Access and Accommodation Policy

Objective

The objective of this policy is to make sure that people using the services of ARCH Disability Law Centre have equal access to the legal services provided by the Centre.  Staff of ARCH will make every effort to provide service that accommodates a variety of physical, mental, language and cultural needs, while respecting the privacy and dignity and independence of the people served. 

Accommodation:

All requests for accommodation will be met unless it creates extreme costs or health and safety risks (defined as “undue hardship” under Ontario’s Human Rights Code).  “Accommodation” means making sure you receive the full benefit of our services by providing you with service in a way that makes sense to you, depending on your physical, mental, emotional and linguistic needs.  We want to make sure that our service is as “barrier-free” as possible.

Examples of accommodation:

We will provide you with the accommodation that you need, such as:

• an interpreter (including ASL sign language interpreters),
• making sure the physical space is wheelchair accessible,
• making sure we are flexible on what time of the day you get help and for how long so that you can discuss your legal issue.

All persons using the centre’s services will be free to use assistive devices (such as walkers, wheelchairs) and service animals (such as guide dogs).

We welcome the use of alphabet boards, bliss symbol boards or other communication devices.

If your interview has been scheduled on your religious holiday, we will reschedule it.

If you need to bring a support person with you, you do not have to tell us why they have to be with you, just that “I need this person with me.”

If you have limited vision we can give you documents in large print, Braille, on CD or the format that works best for you.

If you have a disability that makes it very difficult to be in a closed room, you do not have to tell us why, but you could say “I would like to be in a larger room with the door open.”

We will provide a safe and appropriate environment for children and infants.
If you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to understand speech:
- bring a support person with you
- ask the person speaking to you to speak slowly and clearly
- ask the staff person or your support person to write down some key points to take with you

Telling us about your disability or your need for accommodation

You do not have to give details of your disability or, for example, your religion, when you ask for accommodation, just the way in which you need to be accommodated.  Each person’s needs are individual; please tell our staff what you need to serve you better. 

You will want to tell us about your disability in relation to your legal problem and what you need by way of accommodation.

Off site meetings

Requests for meetings outside of ARCH’s office will be considered if it is required to meet your accommodation needs.

Scent policy

Please do not wear perfume or after-shave or use scented products if you are meeting with ARCH staff in person or if you are attending an event at ARCH’s office.

Asking for accommodation

If you would like to ask for accommodation in advance of your conversation with a member of the staff, you could contact Theresa Sciberras:
 
Telephone:  416-482-8255 ext. 229 or 1-866-482-2724
TTY:   416-482-1254
Mail:   55 University Avenue, 15th Floor, Toronto ON M5J 2H7  
Fax:   416-482-2981
E-mail: scibert@lao.on.ca.

Or, you can speak privately with the staff person who is helping you with your legal problem.

Staff training

ARCH staff receive ongoing training on access, accommodation of disability and a wide range of issues to try to make sure that staff have a broad knowledge of disability issues.

Periodic review of this policy

This policy will be reviewed within one year and every two years going forward and we welcome your suggestions to improve this policy.  Please send those suggestions to ARCH’s Executive Director by e-mail: lattanr@lao.on.ca or by mail to:

ARCH Disability Law Centre
55 University Avenue, 15th Floor
Toronto ON M5J 2H7
 

Feedback and Evaluation

Clients of ARCH who have requested accommodation may be asked to fill out an evaluation form about the services at the Centre so that you can tell us how we are doing at meeting accommodation needs.