This Accessibility Plan outlines the policies and procedures that Epic Investment Services (« Epic ») has put in place to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities, and also to meet the requirements of Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”).
Epic is committed to maintaining workplaces characterized by professionalism and respect for the dignity of all individuals. Every employee is expected to respect the diversity of other employees, clients, stakeholders, third parties and others with whom they interact. We are committed to meeting the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility by meeting the accessibility requirements under the AODA.
Meaning of Disability
- any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
- a mental disorder, or
- an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997; (“handicap”).
Employees, Agents and Temporary Employees/Contractors will communicate with individuals with disabilities in a respectful manner that takes into account their disabilities. Employees, Agents and Temporary Employees/Contractors will consider how the individual’s disability affects the way that he or she expresses, receives or processes communications and will consult with persons with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.
Epic will ensure compliance with the required criteria of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, by January 1, 2021 and when preparing materials for distribution or communicate with persons with disabilities we will consider the format of the material and its accessibility to the target audience, including large print materials, Easy English, graphic and written signage, telephone, e-mail and in person. We will also provide information about events and services in a variety of formats.
Support for Persons with Disabilities
Epic recognizes the principles of independence, dignity, integration and quality of opportunity, and the importance of openly communicating and responding to disabled individuals’ needs in order to provide a high level of service. We will make every effort to provide accessibility and accommodation in ways that take into account the person’s disability and accessibility needs.
Assistive devices that may be used by individuals with disabilities will be welcome on the parts of Epic’s premises that are open to the public. Epic will take steps to ensure that Employees, Agents and Temporary Employees/Contractors are familiar with such assistive devices.
If a person with a disability is not able to access goods or services using an assistive device, we will take all reasonable steps to assist the person in accessing the goods or services, including the identification of alternative means to access the goods or services.
Epic welcomes guide dogs or other animals that serve individuals with disabilities and, with the exception of those animals that are otherwise excluded by law, will permit the individual to keep the service animal with him or her on the parts of Epic’s premises that are open to the public. If the animal cannot be easily identified as a service animal, the Company may ask the individual to provide documentation from a regulated health professional confirming that they need the service animal for reasons relating to their disability. In the event that a service animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises, Epic will make every effort to provide the disabled individual with an alternative method of obtaining, using or benefitting from its services.
Epic welcomes persons who support individuals with disabilities to accompany them onto those parts of Epic’s premises that are open to the public. Epic will ensure that disabled individuals have access to their support persons while on the premises. Such support persons need not be paid, professional support workers. They may be volunteers, family members or friends who provide support to the disabled individual.
Temporary Service Disruptions
We are committed to making all reasonable efforts to provide notice of a planned or unexpected disruption in our facilities or services. The notice of the disruption will:
- include information about the reason for the disruption, including its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, and
- be posted at a conspicuous place on the premises, or communicated in another manner that is reasonable in the circumstances.
Employee Training (Ontario)
Epic has provided training to all Ontario employees on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirements and how to communicate with and provide accessible service to people with disabilities, in order to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills they need to meet or exceed compliance requirements. The required training will be provided to newly hired employees and temporary employees as soon as practical after hire.
Epic will maintain records of all training, including the dates the training was provided and the individuals who received the training.
Epic is committed to maintaining a workplace characterized by professionalism and respect for the dignity of its employees, where all individuals have an equal opportunity to reach their potential, free of discrimination, including harassment and violence.
Epic has put policies and/or processes in place to:
- Provide training to those in Ontario involved in hiring processes, on AODA requirements related to the recruitment process;
- Notify employees, potential hires and the public that accommodations can be made during recruitment and hiring;
- Notify staff that supports are available for those with disabilities;
- Provide customized emergency information to help an employee with a disability during an emergency;
- Ensure the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities are taken into account in performance management and career development
Access to This Policy and Related Documents
A notice advising members of the public how they can request a copy of this Policy and all related documents will be posted on Epic’s website. Clients with disabilities who request a copy of this Policy will be provided it in a format that takes into account their disability.
We are committed to keeping records that document our implementation of the AODA customer service accessibility standards, and will maintain accurate records of training provided with respect to the AODA customer service accessibility standards, as described above.
Epic invites feedback on the way that it provides services to individuals with disabilities. Those who wish to provide such feedback are encouraged to do so:
- In person;
- By telephone (416-497-9332);
- In writing (Epic Investment Services Limited Partnership, ATTN: Vice President, Human Resources, 141 Adelaide St. W., Suite 1201, Toronto, ON, M5H 3L5); or
- By electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback will be directed to the Chief Operating Officer. Complaints will be addressed in accordance with Epic’s complaint management procedures.
This plan will be reviewed and updates made as required, at least every five years.