AODA Policy Statement
Richter is committed to excellence in serving clients including people with disabilities.
This policy applies to Richter team members in Ontario.
Richter endeavours to provide a barrier-free environment for our clients and to provide services to people with disabilities in a manner that respects their dignity, and independence, and ensuring they receive client service at the same high standard we aim to provide to all clients.
The goal of the AODA is to create a more accessible Ontario by identifying, and to the extent possible, preventing and eliminating barriers experienced by persons with a disability. A standard for customer service (the “Standard”) has been established under the AODA to ensure goods and services are, where at all possible, equally accessible to every Ontarian.
We endeavour to ensure that the policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following four core principles:
Clients with a disability will be treated with the same high standard of service and consideration as any other client.
Clients with a disability will be provided equal opportunity to others to obtain, use and benefit from Richter’s goods and services.
Wherever possible, clients with a disability will benefit from our goods and services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other client. In circumstances where this does not serve the needs of the client with a disability, goods and services will, to every extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the client’s individual needs.
Goods and services will be provided in a way that respects the independence of clients with a disability. To this end, we are always willing to assist a client with a disability when such assistance is requested.
ACCESSIBILITY OF SERVICES
Communication with Persons with Disabilities
Richter strives to communicate with clients with a disability in a manner that takes into account both the disability and the client’s preferred method of communication. We can communicate with clients in writing, via telephone, email, or meetings, either in person or via video conferencing (where available). Richter recognizes that not all clients will wish to communicate in the same manner. How to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities is provided in the firm’s training program.
Clients with a disability are permitted, where possible, to use their own assistive device when on our premises for the purposes of obtaining, using or benefiting from our goods and services.
If there is a physical, technological or other type of barrier that prevents the use of an assistive device on our premises we will first endeavour to remove that barrier. If we are not able to remove the barrier, we will ask the client how he/she can be accommodated and what alternative methods of service would be more accessible to him/her. We will make every effort to provide an alternative means of assistance to the client with a disability.
Richter partners and employees will receive training on various assistive devices that may be used by clients with a disability while accessing our goods and services.
Clients with a disability may be accompanied by a service animal and keep the service animal with them on Richter’s premises. It is the responsibility of the client using the service animal to ensure that the service animal is kept in control at all times.
Richter partners and employees will receive training on how to interact with clients with a disability accompanied by a service animal.
Clients with a disability may be accompanied by a support person while on Richter’s premises.
Where appropriate, Support Persons may be required to acknowledge that it is the client, and not the support person, to whom Richter is providing its advice and services.
Richter partners and staff will receive training on how to interact with clients with a disability who are accompanied by a support person.
Notice of Temporary Service Disruptions
Richter will notify clients if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility or service clients with a disability use to access our goods and services. The notice will be posted at both Toronto office reception and on Richter’s website. The notice will include the following information:
- That a facility or service is unavailable.
- The anticipated duration of the disruption.
- The reason for the disruption.
- Alternative facilities or services, if available.
In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as reasonably possible.
TRAINING AND RECORDS
Richter will provide training, and ongoing training as required under the AODA, to all of Richter partner’s and employees to whom this policy applies as well as to those persons charged with developing this policy and related procedures and practices.
Content of Training
Training will include:
- A review of the purposes of the AODA and requirements of the Standard.
- How to interact and communicate with clients with various types of disabilities.
- How to interact with clients with a disability who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or Support Person.
- How to use equipment or devices made available on our premises to assist clients with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.
- What to do if a client with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises and/or services.
- The content and requirements of Richter’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the Standard.
Timing of Training
Training will be provided to all Richter partners and employees to whom this policy applies.
Records of the training provided, including the training protocol, the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom the training is provided shall be maintained in accordance the requirements of the AODA.
Richter is committed to meeting the requirements of the Standard. Comments regarding how well client expectations are being met are welcomed and appreciated.
Responding to Feedback
Richter’s AODA representative will respond to all feedback received as soon as practicable, and acknowledge receipt of the feedback within ten (10) business days of receipt. A reply will be provided in the format requested by the client, by email, phone or in writing. The response will contain an acknowledgement of the receipt of the client’s feedback, and outline any further action(s) to be taken.
Where appropriate, feedback will be taken into consideration as part of the ongoing review of the AODA Customer Service standard policies and procedures.
Multi-year accessibility plan:
You may access our Multi-Year Accessibility Plan here. Upon request, we will also be able to provide a copy of the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan in an accessible format.
Feedback Delivery Channels
Clients may provide feedback on the manner in which Richter provides our services to clients with disabilities. Feedback may be delivered through the following channels:
Electronically, by visiting our website at www.richter.ca.
By email, to firstname.lastname@example.org with “AODA Feedback” in the subject line.
In writing, by sending feedback to:
Richter LLP, AODA Feedback
181 Bay St., Suite 3320
In person, by visiting either Toronto office or hand delivering feedback in writing to the reception area.
Additionally, a client may request for their Richter contact to submit feedback on their behalf.
NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS
Richter’s AODA Customer Service Standard Policy and procedures will be made available to the public and clients upon request.
Notification of the availability of documents will be posted on the Richter website, www.richter.ca.
Richter will provide documents, or the information contained in documents, required to be provided under the Standard to a client with a disability in a format that takes into account the client’s disability.