Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulations (191/11)
Dutton Brock is committed to ensuring its policies, practices and procedures for the provision of its services are consistent with the legislation in the locations in which it does business to effectively provide services to individuals with disabilities.
Dutton Brock is also, committed to providing equal opportunity and accommodations for individuals with disabilities to access, use and benefit from its services. We are committed to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the AODA and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards.
Accessibility Policy and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
This accessibility policy and plan outline the actions that Dutton Brock LLP and DB Law Partnership Limited (the “Firm”) has and will put in place to improve opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and will be implemented in accordance with the time frames set out in the Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”). The Accessibility Plan will be reviewed every five years.
Client Service Standards
Dutton Brock is committed to excellence in serving all client and visitors with disabilities. The Firm will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
- ensuring that all clients receive the same value and quality;
- communicating with individuals with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability;
- serving individuals with disabilities who use assistive devices (to obtain, use or benefit from its services); and
- welcoming individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or a support person.
Accessible Formats and Communication
Dutton Brock is committed to meeting the communication needs of individuals with disabilities.
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that all publicly available information controlled by Dutton Brock is provided in an accessible way upon request. The Firm will also consult with the person making the request to determine his or her information and communication needs.
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all our clients. For this reason, invoices will be provided on the following formats upon request: hard copy, large print, email, or any other requested format that is within our capacity to provide.
Dutton Brock will take reasonable steps to ensure that all websites controlled by the Firm, and content on those sites published after January 1, 2012, (other than live captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions), conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA by January 1, 2021, except where meeting the requirement is not practicable.
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing services provided by Dutton Brock.
In cases where the assistive device presents a safety concern or where accessibility might be an issue, other reasonable measures will be used to ensure the access of services. For example, where elevators are not present and where an individual requires assistive devices for the purposes of mobility, service will be provided in a location that meets the needs of the client.
A person with a disability is welcome to enter Dutton Brock premises with a service animal. The service animal will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies, do not apply to service animals.
Exclusion Guidelines: If a service animal is excluded by law (see applicable laws below) Dutton Brock will offer alternative methods to enable the person with a disability to access services, when possible (for example, securing the animal in a safe location and offering the guidance of an employee).
Applicable Laws: Dog Owners' Liability Act, Ontario: If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation under this or any other Act relating to banned breeds (such as pitbulls) and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality relating to these breeds, the provision that is more restrictive in relation to controls or bans on these breeds prevails.
If it is not readily apparent that the animal is being used by the client for reasons relating to his or her disability, Dutton Brock, may request verification from the client.
Verification may include:
- a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability;
- a valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada; or,
- a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.
Care and Control of the Animal: The client that is accompanied by the service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all times.
Allergies: If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, Dutton Brock, will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.
If a client with a disability is accompanied by a support person, Dutton Brock will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the client is not prevented from having access to the support person.
There may be times where seating and availability prevent the client and support person from sitting beside each other. In these situations Dutton Brock will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue.
In situations, where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the client, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.
Dutton Brock is committed to fair and accessible employment practices and has taken reasonable steps to implement the following actions:
- 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 redeployment processes.
Dutton Brock will also take reasonable steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers that are identified.
Design of Public Spaces
Dutton Brock will meet the Design of Public Spaces Standards when building or making major modifications to public spaces, including to service-related elements, in the firm’s reception and waiting areas, and publicly accessible meeting rooms and service counters.
We will also put reasonable procedures in place to prevent service disruptions to accessible parts of these public spaces and to deal with temporary disruptions when accessible elements required under these Standards are not in working order.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions
In the event of a service disruption, Dutton Brock will notify the public of the service disruption and alternatives available, as soon as practicable. When the disruption is planned, we will endeavour to provide advance notice.
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 disruption.
-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 phone number.
-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 circumstances.
-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 firm member will guide the person to an alternate service, if available.
Emergency Information and Procedures
The Firm is committed to providing customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees with disabilities if we are made aware of the need for accommodation.
Dutton Brock will provide training to employees, volunteers, and other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the Firm, on the requirements set out in the Integrated Accessibility Standards and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it relates to individuals with disabilities.
Training will be provided, in a way that best suits the duties of the applicable employee, as part of new hire onboarding, and on an ongoing basis when changes are made to policies pursuant to the Integrated Accessibility Standards. A record of this training will be kept, including the dates on which training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided.
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:
- A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
- A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
- Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who; use assistive devices, require the assistance of a service animal and require the use of a support person.
-Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing services.
In accordance with the Act, Dutton Brock has complied with the reporting requirements and will continue to complete the required accessibility report every 3 years.
The ultimate goal of Dutton Brock is to meet and surpass client expectations while serving clients with disabilities. We welcome your comments and feedback on the service provided to clients with disabilities, this policy, and accessibility at Dutton Brock, which can be provided on our website at www.duttonbrock.com . Feedback can also be provided in person, in writing, online, by telephone, or any other means. Clients that provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback within 15 business days.
If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures please contact:
Bernice Durdin, Human Resources Manager
Dutton Brock LLP
438 University Ave., Ste.1700
Toronto, ON M5G 2L9