AODA – Customer Service Standard Policy
Bogoroch & Associates LLP and Rimcor Services Inc. (collectively, “the Firm”) are committed to providing accessible customer service to all clients and visitors to our office. This policy highlights the guidelines and expectations by which all firm employees are to provide accessible customer service to all clients and visitors to our office. All visitors to the Firm are respected equally and are to be treated with dignity, integration and equal opportunity.
Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that:
- Services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- Services provided to persons with disabilities are integrated to allow a person with a disability to benefit from the services;
- Communication with a person with a disability is conducted in a manner that takes into account his or her disability;
- People with disabilities may use assistive devices, service animals and support persons necessary to access the Firm’s services.
Application of Policy
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) was created with the goal of developing standards that would improve accessibility for people with disabilities across Ontario. The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to Firm services that are provided externally to the public or third parties. The policy applies to all partners, lawyers and staff at the Firm as well as any contractors, agents, volunteers, clients and visitors to the Firm.
All communication between employees of the Firm and people with disabilities shall take into account their disability and their preferred method of communication. This includes communication in person, over the telephone or by computer. Alternative communication styles may include enlarging font on documents, providing a magnifying glass or reading a document aloud to a person with a disability, keeping in mind any confidentiality considerations.
A person with a disability who requires the use of an assistive device can access our location and meet with a lawyer in any boardroom, meeting room or office. Assistance can be provided by a Firm employee if requested by the person with a disability.
A person with a disability may enter our offices accompanied by a service animal and keep the animal with them. While visiting the Firm, it is the responsibility of the person with the service animal to maintain control of the animal at all times.
For the safety of our firm members and other visitors, service animals must be controlled or in a controlled environment at all times. For service animals that are not a guide dog and that are unusual in nature (e.g. ferret, rabbit, etc.), the client/visitor may be asked for a doctor’s note which indicates/clarifies that the animal is a service animal. Meetings with clients who require a service animal will be held in our Small Meeting Room or the Boardroom in the Reception area.
A person with a disability who requires a support person can access our offices and meet with a lawyer in any boardroom, meeting room or office. Due to the confidential nature of some matters that are discussed with our lawyers, if the person with a disability requests the support person to attend the meeting, the support person may remain with the person with the disability or the support person may be asked to wait in the Reception area with the consent of the person with a disability. If the support person is to remain in the meeting, the person with a disability may be asked to provide a written acknowledgement, waiving confidentiality with respect to the support person.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services or Facilities
In the event of a planned service disruption where access to our office is restricted on a temporary basis, notification will be posted on our website and posted in a conspicuous place in Reception. Our voice mail answering system will be updated and a notification will be sent to all Firm employees. If a client meeting is scheduled to take place, all reasonable efforts will be made to contact the client to advise of the disruption.
In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as reasonably possible to our clients attending scheduled appointments and by posting a notice on our website.
Training for Staff
All Firm employees, including full time, part time, articling/co-op students and volunteers, will receive training on the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and the AODA generally. New employees joining the Firm, will be provided with training as part of the Orientation process or, alternatively, on a regular ongoing basis, as needed.
Firm member training shall include:
- The purpose of the AODA and the requirements of the 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
- What assistive devices the Firm has available on the premises and other methods that may help our employees assist the person with a disability
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing the Firm’s services
Bogoroch & Associates LLP and Rimcor Services Inc. welcome feedback from persons with a disability as their comments are important to the Firm in order to monitor the service we provide and to make improvements. Comments can be made in person, by telephone, in writing or electronically by email or other reasonable method to Ms. Mary Battaglia, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Suite 1901, 150 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 1J9 or by phone at 416-341-5606.