Accessibility Policy

Policy Statement

Cavanagh Williams LLP will endeavour to provide its services in a way that respects the independence and dignity of all persons and encourages integration and quality of opportunity.  Cavanagh Williams LLP is committed to preventing, identifying and removing barriers that impede the ability of persons with disabilities to access our services.  This includes clients, suppliers and employees and is very much part of our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Cavanagh Williams LLP’s Accessibility Policy is consistent with the Ontario statutes, including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline practices and procedures in place at Cavanagh Williams LLP to help identify and remove barriers that impede a person’s ability to access to our services.

Definitions

Assistive Devices:

Assistive devices are supports made available to client, such as, real-time captioning services (on-screen typing of what speakers are saying), sign language interpreters or deaf-blind interveners, Telephone Teletypes (TTY) to communicate with clients who are deaf, hard of hearing, have speech impairments or are deaf-blind.

Disability:

a. 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 other remedial appliance or device,

b. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,

c. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,

d. a mental disorder, or

e. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under any provincial workplace safety or insurance act.

The definition includes disabilities of different severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities.

Personal Assistive Devices:

For the purpose of this policy, personal assistive devices are personal supports used by persons with disabilities that enable them to carry out the activities of daily living. Power-mobility devices (power wheelchairs or scooters) are regarded as personal assistive devices.

Service Animals:

Service animals are used by people with many different kinds of disabilities. Examples of service animals include dogs used by people who are blind, hearing alert animals for people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, and animals trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure and lead them to safety.

Support Person:

A “support person” accompanies a person with a disability, in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services. A support person may be a paid professional, a volunteer, family member or friend.

Procedure

Cavanagh Williams LLP will endeavour to identify and remove barriers to access for people with disabilities.  To do so, Cavanagh Williams LLP will permit personal assistive devices and the use of service animals and support persons, subject to clarifying the potential consequences with support persons for solicitor-client privileged communications. Cavanagh Williams LLP will provide assistive devices where reasonable and necessary.  In addition, Cavanagh Williams LLP will train lawyers, paraprofessionals and staff about key principles and accessibility strategies to ensure that communication with persons with disabilities is respectful and done in a manner that takes into account such persons’ disabilities.

Service disruptions

Where there is a temporary disruption at the office, reasonable steps will be taken to advise persons with disabilities who might be affected by the disruption. In particular, Cavanagh Williams LLP will identify the reason for the disruption, its duration, and information about alternative services.

Feedback on customer service

Cavanagh Williams LLP welcomes feedback on the ways in which it provides its customer service to persons with disabilities. Individuals are encouraged to provide their feedback directly from whom they received the service and the feedback may be provided in person, by telephone, in writing or by electronic text.

Wherever possible, feedback regarding customer service for persons with disabilities will be responded to by the person to whom it has been directed. Where the feedback is of a more general nature, the Firm Manager will be responsible for investigating the matter and determining the actions to be taken. In all cases, every effort will be made to respond to the feedback in a timely and effective manner.