The Town of Saugeen Shores is committed to providing equal access to information, services and facilities for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

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Accessing information

We make every effort to provide information in a format that meets your needs. Please contact us if you need assistance finding an accessible version of a document.

Accessible washrooms

View the interactive map of accessible washrooms in Bruce County.

Preparing for Emergencies

Explore these resources to find out how you can prepare for emergencies if you have a disability:

 Seniors with disabilities

Since an emergency situation or an evacuation can be a frightening and confusing time, it is important that seniors, especially those with special needs, know the steps to take in an emergency. This includes seniors contacting their local municipal office to find out about programs and services available in their community that will help them during an emergency and assist them to return to their regular routines.

Emergencies can occur at any time and your best defense is to be prepared. 

Your Emergency Plan

- create an emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers of your family members, physicians, case worker, contact for your seniors group, neighbours, building superintendent, etc. and keep a copy in your survival kit and on your person

- write down the names and phone numbers of on-site doctors, nurses, social workers etc. at your place of residence (if applicable) including the hours they keep

- familiarize yourself with all escape routes and location of emergency doors/exits in your home

- know the location of emergency buttons (many seniors’ buildings have emergency buttons located in bedrooms and washrooms with a direct link to 911 or the building’s superintendent)

- if asked to evacuate, bring any equipment or assistive devices you may need immediately

- always wear your MedicAlert identification

Additional Items for Your Emergency Survival Kit

~ supply of food items appropriate to your disability or dietary restrictions

~ assistive devices such as canes, walkers, lightweight manual wheelchair, hearing aids, breathing apparatus, blood glucose monitoring device etc.

~ prescription eyewear and footwear

~ extra batteries for hearing aids

~ list of medications, extra supply and vitamin supplements

~ personal disability-related list of all your needed medical supplies and special equipment

~ copies of all medication prescriptions

~ extra dentures and cleaner

~ latex-free gloves (to give to anyone providing personal care to you)

~ any other contingency supplies unique to your special needs

For People with Diabetes

~ fast-acting insulin for high blood glucose/fast-acting sugar for low blood glucose

~ extra food to cover delayed meals

~ ice packs and thermal bag to store insulin

~ extra supply of syringes, needles and insulin pens (if necessary)

~ extra supply of insulin or pills

~ small container for storing used syringes/ needles (if necessary)

~ blood glucose testing kit, spare batteries and record book

~ supply of blood glucose and urine ketone testing strips

Dos and Don’ts - Assisting Seniors with Special Needs

- check on neighbours who are seniors with special needs to find out if they need your help during an emergency or evacuation

- allow the person to describe what help they need and how it can be provided to them

- be patient, listen actively

- if the person appears anxious or agitated, speak calmly and provide assurance that you are there to help

- if evacuation is necessary, offer a ride to seniors who do not have access to a vehicle

- if time permits, offer to carry the person’s emergency survival kit to your car, along with any equipment or assistive devices they will need

- follow instructions posted on special needs equipment and/or assistive devices during an emergency

- refrain from shouting or speaking unnaturally slowly avoid being dismissive of the person’s

 Non-visible Disabilities

Your Emergency Plan

- prepare an easy-to-understand list of instructions or information that you think you may need in an emergency

- keep an emergency list on your person of key people aware of your special needs

- inform your designated support network* of where you store your medication

- keep a pencil and paper or portable electronic recording device handy for any new instructions provided to you during an emergency

- consider wearing a MedicAlert bracelet or identification to help notify emergency responders about your non-visible disabilities

- request a panic push button be installed in the building you work and/or live in, so that in the event of an emergency you can notify others of your whereabouts and that you need special assistance

- people with multiple sclerosis: symptoms are often made worse by heat and humidity; be prepared to keep cool/dry

- people with diabetes: keep frozen water or ice packs in your freezer; have an insulated bag or cooled thermos ready to store your insulin should there be a power outage or you need to evacuate

Additional Items for Your Emergency Survival Kit

~ supply of food items appropriate to your disability or dietary restrictions

~ list of instructions that you can easily follow in an emergency

~ personal list and minimum three days supply of all needed medications, medical supplies and special equipment (e.g. ventilator for asthma, nitrolingual spray for heart condition, Epinephrine pen against allergic
reaction/anaphylactic shock, etc.)

~ detailed list of all prescription medications

~ Medic Alert identification

~ any other contingency supplies unique to your special needs

For People with Diabetes

~ extra supply of insulin or pills

~ extra supply of syringes, needles and insulin pens (if necessary)

~ small container for storing used syringes/ needles (if necessary)

~ blood glucose testing kit, spare batteries and record book

~ supply of blood glucose and urine ketone testing strips

~ fast-acting insulin for high blood glucose/fast-acting sugar for low blood glucose

~ extra food to cover delayed meals

~ ice packs and thermal bag to store insulin

Dos and Don’ts - Assisting People with Disabilities

~ allow the people to describe what help they need from you

~ find effective means of communication (e.g. provide drawn or written instructions and use landmarks to describe directions)

~ be patient, flexible and maintain eye contact when speaking to the person

~ repeat instructions if needed

~  ask the person about their medication and if they need help taking it; never offer medicines not prescribed by their physician

~  keep people with multiple sclerosis cool and dry to avoid making their symptoms worse

~  avoid shouting or speaking quickly but do not speak so slowly so as to offend the person

~  do not restrain a person having a convulsion; instead, roll them on their side to keep the airway clear; place something soft under their head to protect from injury; when convulsion passes and person is conscious, help them into a resting position

 Travel Considerations

Your Emergency Plan

- before traveling, get tips from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade website at www.voyage.gc.ca where you can register and order a free copy of the booklet containing contact information for your destination’s Canadian Office and Emergency Operations Centre

- discuss your particular accommodation needs with your travel agent

- discuss your trip with your doctor to prepare contingency plans in case of illness

- obtain necessary travel medical insurance

- divide your medications and medical supplies between your carry-on and check-in baggage, keeping them in their original labeled containers, and bring copies of your prescriptions with you

- always wear your MedicAlert bracelet

- inform your travel companions on how to assist you in an emergency

- if traveling alone, establish a network (e.g. hotel staff) that can assist you  during an emergency

- if you have difficulty using stairs, request a room on a lower floor

- review the hotel emergency exit plan

- if needing to evacuate, bring your emergency “ready-to-go-bag” and any assistive devices you may need

Considerations When Travelling

When traveling locally or internationally, people with disabilities and seniors with special needs should take extra time to research and plan their trip to make their travel experience safe and enjoyable. This includes preparing in advance, an emergency plan and “ready-to-go-bag” with emergency survival items.

Additional Items for Your Emergency Survival Kit

~ supply of food items appropriate to your dietary restrictions

~ supply of medications/assistive devices appropriate to your disability (eg. Glucagen Injection if you manage your diabetes with insulin and you are traveling to a remote location that does not have ambulance service)

~ laminated personal information card identifying your special needs, medications, contact information, next of kin etc.) that you keep on your person at all times when traveling

~ copy of your travel medical insurance and other important travel documents

~  a personal alarm that emits a loud noise to draw attention to your whereabouts

~ small container that can store or disintegrate syringes or needles safely (if applicable)

~ anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea pills and pain medication

~ sun block and insect repellent

~ dictionary to help you communicate in a foreign language

~ any other contingency supplies unique to your disability or special needs

Dos and Don’ts - When Making Travel Considerations

- check on fellow travelers with visible disabilities or special needs to find out if they need your help during an emergency or evacuation

- listen actively to what the individual with special needs is saying and how they might need your help

- if they speak in a foreign language that you do not understand, try to communicate using gestures

- during an emergency evacuation if time permits, offer to carry the person’s emergency survival kit along with any special assistive devices they will need

- review previous categories in this series of pamphlets on how to assist people with specific disabilities or special needs

- do not let the person become separated from their wheelchair or mobility aids

 Vision

What is vision loss?

Vision loss can include a broad range of conditions from complete blindness to partial or low vision that cannot be corrected with lenses or surgery.  A person’s ability to read signs or move through unfamiliar environments during an emergency may be challenged,  creating a feeling of being lost or a dependency on others for
guidance.

Your Emergency Plan

- prepare an easy-to-understand list of instructions or information that you think you may need in an emergency

- keep an emergency list on your person of key people aware of your special needs

- inform your designated support network of where you store your medication

- keep a pencil and paper or portable electronic recording device handy for any new instructions provided to you during an emergency

- consider wearing a Medic Alert bracelet or identification to help notify emergency responders about your non-visible disabilities

- request a panic push button be installed in the building you work and live in, so that in the event of an emergency you can notify others of your whereabouts and that you need special assistance

- people with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's: symptoms are often made worse by heat and humidity; be prepared to keep cool/dry

- people with diabetes: keep frozen water or ice packs in your freezer; have an insulated bag or cooled thermos ready to store your insulin should there be a power outage or you need to evacuate

Additional Items for Your Emergency Survival Kit

~ extra white cane, preferably a cane that is longer in length

~ talking or Braille clock

~ large-print timepiece with extra batteries

~ extra vision aids such as an electronic travel aid, monocular, binocular or magnifier

~ extra pair of prescription glasses – if you wear them

~ any reading devices/assistive

~ technology to access information/portable CCTV devices

~ any other contingency supplies unique

Dos and Don’ts - Assisting People with Vision  Disabilities

- always ask first, if you can be of assistance to them

- for people who are deaf-blind, use your finger to draw an “x” on their back to let them know you are there to help during an emergency

- to communicate with a deaf-blind person, try tracing letters with your finger on the palm of their hand

- to guide the person, offer them your arm instead of taking theirs and walk at their pace; keep half a step

- if the person has a service dog, ask them  where you should walk to avoid distracting the animal

- provide advance warning of stairs, curbs, obstacles or changes in direction

- watch for overhangs or protrusions the person could walk into

- do not assume the person cannot see you, or that they need your help

- never grab or touch a person with vision loss

- do not touch, make eye contact or distract the person’s service dog as this can seriously endanger the owner

- do not shout at a person with vision loss; speak clearly and provide specific and precise directions such as ‘to your right’ or by relaying clock face positions

 Hearing
What are Hearing Disabilities?

A person can be deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. The distinction between these terms is based on the individual’s language and means of communicating rather than the degree of hearing loss.

In an emergency, the method in which emergency warnings are issued becomes critical to how a person with hearing loss is able to respond and follow instructions to safety.

Dos and Don’ts - Assisting People with Hearing Disabilities

- get the person’s attention via a visual cue or a gentle touch on their arm before speaking to them

- face the person and make eye contact when speaking to them as they may rely on speech reading

- communicate in close proximity

- speak clearly and naturally

- use gestures to help explain what you are trying to communicate

- write a message if there is time and keep a pencil and paper handy

- avoid approaching the person from behind

- refrain from shouting or speaking unnaturally slowly

- do not make loud noises as hearing aids amplify sounds and can create a

- physical shock to the user

Your Emergency Plan

- if your network* is unavailable during an emergency, seek the assistance of others to whom you can communicate your hearing loss by spoken language, moving your lips without sound, pointing to your ear or hearing aid

- keep a pencil and paper handy

- obtain a pager that is connected to an emergency paging system at your workplace and/or the building that you
live in

- install a smoke detection system that includes smoke alarms and accessory flashing strobe lights or vibrators to
gain your attention if the alarms sound

- test smoke alarms on a monthly basis by pushing the test button

- replace batteries in smoke alarms every six months and whenever there is an indication that the battery is low

- keep a laminated card on your person and in your survival kit that identifies you as deaf or hard of hearing and
explains how to communicate with you

Additional Items for Your Emergency Survival Kit

~ extra writing pads and pencils

~ flashlight, whistle or noisemaker

~ pre-printed key phrases you would use during an emergency

~ assistive devices unique to your needs (e.g. hearing aid, pager, personal amplifier etc.)

~ portable visual notification devices that allow you to know if a person is at the door or calling on the telephone

~ extra batteries for assistive devices

~ a CommuniCard (produced by The Canadian Hearing Society) that explains your hearing loss and also helps identify how rescuers or assisters can communicate with you during an emergency

~ any other contingency supplies unique to your special needs

 Mobility

What are Mobility Limitations 

Mobility limitations may make it difficult for a person to use stairs or to move quickly over long distances. These can include reliance on mobility devices such as a wheelchair, scooter, walker, crutches or a walking cane. In addition, people with a heart condition or various respiratory difficulties can experience certain levels of
mobility limitations.

 

Additional Items for Your Emergency Survival Kit

~ tire patch kit

~ can of seal-in-air product to repair flat tires on your wheelchair or scooter

~ supply of inner tubes

~ pair of heavy gloves to protect your hands while wheeling or making way over glass or other sharp debris

~ latex-free gloves for those providing personal care to you

~ spare deep-cycle battery for motorized wheelchair if feasible

~ spare catheters if applicable

~ a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup to a motorized one, if feasible.

 

Disability Quick Facts

Prior to the 1970s, ‘disability’ was largely defined as a diagnostic, biomedical category. However, disability is now viewed as a social construct rather than a medical one. 650 million people worldwide have a disability of some sort, one million persons aged 15 and over report having a hearing related disability, and 8 in 10 seniors live with a disability.

 

Dos and Don't - Assisting

- use latex-free gloves whenever possible when providing personal care; people with spinal cord injuries have a greater risk of infectious disease and gloves help control secondary medical conditions that can easily arise if personal care is disrupted during an emergency

- ensure that the person’s wheelchair goes with the person

- do not push or pull a persons wheelchair without their permission

 

 Service Animals and Support Persons

Your Emergency Plan 

- create an emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers of your family members, physicians, case worker, contact for your seniors group, neighbours, building superintendent, etc. and keep a copy in your survival kit and on your person

- write down the names and phone numbers of on-site doctors, nurses, social workers etc. at your place of residence (if applicable) including the hours they keep

- familiarize yourself with all escape routes and location of emergency doors/exits in your home or facility that you are in

- know the location of emergency buttons (many seniors’ buildings have emergency buttons located in bedrooms and washrooms with a direct link to 911 or the building’s superintendent)

- if asked to evacuate, bring any equipment or assistive devices you may need immediately

- current photo of your service dog in case it gets lost or separated from you

Service Animals 

(i) A “guide dog” as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons Rights Act; or

(ii) A “service animal” for a person with a disability. For the purpose of the Municipalities policy,  an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability.

  (a) If it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for the reasons relating to his/her disability; or

  (b) If the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for  reasons relating to the disability

Support Persons 

Support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communications, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

The Town of Saugeen Shores will allow people with disabilities who require, to be accompanied by a support person in all Municipally owned and operated facilities and reserve the right to request the person with a  disability be accompanied by a support person, in the even that it is considered necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with the disability or other on the premises. The Town will waive
admission fees for support persons who accompany a person with a disability, into facilities where admission is charged

Service Dog Checklist

This Service Dog Emergency Kit Checklist outlines the basic items every person with a service dog should have prepared in advance to keep their service animal comfortable during the stress of an emergency situation. It is advisable to keep all items in a transportable bag that is easy to access should evacuating the home
become necessary. Also, remember to check the kit twice a year to ensure freshness of food, water and medication and to restock any supplies you may have borrowed from the kit.
Note: an easy way to remember is to do it when you  change the clocks or when you check your  smoke alarms bi-annually.

- minimum 3 day supply of bottled water and pet food

- paper towels and can opener

- medications with a list identifying reasons (e.g. medical condition), dosage, frequency and contact information of prescribing veterinarian

- medical records including vaccinations

- leash/harness

- muzzle (if required)

- blanket and favourite toy

- plastic bags

- up-to-date ID tag with your phone number and name/phone number of your veterinarian (micro chipping is also recommended) current photo of your service dog in case it gets lost or separated from you

- copy of licence (if required)

Pet Owners

While service dogs are accepted at shelters in an emergency, family pets are not, therefore it is advisable for pet owners to prepare a similar emergency kit for each family pet. In the case of cats, include a cat carrier litter pan, litter, scooper and plastic bags. It is also recommended for pet owners to make arrangements with family and friends to care for their pets should it become necessary to evacuate the home.

 

Accessibility initiatives

Accessibility Advisory Committee

The Accessibility Advisory Committee advises Council about the Saugeen Shores Accessibility Plan.

Incentives for accessible businesses

Downtown businesses and landowners in Port Elgin and Southampton may be eligible for a 50% reduction in building or sign permit fees for making accessibility improvements to their properties.

Plans and reports

Policies

Legislation

The Town of Saugeen Shores follows provincial accessibility legislation, including the following: