Accessibility Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to develop, implement, and enforce accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods and services.

Scope

This policy has been developed in accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The regulation requires accessibility standards for customer service if the organization provides goods or services to the public or other third parties.

All legislated changes impacting this policy will be reflected in McLeish Orlando LLP’s policy through updates, on an on-going basis. The policy will be reviewed annually in accordance with applicable legislation. No changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities.

This policy applies to all employees of McLeish Orlando LLP who interact with the public and other third parties.

Our Commitment

McLeish Orlando LLP strives to provide our legal services in a respectful and accessible manner to all clients, including persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities will benefit from the same services, in the same place, in a similar way, as other clients. It is the commitment of McLeish Orlando services without discrimination in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

When providing our legal services to a person with a disability, we are committed to the following four core principles:

  • Dignity Our services should be provided in a method that allows a person with a disability to maintain self-respect and the respect of others.
  • Independence We strive to provide an environment that allows a person with a disability to access our services without help from others.
  • Integration A person with a disability should be able to benefit from the same services as others. Only use an alternative method when it is necessary to allow a person with a disability to access our legal services. If we are unable to remove a barrier, we need to offer other methods to provide services to people with disabilities, always remembering these principles.
  • Equal Opportunity We will use methods to provide legal services to persons with disabilities such that they have the same opportunity as others to access our legal services.

Responsibilities
Managing Partners, Director of Operations and Employees

The Managing Partners and Director of Operations are responsible for and must do the following:

  • Be knowledgeable of all related legislation
  • Provide training to all employees who interact with the public or other third parties
  • Establish a process for people to provide feedback on how legal services are provided to people with disabilities and outline how you will respond and take action
  • Ensure policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with core principles of the standard

Employees are responsible for and must do the following:

  • Comply with this policy
  • Attend training

Definitions

Disability (as per the Ontario Human Rights Code)

  1. Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. A learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. A mental disorder, or
  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997, S.O. 1997, c 16.

Customers

McLeish Orlando LLP’s customers are their clients and potential clients who receive legal services from our firm.

Persons with Disabilities

Individuals who have a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Act.

Barrier

Anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communication barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or practice.

Accessible

Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, environment, or facility is usable by as many people as possible, including persons with disabilities.

McLeish Orlando LLP will assess how we provide legal services to persons with disabilities as often as is necessary to ensure our legal services are fully accessible.

Employees are required to take into consideration the person’s disability when making meeting arrangements. If a person with a disability is unable to locate the 18th floor of McLeish Orlando LLP’s premises, employees are required to meet with the person on the 1st floor with a disability and assist them to the office space.

Goods and Services

The legal services provided by McLeish Orlando LLP.

Assistive Devices

A device used to assist a person with a disability in carrying out activities or in accessing the services of persons or organizations covered by the customer service standard. (Examples; canes, hearing aids, wheelchairs, etc)

Service Animals

A service animal is an animal for a person with a disability:

  • If it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  • If the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability

Guide Dog

A dog trained as a guide for a blind person and has the qualifications prescribed by the regulations of the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, R.S.O. 1990.

Support Person

A support person is an individual hired or chosen by a person with a disability to accompany him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs or with access to goods or services.

Premises

Includes the buildings, land or grounds where goods or services are provided.

Procedures
Communication and Accessibility

McLeish Orlando will communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability and offer communication methods that are suitable to his/her communication needs (email, telephone, in-person).

If a person with a disability requiring a wheelchair enters our premises, employees working at the reception desk are required to come out from behind the desk to greet clients.

If a person with a disability requires the use of the washrooms. Employees are asked to show them to the main floor washrooms where they are accessible.

If an extended client visit is required, suitable meeting accommodations will be arranged. Employees are required to take into consideration the person’s disability when making arrangements.

Marketing materials, invoices, and other printed materials will be made available in alternative formats upon request (examples include; large print, Braille, etc.).

Use of Guide Dogs and Service Animals

We are committed to welcoming persons with disabilities accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in those areas of the firm’s premises that are open to the public and other third parties, unless the animal is otherwise excluded by another law. The firm’s premises that are open to the public at McLeish Orlando LLP include: meeting rooms, front door/reception area, washrooms, and common areas. If a service animal is excluded by law, please use other measures to provide services to the person with a disability.

McLeish Orlando LLP is permitted to ask for proof that the animal is a service animal.

A Person with a disability is required to provide a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that they require the animal for reasons relating to their disability.

Service animals are not permitted in the employee offices or staff kitchen.

Support Persons

McLeish Orlando LLP is committed to welcoming persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. They will be allowed to enter those areas of the firm’s premises that are open to the public or third parties. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.

Assistive Devices

We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our legal services. We will ensure employees are trained on and are familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by a person with a disability while accessing our legal firm.

Temporary Disruption of Service(s)

We will provide notice of when our facilities or services that person with a disability rely on to access or use our legal services is temporarily disrupted. The notice will be placed in an open area to the public. The notice will include the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternate facility or service, if available.

Billing

We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our customers. Invoices will be provided in alternate formats upon request. McLeish Orlando LLP will answer any questions customers may have about the content of their invoice in person, by telephone or by mail.

Modification to this Policy and other Policies

McLeish Orlando LLP will reassess how we provide legal services to person with disabilities as often as is necessary to ensure our legal services are fully accessible. No changes will be made to this policy or other policies before considering the impact on persons with disabilities.

Training

All McLeish Orlando employees will be trained on this policy. This will be reviewed on a yearly basis as well as be available to employees via our online manual. All new employees will receive this training within the first week of their employment. Records indicating when and who received the training will be kept on file.

Our training will include the AODA Customer Service Standard Training as follows:

  • How to interact and communicate with persons with various disabilities
  • How to interact with persons with assistive devices or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or a support person
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficult accessing the services we provide

Feedback Process

Feedback regarding the way McLeish Orlando LLP provides legal services to people with disabilities can be made through the firm by email to , by phone at 1-866-685-3311 or by mail to 151 Yonge Street, Suite 1800, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2W7. Our ultimate goal is to meet and surpass our client’s expectations while serving clients with disabilities.

All feedback will be addressed by the Director of Operations, Colleen McHugh.