Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
1. Purpose & Policy Statement
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) provides for the implementation and enforcement by the Provincial Government of standards that are intended to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities in a number of aspects, including the provision of goods and services.
The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines the strategy of Evans, Philp LLP (“the Firm”) to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07), and the consolidated Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11).
This Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines the policies and actions that the Firm will put into place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. This plan will be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that our Firm meets the requirements to be fully accessible by 2025.
This Policy applies to all employees of Evans, Philp LLP who deal with members of the public or other third parties, and all clients and vendors.
3. Commitment to Accessibility
Evans, Philp is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for all stakeholders, including clients, employees, job applicants, suppliers, and any visitors who enter the premises, work for the Firm, access information provided by the Firm, or use the Firm’s goods and services.
The Firm will work to break down the barriers that prevent or limit persons with disabilities from employment, receipt of goods and services, the built environment, and information and communication through the implementation of accessibility standards.
Evans, Philp will make every effort to identify, remove, and prevent barriers by developing inclusive employment procedures that support persons with disabilities with accommodations during the recruitment and selection stages, and throughout the employment life cycle.
Recruitment and Hiring
Evans, Philp understands that improving workplace accessibility and ensuring an accessible recruitment and selection process for applicants with disabilities can expand the pool of talented candidates. Upon request, the Firm will provide candidates with reasonable accommodations during the interview and selection process. Where an accommodation is requested, the Firm will consult with the applicant to arrange suitable accommodations.
The Firm interview process will focus on experience and skills and will not discriminate against candidates who have a disability or require an accommodation. The Firm is committed to hiring decisions that are unbiased and based on qualifications and past experience. Successful candidates will be made aware of policies and supports for accommodations upon completion of the recruitment process.
If necessary or if requested, Evans, Philp will create individualized workplace emergency response plans for employees with disabilities. The emergency response plan will consider the unique challenges created by the individual’s disability and the physical nature of the workplace and will be created in consultation with the employee. If an employee with a disability requires assistance from a support person during an emergency, the Firm will designate a fellow employee to act as such.
The duty to accommodate is required of all employers, in all jurisdictions in Canada, and encompasses providing respect and dignity, individualized accommodation, integration and participation, and barrier-free designs. Evans, Philp LLP will provide individual accommodations to support the needs of employees with disabilities. Personalized accommodation plans will be designed to allow employees to contribute and participate in job related functions and activities to the best of their abilities. The process of accommodating individuals will take a consultative approach and is a shared obligation of the Firm, the employee, and any applicable professionals required to assist the employee throughout the process.
Evans, Philp LLP will provide workplace accommodation up to the point of undue hardship. Undue hardship may occur where it is established that no forms of appropriate accommodation exist, or where the creation of accommodation would create a health and safety hazard or cause unreasonable costs for the organization.
5. Service Animals & Support Persons
If an employee, client or customer with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Evans, Philp will ensure that both persons may enter the premises together and that the individual is not prevented from having access to the support person. A person with a disability accompanied by a service animal will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law.
The Firm will waive admission fees to support persons, or when not possible, ensure the support person is notified of admission costs in advance. The Firm will attempt to accommodate the employee, client or customer and support person to sit with one another. In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the client before any potentially confidential information is mentioned in front of the support person
When communicating with a person with a disability, lawyers and staff will do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability. Where appropriate, our lawyers or staff members will as the person with the disability directly how best to communicate with him/her. Approaches for communicating with a person with a disability are set out in our Accessibility Training Program.
The Firm understands the importance of accessible digital and non-digital forms of communication and will do its best to provide accessible types of communication and information to all individuals with disabilities. Such accessible formats and communication supports will be provided upon request.
7. Service Disruptions
Service disruptions may occur for reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of Evans, Philp. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customers with disabilities rely on to access or use goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice.
When disruptions occur, the Firm will:
- Contact customers with reservations or appointments; or
- By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
The Firm will make every reasonable effort to indicate when services will resume and suggest alternatives that can be utilized during the disruption. In some circumstances, such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions or emergencies, advance notice may not be possible.
8. Training & Records
Evans, Philp LLP will provide the appropriate training to its lawyers and staff. For new employees, training will be provided as soon as practicable after hiring. Such training will include:
- A review of the purpose of the AODA and the customer service standard regulation;
- Instruction on how to:
- Interact and communicate with persons with various types or disability;
- Interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of guide dogs or other service animals or the assistance of support persons;
- Use any technical devices or equipment that may be made available on our premises to help with the provision of services to a person with a disability;
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises or services.
Records of the training provided will be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the AODA.
Feedback pertaining to this policy or its implementation may be submitted:
· In-person to the Firm’s Office Manager, Jessica Soper;
· By telephone to 905-525-1200, extension 1013;
· E-mail using our Contact Form.
· Mail – Attention: Jessica Soper
Evans, Philp LLP
Barristers and Solicitors
1 King Street West, 16th Floor
Feedback received will be directed to the appropriate person and acknowledgement of our receipt of such feedback will be issued within three (3) business days.
Feedback will be reviewed and considered with a view to determining whether changes to the manner in which Evans, Philp LLP provides services to persons with disabilities are required or appropriate. Where appropriate, the person who provided such feedback will be advised of any changes implemented as a result of such feedback.
This policy, and related practices and protocols, will be made available, upon request, to any person. Notification of same shall be posted on the Evans, Philp LLP website and at a conspicuous place at our premises.
Evans, Philp LLP will provide a copy of documents, or the information contained in documents, to a person with the disability, as required under the AODA Customer Service Standard in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.