Environmental Sensitivity Policy
The Environmental Sensitivity Policy defines the rules and guidelines for persons travelling on Wheel-Trans service who have an environmental sensitivity.
This policy requests that all persons travelling on Wheel-Trans services refrain from using scented products in order to promote a scent-free environment while on-board Wheel-Trans services.
The policy defines what an environmental sensitivity/disability is and what accommodations are required to ensure the health and safety of all persons travelling on board a vehicle.
The policy applies to all persons travelling on Wheel-Trans services.
TTC Wheel-Trans staff, including contracted service providers is responsible for following this policy. TTC Wheel-Trans Supervisors and Managers are responsible for ensuring this policy is followed correctly.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005);
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Ont. Reg. 191/11; and
An environmental sensitivity (also known as multiple chemical sensitivities, cerebral allergies, chemical-induced immune dysfunction, etc.) is defined as a medically documented disability where adverse health symptoms present themselves after being triggered by exposure to chemicals and environmentals scents.
- Wheel-Trans has a responsibility to accommodate persons with environmental sensitivities, as they would any other person with a disability, to the point of undue hardship.
Examples of undue hardship may include but are not limited to:
- Where Wheel-Trans has to dedicate a specific vehicle to a customer.
- Where Wheel-Trans’ ability to effectively provide efficient service is significantly impacted (i.e. customer requests a route diversion due to environmental sensitivity).
- Wheel-Trans operators, including contracted service providers, will always maintain care and control of the vehicle at all times. This includes:
- Determining the appropriate use of heating, air conditioning, opening windows and seating arrangements.
- Operators will always do their best to accommodate the needs of all customers to ensure everyone has a safe and comfortable trip.
- If a registered Wheel-Trans customer reports that they have an environmental sensitivity which may be triggered while travelling on the service they shall:
- Determine what self-accommodations can be made by the customer with the environmental sensitivity, for example, if a customer gets cold easily, they are encouraged to wear extra layers and if a customer gets hot easily, they are encouraged to wear loose, cooler clothing.
- Provide medical documentation that details the type of environmental trigger, the type of adverse health symptoms it presents and outlines what measures of self-accommodation can be taken by the customer to minimize their risk, i.e. such as wearing a mask, taking allergy medication, inhalers, etc.
- Customers may be required to attend a functional assessment with a third party medical specialist, arranged by Wheel-Trans, to document the same information required above.
- Environmental sensitivities will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. The general guidelines are as follows:
When a customer encounters an environmental sensitivity while on board a Wheel-Trans vehicle:
- Operator will determine the next available, accessible and safe place to stop the vehicle.
- Customer who is having the medical reaction to the environmental sensitivity will be escorted out of the vehicle.
- Operator will ask customer if medical assistance is required and operator will contact EMS if needed.
- Operator or mobile supervisor will remain with the customer until another pick-up time (within fifteen minutes of the incident when possible) has been confirmed and communicated with the customer.
- Customers who are having an adverse reaction to an environmental sensitivity while on board a Wheel-Trans vehicle (including contracted vehicles) will not be permitted to remain on or re-enter the vehicle. The vehicle is considered contaminated by the environmental sensitivity or allergen and therefore to ensure the safety of the customer encountering sensitivity, a new vehicle is required.
Wheel-Trans acknowledges that some chemically scented products that aggravate a person who is environmentally sensitive, may be in fact required for another person, due to the nature of their disability.
For example, a person may need to wear a specific topical skin medication for their skin condition.
This topical skin medication, required for their disability, may create a trigger for another person with an environmental disability.If this occurs, Wheel-Trans will resolve on a case-by-case basis to accommodate both persons to the point of undue hardship.
Wheel-Trans does not place the importance of one disability higher than another and therefore does not prioritize customer trips.
January 2014, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Policy on Environmental Sensitivities