accessibility

 

Accessibility at PPT

 

Let’s talk about accessibility. PPT is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe healthcare and information should be equally accessible to everyone. We’re committed to meeting the needs of young people with disabilities, and to meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. More than that, we’re working to prevent and remove all unnecessary barriers to accessibility for our clients, staff, volunteers, program participants, and visitors.

PPT has taken a number of steps to improve access for people with disabilities, and the journey is an ongoing one.

 

A little history:

At PPT we are lucky enough to own our building at 36B Prince Arthur Ave. This location is on the nexus of two subway lines and is a cozy, non-sterile space that has served us and our clients well for many years, but it is not without its drawbacks. The building is an old one, purchased over 40 years ago and unfortunately is not accessible to individuals with mobility disabilities.

Recognizing the barriers this created, from 2011-2015 we had the strategic goal of moving to a new facility that was accessible to clients with mobility disabilities. After consultation with clients and our community, we identified needs for the new space: being on the TTC Subway line (clients’ #1 demand), having more space to grow our services, and owning the new building we moved into to, so program dollars weren’t being spent on lease payments. An exhaustive search took place but unfortunately, a space that suited all the needs we identified wasn’t available to us. It’s a tough time to be buying real estate in Toronto.

We then looked into renovating our existing space to become fully accessible, but it just wasn’t possible, mainly due to financial considerations. Because of the design and layout of our building, full accessibility was not simply a matter of installing ramps or an elevator, but would require essentially tearing it down and building something entirely new – the cost and disruption to our clients makes this an impossible option.
Despite these setbacks, we are determined to offer accessible programming without sacrificing long-term stability of the organization. We continue to work to ensure that we can be as accessible as possible to individuals with all sorts of disabilities.

 

To meet the needs of clients with mobility disabilities we are committed to:

 

• Ensuring that our offsite programming is done in accessible spaces

 

• Partnering with organizations to provide services in accessible spaces such as our EdgeWest clinic which is open to any client 13-29 with mobility disabilities needing services and making Toronto their home

 

Our main site on Prince Arthur Ave. has three exam rooms and a client washroom that are located on the ground level which can be accessed through a wheelchair-accessible side door from our connecting alley. For clients that this works for, we are happy to make arrangements for you to access the side door and be seen in one of these exam rooms. Please note that we do not have transfer boards or lifts in our exam rooms. Our main reception and most exam rooms are up 6-12 stairs each. To book an appointment, please call 416-961-0113.

 

What else are we currently doing?
• An Accessibility Working Group was created in 2016 to meet with stakeholders and generate ideas on how to improve our services and programming
• We offer ASL interpretation for clinical appointments which can be booked through our access@ppt.on.ca email
• We have a pocket amplifier onsite and available for clients. The amplifier can also be booked for programs hosted offsite
• We have weighted blankets available for clients in the clinic
• We are committed to having ASL interpretation at our AGM each year without having to have guests request this service

 

What are we working on?
• Installing braille signage throughout our building
• Auditing our website to ensure it meets accessibility standards
• Working with youth with disabilities to hear from them how we can improve our services
• Ensuring all of our new videos include closed captioning
• Creating client registration documents that are accessible to clients with visual impairments

There is more to do and we know this is only the beginning. If you have feedback please email us at ppt@ppt.on.ca