Accessible Customer Service Policy

Purpose

This policy has been developed to ensure that Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS) strives to provide equal customer service for people with disabilities. This includes identifying, removing and preventing barriers for people with disabilities in obtaining, using and benefitting from our goods, services and facilities.

For a person who has a physical, mental, intellectual or sensory disability, a barrier is anything that interacts with that disability in a way that may hinder the person’s full and effective participation in society on an equal basis.

The following are examples of barriers:

  1. a) A physical barrier;
  2. b) An architectural barrier;
  3. c) An information or communications barrier;
  4. d) An attitudinal barrier;
  5. e) A technological barrier;
  6. f) A barrier established or perpetuated by an enactment, a policy or

TDS is committed to meeting is obligations under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, The Human Rights Code of Manitoba, and any other applicable laws.

 

Statements

Communication – TDS will make reasonable efforts to ensure that, when communicating with a person who self-identifies as being disabled by a barrier, the communication is done in a manner that takes into account the barrier and that alternative formats are made available upon request.

TDS will make reasonable efforts to ensure that information regarding our products and services and temporary barriers are available on our website.

Assistive Devices – A person who is disabled by a barrier may use assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities and TDS will reasonably accommodate the use of the assistive devices. The provision and safe use of an assistive device is the sole responsibility of the person using the assistive device.

In cases where an assistive device presents a significant or unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, we will strive to use other reasonable measures to ensure that the person disabled by a barrier can access our goods, services and facilities.

Support Person – A support person may accompany a person who is disabled by a barrier to our facilities and events.

TDS will do its best to ensure that if the support person is required to pay an amount to be admitted to or be present at our events, TDS will ensure advance notice is given of the amount payable in respect of the support person.

 

Service Animals – A person who is disabled by a barrier may be accompanied by a service animal in areas of our facilities that are open to the public. In cases where the presence of a service animal presents a significant or unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons or may be excluded by law, we will strive to use other measures to ensure that the person disabled by a barrier can access our goods, services and facilities.

The person who is accompanied by a service animal is solely responsible for the care, control, safety and clean-up of the service animal at all times. If it is not readily apparent, TDS may request verification that the animal is a service animal and is being used in connection with the person’s disability.

Notice of Temporary Disruption – In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to our services or facilities for persons who are disabled by a barrier, TDS will provide notification promptly. A notice will be posted that will include information about the reasons for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. The notice will be posted at our premises, on our website, or by other means that may be appropriate in the circumstances.

Training – TDS will train all staff responsible for providing our goods and services to the public and all staff who are responsible for this policy, as soon as reasonably practical after the person is assigned the applicable duties, on:

  • How to interact and communicate with persons disabled by barriers;
  • How to interact and communicate with persons disabled by barriers who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a support person or service animal;
  • How to use any equipment or assistive devices that may be available to assist persons disabled by barriers;
  • What to do if a person disabled by a particular barrier is having difficulty accessing services;
  • The Human Rights Code (Manitoba), The Accessibility for Manitobans Act and its Customer Service Standard Regulation; and
  • On-going training for changes to TDS’s measures, policies and standards relating to providing barrier free access to its goods and services.

Accessible Customer Service Feedback – TDS welcomes feedback on how we provide accessible customer service. Customers who wish to provide feedback may do so by contacting us:

  • By mail to 1700 -242 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg MB R3C 0V1;
  • By telephone to 204-957-1930 or to1-855-483-7529 or
  • By email to tds@tdslaw.com; or
  • In person, by asking to speak with the Director of Administration or the Director of Human Resources.

Feedback will be forwarded to the appropriate personnel, and the response will be documented and tracked. TDS will document any actions resulting from feedback received. Such documentation will be made available, on request.

TDS will make sure our feedback process is accessible to people with disabilities by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports, on request.

Documentation – TDS will provide the following information on its website, and will make it available in the appropriate formats to customers, upon request:

 

  • This policy; and
  • The process for providing feedback on the accessibility of our goods, services and facilities.

TDS will also display a notice at our premises that the above documents are available upon request. Requests will be handled within a reasonable time and at no cost.