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Accessibility Policy

Purpose

Torys is committed to creating and maintaining an accessible environment for all Firm members, clients and visitors, and will provide accommodation where required, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “Act”) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, 191/11. Torys is committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting the requirements under the Act in a timely manner.

Policy

All accessibility programs, including the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan and Accessibility Policy, are kept up-to-date and reflect the most recent changes in legislation. The accessibility programs and procedures are designed to ensure that the firm is accessible to all Firm members, clients and visitors and respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Statement of Commitment

For members of the Firm, Torys is committed to creating and maintaining an equitable and integrated environment whereby every Firm member receives equal opportunity with respect to employment and receives accommodation where required, in accordance with the provisions of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “AODA”) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (191/11) (the “IASR”).

As outlined in the Accessible Customer Service Standards, Torys is committed to providing access to our facilities and delivering excellent customer service at all times for clients and visitors of the firm, and in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Scope

Within the context of the following implementations, “Firm members” includes all partners, full-time, part-time and temporary employees in the Toronto office. Torys is committed to ensuring that the AODA, regulations (including the IASR), standards and other relevant legislation concerning accessibility are observed in a timely manner.

Definitions

“Accessible formats” shall mean formats that are an alternative to standard print and are accessible to people with disabilities. Accessible formats include large print, Braille, and audio electronic formats such as DVDs, CDs, etc.

“Communications” as it is used in the Information and Communication Standard refers to the interaction between two or more people or entities when information is provided, sent or received.

“Communication supports” shall mean methods to assist communication for people with disabilities who may need to access information. Some examples include plain language formats, sign language, as well as reading out loud, captioning or using written notes to communicate.

“Information” refers to knowledge, data and facts that convey meaning and that exist in any format such as text, audio, digital or images.

“Individualized workplace emergency response information” refers to the information prepared by employers, in consultation with their employees who have disabilities, to help them prepare for emergencies such as fire, severe weather and power outages.

“People with Disabilities” shall mean those individuals who have a disability. “Disability” as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code is:

  1. 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 in a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
  3. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
  4. a mental disorder, or;
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

“Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)” is an international standard for making websites and web content accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities. A team of experts from around the world developed WCAG. More information on WCAG development and website accessibility can be found at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.


Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

In order to achieve Torys' accessibility goals, and in accordance with the provisions of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Torys will establish, implement, maintain and document a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlining our commitment to accessibility, strategy to prevent and remove barriers, and plan to meet the requirements under the IASR. The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan is available to Firm members on the firm intranet, to the public on the firm website here, and will be provided in an accessible format, upon request. Torys will review and update the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan every 5 years, with the first update to occur by the end of 2019.

Reporting

In accordance with the requirements of the Act, Torys will report accessibility achievements every 3 years, beginning in 2014.

Information and Communication

Torys is committed to making firm information and feedback processes accessible to people with disabilities. Torys will ensure that provision of information in respect of our goods, services or facilities is available in accessible formats, upon request, at no additional cost and in a timely manner.

The firm will consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support. Upon so doing, the IASR gives the firm the flexibility to decide on the most appropriate accessible format or communication support, given the needs of the person and Torys’ capability to deliver.

If Torys determines that we are unable to convert the information or communication into an accessible format, Torys will explain to the person why we are unable to do so and provide a summary of the content. As outlined in the IASR, if Torys determines that we are unable to convert the information or communications into an accessible format, we will explain why we are unable to do so and provide a summary of the content.

Receiving and Responding to Feedback

Feedback can be made in person, via telephone, fax, e-mail or in writing to:

Marc Gignac, Accessibility Coordinator
79 Wellington St. W., 30th Floor
Box 270, TD South Tower
Toronto, Ontario M5K 1N2 Canada

P. 416.945.7710 | F. 416.865.7380
E. accessibilityfeedback@torys.com

The Accessibility Coordinator will respond within 7 business days either in writing, in person, by e-mail or telephone acknowledging receipt of feedback and will set out the action to be taken in response to any concerns. The Accessibility Coordinator will provide information in accessible formats, upon request.

Web Content

As outlined in the IASR, all new web content on the Torys website will conform with WCAG 2.0, Level A by the end of 2014, and all new web content on the Torys website will conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA protocols by January 2021 other than success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live) and success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded). This applies to websites and web content, including web-based applications that Torys controls directly or through a contractual relationship that allows for modification of the product, unless it is not practicable to conform due to the availability of commercial software or tools or both.

Training

By January 1, 2015, Torys will ensure that training on the IASR is provided to all existing and new Firm members, including temporary employees who provide services on the Firm’s behalf, as soon as practicable and on any changes to the prescribed policies on an ongoing basis. A detailed record will be maintained of the training provided and to whom.

Employment Standards

By January 1, 2016, Torys will review and implement recommendations to ensure accessible employment practices, as they pertain to recruitment and selection, new hire orientation, performance management and career development. The process for responding to requests for accommodation, including consultation with the individual’s accessibility needs due to a disability and determination of the provision or arrangement of suitable accommodation, will be established.

Individual Accommodation Plans

If an employee is absent from work due to disability and requires accommodation consideration in order to return to work, Torys will develop an individual accommodation plan for that individual, in consultation with disability benefits providers, where suitable and necessary.

Emergency Response Procedures

In the event that Torys makes emergency procedures, plans and public safety information available to the public, it will be provided, upon request, in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports.

Torys provides Firm members with disabilities individualized workplace emergency response information when the Firm member’s disability is such that the individualized information is necessary and Torys is aware of the need for accommodation due to the Firm member’s disability.

If a Firm member who receives individualized workplace emergency response information requires assistance and with their consent, Torys shall provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated to provide assistance.

Torys shall provide the information required under this section as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for accommodation due to the individual’s disability.

Torys shall review the individualized workplace emergency response information, when the Firm member moves to a different location in the organization; when the Firm member’s overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed; and when Torys reviews its general emergency response policies.


Accessible Customer Service Standards Policy

Purpose

Torys strives at all times to provide services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. We are committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities receive the same access to and quality of services.

This policy has been developed to address the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and applies in conjunction with and should be read together with other policies that affect the provision of services to our clients and visitors.

Policy

We are committed to providing access to our facilities and delivering excellent service at all times in a way that respects the dignity and independence of all of our clients and visitors.

Our commitment to this is demonstrated in the following areas:

Communication – We will communicate in ways that take into account the needs of persons with disabilities. The firm is equipped with a number of devices to assist those who are hearing and visually impaired. For example, we have a personal voice amplification device to assist the hearing impaired and large viewing screens which magnify text for those that require it.

Assistive devices – We are committed to serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services. Our frontline employees who deal directly with clients and visitors are trained and familiar with various assistive devices.

Use of registered service animals and support persons – We welcome clients and visitors who are accompanied by a registered service animal or support person to our premises. At no time will we prevent a client or visitor from having access to their registered service animal or support person while on our premises..

Notice of temporary disruption – We will provide notice to clients and visitors with disabilities in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or office facilities. Where possible, we will post a notification on Torysnet regarding the disruption. The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and a description of any alternative facilities or services available (where applicable). While we cannot provide the same guarantee in emergency temporary disruption situations, every reasonable effort will be made to give adequate notice.

Training – Training is provided to all employees on the purpose and requirements of the AODA legislation and specifically on how to:

  • interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
  • interact with people who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;
  • use equipment or devices available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing services to people with disabilities; and
  • assist a client or visitor who is having difficulty accessing our services.

Training is provided to our employees as part of our new hire orientation process and on an ongoing basis whenever changes are made to relevant policies and procedures. We will maintain records of the training provided, including the dates of the training and the number of (or the names of the) people trained.