Accessibility Statement

Last updated: June 30, 2015

Accessibility Policy & Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

This 2014-21 accessibility plan outlines the policies and action that Smith + Andersen 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

Smith + Andersen 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.

Accessible Emergency Information

Smith + Andersen is committed to providing its clients 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.

Training

Smith + Andersen will provide training to employees, volunteers and other staff members on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code (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.

Smith + Andersen will take the following steps to ensure employees are provided with the training needed to meet Ontario’s accessibility laws:

    • Smith + Andersen will provide training materials to explain: (1) the requirements of the accessibility standards referred to in the Integrated Standard, O. Reg 119/11; and (2) the requirements of the Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities (as required by section 7 of the Integrated Standard, O. Reg 119/11); and
    • Smith + Andersen will continue to provide Customer Service Training for all employees who deal with members of the public and/or other third parties (as required by section 6 of the Customer Service Standard, O. Reg 429/07)

Information and communications

Except where meeting this requirement is not practicable, if Smith + Andersen develops a new website or significantly refreshes its existing website between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2021, it will ensure the new or significantly refreshed website and content on the website conforms with WCAG 2.0, Level A.

Smith + Andersen will take the following steps to make ensure existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities upon request by January 1, 2015:

    • Smith + Andersen will provide clients and members of the public with a number of feedback options including: email, phone, fax and personal visit to one of our offices.

Smith + Andersen will take the following steps to make sure all publicly available information is made accessible upon request by January 1, 2016:

    • Smith + Andersen will provide clients and members of the public with information in an accessible format upon request.
    • Smith + Andersen will respond to such requests as soon as practicable. Smith + Andersen will ensure that its website and content on the website conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA by January 1, 2021.

Employment

Smith + Andersen is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

We will take the following steps to notify the public and staff that, when requested, Smith + Andersen 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 principal.
    • Smith + Andersen will notify employees of its ability to provide accommodations on any job postings.
    • Smith + Andersen will develop and put in place a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability.
    • We will ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities needs are taken into account if Smith + Andersen is using performance management, career development and redeployment processes

Smith + Andersen will take the following steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers identified:

    • Assess, review, and alter (if required) policies and procedures on a frequent basis to ensure compliance with the AODA.

Service Disruption

In the event of a service disruption, we will notify the public of the service disruption and alternatives available.

Policy Review

Smith + Andersen will review and update this policy at least once every five years. The first version of this policy will be reviewed no later than January 1, 2019.

For more information

For more information on this accessibility plan, please contact Human Resources at:

Phone: 416-218-7091
Email: humanresources@smithandandersen.com

Accessible formats of this document are available free upon request.

 

Accessible Customer Service Plan

Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Smith + Andersen 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 Smith + Andersen provides goods and services in accordance with the principles below and complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Smith + Andersen 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 Smith + Andersen’s goods or services.

Definitions

"Disability" means:
 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,

    • condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
    • learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
    • 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 physician or nurse 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.

Providing goods and services to persons with disabilities

Smith + Andersen 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. Smith + Andersen will provide its staff with training on how to use any assistive devices available on Smith + Andersen’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 Smith + Andersen 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.

Service animals

A person with disabilities may be accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal when on Smith + Andersen’s premises. 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 offered by Smith + Andersen.

Support persons

Person with disabilities may enter Smith + Andersen’s premises with a support person and have access to the support person while on the premises. Smith + Andersen 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.

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), Smith + Andersen 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 of our firm.

Training for staff

Smith + Andersen will provide training to all staff at the firm.

Training will include:

    • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
    • Smith + Andersen’s 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 accessing Smith + Andersen’s goods and services.
    • All new staff will be trained. Staff will also be trained when changes are made to the Plan.

Feedback process

Smith + Andersen welcomes any feedback, complaints or questions regarding the methods it uses to provide goods and services to persons with disabilities.

Every complaint will be reviewed and assessed by Human Resources. Where possible, Human Resources will address the issues raised in the complaint. If a complaint cannot be addressed, Human Resources will advise the complainant.

Individuals may provide their feedback, complaints or questions in person, by telephone, in writing, or by delivering an electronic text by email or on a diskette, or otherwise, to Human Resources:

Telephone: 416-218-7091
Email: humanresources@smithandandersen.com
Fax: 416-487-9104
Mail: 4211 Yonge Street, Suite 500 Toronto, Ontario, M2P 2A9

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 Smith + Andersen 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.

Maintenance of documents

Smith + Andersen will maintain this 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

Smith + Andersen will notify persons to whom it provides services of its Plan, by posting the information at a conspicuous place on Smith + Andersen’s premises, on Smith + Andersen’s website or by such method as is reasonable in the circumstances.

When required under this Plan to give information or a document to a person with disabilities, Smith + Andersen will provide the document or information in a format that takes into account the person’s disabilities.