Accessibility Policy & Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
This 2023-2028 accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP (“FWTA”) will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities and to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA“).
Statement of Commitment
FWTA is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the AODA.
Further, FWTA is committed to meeting its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the "Code"), including accommodation of employees and clients with disabilities.
Our Accessibility Policy is consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.
Accessible Emergency Information
FWTA is committed to providing its clients and the public with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary, as described below.
Implementation Timeframe: Effective immediately and ongoing.
FWTA provides training to its employees, volunteers and other staff members on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training will be provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees and other staff members.
FWTA provides employees with written training materials and/or a presentation, including the following:
- purpose of AODA and the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
- our Accessible Customer Service Plan
- how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
- how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
- what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing FWTA’s services or facilities
- the requirements of the Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities
FWTA trains every person as soon as practicable after being hired and provide training in respect of any changes to the policies. FWTA maintains records of the training provided, including the dates on which the training was provided and the names of those trained.
Implementation Timeframe: By January 1, 2015, and ongoing.
Information and communications
We communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.
The FWTA website and content on the website conforms with internationally recognized WCAG 2.2 Level A and AA standards. Any revisions to the website will be done in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.
FWTA is taking the following steps to make sure all publicly available information, including public safety information, is made accessible upon request:
- FWTA will provide clients and members of the public with information in an accessible format or with communication supports upon request.
- FWTA will respond to such requests as soon as practicable.
- At a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.
We will consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support. If FWTA determines that information or communications are unconvertible, FWTA shall provide the requestor with:
a) an explanation as to why the information or communications are unconvertible; and
b) a summary of the unconvertible information or communications.
We notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports by posting our Accessibility Policy and Multi-Year Plan on our website and other means.
Implementation Timeframe: By January 1, 2014, and ongoing.
FWTA welcomes any feedback, complaints or questions regarding the methods it uses to provide goods and services to persons with disabilities. FWTA is also committed to ensuring that its feedback process is accessible by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, upon request.
Every complaint will be reviewed and assessed by FWTA’s Accessibility Committee. Where possible, the Accessibility Committee will address the issues raised in the complaint. If a complaint cannot be addressed, the Accessibility Committee will advise the complainant.
Individuals may provide their feedback, complaints or questions in person, by telephone, in writing, or by, or otherwise, to Melanie D. McNaught at:
Mail: Suite 2500, 333 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2R2
FWTA is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
We takes the following steps to notify the public, job applicants and staff that, when requested, FWTA will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired:
- Prospective applicants will be advised of the availability of accommodations by the Hiring Manager.
- FWTA will notify applicants and employees of its ability to provide accommodations on any job postings.
- When making offers of employment, FWTA will advise successful applicants that it has policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
We notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities as soon as practicable after they begin their employment. We will provide updated information to employees whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodation.
We will consult with employees when arranging for the provision of suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the accessibility needs due to disability. We will consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication supports specifically for:
a) information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job; and
b) information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency. With the employee’s consent, we will provide workplace emergency information to a designated person who is providing assistance to that employee during an emergency.
We will provide the information as soon as practicable after we become aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability.
We will review the individualized workplace emergency response information:
a) when the employee moves to a different location in the organization;
b) when the employee’s overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed; and
c) when we review FWTA’s general emergency response policies.
FWTA has a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability.
We ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account when using performance management, career development and redeployment processes.
For further information regarding accommodation of employees with disabilities, please contact the HR/Office Manager.
Implementation Timeframe: By January 1, 2016, and ongoing
Design of Public Spaces
FWTA will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to its offices in public spaces.
Implementation Timeframe: By January 1, 2017, and ongoing
In the event of a service disruption, we will notify the public of the service disruption and alternatives available.
Implementation Timeframe: Effective immediately and ongoing
FWTA will review and update this policy at least once every five years.
FWTA will maintain this Accessibility Policy and Accessible Customer Service Plan, which includes our policies, practices and procedures with respect to the following:
- use of support persons;
- use of guide dogs or service animals;
- the steps to be taken in connection with a temporary disruption;
- the training policy, including a summary of the contents of the training and details of when the training is to be provided;
- records of the training provided under this policy, including the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided;
- the feedback process.
FWTA will notify persons to whom it provides goods and services of its Accessibility Policy and Accessible Customer Service Plan, by posting the information at a conspicuous place on FWTA’s premises, on FWTA’s website or by such method as is reasonable in the circumstances.
For More Information
For information and updates with respect to FWTA’s accessibility policies, please contact the Firm’s Managing Director, an Accessibility Committee member, or Melanie D. McNaught at:
Accessible formats of this document are available free upon request.
Accessible Customer Service Plan
FWTA is committed to excellence in serving all clients, including people with disabilities.
The purpose of the Accessible Customer Service Plan (the “Plan”) is to ensure that FWTA provides goods and services in accordance with the principles below and complies with the AODA and the Code.
FWTA will use reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of its services to persons with disabilities are consistent with the following principles:
- goods and services are provided in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- persons with disabilities are able to benefit from the same services, in the same place and in a similar way as other clients;
- persons with disabilities have opportunities equal to others to obtain, use and benefit from FWTA’s facilities, goods or services.
- 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,
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
- a mental disorder, or
- an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
“Guide dog” means a dog trained as a guide for a person who is blind or visually impaired.
“Service animal” means an animal for a person with disabilities where it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability or where the person provides a letter from a regulated health professional confirming that he or she requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
“Support person” means, in relation to a person with disabilities, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods and services.
3. PROVIDING GOODS AND SERVICES TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
FWTA is committed to excellence in serving all clients, including persons with disabilities, and will carry out its functions and responsibilities by,
- communicating with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability;
- serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices. FWTA will provide its staff with training on how to use any assistive devices available on FWTA’s premises;
- ensuring that persons with disabilities who are accompanied by their guide dog or other service animals are permitted to enter the premises of FWTA with the animal and to keep the animal with them, unless the animal is excluded by law from the premises;
- ensuring that persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person are permitted to enter the Firm’s premises with their support person.
For more information on providing services to persons with disabilities, see FWTA's Accessible Customer Service Guide.
4. SERVICE ANIMALS
A person with disabilities may be accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal when on FWTA’s premises. FWTA reserves the right to request that the person with a disability provide documentation from a regulated health professional where it cannot easily identify that the animal is a service animal. In the event that service animals are excluded by law from the premises, the Firm will provide other resources or supports to enable the person with disabilities to access the services and goods offered by FWTA.
5. SUPPORT PERSONS
Person with disabilities may enter FWTA premises with a support person and have access to the support person while on the premises.
FWTA does not charge fees for support persons, or if fees are charged for admission to the premises (e.g. special events), FWTA shall provide notice of the amount in advance.
FWTA may require persons with disabilities to be accompanied by a support person when on the premises, but only if a support person is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with disabilities or the health or safety of others on the premises. Before requiring the person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person, FWTA will:
- consult with the person with a disability to understand their needs;
- consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence; and
- determine if there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the person or others on the premises.
6. NOTICE OF TEMPORARY DISRUPTION
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities (including the elevators in our building and the automatic doors in our washrooms), FWTA will notify affected clients promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be placed in the reception area.
7. MODIFICATIONS TO THIS OR OTHER POLICIES
Changes will not be made to this Plan unless the impact of the changes on persons with disabilities has been considered.
Any policy of FWTA that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed. We have reviewed our current policies and are satisfied that no such modification or removal is required at the present time.
For more information or to provide feedback with respect to FWTA’s accessibility policies, please contact the Firm’s Managing Director, an Accessibility Committee member, or Melanie D. McNaught at:
Mail: Suite 2500, 333 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2R2