This Support Person Policy defines the rules and guidelines for persons travelling on Ride CK Public Transit services with a Support Person. This policy complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Ont. Reg. 191/11, and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Support Person as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies the person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities.
Mandatory Support Person is a designation placed on the profile of a rider approved for specialized transit service – Chatham Accessible or Wallaceburg Accessible – that requires the rider to have a support person with them at all times while travelling on specialized transit for safety purposes.
Support Person Assistance Card
- All riders who, because of a disability, require a support person to effectively use Ride CK's conventional (urban and inter-urban) or specialized public transit services are required to complete a Support Person Assistance Card application.
- An exception to the above rule are riders who have a mandatory support person designation on their specialized transit profile. Those with a mandatory support person designation are required to have a support person with them on all specialized transit trips and are not required to apply for a Support Person Assistance Card unless they intend to also use conventional transit with a support person.
- The administration, application and eligibility for the Support Person Assistance Card is managed by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
- Riders requiring renewal their Support Person Assistance Card should do so two (2) months prior to the expiry date printed on their card.
- Eligibility for Ride CK specialized transit service does not guarantee eligibility for the Support Person Assistance Card.
- The Support Person Assistance Card is a photo ID card that belongs to the person with the disability. The support person does not have an ID card and may be a different person each time the rider travels.
- By presenting this card at the time of boarding, one (1) support person is permitted to travel with the card holder on any Ride CK public transit service at no additional cost.
- Any additional support persons are considered to be companions and will have to pay the appropriate fare.
- Support persons must be provided by the rider. Ride CK does not provide support persons or reimburse for the cost of support persons hired by the rider.
- The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has the right to revoke a rider's approved Support Person Assistance Card should the rider not abide by the terms of this policy in letter and spirit.
Travelling with your Support Person
- If using a transit service requiring an advanced booking – such as specialized transit or OnRequest conventional transit – riders are required to indicate they are travelling with a support person, or any other persons, to the booking agent or through the booking app/web portal where applicable.
- The support person must be travelling to and from the same location as the rider.
- A rider may have a family member or friend travel with them as their support person; provided that the support person is capable of meeting the needs of the rider necessary to effectively use transit services.
- A person with a disability is permitted to act as a support person for another person with a disability; provided that the support person is capable of meeting the needs of the rider necessary to effectively use transit services. A fare-free support person may only accompany a fare-paying rider.
- Dependent children 12 years of age and younger are not permitted to be a support person
Mandatory Support Person for Specialized Transit
- Ride CK understands the impact upon our riders when we require them to travel with a mandatory support person. Therefore, Ride CK strives to only place this requirement under specific circumstances to ensure the safety of all persons on board the vehicle.
- Riders may be required to have a mandatory support person with them at all times while travelling on specialized transit if they have a verified or documented risk of (a) Causing harm to themselves or others; (b) Making verbal or physical threat of violence or harm; (c) Exiting the vehicle and wandering; (d) Any other action or behaviour that presents a safety risk.
- Examples of verified or documented risk include (a) Documentation provided by the health care professional at the time of application to the Municipality; (b) Reports or documentation provided by Ride CK staff including operators; (c) Reports or documentation provided through follow-up interviews or functional assessments conducted by Municipal staff or contracted providers.
- Riders who are required to travel with a mandatory support person will not be permitted to travel on Ride CK services unless a capable support person is present and travelling with them.
- Mandatory support person designations will only be removed from a customer profile if sufficient information is provided to the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.