This document is the policy and related procedure that will guide Robins Appleby LLP and Talmadge Creek Realty Corp. (together the “Firm”) to make all of the programs and services it offers to the public accessible to Ontarians with disabilities.
This document contains the information that the Firm must provide to meet its obligation under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (O. Reg. 429/07) (the
“Regulation”) made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O.
2005, c.11 (“AODA”).
Everyone providing services on behalf of the Firm, including but not limited to all
employees, lawyers, volunteers, and third party individuals and entities who deal with the
public on the Firm’s behalf are bound by the policy and procedures in this document.
These individuals and entities are hereafter referred to as “Service Providers”.
Multi-year accessibility plan
The Firm is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with
disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows
them to maintain their dignity and independence. We are committed to meeting the
needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner.
In fulfilling its commitment to follow best practices in relation to communication and
information strategies, the Firm has:
- Notified the public regarding the feedback process that is available on its
website, effective January 1, 2015
- Notified the public that accessible formats and communication support are
available on its website, effective January 1, 2015
- Provided information to all staff regarding the availability of communications in
- Completed this initiative by January 1, 2016
Accessible Websites and Web Content
The Firm will:
- Ensure that all new websites and web content comply with the World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at Level A
and increasing to Level AA
- Conduct an assessment of the company's website and testing for accessibility
- Establish a course of action and timelines to achieve web accessibility, based on the results of the assessment and compliance with the law
- Complete this initiative by December 30, 2021
The Customer Service Policy
This Customer Service Policy (the “Policy”) sets procedures that will help all of the Firm’s
Service Providers understand the different needs that some customers with disabilities
(as defined under section 2 of the AODA may have and their responsibility to find
appropriate ways to help them access our services. Services will be provided in a
manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
We commit that our policy and procedures meets or exceed the duties and
responsibilities required under the Regulation through the following practices:
We will provide training on the Policy and the Regulation to all of the Firm’s Service
Providers as soon as can be reasonably expected after their hiring or engagement. The
primary reason for this training is to create awareness and to ensure compliance with the
Policy and the Regulation. Training will be on an ongoing basis as changes occur to the
Policy and/or to the Regulation. Training will be provided and materials will be reviewed
from time to time to ensure it remains current with current best practices and in
compliance with the Regulation.
Service Providers existing prior to this Policy coming into effect will receive training on
the Policy as soon as training can be reasonably performed.
The training includes but is not limited to:
- why the AODA was implemented;
- the requirements of the Regulation;
- how the Policy and its procedures and practices direct the provision of services
to persons with disabilities;
- how to interact and communicate with persons with a range of disabilities;
- how to handle situations where a person with a disability has difficulty accessing
the Firm’s services;
- how to interact with persons with disabilities who use assistive devices or require
assistance from a support person or service animal; and
- the equipment or devices available on the Firm’s premises that may help serve
persons with disabilities.
The Human Resources Manager will maintain written training records.
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients. For this reason,
invoices will be provided in the following formats upon request: hard copy, large print
We will answer any questions our clients may have about the content of the invoice in
person, by telephone or e-mail.
Service Animals and Support Persons
A person with a disability is welcome to enter the Firm’s premises with a service animal.
Access by a service animal may be excluded from certain areas of the Firm’s premises
where such exclusion is permitted by law. In such rare cases that a service animal is
excluded, the onus falls on the Firm to provide other appropriate measures to enable the
person with the disability to obtain, use or benefit from the services of the Firm.
- Section 4(9) of the Regulation states that an animal is a service animal if (1) it is
readily apparent that the animal is being used for reasons related to a person's disability;
or (2) if the person provides a letter from a doctor or nurse confirming that the animal is
required for reasons relating to the disability.
- Staff will receive training to identify support persons who may be a paid
professional, volunteer, family member or friend who accompanies a person who
requires help with communication, mobility, personal care, medical issues or to access
goods and services.
Procedures for Support Persons
A person with a disability is entitled to attend at our firm with his or her support person in
all areas where the public or third parties are permitted and/or served. At no time will a
person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from
accessing his or her support person.
Subsection 4(5) of the Regulation states that we retain the right to require a person with
a disability to be accompanied by a support person when on the premises, but only if a
support person is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability
or the health or safety of others on the premises.
Exercise of this authority must be based on clear evidence of a hazard to the person
with the disability or others, if unaccompanied.
If no support person is available, the manager or designate must determine whether
there is an acceptable alternative. (One alternative may be to assign a member of the
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Provider team to accompany the person
with a disability). Another option may be to reschedule services when appropriate
arrangements can be made.
The provision of our services often includes the private disclosure of personal
information and legal advice, which would ordinarily be protected from disclosure to
others by lawyer/client privilege. While we treat all such communication to be subject to
lawyer/client privilege, that privilege might not exist if a support person is present during
the communication, with the result that any person present could be compelled to
disclose the information or advice in court proceedings.
Procedures for Assistive Devices
All appropriate measures will be taken to provide services to persons with disabilities
who use assistive devices. We will inform clients of the availability of assistive devices
on our website. Accommodations can be made. However, please note that some
accommodations may require more notice and we would ask that clients advice us of
their needs in advance. Any devices provided by the Firm on the premises will be in
good repair and kept on a regular maintenance schedule.
Service Providers will not operate or otherwise interfere with a person's personal
assistive device unless invited to do so by the person or his/her support person. As an
example, we will not move a wheelchair or cane without permission.
Training will be provided to enough staff members to ensure there is always someone
who is familiar with the operation of any device(s) provided by the Firm on the premises.
Training will cover use of each assistive device, correcting common issues, how to reset
devices and the use of any security features associated with them such as passwords or
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
We will endeavour to provide notice of temporary disruptions to service or facilities used
by persons with disabilities including the reason(s) for the disruption. When the
disruption is planned, we will endeavour to provide advance notice.
Our staff will be trained to deal with emergency procedures and will know the most
appropriate ways to assist clients or staff who need assistance during an emergency.
Temporary service disruptions affecting the Firm’s provision of services will be
communicated by the following:
- Physical facility service interruptions to; washrooms, elevators, doors, entrances, and
corridors, will be communicated by notices posted at the location of the service
Service or program closures or shortened hours caused by severe weather, disease
outbreak and mechanical difficulties (e.g. a power outage) will be posted on the
firm’s website and communicated by a general voice message at the Firm’s regular
Notices will give the reason for the disruption, the expected duration, if known, and
describe possible alternatives.
Notices will be posted in prominent locations, such as public entrances, information
and reception desks, on the website and any other reasonable location that suits the
- We will endeavour to provide information related to temporary disruption of local
services (such as washrooms, elevators) in person and by telephone.
- Reception staff will provide information about temporary service interruptions. If
requested and if available, a staff member will guide the person to an alternate
service, if available.
The Firm is committed to providing fair and accessible employment practices. We will
accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes
and when people with disabilities are hired.
The Firm develops an individual accommodation and return-to-work plan for firm
members who have been absent from work due to a disability and require
accommodation upon their return.
Workplace individual emergency response information
On learning of an employee’s needs, the Firm works with the employee to create an
individualized emergency response plan.
With consent, we share this information with those responsible for helping in
We review individualized emergency response plans whenever the employee
moves to a different location, overall accommodation needs or plans are reviewed and
we review our general emergency response policies.
Informing employees of supports
The Firm is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
The Firm will notify the public and staff that, when requested, it will accommodate
individuals with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when
they are hired;
The Firm will develop and put in place a process for developing individual
accommodation plans for employees with disabilities;
The Firm will develop and put in place a return to work process for employees who have
been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations
in order to return to work; and
The Firm will ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into
account if using performance management, career development and advancement, or
The Firm will also take reasonable steps to prevent and remove other accessibility
barriers that are identified.
Recruitment, assessment and selection
In recruiting new employees, the Firm notifies potential applicants that we accommodate
applicants with disabilities. On request, we will provide accommodation appropriate to
the applicants’ accessibility needs.
We welcome your comments and feedback on this Policy which can be provided on our
website at www.robinsappleby.com. We will also note comments and feedback provided
in person, in writing, online, by telephone, or any other means.
Anyone with a complaint, question, concern or compliment about the Policy may contact
the Firm’s Director of Administration, Raili O’Born, who can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org, (416) 868-1080.
We will acknowledge your correspondence and will provide a written response within
fourteen (14) business days of receiving your correspondence.
This Policy is available in large print format, upon request, to accommodate persons with