Accessible Standards for Customer Service Policy
Issued: November 2012
This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and applies to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, not to the goods themselves.
All goods and services provided by RQ Partners, LLP., shall follow the customer services principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
Definition of Disability
The term disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, refers to:
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;
A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
A learning disability, or 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.
This policy applies to the provision of goods and services at premises operated by RQ Partners, LLP.
This policy applies to all lawyers, clerks, staff, volunteers, and/or agents who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of RQ Partners, LLP., including when the provision of goods and services occurs off the premises of RQ Partners, LLP.
The section of this policy that addresses the use of guide dogs, service animals and service dogs only applies to the provision of goods and services that take place at premises operated by RQ Partners, LLP.
In accordance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, this policy addresses the following:
The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities;
The Use of Assistive Devices
The Use of Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
The Use of Support Persons
Notice of Service Disruptions
Notice of Availability and Format of Required Documents
1. The Provision of Goods and Services to Persons with Disabilities
RQ Partners LLP, will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity by:
Ensuring that all customers receive the same value and quality;
Allowing customers with disabilities to do things in their own ways, at their own pace when accessing goods and services as long as this does not present a safety risk;
Using alternative methods when possible to ensure that customers with disabilities have access to the same services, in the same place and in a similar manner;
Taking into account individual needs when providing goods and services; and
Communicating in a manner that takes into account the customer’s disability.
2. Assistive Devices
Customer’s own assistive device(s):
Persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices as required when accessing goods or services provided by RQ Partners, LLP.
3. Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Service Dogs
A customer with a disability that is accompanied by guide dog, service animal or service dog will be allowed access to premises that are open to the public unless otherwise excluded by law. “No pet” policies do not apply to guide dogs, service animals and/or service dogs.
Recognizing a Guide Dog, Service Dog and/or Service Animal:
If it is not readily apparent that the customer for reasons relating to his or her disability is using the animal, RQ Partners, LLP., may request verification from the customer.
Verification may include:
A letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons related to the disability;
A valid identification card signed by the Attorney General of Canada; or,
A certificate of training from a recognized guide dog or service animal training school.
Care and Control of the Animal:
The customer that is accompanied by a guide dog, service dog and/or service animal is responsible for maintaining care and control of the animal at all time.
If a health and safety concern presents itself for example in the form of a severe allergy to the animal, RQ Partners, LLP., will make all reasonable efforts to meet the needs of all individuals.
4. Support Persons
If a support person accompanies a customer with a disability, RQ Partners, LLP., will ensure that both persons are allowed to enter the premises together and that the customer is not prevented from having access to the support person.
In situations where confidential information might be discussed, consent will be obtained from the customer, prior to any conversation where confidential information might be discussed.
5. Notice of Disruptions in Service
Service disruptions may occur due to reasons that may or may not be within the control or knowledge of RQ Partners, LLP.,. In the event of any temporary disruptions to facilities or services that customer’s with disabilities rely on to access or use RQ Partners, LLP.,’s goods or services, reasonable efforts will be made to provide advance notice. In some circumstances such as in the situation of unplanned temporary disruptions, advance notice may not be possible.
Notifications will include:
The notice of disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available. Notice may be given by posting the information at a conspicuous place on premises owned or operated by RQ Partners, LLP., by posting in on RQ Partners, LLP.’s website or by other such reasonable circumstances.
When disruptions occur RQ Partners, LLP., will provide notice by:
Posting notices in conspicuous places including at the point of disruption, at the main entrance and the nearest accessible entrance to the service disruption and/or on the RQ Partners, LLP., website;
Verbally notifying customers when they are making a reservation or appointment; or
By any other method that may be reasonable under the circumstances.
6. Feedback Process
RQ Partners, LLP., shall provide customers with the opportunity to provide feedback on the service provided to customers with disabilities. Feedback forms along with alternate methods of providing feedback such as verbally (in person or by telephone) or written (hand written, delivered, website or email), will be available upon request.
Customers who wish to provide feedback by completing an onsite customer feedback form or verbally can do so to any RQ Partners, LLP., employee.
Customers that provide formal feedback will receive acknowledgement of their feedback, along with any resulting actions based on concerns or complaints that were submitted.
Customers can submit formal feedback to:
3901 Highway #7, Suite 400
L4L 8L5 (05) 264-7800
Training will be provided to:
All employees all lawyers, clerks, staff, volunteers, and/or agents who deal with the public or other third parties that act on behalf of RQ Partners, LLP..
Those who are involved in the development and approval of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07, regardless of the format, training will cover the following:
A review of the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
A review of the requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07.
Instructions on how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
Instructions on how to interact with people with disabilities who:
Use assistive devices;
Require the assistance of a guide dog, service dog or other service animal; or
Require the use of a support person (including the handling of admission fees).
Instructions on what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing your services.
RQ Partners, LLP.’s policies, procedures and practices pertaining to providing accessible customer service to customers with disabilities.
Training will be provided to new lawyers, clerks, staff, volunteers, and agents who deal with the public or act on our behalf during new hire orientation. Revised training will be provided in the event of changes to legislation, procedures and/or practices.
Record of Training:
RQ Partners, LLP., will keep a record of training that includes the dates training was provided and the number of RQ Partners, LLP., representatives who attended the training.
8. Notice of Availability and Format of Documents
RQ Partners, LLP., shall notify customers that the documents related to the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service are available upon request and in a format that takes into account the customer’s disability. Notification will be given by posting the information in a conspicuous place operated by RQ Partners, LLP., RQ Partners, LLP.’s website and/or any other reasonable method.
If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or its related procedures please contact:
3901 Highway #7, Suite 400
L4L 8L5 (05) 264-7800