Our Commitment to Accessibility
Bousfields strives to provide our services in a manner that is accessible to all of our clients, and respects the dignity, independence, rights and integration of people with disabilities. We are committed to offering equal opportunity to access our services and to providing the benefit of the same services, in the same place and in a similar way to all clients.
Additionally, we ensure all of our team members complete Accessibility training, along with our mission to be a leader in inclusion and universal design, working to find ways to go beyond the minimum requirements of accessibility and integrate those processes in our daily work.
Bousfields Customer Service Standards Policy
The purpose of Bousfields Inc. (“Bousfields”) Customer Service Standard Policy is to be proactive about the inclusion of people with disabilities in our service offerings and to align ourselves with legislative requirements, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and corresponding regulations, which address the historical disadvantage suffered by persons with disabilities due to discrimination. The purpose of these types of legislation is to benefit all Canadians by:
- developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for people with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises; and
- providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of provincial governments and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of the accessibility standards
This policy addresses our commitment to our clients and potential clients. Bousfields has also created policies to address the needs of our employees and job applicants with disabilities. This information is available in our Integrated Accessibility Standards Policy, see below.
In order to promote building an inclusive and accessible environment to best serve all of our clients, Bousfields partners and employees shall be trained on:
- The purpose of accessibility legislation such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and requirements of regulations relating to customer service standards.
- How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disability.
- How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal or the assistance of a support person.
- What to do if a person with a particular type of disability is having difficulty accessing Bousfield’s services.
This training is mandatory for all Bousfields partners and employees and must be completed within the first week of joining Bousfields. Bousfields shall notify Partners and employees if there are any changes to policies, practices and procedures governing Bousfields’ provision of goods and services to clients, and shall assess the need to update our training on an ongoing basis.
Bousfields will also train Partners and staff to be familiar with any equipment or assistive devices that may be available at our offices, which may help with the provision of our services to persons with disabilities.
Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities
Bousfields is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities and we will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. We are flexible in our approaches.
All employees must consider how people with various disabilities communicate and tailor their approaches to dealing with clients appropriately. The simplest and most effective technique is to ask clients how we can best communicate with them. If a particular method is unavailable, work expeditiously with the client to find an acceptable alternative.
We must always ask ourselves how we can make our communications more accessible. Every situation is different and depends on the individual’s needs. Options include:
- Make the original communication more accessible by using techniques like plain language writing during the planning process; or
- Change the usual method of communication to meet the client’s needs;
An assistive device is any piece of equipment a person with a disability uses to help them with their daily living. Some examples include: a wheelchair, screen reader, listening device or cane. We are committed to serving people with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our services.
Bousfields employees shall wherever possible accommodate clients who use assistive devices in connection with their disability. Bousfields employees must ensure that they are familiar with various assistive devices that may be used by clients with disabilities.
To ensure familiarity, employees need to consider how they will address the use of a client’s assistive device. The best practice is to ask the client on the appropriate and inappropriate ways of interacting with them and their assistive devices. An example is a client who can walk short distances and uses a scooter. It is often difficult to find space in the office to park their scooter, so they will find it helpful when employees suggest parking options and make space.
We are committed to providing accessible invoices to all of our clients. For this reason, invoices shall be provided in alternate formats (including but not limited to hard copy, large print or e-mail) upon request.
We will answer any questions clients may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email.
Use of Service Animals and Support Persons
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal (not necessarily only dogs) on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and other third parties. Before meeting with a client who uses a service animal, we should:
- identify the few areas of our office not open to service animals (e.g. the kitchen); and
- ask the client about the appropriate ways to interact with them and their service animals (e.g. never touch or distract a guide dog without permission).
We are committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Support people do not have to be a paid support worker but could be any family member or friend that helps a client perform daily tasks. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person shall be allowed to enter Bousfields premises with his or her support person. At no time shall a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on our premises.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
Bousfields shall provide clients with notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice must include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice shall be placed at all receptions on our premises.
All information about a disability is personal and private and must be treated confidentially.
The ultimate goal of Bousfields is to meet and surpass client expectations while serving clients with disabilities. Comments on our services regarding how well these expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way Bousfields provides services to people with disabilities may be made by any reasonable medium (i.e. in writing, in person, by email or by asking their Bousfields representative to provide the feedback on their behalf. Please contact Bousfields at [email protected] or (416) 947-9744. All feedback shall be directed to Bousfields Human Resources department. Depending on the nature of the feedback, responses will be provided within 7 business days.
Questions About This Policy
If anyone has a question about our policy, or if the purpose of a policy is not understood, please contact Human Resources [email protected] or 416-947-9744.
Bousfields full Accessibility Policy, training procedures and related documents, including information on Bousfields compliance with accessibility legislation, are available upon request. Accessible formats are also available on request.
2014-2022 Multi-year Accessibility Plan for Bousfields
Integrated Accessibility Standards Policy
The purpose of Bousfields Inc. (“Bousfields”) Integrated Accessibility Standards Policy is to be proactive in breaking down barriers and increasing inclusivity for persons with disabilities in the areas of information, communication and employment to align ourselves with legislative requirements, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. Bousfields is governed by this policy as well as the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Policy in meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities.
Bousfields will develop, maintain and document an Accessibility Plan outlining the firm’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers from its workplace and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The Accessibility Plan will be reviewed and updated at least once every five years, and will be posted on the firm’s website. Upon request, Bousfields will provide a copy of the
Accessibility Plan in an accessible format.
Training Employees and Volunteers
In addition to the training we provide to our employees under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Bousfields provides training to our employees, volunteers and other staff members on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11) and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training is provided in a way that best suits the actual duties of our employees, volunteers and other staff members. Training will also be provided if changes are made to the accessibility policies.
Training is provided to new team members of the firm during their orientation period in conjunction with training outlined in the Customer Service Standards Policy.
Training records are made and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the “Integrated Accessibility Standards”.
Should Bousfields design, procure or acquire any self-service kiosks, it will have regard to the accessibility for persons with disabilities. Bousfields will ensure that any employees involved in the procurement or acquisition are apprised of the need to consider accessibility features in choosing the appropriate self-service kiosk.
Information and Communications Standards
Bousfields is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. When requested, we will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.
Bousfields will ensure that existing feedback processes are accessible to people with disabilities, upon request.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
Bousfields ensures that all of its publicly available information is made accessible upon request. Where a request for an accessible format or for communication supports is received, Bousfields will:
- consult with individual making the request to determine their accessibility needs and what would be a suitable format or support;
- provide the requested information in a timely manner; and
- provide the information at regular cost (if any).
Accessible Websites and Web Content
Bousfields will ensure that our Internet websites, including web content, conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, at Level AA except where this is impracticable.
Bousfields is committed to fair and accessible employment practices.
Recruitment, Assessment or Selection Process
Bousfields notifies the public and employees applying to internal postings that accommodations are available for people with disabilities during the recruitment process. If an applicant is selected to participate in an assessment process, Bousfields notifies the applicant that accommodations are available upon request should the applicant have accessibility needs due to a disability. Bousfields will consult with the applicant to determine whether a suitable accommodation is available.
Notice to Successful Applicants
Bousfields notifies successful applicants of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities. Bousfields notifies its employees and new hires of its policies to support people with disabilities, and makes all such policies available on its intranet so that they are available to all members of the firm.
Informing Employees of Supports
Bousfields will continue to inform its employees of its policies (and any updates to those policies) used to support employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. This information will be provided to new employees as soon as practicable after commencing employment.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports for Employees
Where an employee requests, Bousfields will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats or communications supports for: (a) information needed to perform the employee’s job; and (b) information generally available to other employees. Bousfields will consult with the employee making the request.
Workplace Emergency Response Information
Bousfields will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and if Bousfields is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability. Bousfields will provide this information as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for accommodation.
Where the employee requires assistance, Bousfields will, with the consent of the employee, provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by Bousfields to provide assistance to the employee.
Bousfields will review the individualized workplace emergency response information when the employee moves to a different location in the organization, when the employee’s overall accommodations needs, or plans are reviewed.
Return to Work Process & Individual Accommodation Plans
Bousfields has implemented a Disability Accommodation Policy and a Return-to-Work Policy that incorporate the obligations of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, including the development and use of Individual Accommodation Plans.
This return-to-work process will not replace or override any other return to work process created by or under any other statute (i.e. the Workplace Safety Insurance Act, 1997).
Performance Management, Career Development and Advancement & Redeployment
When undertaking any performance management, career development and redeployment processes, Bousfields will ensure that the accessibility needs of its employees with disabilities needs are taken into account. This will include a review of any individual accommodation plans that are in place for individual employees.
Where an employee, client or other person identifies any accessibility barriers, Bousfields will take steps to remove the barriers identified.
Design of Public Spaces
Bousfields will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Due to the nature of our business, public spaces will typically include only reception areas.
For More Information
For more information on this accessibility plan, or for a copy of this plan in an accessible format, please contact the firm by any of the following means:
By telephone: 416-947-9744
By facsimile: 416-947-0781
By e-mail: [email protected]
By regular mail:
Attention: Human Resources
3 Church Street, Suite 200