Accessibility

Accessibility Policies

WZMH is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence and will strive to provide support for and facilitate the accommodation of individuals with disabilities. The Firm will work to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of physical, environmental, attitudinal, written/verbal communication, technological barriers and any others that may prevent or limit the full participation of individuals with disabilities and will do so in a timely manner.

Training

WZMH Architects is committed to training staff, volunteers, and those providing services to clients on our behalf in Ontario’s accessibility laws and aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code that relate to persons with disabilities. WZMH provides training to all employees and volunteers on accessibility as it relates to their specific roles.

Information and Communication

WZMH Architects will provide information about the organization and its services, including public safety information, in accessible formats or with communication supports upon request.

Our website meets internationally-recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA website requirements in accordance with Ontario’s accessibility laws.

Employment

WZMH Architects notifies employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring. This statement can be accessed under the Careers section on our website.

We will notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities and will put in place a process to develop individual accommodation plans for employees. Where needed, we will also provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency. Our performance management and career development processes will take the accessibility needs of all employees into account.


ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY

Providing Goods, Services or Facilities to People with Disabilities

WZMH Architects is committed to meeting its current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination. We understand that obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its accessibility standards do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law.

WZMH Architects is committed to complying with both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA, thus serving all customers including people with disabilities. Our accessible customer service policies are consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.

Assistive Devices

People with disabilities may use their personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facilities. In cases where the assistive device presents a significant and unavoidable health or safety concern or may not be permitted for other reasons, other measures will be used to ensure the person with a disability can access our goods, services or facilities.

Communication

WZMH Architects is committed to communicating with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. We will work with the person with a disability to determine what method of communication works for them.

Service Animals

We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

When we cannot easily identify that an animal is a service animal, our staff may ask a person to provide documentation (template, letter or form) from a regulated health professional that confirms the person needs the service animal for reasons relating to their disability. If service animals are prohibited by another law, we will explain why the animal is excluded and work with the client to determine another way of providing goods, services or facilities.

Support Persons

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person accompany them on our premises.

Notice of Temporary Disruption

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities WZMH Architects will notify clients promptly. This clearly posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated length of time, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. These notices will be made publicly available on our website.

Training

WZMH Architects provides accessible customer service training to all employees, interns, those involved in developing our policies along with anyone who provides goods or services to clients on our behalf. Staff will be trained as part of the employee onboarding process and will also be trained when changes are made to our accessible customer service policies.

Training includes:

  • purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the customer service standard
  • WZMH Architects’ policies related to 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 to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing WZMH Architects’ goods, services or facilities

Notice of Availability of Documents

WZMH Architects will provide any documents related to accessible customer service in an accessible format or with communication support, on request. We will consult with the person making the request to determine the suitability of the format or communication support. We will provide the accessible format in a timely manner and at no additional cost.

Modifications to This or Other Policies

Any policies of WZMH Architects that do not respect and promote the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005, requires public and private sector organizations to comply with mandatory standards that remove and prevent barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. The legislation is part of the Ontario Provincial Government’s plan to ensure that, by 2025, people with disabilities are able to participate in and enjoy the opportunities available to people without disabilities. 

The following outlines how WZMH has fulfilled the Customer Service Standard compliance activities:

  • AODA related policies, practices and procedures have been developed, implemented and publically posted. An Office Manual has been developed and distributed to all staff (and Acknowledgement forms have been received). The Manual has been posted on the WZMH Intranet and all policies will be reviewed annually to fulfill the requirements as per the AODA. The Accessibility policy included in the Manual outlines our Statement of Commitment to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
  • Customer Service Accessibility Compliance Report submitted.
  • Mandatory training modules are available through our company Intranet  

Additionally, the following initiatives demonstrate our commitment to making WZMH a safe place to work for all employees and guests:

  • An Emergency Evacuation Plan has been implemented in conjunction with Building Management and Toronto Fire Department. Each team member of the emergency team has read and understands the building’s evacuation plan which includes clear instructions about assisting people with disabilities in the event of an emergency. 
  • A Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) has been established. The JHSC holds meetings where meeting minutes with action items are discussed and completed; inspections of at least part of the office are also recorded on a monthly basis. The JHSC consists of four staff members, with two members in managerial positions.
  • Two staff members have completed Standard First Aid with CPR A through St. John Ambulance and Canadian Red Cross, and one employee has completed training through WSIB’s Industrial Accident Prevention Association in occupational health and safety awareness for offices.

Accessibility Standards Plan

DEADLINE: January 1, 2012

Requirements: Provide accessible customer service

Status: Completed/Ongoing

Details: The accessible customer service policy has been posted online. WZMH provides employee training on providing accessible customer service.

Requirements: Provide accessible emergency and public safety information

Status: N/A

Details: WZMH does not have publicly available emergency information, therefore this does not apply.

Requirements: Provide accessible emergency information to staff

Status: Completed

Details: WZMH has implemented a process to identify accessibility needs and will work with staff to provide accessible emergency info as needed.


DEADLINE: January 1, 2014

Requirements: Create accessibility policies and a multi-year plan

Status: Completed

Details: WZMH’s accessibility policies and multi-year plan have been created and posted online.

Requirements: Make websites accessible

Status: Completed

Details: WZMH’s current website is in compliance (WCAG 2.0 Level A) as advised by Hambly & Woolley Inc. Our new website has launched in 2018—please refer to the January 1, 2021 deadline for additional details.


DEADLINE: December 31, 2014

Requirements: File an Accessibility Compliance Report

Status: Completed

Details: This report has been filed.


DEADLINE: January 1, 2015

Requirements: Train our staff on Ontario’s accessibility laws

Status: In progress/ Ongoing

Details: WZMH has training policies in place that relate to Ontario’s accessibility laws. Current and future employees are trained on providing accessible customer service.

Requirements: Make it easy for people with disabilities to provide feedback

Status: Completed

Details: WZMH has provided 4 alternate ways for people with disabilities to provide feedback (i.e. telephone, email, in person, or by mail).


DEADLINE: January 1, 2016

Requirements: Make our public information accessible when asked

Status: Completed

Details: Upon request WZMH is obligated to provide information in an accessible manner about our goods, services or facilities to people with disabilities (i.e. provide alternative print formats).

Requirements: Make your employment practices accessible

Status: Completed

Details: During the recruitment process, WZMH notifies job applicants that their accessibility needs will be taken into account. When making offers of employment, WZMH notifies the successful applicant of policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

WZMH also has a return to work process in place for its employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work. WZMH will facilitate the employee’s return to work and use the individual documented accommodation plan as part of the process.   

WZMH takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities in relation to performance reviews, and documented individual accommodation plans.


DEADLINE: January 1, 2017

Requirements: Make new or redeveloped public spaces accessible

Status: N/A

Details: WZMH does not hold any public spaces, therefore this does not apply. The public spaces are property of building management. Note: Our office space is compliant under Ontario’s Building Code Regulations.


DEADLINE: December 31, 2017

Requirements: File an Accessibility Compliance Report

Status: Complete

Details: WZMH will file an Accessibility Compliance Report by this date.


DEADLINE: December 31, 2020

Requirements: File an Accessibility Compliance Report

Status: Anticipated

Details: WZMH will file an Accessibility Compliance Report by this date.


DEADLINE: January 1, 2021

Requirements: Make all websites and web content accessible

Status: Complete

Details: WZMH aims to be fully compliant as per WCAG 2.0 Level AA by this date.


DEADLINE: December 31, 2023

Requirements: File an Accessibility Compliance Report

Status: Anticipated

Details: WZMH will file an Accessibility Compliance Report by this date.