Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Stikeman Elliott is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for clients, and to provide our services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities in a way that complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “AODA”).

Application

This policy applies to all persons who interact with the public, other organizations or third parties on behalf of Stikeman Elliott.

Principles

Stikeman Elliott will use reasonable efforts to ensure that this policy and any related practices or procedures are consistent with the following core principles:

  1. Dignity: persons with disabilities should be treated as valued clients who are as deserving of effective and full service as other clients.
  2. Independence: services must be provided without the control or influence of others, and the freedom of persons with disabilities to make their own decisions must be respected.
  3. Integration: persons with disabilities must be able to benefit from services or products in the same place and the same or similar manner as other clients, whenever possible.
  4. Equality of Opportunity: persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from services.

Providing Services to Persons with Disabilities

Stikeman Elliott is committed to excellence in serving all of its clients, including those with disabilities, and will do so in the following ways:

Communication

We will communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his/her disability.

Documentation

We have prepared documents that describe the policies, practices and procedures regarding accessible customer service, with particular reference to: (i) the use of personal assistive devices, as well as those provided by Stikeman Elliott; (ii) entry of service animals and support persons; (iii) the steps that will be taken in connection with a temporary disruption to facilities or services used by persons with disabilities; (iv) provision of accessible customer service training; and (v) receiving and responding to feedback regarding the provision of services to persons with disabilities. We will make this documentation available to members of the public upon request, and in a format that takes into account a person’s disability, if applicable. Notification of the availability of this documentation will be posted at a conspicuous place at our premises and on our website www.stikeman.com.

Assistive Devices

Persons with disabilities will be allowed to use their own personal assistive devices to access our services and will also have access to assistive devices that may be available on our premises, including; accessible washrooms; alternate document formats; screen readers (software that reads text aloud); and telecommunication devices for the deaf (e.g. TTY).

Use of Service Animals or Support Persons

Persons with disabilities may at all times be accompanied by their required support person and/or a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

We will notify our clients if there is a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by persons with disabilities. This notice will be posted at the entrance of the applicable premises and at www.stikeman.com. The notice will include the following information:

  • the facility or service that is unavailable;
  • the reason for the disruption;
  • the anticipated duration of the disruption; and
  • alternative facilities or services, if available.

Training and Record Keeping

We ensure training is provided to all firm members, contractors or volunteers that interact with the public or other third parties on Stikeman Elliott’s behalf, and all those who are involved in the development of Stikeman Elliott’s relevant policies, practices and procedures.

The training is provided as soon as possible after hiring or engagement and on commencement of new or additional duties that require training.

Training includes the following:

  • a review of the purpose of the AODA and the requirements of the Customer Standard Regulation developed thereunder;
  • a review of this policy;
  • how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities;
  • how to interact with persons with a disability who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person;
  • how to use assistive devices available at Stikeman Elliott; and
  • how to assist a person with a disability that is experiencing difficulty accessing Stikeman Elliott premises and/or our services.
  • Stikeman Elliott keeps accurate and up to date training records.

These records include the dates of the training, and the individuals to whom the training was provided.

Feedback Process

We welcome feedback from the public regarding this policy and its implementation. Feedback regarding the way Stikeman Elliott provides services to persons with disabilities can be made:

Toronto

In person at:
Human Resources
5300 Commerce Court West
199 Bay Street
Toronto, ON  M5L 1B9
Canada

By telephone at:
+1 416 869 7010
+1 877 973 5500

In writing to:
Human Resources
5300 Commerce Court West
199 Bay Street
Toronto, ON  M5L 1B9

Ottawa

In person at:
Human Resources
Suite 1600
50 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6L2
Canada

By telephone at:
+1 613 234 4555
+1 877 776 2263

In writing to:
Human Resources
Suite 1600
50 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6L2
Canada

Electronically to: AODAenquiries@stikeman.com

All feedback will be directed to Human Resources, and those providing feedback can expect to receive a response within 7 business days.

Modifications

We are committed to developing client service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on persons with disabilities.

Questions/Clarification

This policy exists to achieve service excellence to clients with disabilities. Any questions regarding this policy, or its associated practices or procedures, should be directed to Human Resources at +1 416 869 7010 or AODAenquiries@stikeman.com.