Accessibility in the Built Environment - Feedback session results

Accessibility in the Built Environment - Feedback session results

September 17, 2015

​Toronto Community Housing and the R-PATH committee conducted three feedback sessions for residents across the full portfolio on August 24, 27, and 31, 2015 about an Accessibility in the Built Environment policy.

These sessions resulted in the recommendations listed below that were submitted to be considered by the Toronto Community Housing when developing the Accessibility in the Built Environment policy.

The recommendations are sorted into categories. Although some recommendations were made by more than one person, they are each only mentioned once. Although some recommendations may not be possible for legislative or financial reasons, all feedback received at the meetings is included in the list below.

Thank you to the R-PATH committee for capturing and summarizing all the feedback below. 

A PDF copy of the feedback session notes is available to download.​

Policy feedback

  • Residents with disabilities should be consulted when developing new or reviewing existing policies.
  • Policy should contain emergency response procedure for persons with disabilities so it is easily available including a back-up plan when elevators are down. Residents with disabilities don't know what to do when they can't evacuate. Should be in the policy and easily available for residents to know. Residents were specific to wanting specifics in the policy.
    Accessible/mobility units should be only rented to those with documented medical needs.
  • Life safety planning information and protocols should be available to residents so residents know what to expect. Life safety should be priority one.
  • Permanent notices in all buildings on how to obtain unit modifications or medical transfers. Note: included in administrative feedback too
  • Persons with disabilities who have self-identified to Toronto Community Housing that they have a disability should be included in each building fire safety plan. People on oxygen who live in regular units should also be identified in fire safety plans.​

Standards feedback

  • Common area washrooms should not be gender specific; they should be family-style washrooms.
  • Green/outdoor spaces should be made accessible, have automatic door openers and have directional lighting for safety
  • New buildings should have ramps in stairwells as well as stairs because of emergencies.
  • Remote access should be available for the front door, lobby and garage areas.
  • Question regarding e-bikes not considered a medical device unless specifically named by medical documentation.
  • No bachelor accessible units, they are not big enough with equipment and unsafe in emergencies (often devices block entry to unit) by emergency responders. Note: in administrative feedback too.
  • All unit automatic door openers should be attached to back-up and emergency systems so they should work. All buildings should have generators.
  • Automatic door openers on fire safety doors because after Toronto Fire Service deems all clear, people with disabilities cannot open heavy doors.
  • In new builds, have more accessible units on main floor.
  • All buildings should have at least one triple washer so that people with disabilities who have homecare or attendant care can wash resident belongings. People with disabilities physically may not have the capacity to carry comforters etc... to outside laundry.
  • Mailbox shelves should be scooped to make it easier for people with dexterity issues.
  • Toronto Community Housing will post permanent notices in all buildings advising residents that accessibility accommodations for persons with disabilities are available and who to contact.

Administrative feedback

  • Notices for feedback sessions are not getting posted in the west and contract-managed buildings.
  • Tenant Guide or Handbook does not give enough information on accessibility. Staff should be making sure residents know there is a new handbook and make sure residents who want them get them.
  • Residents do not know they can have changes made to their units to make their unit accessible and the ones who do know they can, do not know who to ask in order to be accommodated.
  • Annual review forms should have a section on accessibility so residents can self-identify with confidentiality.
  • An education program on accessibility should be made around accessibility rights, confidentiality, what is available in Toronto Community Housing and how to access.
  • Communication in posters should be extra-large fonts.
  • Feedback on time required for modification - procurement process discussed as time consuming.
  • Call centre should be able to identify residents who have self-identified have a disability when you call in. Accessible/mobility units should be pre-identified in the call centre system.
  • Education - inclusion on vulnerable tenants, what that means.
  • Residents are worried that units will not be available with aging society since it is a long wait now for modifications and medical transfers.
  • Residents want more multi-bedroom units available.
  • No bachelor accessible units, they are not big enough with equipment and unsafe in emergencies. (Often devices block entry to unit) by emergency responders. Note: in standards feedback too.
  • Permanent notices in all buildings on how to obtain unit modifications or medical transfers. Note: in policy requirements, residents were specific to have the commitment from the corporation.
  • Residents want parking available for scooters. Some residents can walk short distances only but don't need them in their units.
  • Building meetings with residents prior to construction so residents know what is planned.

Site visit requests

  • 2999 Jane St.
  • 145 Mutual St.
  • 1420 Victoria Park Ave.
  • 75 Tandridge
  • 2287 Gerrard St. E.
  • 125 Scarlet Rd.

Community meetings on accessibility requests - for R-PATH

  • 245 Dunn Ave.
  • 61 Pelham Park

Learn more about accessibility at Toronto Community Housing