In SCI BC News

As most people have probably heard by now, Canada Post will be phasing out door-to-door home delivery of mail in favour of community mailboxes.This change will directly impact people with disabilities and seniors who rely on the home delivery service.

This change in mail service delivery will be phased in over the next 5 years. Before a region is phased in, an information package will be delivered to each affected address informing the residents that their service is set to transfer to the community mailbox. Some people with disabilities and seniors who will not be able to access the community mailboxes will be deemed to be in a “hardship category”; the package will contain a toll-free phone number that people can call. Because some postal regions are several years away from changing, Canada Post is recommending that people wait until they get the package before calling.

canadapostboxesCanada Post has put together an Action Team to address the concerns of individuals with disabilities and seniors who cannot access a mailbox. Individuals in the hardship category will be assisted by the Action Team to find a solution on an individual basis. When people receive the package, they can call 1 866 607-6301 and ask for the Action Team. Canada Post has stated that each case will be reviewed individually as there is no “one size fits all” solution. Some solutions they are considering are:

  • Home delivery only in the winter months
  • Home delivery one day a week,
  • Delivery to a family member
  • Adjusting the mailbox height at a community mailbox or providing a device that makes it easier to turn a mailbox key

Currently, Canada Post is sending out questionnaires to people who have indicated they cannot pick up their mail from a community box. Canada Post did not indicate when the survey would be complete and results available. The organization has stated that they need to know the specifics of a person’s disability to find the best solution for everyone; this information includes medical history. The Action Team will determine whether or not a person needs to provide a doctor’s report verifying the disability. News articles report that the Canadian Medical Association is opposed to the doctor’s report and Canada Post later stated they will consult more with doctors and other interested parties.

To see when home delivery will be phased out in your area, see this chart showing the nationwide changes.

What are your concerns about these changes? Do you feel that the potential solutions mentioned by Canada Post above would adequately meet your needs? Please comment here to let us know what you think.

Photos: Canada Post and flickr/phrawr

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