Accessibility Plan

Accessibility Plan

This accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that Hicks Morley undertakes to improve opportunities for people with disabilities, and incorporates the firm’s Customer Service Plan.

Statement of Commitment

Hicks Morley is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. The firm believes in integration and equal opportunity. Hicks Morley is 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 the accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”).

Hicks Morley Customer Service Plan

Providing Services to Persons with Disabilities

Hicks Morley is committed to excellence in providing legal and related services to all clients of the firm and their representatives, including persons with disabilities.

Assistive devices

We ensure that our staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our services.

Communication

We communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

Service animals

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public, unless the service animal is otherwise excluded from the area by law (e.g. kitchen areas in the firm) or where there are overriding health and safety considerations.

Support persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that support person accompany him or her on our premises.

While on our premises, the person with a disability shall be permitted to have access to his or her support person at all times.

Unless there are overriding health and safety concerns, the person with a disability may choose not to be accompanied by his or her support at all times.

Notice of temporary disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to our services or facilities for clients with disabilities, Hicks Morley will notify clients promptly. The 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 posted on our firm’s website and, where appropriate, will be posted in the reception area of the relevant office location.

Training for staff

Hicks Morley provides training to all partners, associates, employees and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our firm’s behalf. Training will also be provided to any person who helps develop the firm’s policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of services to clients or third parties.

Training is provided to new members of the firm during their orientation period.

Training includes:

  • an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • Hicks Morley’s plan related to the customer service standard
  • how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities
  • how to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • how to use equipment or devices, where provided, available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods or services to persons with disabilities
  • what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Hicks Morley’s services

Members of the firm will also be trained when changes are made to our customer service plan.

Training records are made and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (O. Reg. 429/07).

Feedback

Clients or others who wish to provide feedback on the way Hicks Morley provides services to persons with disabilities can provide their feedback directly to the lawyer from whom they received services. Alternatively, feedback may be provided by any of the following methods:

By telephone: 416.362.1011

By facsimile: 416.362.9680

By e-mail: accessibility@hicksmorley.com

By regular mail:

Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
77 King Street West, 39th Floor
Box 371, TD Centre
Toronto ON
M5K 1K8

Attention: Accessibility Coordinator

All feedback will be directed to the firm’s Professional Committee and Office Administrator. In the ordinary course, clients can expect to hear back from the firm within 3 business days of providing feedback to the firm.

Any complaints about services provided to persons with disabilities will be addressed according to our firm’s regular complaints management procedures.

Modifications to this or other policies

Any policy of Hicks Morley that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Availability of Documents

Hicks Morley has prepared the documentation required under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, and will provide copies upon request.

Accessibility Policies and Plan under the Integrated Accessibility Standards

Accessible Emergency Information

Hicks Morley is committed to providing the customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary based on their known accommodation needs.

Training

In addition to the training we provide to our employees under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Hicks Morley provides training to our employees, volunteers and other staff members on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11) and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training is provided in a way that best suits the actual duties of our employees, volunteers and other staff members.

Training is provided to new members of the firm during their orientation period in conjunction with training outlined in the Customer Service Plan.

Training records are made and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards.

Kiosks

Should Hicks Morley design, procure or acquire any self-service kiosks, it will have regard to the accessibility for persons with disabilities. Hicks Morley will ensure that any employees involved in the procurement or acquisition are apprised of the need to consider accessibility features in choosing the appropriate self-service kiosk.

Information and Communications

Hicks Morley is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. When requested, we will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.

Hicks Morley will ensure that existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities, upon request.

Hicks Morley ensures that all of its publicly available information is made accessible upon request. Where a request for an accessible format or for communication supports is received, Hicks Morley will:

  • consult with individual making the request to determine their accessibility needs and what would be a suitable format or support;
  • provide the requested information in a timely manner; and
  • provide the information at regular cost (if any).

Hicks Morley’s existing website and all content on our website that has been posted since January 1, 2012, conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A.

Hicks Morley will take the following steps to make all its internet websites, and all content posted on those sites since January 1, 2012, conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA, as required under the Integrated Accessibility Standards by January 1, 2021:

  • we will audit all websites and content for Level AA compliance;
  • we will implement the necessary changes to bring the websites and web content into conformance with all applicable Level AA standards.

Employment

Hicks Morley is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

Hicks Morley notifies the public and staff applying to internal postings that accommodations are available for people with disabilities during the recruitment process. If an applicant is selected to participate in an assessment process, Hicks Morley notifies the applicant that accommodations are available upon request should the applicant have accessibility needs due to a disability. Hicks Morley will consult with the applicant to determine whether a suitable accommodation is available.

Hicks Morley notifies successful applicants of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. Hicks Morley notifies its employees and new hires of its policies to support people with disabilities, and makes all such policies available on its intranet so that they are available to all members of the firm.

Where an employee requests, Hicks Morley will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats or communications supports for: (a) information needed to perform the employee’s job; and (b) information generally available to other employees. Hicks Morley will consult with the employee making the request.

Hicks Morley has implemented a Disability Accommodation Policy and a Return to Work Policy that incorporate the obligations of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, including the development and use of Individual Accommodation Plans.

When undertaking any performance management, career development and redeployment processes, Hicks Morley will ensure that the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities needs are taken into account. This will include a review of any individual accommodation plans that are in place for individual employees.

Where an employee, client or other person identifies any accessibility barriers, Hicks Morley will take steps to remove the barriers identified.

Design of Public Spaces

Hicks Morley will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Due to the nature of our business, public spaces will typically include only service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas. Hicks Morley will meet these standards by January 1, 2017.

Hicks Morley will endeavour to prevent service disruptions to the accessible parts of its public spaces. To reduce the risk of service disruptions, Hicks Morley will periodically inspect the accessible portions of its public spaces. When any deficiencies are noted that might impact on accessibility, Hicks Morley will take steps to correct the deficiency within a reasonable time frame.

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

For more information

For more information on this accessibility plan, or for a copy of this plan in an accessible format, please contact the firm by any of the following means:

By telephone: 416.362.1011

By facsimile: 416.362.9680

By e-mail: accessibility@hicksmorley.com

By regular mail:

Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
77 King St. W., 39th Floor
Box 371, TD Centre
Toronto, ON
M5K 1K8

Attention: Accessibility Coordinator