As you may be aware, the Region of Peel is realigning its Accessible Transportation Services to be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) mandated by the Ontario Government. This means that TransHelp’s eligibility criteria will need to align with the Human Rights Code’s definition of disability which includes individuals who have an intellectual or a developmental disability. These changes will be in effect as of January 1, 2017.
This will have a significant impact on the individuals and families we support who are currently using TransHelp or the Passenger Assistance Program or who may be waiting for these services. The Region of Peel has communicated that TransHelp’s eligibility criteria will expand to accommodate more people who have an intellectual or a developmental disability. However, there has been no communication of the Passenger Assistance Program’s operation in the future. Although there may be individuals who are currently using the Passenger Assistance Program who may be eligible for the new services that TransHelp will offer, it is not yet known if this will include individuals who require support while they are using accessible transportation. This would include attendant support while travelling.
TransHelp has communicated the introduction of a new review process to qualify new and existing passengers. This will include an updated application, assessment and eligibility procedures. There may be new applicants who become eligible for TransHelp services under the new criteria. There may also be existing passengers who will no longer qualify under the new criteria. This may affect many individuals relying on this service in order to go to work, attend a day program or to participate in the community. TransHelp has submitted a Council report on the revised eligibility policy to Peel Regional Council for the April 14, 2016 Council Agenda.
We would like you to be aware that Community Living Mississauga has been meeting with the Region of Peel to advocate on behalf of individuals and families who are waiting or facing barriers and challenges to obtaining accessible transportation. Community Living Mississauga is also working together with our Peel community partners to address these same issues. It is important for individuals and families to be informed of these upcoming changes that will not only have a personal impact but will also influence the delivery of accessible transportation services for the long term in Peel.
For more information, please contact TransHelp at 905 791 1015 or visit their website at www.peelregion.ca/transhelp