AODA Policy

Purpose

The Policy applies to all persons who, on behalf of GUZZO BIANCHI LEUNG VISKOVIC LLP, deal with members of the public or other third parties. This includes our employees, clients and contractors.

The Policy also applies to all persons responsible for the development, implementation or oversight of the Firm’s policies, practices and procedures.

General

The goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “Act”) is to create a more accessible Ontario, by identifying, preventing, and eliminating barriers experienced by persons with a disability.

The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (“the Standard”) has been established under the Act to ensure goods and services are, where possible, equally accessible to every member of the public.

We at the Firm strive to provide an accessible customer service experience. The objective of this policy (the “Policy”) is to ensure we meet the requirements of the Standard and promote its underlying core principles as described below.

Definitions

Accessibility Report The report required to be filed pursuant to section 14 of the Act.

Assistive Device Any device used to assist a person in performing a particular task or tasks or to aid that person in activities of daily living.

Disability Has the same definition as is provided under the Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19.

Guide Dog – A guide dog as defined in section 1 of the Blind Persons’ Rights Act is a dog trained as a guide for a person who is blind and having qualifications prescribed by the regulations under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act.

Service Animal – An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability:

  1. a) If it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
  2. b) If the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Person – A person who accompanies a person with a disability to assist with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.

We”, “Our” and “Staff” means GUZZO BIANCHI LEUNG VISKOVIC LLP, and its employees, clients and contractors.

We endeavor to ensure that the Policy and related practices, policies and procedures are consistent with the following four (4) core principles: Dignity, Equality of Opportunity, Integration, and Independence.

The Firm has Sandra Caputo responsible for:

1) Developing and implementing policies, practices and procedures aimed at providing accessible goods and services to persons with a disability;

2) Developing and implementing an accessibility training program as required by the Standard;

3) Developing and implementing a feedback procedure as required by the Standard; and

4) Filing Accessibility Reports as required under section 14 of the Act.

Policies, Practices and Procedures

The Firm shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures which impact the delivery of its goods and services to the public or to other third parties are consistent with the principles of dignity, equality of opportunity, integration and independence.

Communication

The Firm strives to communicate with persons with a disability in a manner that takes into account the disability. Approaches for communication are set out in our accessibility training program.

Accessibility at Our Premises

We offer the following facilities and services at the Firm to which the Policy applies to enable persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services:

1) Designated person (Sandra Caputo) to help those in need of assistance; and

2) Chairs in main reception for waiting if a person’s disability prevents him or her from standing for lengthy periods.

Service Animals

Persons with a disability may enter premises owned and/or operated by GUZZO BIANCHI LEUNG VISKOVIC LLP, accompanied by a Guide Dog or Service Animal, and keep the Guide Dog or Service Animal with them, if the public has access to such premises and the Guide Dog or Service Animal is not otherwise excluded by law.

Support Persons

A person with a disability may enter premises owned and/or operated by GUZZO BIANCHI LEUNG VISKOVIC LLP, with a Support Person and have access to the Support Person while on the premises.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities at 2600 Skymark Avenue, Building 1, Suite 102, Mississauga, Ontario, the Firm will notify clients promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.

Training and Records

Training will be provided to all persons whom this policy applies as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned duties. The training will include:

A video and test on AODA that covers topics such as how to interact and communicate equipment and devices, how to assist and more. The completion of this training will be tracked in employees’ folders with a screen shot. A policy acknowledgment of understanding will be tracked in employees’ folders.

Feedback Procedure

Receiving Feedback

The Firm welcomes and appreciates feedback regarding this Policy and its implementation. Feedback can be provided in the following ways:

1) By telephone at (905) 232-9222 ext. 239;

2) In writing to 2600 Skymark Avenue, Building 1, Suite 102, Mississauga, Ontario, L4W 5B2; and

3) Electronically to scaputo@guzzolaw.com.

Responding to Feedback

Where possible, we will respond to complaints within five (5) business days of the date that the complaint is received.

In certain circumstances we may be required to take more action to effectively address the complaint. In such circumstances we will respond to the complaint as soon as is practicable.

Documentation to Be Made Available

This Policy, and related practices and protocols, shall be made available to any member of the public upon request.

Format of Documents

The Firm will provide documents, or the information contained in documents, required to be provided under the Standard, to a person with a disability in a format that takes the person’s disability into account.

Questions about This Policy

For more information about the Policy or for questions regarding the Firm’s policies, practices and procedures for accessible customer service please contact:

Sandra Caputo, Human Resources Generalist

(905) 232-9222 ext. 239

scaputo@guzzolaw.com

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