Accessible “Customer Service” Plan
Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP (“Lawrences”) strives at all times to provide its services in a manner that respects the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity. As such, we are committed to providing people with disabilities access to our services at the same level of excellence that we afford to our other clients.
Providing Services to People with Disabilities
In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and Ontario Regulation 429/07 (the “AODA”), Lawrences is committed to excellence in serving all clients. As such, we are working to improve access and opportunities for people with disabilities by identifying, removing, and preventing barriers that might interfere with their ability to make full use of our premises and services as follows:
Clients with disabilities are welcome to use their own personal assistive devices in accessing Lawrences’ services. However, it is the responsibility of the person with a disability who uses an assistive device to ensure that his or her assistive device is fully operable and operated in a safe and controlled manner at all times.
We will ensure that our employees are trained and familiar with all the various assistive devices that are available on our premises, including our wheelchair ramp.
We will communicate with clients with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. To accomplish this we will do the following:
- We will train employees who communicate with clients on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities; and
- Where feasible, clients with disabilities will be offered alternative communication formats to promptly meet their communication needs.
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.
We will ensure that employees dealing with the public are properly trained on how to interact with people with disabilities that are accompanied by service animals.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises. At no time will a person who is accompanied by a support person at our premises be prevented from having access to his or her support person.
We may independently ask a person accompanied by a support person to verbally or in writing authorize that person to be present during and to participate in solicitor / client communications.
Where a client consents to the presence and / or participation of a support person during solicitor / client communications, we may ask the support person to agree in writing to keep confidential the contents of such communications.
We will ensure that our employees dealing with the public are properly trained on how to interact with people with disabilities that are accompanied by a support person.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities that clients with disabilities normally use, Lawrences will notify clients promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, the anticipated length of time of the disruption, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will be placed at the reception desk at Lawrences and posted on the firm’s website at www.lawrences.com.
Training for Employees
Lawrences will provide training to all of its partners and employees who deal with the public or other third parties on its behalf. This training will be provided to these individuals within three (3) months of their start date with Lawrences.
The training will include:
- An overview of the AODA and the requirements of the “customer service” standard.
- A review of Lawrences’ “customer service” plan.
- Information as to how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
- Information as to how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person.
- Information as to how to use the wheelchair ramp in assisting clients with disabilities in accessing Lawrences’ services.
- Information as to what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Lawrences’ services.
Partners and employees will also be trained when changes are made to Lawrences’ “customer service” plan.
All of Lawrences’ partners and employees will be familiar with emergency procedures and how to assist clients or other employees who may require help during an emergency.
Clients who wish to provide feedback or to complain about the way Lawrences provides services to people with disabilities are encouraged to be in touch with either of the firm’s managing partners who can be reached at the co-ordinates set out below:
William G. Sirdevan
Heather M. Picken
Clients can expect to hear back within five (5) business days of their providing feedback or complaints, as the case may be.
Where a person’s disability prohibits them from using the above feedback process, Lawrences is committed to providing alternative mechanisms to receive and address the concerns of its clients.
Modifications to other Lawrences’ Policies
Any policy of Lawrences that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified to comply with the AODA.
Maintenance of Documents
A copy of this policy shall be provided to any person upon request.
Lawrences will notify persons to whom it provides services of this policy by posting the policy in a conspicuous place on its premises and on its website.
When required under this policy to provide a document or information to a person with a disability, Lawrences will provide the document or information in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.
Questions about this Policy
Any questions about this policy should be directed to either of the firm’s managing partners at the co-ordinates set out above.