A firm that is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive environment in which all individuals have equal access to its services as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, O. Regulation 429/07 made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 ("AODA").
Bianchi Presta will ensure that all clients who visit who seek goods and services from our firm will be able to do so in a manner that respects their dignity and independence. Bianchi Presta will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures respecting accessibility will be consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity, as outlined in the AODA.
"Assistive Devices" shall mean an auxiliary aid such as communication aids, cognition aids, personal mobility aids, and medical aids (i.e. canes, crutches, wheelchairs, or hearing aids).
"Persons with Disabilities" shall mean those individuals who have a disability. "Disability" as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code is:
- 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 on a wheelchair or a developmental disability,
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
- a mental disorder, or
- an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; ("handicap")
"Service Animals" shall mean any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
"Support Persons" shall mean anyone whether a paid professional, volunteer, family member, or friend who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communications, personal care or medical needs or with access to products or services.
1.1 Providing Services to People with Disabilities
Bianchi Presta is committed to excellence and we shall carry out our functions and responsibilities to clients with disabilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with people in ways that take into account their disability.
Training our lawyers and staff members on how to effectively interact and communicate with people and/or clients who have a disability.
1.1.2 Telephone Services
We are committed to providing fully accessible telephone services to our clients.
By offering to communicate with clients by telephone relay, e-mail, courier, mail and/or fax, if telephone communication is not suitable to their communication needs or is not available, provided the identity of the client has been verified.
1.1.3 Assistive Devices
We will ensure that our lawyers and staff are trained and familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities while accessing our office and our services.
We will also ensure that both our lawyers and staff members will know how to use, and instruct others in the use of, assistive devices if they are required or used by our clients.
1.1.4 Accessible Document Formats
Within a reasonable time after a request by, or on behalf of a person with a disability, Bianchi Presta shall make documents available in a format that is accessible to the person, unless it is not technologically feasible to do so.
1.1.5 Service Animals
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. Our only requirement is that the service animal must be in the care and control of the person with a disability or their designated support person at all times.
We will also take measures to ensure that all of Bianchi Presta's lawyers and staff members who deal with the public are properly trained in how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
1.1.6 Support Persons
We are equally committed to welcoming those individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a designated support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter the parts of our premises that are open to the public with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.
In cases where confidentiality is an important concern because of the type of information being discussed, Bianchi Presta will obtain the informed consent of the client and may also require the support person to sign a confidentiality agreement.
1.1.7 Notice of Temporary Disruption
Bianchi Presta will provide clients with notice in the event of a planned disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. In the event of an unexpected disruption, Bianchi Presta will make reasonable efforts to contact clients with disabilities regarding disruptions prior to their scheduled meetings. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
The notice will also be placed at public entrances where applicable and at our firm's reception area.
1.1.8 Training for Lawyers and Staff
Bianchi Presta will provide training to all lawyers and staff members, and volunteers who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf, and all those who are involved in the development and approval of client service policies, practices and procedures. Training will be on the requirements of the IAS Regulation, the Human Rights Code as it related to persons with disabilities and Accessible Customer Service Policy in accordance with all statutory requirements. Individuals in the following positions will be trained:
Lawyers, Law Clerks, Legal Assistants, Managers, Executive Committee Members, Office and Administrative Staff, Facilities Staff, Reception Staff, Supervisors
This training will be provided during the new employee orientation period, which shall occur within the first ten (10) business days after a new lawyer or staff member commences their duties. The content and delivery of such training will be determined based on the job duties of the employees, volunteers and other staff and in consultation with Bianchi Presta's internal training resources.
Training will include the following:
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or support person
- How to use the assistive devices on the Bianchi Presta website that may help better facilitate with the provision of our legal services to people with disabilities
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Bianchi Presta's services
- Bianchi Presta's policies, practices and procedures relating to Accessible Client Services
- The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario only).
All lawyers and staff will be trained on policies, practices and procedures that affect the way services are provided to people will disabilities. Lawyers and staff will also be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to these policies, practices and procedures.
Following a review of our operations, it has been determined that Bianchi Presta does not maintain kiosks. However, to the extent that kiosks are acquired or operated in the future, Bianchi Presta will consider accessibility issues at that time.
1.1.9 Feedback Process
The ultimate goal of Bianchi Presta is to meet and surpass client expectations when serving clients with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
1.1.10 Accessible Website and Web Content
In accordance with the compliance requirements set out in the IAS Regulation and subject to applicable exceptions, Bianchi Presta's website and applicable web content conforms with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) Level A.
One of Bianchi Presta's core values is to provide fair and accessible employment practices to its entire team as well as remove any barriers that prevent or hinder the recruitment, retention and career development of employees with disabilities.
We will endeavor to take the following steps to notify the general public and our staff that, when requested, Bianchi Presta will accommodate people with disabilities during recruitment and assessment processes when people are hired:
- Prospective applicants will be advised of the availability of accommodations; and
- Bianchi Presta will notify employees of its ability to provide accommodations on any job postings.
Consistent with its obligations under the Human Rights Code, Bianchi Presta will develop and put in place a process for developing individual accommodation plans and return-to-work policies for employees that have been absent due to a disability.
We will ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account and are consistent with our obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Bianchi Presta will take the following steps to prevent other accessibility barriers identified:
- Assess, review and alter (if required) policies and procedures on a frequent basis to ensure compliance with the AODA.
Implementation Timeframe: October 1, 2017 and ongoing.
1.1.12 Design of Public and Client Spaces
In order to ensure that accessibility issues are taken into account in the context of new builds and major modifications on or before January 1, 2018, Bianchi Presta will ensure that our leadership and facilities teams are fully aware of the AODA requirements and will work with relevant designers, engineers, builders, and other experts and third parties involved in the builds or modifications to ensure that all necessary requirements are met.
Bianchi Presta will review and update this policy at least once every five (5) years. At the time of revision, information regarding accessibility policies and practices adopted by Bianchi Presta in accordance with this policy or otherwise will be included in the revision.
For more information on this accessibility policy please contact Matthew D. Presta:
Phone: (905)-738-1078 Ext. 2249
Accessible formats of this document are available upon request.
- Bianchi Presta LLP Accessibility Policy made pursuant to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Re. 429/07)
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
- Regulation 191/11 made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (Integrated Accessibility Standards)