Accessibility Policy and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

This accessibility policy and plan outline the actions that Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Carthos Services LP (the “Firm”) has and will put in place to improve opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and will be implemented in accordance with the time frames set out in the Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”).  The Accessibility Plan will be reviewed every five years.

Statement of Commitment

The Firm is committed to ensuring its policies, practices and procedures for the provision of its services are consistent with the legislation in the locations in which it does business to effectively provide services to individuals with disabilities.

The Firm is committed to providing its services, and treating all individuals, in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence, and as such, is committed to providing equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities to access, use and benefit from its services.  We are committed to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the AODA and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards.

1. Providing Services to Individuals with Disabilities

The Firm is committed to excellence in serving all client representatives and visitors with disabilities, including:

  • communicating with individuals with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability;
  • serving individuals with disabilities who use assistive devices (to obtain, use or benefit from its services); and
  • welcoming individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or a support person.

2. Emergency Information and Procedures

The Firm is committed to providing customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees with disabilities if we are made aware of the need for accommodation.

3. Training

The Firm will provide training to employees, volunteers, and other persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the Firm, on the requirements set out in the Integrated Accessibility Standards and on the Ontario Human Rights Code as it relates to individuals with disabilities.

Training will be provided in 2015, in a way that best suits the duties of the applicable staff, as part of new hire onboarding, and on an ongoing basis when changes are made to policies pursuant to the Integrated Accessibility Standards. A record of this training will be kept, including the dates on which training is provided and the number of individuals to whom it is provided.

4. Kiosks

The Firm will ensure that employees consider the needs of individuals with disabilities when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks.

5. Feedback Processes

The Firm will take reasonable steps to ensure that its existing feedback processes are accessible to individuals with disabilities upon request.

6. Accessible Formats

The Firm is committed to meeting the communication needs of individuals with disabilities.

We will take reasonable steps to ensure that all publicly available information controlled by the Firm is provided in an accessible way upon request, by January 1, 2016.  The Firm will also consult with the person making the request to determine his or her information and communication needs.

The Firm will notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports by January 1, 2016.

7. Websites

The Firm will take reasonable steps to ensure that all websites controlled by the Firm, and content on those sites published after January 1, 2012 (other than live captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions), conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA by January 1, 2021, except where meeting the requirement is not practicable.

8. Employment

The Firm is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.

We will take reasonable steps to implement the following actions by January 1, 2016:

  • The Firm will notify the public and staff that, when requested, it will accommodate individuals with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when they are hired;

  • The Firm will develop and put in place a process for developing individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities;

  • The Firm will develop and put in place a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work; and

  • The Firm will ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account if using performance management, career development and advancement, or redeployment processes.

The Firm will also take reasonable steps to prevent and remove other accessibility barriers that are identified.

9. Design of Public Spaces

The Firm will meet the Design of Public Spaces Standards when building or making major modifications to public spaces by January 1, 2017, including to service-related elements, in the firm’s reception and waiting areas, and publicly accessible meeting rooms and service counters.

We will also put reasonable procedures in place to prevent service disruptions to accessible parts of these public spaces and to deal with temporary disruptions when accessible elements required under these Standards are not in working order.

In the event of a service disruption, the Firm will notify the public of the service disruption and alternatives available, as soon as practicable.

10. Contact Information

For more information about this accessibility policy and plan, please contact us by:

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
100 King Street West
Suite 4600, P.O. Box 50
Toronto ON 
M5X 1B8
Attention:  Ellen Hryniowski, Chief Human Resources Officer.

Staff members are welcome to contact Human Resources, if they have any questions or would like to make a request under this accessibility policy and plan.

Accessible formats of this document are also available for free upon request.