to the Minister's office. The review may be conducted by the Minister or his or her delegate.
Normal Farm Practices Protection Board
1 Stone Road West, 2nd floor
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
Board Secretary: (519) 826-3433 NFPPB@ontario.ca
Manager,Adjudicative Agencies Support Unit: Joe Koza (519) 826-3615 firstname.lastname@example.org
125 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M53 2C7
General Inquiry Client Access Centre
(416) 586-3300 or 1-800-263-1830