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 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, any emergency procedures, plans or public safety information the Firm prepares and makes available to the public will be provided in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports as soon as practicable.

We will also provide, as soon as practicable, individualized workplace emergency response information to employees with disabilities as necessary if we are made aware of the need for accommodation.  Individualized workplace emergency response information will be reviewed in accordance with the AODA.

3. Training

The Firm has provided and will continue to 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 as soon as practicable in a way that best suits the duties of the applicable persons as part of 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. Feedback regarding the way the Firm provides goods and services to people with disabilities, and about the accessibility of the feedback process itself, including complaints, can be directed to  the individual named below. Individuals can expect to hear back within 30 days. The Firm will arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communications supports for persons with disabilities in respect of its feedback processes upon request.

6. Accessible Formats

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

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

The Firm will continue to notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports.

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 closed captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions), conform with WCAG 2.0, Level AA, 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:

  • 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 review job descriptions on an ongoing basis to ensure that stated requirements are necessary and will take steps to prevent and remove any accessibility barriers it identifies as unnecessary;
  • The Firm will, when making offers of employment, notify successful applicants of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities;
  • 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.  Further, the Firm shall develop documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities identifying any accommodations to be provided.

Employees returning to work after a period of disability will work with Human Resources to develop a suitable return to work plan that addresses barriers and accommodation needs for a successful transition to the workplace.  As part of the return to work process, the Firm will outline the steps it will take to facilitate the employee’s return to work, and will create a Plan in keeping with the above.

9. Design of Public Spaces

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

The Firm will maintain its accessible elements by regularly inspecting and maintaining its public premises.

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, or to provide us with any feedback, please contact us by:

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
100 King Street West
1 First Canadian Place
Suite 6300, 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.