Accessibility Policy

Revised: February 8, 2017; In Effect: January 1, 2017

1. PURPOSE

This policy outlines Feldstein Family Law Professional Corporation’s (“Feldstein” or the “Firm”) practices and procedures with respect to providing and maintaining accessibility throughout our workplace and Firm, pursuant to the standards set out in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”).

It applies to all employees, contractors, consultants, and agents of the Firm, as well as non-employees doing business with the Firm, including customers, clients and other members of the public.

2. COMMITMENT

Feldstein Family Law Professional Corporation is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for our clients, employees, job applicants, suppliers, visitors, and others who access our services. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence.

We believe in integration, and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under Ontario’s accessibility laws.

In accordance with AODA legislation and the Firm’s goal of providing an inclusive workplace and legal services, this policy seeks to eliminate and prevent barriers to accessibility. Typical barriers experienced by individuals with disabilities include Physical, Communication and Technology, Attitudinal and Systematic barriers.

3. ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

To provide opportunities and accessibility for people with disabilities in the economy, and workplace, the AODA was passed in 2005.

The AODA seeks to provide a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. Consistent with this objective, there are many obligations placed on organizations to ensure their workplace and services are fully accessible to the public and employees.

Feldstein aims to provide a fully accessible workplace, and fully accessible legal services, in line with the requirements of the AODA. The Firm respects and upholds its obligations under the AODA.

4. COMMUNICATION

In recognition of our obligations under the AODA to make information accessible, Feldstein commits to making the following written information, and any other forms of communication, accessible upon request:

(a) Emergency and public safety information, including, but not limited to, any emergency plans and procedures for the Firm’s office, and/or information about emergency alarms, as applicable;

(b) Feedback processes, including our surveys for clients, employees, job applicants, suppliers, visitors, and others who access our services and wish to either provide us with feedback, or, in the case of employees, are to receive feedback from us;

(c) Employee information, including, but not limited to, any information required for our staff to complete their jobs, information about emergency procedures, and/or any other general information available to employees of the Firm, such as emails sent to all staff advising of any new policies or important information, which then become part of the meeting minutes in the subsequent staff meeting; and

(d) Any other public information, including, but not limited to, the Firm’s marketing material, website, external communications, and handheld devices.

Accessible Formats

We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

This may include, but is not limited to, providing information to individuals upon request, in the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Email
  • Larger Font or Print
  • Accessible Audio Formats
  • Text Transcripts of video and audio information
  • Reading written information aloud to an individual
  • American Sign Language interpretation and intervenor services
  • Repeating, clarifying, or restating information
  • Structured electronic files
  • Alternative audiovisual formats for anyone who is visually or hearing impaired

The Firm will provide the accessible format of any requested communication in a timely manner, and at no additional cost. Individuals requiring information in any of the aforementioned accessible formats, or in another accessible format not listed herein, are welcome to contact the Office Administrator to make arrangements, at 905-415-1635, or otherwise see us in person at our offices at 20 Crown Steel Drive, Suite 8, Markham, ON, L3R 9X9.

Special Note on Emergency Communications

Where a person’s disability might affect their ability to hear the fire alarm or voice communication system in the Firm, or where the person may have difficulty in evacuating their suite in an emergency situation, the Firm will discuss the needs of each person with a disability with them individually to put into place a plan to handle the emergency situation.

Once the individual emergency plan for each person with a disability has been established, the Firm and the person with a disability will adhere to that plan in an emergency situation.

Should the need arise wherein the building needs to be evacuated for an emergency, all people in the building, both staff members and clients, should leave the building by going to the closest exist.

Visually Impaired Policy

Employees, members of the public, clients, customers, and others who access the Firm’s services and facilities, and have accessibility needs with respect to any visual impairments, are encouraged to contact ou Receptionist for assistance. The Firm is pleased to provide written and visual content, if necessary, in Braille format, through the use of Braille translation software.

Additionally, the Firm may be able to make arrangements for materials to be made available in larger print, and/or provide assistance with reading written information out loud to the individual.

Hearing Impaired Policy

Any staff member may call our designated hearing impaired service to set up a meeting for a hearing impaired client, or potential new client, to come to the office to use their services. There is no cost to us to use this service and we encourage the service provider to set up the interpreter, but clients are also free to make these arrangements. We will provide clients or potential clients with the choice between the Firm making arrangements, or for them to make arrangements directly.

Information with respect to contacting an ASL interpreter is available for review at the Firm’s reception.

As of the date of this policy, you may contact Ontario Interpreting Services at:

Telephone: 1-855-656-3748
TTY: 1-877-843-0368
Email: requests@oischs.ca

For any initial consultations for the hearing impaired, we will allocate two (2) hours in that lawyer’s calendar, and will not book back to back appointments, in order to accommodate any needs that may arise. This does not mean that the consultation needs to be two (2) hours.

5. ACCESSIBLE WORKPLACE

Feldstein is committed to fair and accessible employment practices including, but not limited to, the following areas in compliance with the AODA:

  • Hiring
  • Workplace Information
  • Talent and performance management
  • Communicating accessibility policies

Hiring

The Firm is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. It welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities, and will make reasonable accommodations upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the hiring process.

Any job applicants selected for an interview will receive reasonable accommodations for a disability, if they require so, in relation to the materials and processes to be used. All such requests are to be made to the Firm’s Office Administrator, who will discuss your needs or accommodations with you and make the appropriate adjustments.

The Firm will discuss accessibility needs with any applicant or successful candidate, and work with them to make the necessary adjustments and/or accommodations.

Workplace Information

The Firm will inform employees and new hires of policies and practices in place to support employees with disabilities, and will keep employees up to date on changes to these policies. The Firm will, periodically, provide training in order to ensure accessibility for employees with disabilities.

Upon request and consultation from an employee with a disability, the Firm will provide for suitable accessible formats and communication supports for all information needed by the employee to perform their job, including, but not limited to, job descriptions, firm policies, procedures, document guidelines, and employee manuals, as well as information that is generally available.

This support will be developed in consultation with the employee making the request.

Pursuant to section 4 of this Policy, the firm will also arrange individual accommodation plans for those who will require special arrangements in the event of an emergency situation.

Talent and Performance Management

The Firm will conduct all performance management processes, career development opportunities, advancement opportunities, and redeployment of employees, if applicable, in accordance with its commitment to accessibility for employees with disabilities.

The Firm will:

  • Ensure that documents and communications are made in accessible formats
  • Provide feedback, mentoring and support in a manner that is accessible to the individual
  • Provide the appropriate accommodation required to successfully learn new skills or take on more responsibilities

Communication of Accessibility Policies

The Firm will ensure that all employees, from new hires to current staff, will be made aware of the support and accessible formats available for people with disabilities.

Communications of any such policies will be provided in writing, with the appropriate accessible formats or modifications in place, upon hire, or as soon as is practicable thereafter. New hires are required to review these policies, in addition to staff minutes for the previous two years, and will be made fully familiar with our accessibility procedures.

Current employees will be informed of any updates to this information in writing, in team meetings, or through email blasts to staff, as appropriate and in accordance with the appropriate accessible communication format for this information.

All staff are welcome to review the copy of this, or any other, policy in hard copy in the office of the Office Administrator. Electronic copies of this policy are available on the desktop computer of each staff member.

6. MODIFICATIONS TO THIS OR OTHER POLICIES

Changes will not be made to this policy unless the impact of the changes on persons with disabilities has been considered.

7. QUESTIONS

If anyone has a question about this policy or if the purpose of the policy is not understood, please contact the Office Administrator at 905-415-1635.

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