519.259.1800

800 University Avenue West · Windsor  /  Fax 519.259.1830


Accessibility Policy

Policy: Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Ontario Regulation 429/07
Established: December 22, 2011

Our Vision

Ducharme Fox LLP has been established to provide excellence in legal services and representation for both individuals and businesses throughout North America in many areas of law including criminal, family, corporate commercial, bankruptcy and insolvency, commercial litigation, and cross-border litigation services.

We are committed to providing practical, strategic, forward-thinking representation to all our clients.

We are committed to progressing to a prompt and fair resolution to all legal situations for each of our clients.

Our Commitment

In fulfilling our vision, Ducharme Fox LLP will at all times strive to provide our services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. We are committed to providing persons with disabilities the same access to our services as persons without disabilities. We will work and communicate with each person with a disability to ensure their needs are being met and our services continually accessible to them.

Policies, Practices and Procedures for Accessible Customer Service

Assistive Devices:

At Ducharme Fox LLP, we are committed to allowing all individuals who use assistive devices to use their devices on our premises or while accessing our services. Assistive devices may include but not be limited to: mobility devices (e.g. wheel chairs, walkers, crutches), oxygen tanks, FM transmitters, hearing aids, teletypewriters (and services), laptop computers (or similar electronic equipment), data managers, voice recorders, communication boards, speech generating devices, magnifiers, etc.

We will familiarize staff and lawyers on the kinds of devices that may be used by clients and train them in how to interact with customers who use such assistive devices.

Communication:

At Ducharme Fox LLP, we are committed to communicating with any individual with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability. In order to be effective when communicating with a person who has a disability, we will consider how the disability affects the way the person expresses, receives or processes communications. We will ask any person with a disability about the best way to communicate with them and endeavour to ensure that all communication is carried out in that manner with that individual.

Where possible, we will endeavour to use clear and plain language when creating documents, promotional material or websites that would be accessed by people with disabilities – whether client or general public.

Where possible, we will offer alternative formats of print documents to assist individuals with low vision.

For office meetings, we will discuss with individuals with disabilities about their preference for meetings in our office. If necessary, we will attempt to provide a meeting room that is as close as possible to the parking lot to ensure people with physical or visual disabilities have to manoeuvre the shortest distance possible. This may mean booking appointments around the availability of the meeting room that is the easiest to get to.

If regular telephone communication is not accessible to someone with a disability who we are providing services to, we will offer to communicate with such individuals by using Bell Canada’s Relay (phone) or IP Relay (computer) services which allows people with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate with hearing persons by phone or through web-enabled computers with the assistance of trained Bell operators.

Service Animals:

We are committed to allowing any service animal to accompany anyone with a disability who uses such an animal. This could be people who are blind, deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, or individuals who experience seizures. Service animals would be allowed in any area of our office that the public or clients are allowed access to.

We will ensure that all staff and lawyers are trained to interact properly with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.

Support Persons:

We are committed to allowing people with disabilities who rely on support persons for certain services or assistance to accompany these individuals. For example, if a person requires assistance using a washroom or facilitating communication, the support person would be welcome to our facilities to assist in allowing the person with a disability to access our services.

Where matters are of a confidential nature, such situations will be clearly explained to the person with the disability and their support person prior to the support person being excluded from confidential discussions. It could be that the person with the disability agrees to the support person being present for such confidential meetings.

Facilities:

Our facilities that are open to clients and the general public are accessible for persons with disabilities. We have two parking spots designated for persons with disabilities as well one washroom and automatic door openers at our entrance.

When our washroom -- which is equipped for use by people who are disabled -- or our automatic door openers are out of service, we will strive to have them repaired on an urgent basis. We will also post a notice of their unavailability.

We will offer assistance to anyone with a disability with the unlocking of the door to the reception-washroom. Offering assistance allows the person to decline as opposed to assuming they require such assistance.

We will discuss with any person with a disability about their preference for holding meetings. If they prefer, we will attempt to book meetings around the availability of meeting rooms that require less manoeuvring through our office.

Training:

Our goal at Ducharme Fox LLP is to exceed expectations with regards to service and the accessibility of our services for our clients. We will provide training for the following individuals (full or part-time, permanent or contractual) who deal with clients or the general public:

  • Lawyers
  • Assistants
  • Office manager
  • Bookkeeper/Accountant
  • Receptionist
  • Clerical staff
  • Articling students
  • Students
  • Etc.

Training will be provided to staff or lawyers who join Ducharme Fox LLP in the future within two weeks of their first day at the firm.

Training will include:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard.
  • The Ducharme Fox LLP plan related to the customer service standard.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities.
  • How to interact and communicate with people with disabilities who use assistive devices or require the assistance of a service animal or support person.
  • If necessary, how to use equipment or services to better communicate with clients with physical disabilities.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our services.
  • Staff will be trained when changes or additions are made to our plan.

Posting of these Policies and Procedures:

This policy and procedural document will be posted on our website. If requested, this document can be produced in a different format to allow for reviewing by any person with a disability.

Feedback:

Clients who wish to provide feedback on the way we provide services to people with disabilities may do so through our website, or by e-mail, telephone, mail or in person to the Accessibility Officer at our firm.

Feedback will be responded to within 5-business days of receipt by Ducharme Fox LLP. Confidentiality will be respected.

All complaints will be addressed by the Accessibility Officer as well as the partners of Ducharme Fox LLP to determine if a solution can be found to better provide service or eliminate the problem identified.

Modifications to this or other policies:

Ducharme Fox LLP is committed to developing accessibility polices that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no changes will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any current or future policy of Ducharme Fox LLP that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.