Resident Recommendations from Accessibility Plan and Policy Feedback Sessions - December 8, 2014

Resident Recommendations from Accessibility Plan and Policy Feedback Sessions - December 8, 2014

December 08, 2014

Toronto Community Housing is developing a new policy and plan to make sure the company meets the accessibility needs of residents. Toronto Community Housing and R-PATH recently hosted six feedback sessions for residents with disabilities to help shape this new policy and plan.

These sessions resulted in the recommendations listed below that were submitted to be considered by the Toronto Community Housing Accessibility Working Group, which is working on the company’s accessibility policy and plan.

The recommendations are sorted into categories. If a recommendation was made by more than one person, it is followed by a note to indicate multiple mentions.

Some resident concerns were specific to certain locations. R-PATH will look at those concerns and submit recommendations to Toronto Community Housing. A list of these buildings is included below. If you want to be part of the follow-up for these concerns, please contact Cathy Birch, R-PATH Committee Chair at cbirch619@msn.com or 647-201-7941.

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

What residents said about accessibility and emergency protocols (e.g. weather, power outages)

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered during the development of the Accessible Customer Service Policy, specifically the communications standards that will be developed as part of the Accessible Customer Service Procedures.

  • Staff be assigned to specific buildings, not at multiple buildings. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Community Safety Unit be authorized to enter resident unit with permission of resident for the purpose of obtaining medications or medical equipment. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Have more generators available for buildings.
  • Residents need “go to” tenant in each building who can update residents or can help residents during emergency with information. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Updated information be available during emergency on designated phone line. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Provide residents with a list of emergency items that all residents should have in their units at all times. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Emergency back-up generators should be connected to accessible units due to medical equipment.
  • More updates during emergency via social media e.g. Twitter.
  • Payphones in all lobbies for emergencies.
  • Fire plans need yearly updates. Residents not confident that vulnerable residents are being identified in plans and plans are being updated. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Yearly updates should be available with fill-in format that could be submitted online or via e-mail.
  • Staff training for emergencies specifically to assist residents with disabilities who can be amongst the most vulnerable, e.g. drills.
  • Negotiate with Rogers for hardwired phone deal for residents similar to internet deal. Hardwired phones work without electricity unlike wireless phones.
  • Tenant Representatives should be aware of residents with disabilities in their communities so they can check on them during an emergency. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Communicate emergency protocols to residents BEFORE the event so residents know what to do when an event does happen. Less chaos.
  • Consult with emergency services such as gas, hydro, fire for how their protocols work with Toronto Community Housing protocols and advise residents of what to expect from vital services. Specifically for residents in wheelchair units or residents who may be isolated due to health issues.

What residents said about accessibility and emergency protocols for public/resident/staff engagement meetings

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered during the development of the Accessible Customer Service Policy, specifically the communications standards and engagement standards that will be developed as part of the Accessible Customer Service Procedures.

  • Designated areas should be identified for all persons with disabilities. This will allow staff to evacuate more effectively those most vulnerable. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Emergency evacuation protocols appropriate to location be announced at the beginning of all meetings, public, residents, or staff.

What residents said about accessibility and communication and resident engagement

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered during the development of the Accessible Customer Service Policy, specifically the communications standards and engagement standards that will be developed as part of the Accessible Customer Service Procedures.

  • All notices of events should be posted with 10 day minimum. Posters are not being posted in buildings soon enough, often only go up a day or to before the event. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Resident manual should have a listing of emergency items that residents should have on hand at all times.
  • Create master email listing that residents could sign up for to get all notices of events.
  • All communication to residents should be in minimum 14 pt. fonts.
  • Social media updates more often e.g. Twitter and suggestion of Toronto Community Houinsg Facebook account for updates or events.
  • More posters of events in Braille should be posted in buildings at the same time other posters are made available.
  • Audio and visual, clear path of sight during public meetings including Board of Directors meetings.
  • Full listing of all Tenant Representatives, portfolio-wide, be made available on the website so resident groups, other Tenant Representatives can help each other during emergencies. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Provide microphones and audio availability at all portfolio engagement meetings
  • Designated areas for mobility devices at all engagement meetings. (Multiple mentions.)
  • Posters for events or meetings should contain: agenda, presenters, topics, and purpose on the posters. Services available should be located prominently not at the bottom of the poster.
  • Engagement with residents needs to be transparent in providing the results with residents and should have results posted to the Toronto Community Housing website in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Accessibility meetings for residents should happen more than once in a while.

What residents said about accessibility and treatments for pest problems

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered by the Vice President, Asset Management.

  • Provide the funding and support for treating repeated infestations when treatments are required above and beyond the amount allowed by other government agencies.
  • Provide the resources to persons with disabilities for any / all prep work for treatments including the moving of furniture and return to placement after treatments.

What residents said about accessibility and community spaces

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered during the development of the Accessibility in the Built Environment Policy and Procedures.

  • All community spaces should have automatic door opener including washrooms and parking.
  • A specific space should be identified in all buildings for the posting of Braille notices.

What residents said about accessibility and property management issues

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered by the Vice President, Asset Management.

  • Snow removal is often not clear enough for safety. Many times staff only clear one shovel width which is insufficient for many mobility devices. Creates safety issues.
  • Operating Unit offices are often too far away from buildings where residents with disabilities live and it becomes a challenge for residents to meet with their Tenant Service Coordinator. Tenant Service Coordinators should be scheduled to attend the buildings on specific days and meet with residents who may be isolated for many reasons. This should happen on a regular basis or at the request of a disabled person.
  • Contract-managed building staff need to be trained on, aware of and accountable for accessibility issues (e.g. where buckets are left, clearing of pathways sufficient for devices.) (Multiple mentions.)

What residents said about accessibility and the design and construction of new buildings

Anything in this category that does not fit into the Accessibility Policy or the Accessibility Plan will be considered during the development of the Accessibility in the Built Environment Policy and Procedures.
  • All new buildings have a fully accessible washroom available to residents with disabilities on the main floor of the building with FOB access. (Multiple mentions.)
  • All accessible units be built with roll-in showers only.
  • Any mailrooms with doors must have automatic door opener provided.
  • All mailrooms to have a shelf to assist disabled people with getting their mail.
  • Lobby intercoms be made accessible in height and reach.

Buildings with accessibility issues identified during the feedback sessions​

Some resident concerns were specific to certain locations. R-PATH will look at those concerns and submit recommendations to Toronto Community Housing. If you want to be part of the follow-up for these concerns, please contact Cathy Birch, R-PATH Committee Chair atcbirch619@msn.com or 647-201-7941.

  • Dan Leckie
  • 8 & 12 Broadway
  • 250 Davenport
  • 266 Donlands
  • 2739 & 2743 Victoria Park
  • 2180 & 2190 Ellesmere
  • 10 Humberline
  • 5 Bellevue
  • 150 The Donway