Decision No. 429-AT-MV-2005
July 7, 2005
File No. U3570/04-35
In its Decision No. 558-AT-MV-2004 dated October 21, 2004 (hereinafter the Decision), the Canadian Transportation Agency (hereinafter the Agency) made a determination with respect to an application filed by Richard Marion regarding the difficulties he experienced while at the domestic terminal taxi stand of the Vancouver International Airport (hereinafter the Vancouver Airport) on June 17, 2004.
The Agency determined that the Vancouver International Airport Authority's (hereinafter VAA) lack of policies and procedures regarding the provision of ground transportation services to persons with disabilities, and lack of training provided to contractors, consultants and service providers concerning the provision of services to persons with disabilities constituted undue obstacles to Mr. Marion's mobility.
Pursuant to the Decision, the Agency directed VAA to undertake the following measures within thirty (30) days from the date of the Decision:
- issue a bulletin to all contractors, consultants and service providers who interact with the public, summarizing the incident experienced by Mr. Marion, without identifying him, highlighting that persons with disabilities have specific needs, the importance of being aware and sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities, and stressing the importance of entering into a dialogue with persons with disabilities to ensure that their preferences and abilities with respect to the services being provided are clearly understood.
Also pursuant to the Decision, the Agency directed VAA to undertake the following measures within ninety (90) days from the date of the Decision:
- create policies and procedures regarding the provision of ground transportation to persons with disabilities and advise the Agency of how VAA intends to make employees, contractors, consultants and service providers who interact with the public aware of these policies and procedures immediately following the approval of such policies and procedures by the Agency; and
- provide the Agency with a copy of its newly developed training program intended for contractors, consultants and service providers who interact with the public, which must cover the subject matter specified in sections 4 to 7 of the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations, SOR/94-42 (hereinafter the Training Regulations) in addition to the information set out in the Schedule (Section 11) to the Training Regulations.
The issue to be addressed is whether the measures taken by VAA meet the requirements of Decision No. 558-AT-MV-2004.
POSITION OF VAA
On November 19, 2004, and January 14, 2005, VAA filed its response to the Decision. Discussions were subsequently held between Agency staff and VAA personnel in order to clarify certain matters and, in response to Agency staff requests, further submissions were received from VAA on March 14 and April 21, 2005.
Copies of the following documents were filed with the Agency by VAA:
- Bulletin dated November 18, 2004, and issued to service providers.
- VAA's training program, which covers the subject matter specified in sections 4 to 7 of the Training Regulations in addition to the information set out in the Schedule (Section 11) to the Training Regulations. The training program provides the following teaching methods and education material: a training guide which includes a description of the disability awareness training program for VAA parking and ground transportation staff; a training manual which examines different types of disabilities, accessibility at the Vancouver Airport, disability-related language, insight regarding attitudes and communicating with persons with disabilities; and a learning aid which is comprised of general suggestions for interacting and communicating with persons with disabilities and educational material in this regard. It is noted that the training program specifies that the training workshops will include simulations and that the facilitators involved with the workshops will be persons with disabilities.
- VAA's newly developed draft accessible ground transportation policy which provides that:
- persons with disabilities shall not be refused ground transportation services from the Vancouver Airport; service animals shall be permitted to accompany passengers in the passenger compartment of the vehicle; ground transportation service providers shall provide a service capable of accommodating persons with disabilities; if a ground transportation service provider is unable to accommodate the specific needs of the person with a disability, the ground transportation service provider shall make alternate arrangements for the customer; and any additional cost associated with the alternate transportation shall be the responsibility of the ground transportation service provider;
- ground transportation service providers shall ensure that their training programs focus on the following areas:
- the different needs of persons with different disabilities;
- the skills necessary to communicate with persons with disabilities and assist in determining their needs;
- the barriers faced by persons with disabilities; and
- the necessary techniques for providing physical assistance, if appropriate.
The policy sets out that existing ground transportation service providers have sixty (60) days to ensure that all personnel receive disability training and that they will have to provide VAA with confirmation of such training and that any new personnel hired shall receive disability training within sixty (60) days of commencing their employment. New ground transportation service providers shall receive disability training prior to providing such services at the Vancouver Airport. Recurrent training is required once a year. Ground transportation service providers shall provide VAA with written confirmation of completion of training.
VAA has advised the Agency that, upon receipt of the Agency's approval, VAA will distribute its Accessible Ground Transportation Policy to service providers by way of facsimile with follow-up conversations and meetings with respective service providers. VAA will distribute its Accessible Ground Transportation Policy to its employees through its intranet site.
ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
The Agency has reviewed all of the information filed in response to the Decision. VAA has issued a bulletin that meets the requirements set out in the Decision.
The Agency notes that VAA has created policies and procedures concerning the provision of ground transportation to persons with disabilities and that they meet the requirements set out in the Decision.
The Agency also notes that VAA has developed a training program intended for contractors, consultants and service providers who interact with persons with disabilities and which covers the subject matter specified in sections 4 to 7 of the Training Regulations, in addition to the information set out in the Schedule (Section 11) to the Training Regulations. The Agency is satisfied that the training program is in compliance with the Training Regulations in so far as it covers sections 4 to 7 of the regulations and includes the information set out in the Schedule.
Based on the above findings, the Agency has determined that the measures undertaken by VAA should prevent the recurrence of situations similar to that experienced by Mr. Marion. While the Agency is satisfied that VAA has met the requirements of the Decision, the Agency hereby requires VAA to provide the Agency with the following document as soon as it is available:
- a copy of its accessible ground transportation policy as issued.
Provided that VAA file the above document, the Agency contemplates no further action in this matter.