Simmons da Silva LLP is committed to providing accessible customer service to all clients and visitors to our office. This policy highlights the guidelines and expectations by which all firm members are to provide accessible customer service to all clients and visitors to our office. All visitors to the firm are respected equally and are to be treated with dignity, integration and equal opportunity.
Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that:
- Services are provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities;
- Services provided to persons with disabilities are integrated to allow a person with a disability to benefit from the services;
- Communication with a person with a disability is conducted in a manner that takes into account his or her disability;
- People with disabilities may use assistive devices, service animals and support persons necessary to access Simmons da Silva LLP services.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”) was created with the goal of developing standards that would improve accessibility for people with disabilities across Ontario. The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service is the first standard to be developed under AODA and is applicable to private sector companies as of January 1, 2012.
All communication between firm members and people with disabilities shall take into account their disability and their preferred method of communication. This includes communication in person, over the telephone or by computer. Alternative communication styles may include enlarging font on documents, providing a magnifying glass or reading a document aloud to a person with a disability, keeping in mind any confidentiality considerations.
A person(s) with a disability who requires the use of an assistive device can access our location and meet with a lawyer in any boardroom, meeting room or office. Assistance can be provided by a firm member if requested by the person with a disability.
A person(s) with a disability may enter our offices accompanied by a service animal and keep the animal with them. While visiting Simmons da Silva LLP, it is the responsibility of the person with the service animal to maintain control of the animal at all times.
For the safety of our firm members and other visitors, service animals must be controlled or in a controlled environment at all times. For service animals that are not a guide dog and that are unusual in nature (e.g. ferret, rabbit, etc.), the visitor may be asked for a doctor’s note which indicates/clarifies that the animal is a service animal. Meetings with clients who require a service animal will be held in our Small Meeting Room or the Boardroom in the Reception area.
A person(s) with a disability who requires a support person can access our offices and meet with a lawyer in any boardroom, meeting room or office. Due to the confidential nature of some matters that are discussed with our lawyers, if the person with a disability requests the support person to attend the meeting, the support person may remain with the person with the disability or the support person may be asked to wait in Reception with the consent of the person with a disability. If the support person is to remain in the meeting, the person with a disability may be asked to provide a written acknowledgement, waiving confidentiality with respect to the support person. Fees for support persons attending a Firm event will be waived.
Upon the request of a person with a disability, Simmons da Silva LLP will provide accessible invoices to our clients. In addition to invoices in 12 point font in hard copy, invoices can be supplied in large font in hard copy, or via email. In addition, questions regarding our invoices from the person with a disability can be answered in person, over the phone or by email and will take into account any required accessible need.
Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services or Facilities
In the event of a planned service disruption where access to our office is restricted on a temporary basis, notification will be posted on our website and posted in a conspicuous place in Reception. Our voice mail answering system will be updated and a notification will be sent to all firm members. If a client meeting is scheduled to take place, all reasonable efforts will be made to contact the client to advise of the disruption.
In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as reasonably possible to our clients attending scheduled appointments and by posting a notice on our website.
Firm Member Training
All Simmons da Silva LLP firm members, including full time, part time, co-op students and volunteers, will receive training on the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and the AODA generally. New employees joining Simmons da Silva LLP after January 1, 2012 will be provided with training as part of the Orientation process or, alternatively, on a regular ongoing basis, as needed.
Firm member training shall include:
- The purpose of the AODA and the requirements of the Customer Service Standard
- How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
- How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
- What assistive devices Simmons da Silva LLP has available on the premises and other methods that may help firm members assist the person with a disability
- What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing Simmons da Silva LLP’s services
Simmons da Silva LLP welcomes feedback from persons with a disability as their comments are important to the Firm in order to monitor the service we provide and to make improvements. A comment/feedback form is also available from Reception and on our website for all clients or visitors to our office. Comments can be made in person, by telephone, in writing or electronically by email or other reasonable method.
In addition, Simmons da Silva LLP is committed to gathering feedback from our clients through our Client Customer Service survey and we are committed to taking action and will respond to complaints or suggestions which are received though this feedback process.
This policy will be posted on our website. A hard copy is available upon request.
Suite 200, 201 County Court Blvd.
Brampton, Ontario L6W 4L2
Telephone: +(905) 457.1660
Facsimile: +(905) 457.5641