At SBLR LLP (the “Firm”) nothing is more important to us than the physical and mental health, safety, security, dignity, self-respect and well-being of our employees, managers, and contractors (collectively, “Workers”), as well as our volunteers, and that of our clients and other visitors, including vendors, suppliers and service providers.
This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the Customer Service Standards, as set out in Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “AODA”).
The Firm is committed to meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner. All goods, services or facilities provided by the Firm shall take into account the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
In accordance with the Customer Service Standards, as set out in Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the AODA, this policy addresses the following:
- The Provision of Goods, Services or Facilities to Persons with Disabilities
- The Use of Assistive Devices
- The Use of Guide Dogs and Service Animals
- The Use of Support Persons
- Notice of Service Disruptions
The Provision of Goods, Services or Facilities to Persons with Disabilities
The Firm will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
- ensuring that all clients receive the same value and quality;
- allowing clients with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace, when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk to the clients or others;
- using alternative methods, when possible, to ensure that clients with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner, as clients without disabilities;
- taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services; and
- communicating in a manner that takes into account the client’s disability.
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices, as required, when accessing goods, services or facilities provided by the Firm. In cases where the assistive devices present a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure access to the goods and services.
Guide Dogs and Service Animals
If a person with a disability is accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal at the Firm’s premises, that person will be permitted to enter the premises with the animal, and keep the animal with him/her, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises.
If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, the Firm will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the person with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises.
Notice of Disruptions in Service
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of the Firm. In the event of any temporary disruptions, either to the Firm’s services or to access to its facilities, where persons with disabilities rely on the services or access to them, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice of such disruptions. In some cases (e.g., unplanned temporary disruptions), advance notice may not be possible.
The Firm will provide the opportunity to provide feedback relating to:
- the manner in which the Firm provides goods, services or facilities to persons with disabilities; and
- whether the Firm’s feedback process referred to in paragraph (a) is accessible to persons with disabilities by providing, or arranging for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports, on request.
Feedback can be submitted directly to SBLR’s Office Manager.
Training is provided to all of the Firm’s Workers, covering:
- A review of the purpose of the AODA;
- A review of the requirements set out in Ontario Regulation 191/11, including a review of the Customer Service Standards;
- Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
- Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who:
- use assistive devices;
- require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal; or
- require the use of a support person;
- Instructions on how to use equipment or devices that are available at the Firm’s premises that may help people with disabilities, if applicable;
- Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the Firm’s services; and
- The Firm’s policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible client service to persons with disabilities.