To echo obligations dictated by and fulfilled by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, our Firm subscribes to the following principles:
Our Firm supports the full inclusion of persons with disabilities as set out in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 , the OHRC’s Policy and Guidelines on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 32 (ODA) 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11 (AODA).
Our Firm is committed to complying with the AODA Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and providing high quality service where all persons have equal access to its services.
1. Our commitment to service:
In fulfilling our mission, the Firm works at all times to provide our goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are committed to giving people with disabilities equal opportunity to access our goods and services and to allowing them to equally benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other customers.
This statement of our commitment reflects our best efforts to provide excellent customer service, within the limits of our resources, by: being sensitive, aware and knowledgeable about the realities of prejudice and discrimination; recognizing and accommodating the diverse needs of our many client groups; providing accessible services, information and materials; acting on issues brought to the Firm as quickly as possible while maintaining the high quality of our work; and responding to questions, concerns and criticism in a prompt, fair and respectful way.
2. Providing goods and services to people with disabilities:
Our Firm is committed to excellence in serving all customers, including those with disabilities, and will carry out our functions and responsibilities in an accessible manner. Each request for accommodation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. In addition we follow following steps.
We communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take their specific needs into account. We train staff how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities. We train staff to communicate with customers over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly. If communication over the telephone is not suitable or available, the Firm will offer to communicate with customers in other ways including email.
The Firm ensures that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by customers while accessing our goods or services. Our Firm only uses facilities for meetings and public events that are accessible for people with disabilities who use mobility aids and devices or have other facility-related needs.
Customers are encouraged to contact our Firm as early as possible if any special arrangements are required. All of the Firm’s public documents, including correspondence and publications, are available in electronic format. We welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or a support person. We will ensure that staff are properly trained on how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or a support person. Our Firm strives to meet and surpass customer expectations while serving customers with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are appreciated.