Statement of Commitment
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Davies) is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and to fulfilling its obligations under AODA. This commitment includes ensuring (i) that all Davies clients, partners and employees with disabilities are treated in a manner that respects their dignity and independence, and (ii) providing all people who have disabilities with an equal opportunity to access our services in a timely manner.
While our commitment to these principles is firm, we are also bound by legal and ethical obligations, including client confidentiality, which may at times affect the manner in which clients with disabilities can access our services. Where that is the case, we endeavour to ensure that due consideration is given to the needs of clients with disabilities and that appropriate alternative arrangements are in effect.
Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
Under AODA, our Toronto office is required to establish a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (Plan). This Plan outlines the firm’s strategy to ensure compliance with its current and future obligations under AODA, in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations made under AODA. Also in accordance with its obligations, the firm ensures that the Plan is available to the public, can be provided in alternative formats upon request, and will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years. Set out below are the details of how the firm has fulfilled its obligations under AODA and will continue to do so over the coming years.
Customer Service Standard Requirements
Compliance deadline: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed January 1, 2012
The firm has been in compliance with its obligations under the AODA Customer Service Standard since January 1, 2012, and will continue to ensure ongoing compliance.
The firm is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to all clients, including clients with disabilities. In support of our objective of providing excellent client service to all clients, we endeavour to communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their specific disabilities, and ensure that the premises of the firm that are open to the public are accessible to these individuals. This includes (without limitation) taking the following measures, where appropriate:
- Offering to communicate with clients and/or answer questions in person, by email or telephone relay services where telephone communication is not appropriate or available.
- Permitting clients with disabilities to use assistive devices on the firm’s premises.
- Making documents prepared by the firm, and to which clients are entitled, available in accessible formats upon request, including hard copy, large print, email or other appropriate formats.
- Welcoming people who are accompanied by a service animal or a support person in the areas of our premises that are open to the public, and ensuring that staff are properly trained in interacting with people who are accompanied by a service animal or a support person.
- Ensuring that all workplace policies respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
- In conjunction with building management, providing clients with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will, where known, include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities, if available, and will be placed at all public entrances.
- Creating and maintaining a feedback process to respond to any questions or comments regarding the manner in which we provide services to persons with disabilities. Feedback on the accessibility of our services can be provided in a variety of ways, including through a PDF version of our feedback form, by requesting a copy of the form in an alternative format by contacting email@example.com or by phone at 416.367.6924.
- Training all firm members who deal with the public, and all those who are involved in the development and approval of client service policies, practices and procedures. Firm members are trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to the firm’s policies, practices and procedures, and new members are trained within three months of their arrival at the firm. The content of such training includes the following, in varying degrees of detail depending on the level of the individual’s involvement with the firm’s clients:
- The purposes of AODA and the requirements of the AODA Customer Service Standard.
- 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.
- General information regarding the types of assistive devices that may be used by people with disabilities on the firm’s premises.
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the firm’s services.
- The firm’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the Customer Service Standard under AODA.
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
Emergency Response Plans
Compliance deadline: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed January 1, 2012
Where appropriate in light of the nature of the disability, firm members with disabilities are provided with individualized emergency response plans to ensure they are aware of the processes in place to safely evacuate from the firm’s premises during an emergency. These plans are reviewed and updated as changes occur to ensure that the information remains current and accurate.
Compliance deadline: January 1, 2015
Status: Completed January 1, 2015
In compliance with the deadline of January 1, 2015, the firm provided training to employees and partners on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on its Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training was provided in a way that best suited the specific duties and responsibilities of the employees and partners.
Information and Communications
Compliance deadline: Various
Status: See below
The firm is committed to meeting the communication needs of our clients, employees and partners with disabilities. In keeping with this commitment, the firm has completed or will complete the following items by the deadlines outlined below:
- By January 1, 2016, the firm had to ensure that all publicly available information was made available in an accessible format upon request and notify the public about the availability of accessible formats. Completed January 1, 2016
- By January 1, 2021, the firm’s external website (www.dwpv.com) will conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA. In progress
Compliance deadline: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed January 1, 2016
The firm is committed to fair and accessible employment practices, including ensuring equality of opportunity during both the recruitment and the employment process. Steps are taken to ensure that employees and members of the public are notified of the availability of accommodations throughout the recruitment process. All firm members are informed of the policies used to support individuals with disabilities, including providing appropriate accommodations. We ensure that all required information is provided in accessible formats upon request.
The firm has developed and implemented a process for creating individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees who have been absent due to disability. We ensure that the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account throughout any internal processes, including the performance review process.
For more information on this Multi-Year Accessibility Plan or any other information relating to the Toronto office’s accessibility policies, please contact Joyce Mah:
This document is available in accessible formats, upon request, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.367.6924.