Access to Services
The Council is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible environment in which all members of the public have equal access to its services and are treated with dignity and respect.
The Council is committed to providing accommodation for needs related to disability, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. Disability includes physical disabilities, sensory disabilities, mental health disabilities, and “invisible” disabilities such as learning disabilities or environmental sensitivities.
This policy sets out a process for persons to let the Council know about situations where accommodation is needed so that it can work with individuals to make its services accessible to them.
The following principles will guide the Council in making its processes accessible:
- Services should be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of members of the public.
- Services should be provided in a manner that fosters physical and functional access to the Council’s processes.
- All persons should be given equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from the Council’s services. Where required, individualized accommodation will be provided, short of undue hardship.
The Council will be sensitive to the privacy concerns of those who seek accommodation.
Application of the Policy
This policy applies to all of the Council’s services. The Council will promote equal access for all individuals including complainants, subjects of complaints, witnesses and representatives, to fully participate in its processes, short of undue hardship. This policy applies to the Council’s office, hearing rooms used to conduct public hearings, and all Council staff and members.
Requests for accommodation will be considered on an individualized case-by-case basis. Please see the section Requests for Accommodation for information on how to make a request.
The Council’s Commitment to Accessibility
The Council will conduct meetings and hearings in barrier-free environments. These are in addition to specific accommodations that may be requested on a case-by-case basis.
The Council may be contacted by mail, email, facsimile, telephone and TTY line. The phone line has a toll free number. Bell Relay services may be requested.
Letters inviting persons to meetings, public notices and summons will include a notice to persons to advise them of the Council’s commitment to accommodation for needs related to disability, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. The notice will also advise persons who require accommodation how to make a request for accommodation.
When requested to accommodate needs, the Council will arrange for the provision of visual interpretation services, such as American Sign Language (ASL) or real time captioning.
The Council recognizes that some individuals require the use of support services to assist with daily needs including communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs. The Council will work to accommodate such services but will not generally arrange for them.
The Council further recognizes that some individuals may require the use of a service animal or assistive device to participate in the Council’s proceedings. The Registrar should be contacted in advance of the proceedings if any special arrangements are required for the animal or device.
Where an accessibility or accommodation measure provided by the Council becomes unavailable, the Council will provide notice as soon as practicable and make reasonable arrangements to make alternate arrangements or reschedule a proceeding to ensure that it is accessible.
Requests for Accommodation
The Council’s staff are fully informed of this policy and will receive and respond to inquiries and requests for accommodation. If you require accommodation from the Council, please send an email request to Council_information@ontario.ca or call (416) 327-5672.
Council staff will work with you to make the Council accessible in relation to your needs. Information necessary to understand the basis for an accommodation request and to allow the Council to respond appropriately should be provided. The Council recognizes that accommodation needs may arise during any aspect of the process. If an accommodation issue comes to the attention of Council staff, it will be directed to the Registrar. During Council proceedings, a Council member may directly address a request, as appropriate, or refer the request to the Registrar.
Training will be provided for Council staff as appropriate. Training will ensure that Council employees and members understand this policy, and understand how to undertake accessibility and accommodation measures in accordance with this policy, and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
Comments or complaints about the accessibility of the Council or about accommodation provided by the Council may be provided by contacting the Registrar or the Council at:
The Ontario Judicial Council
1 Queen Street East, Box 65
Telephone (416) 327-5672
A large size version and an audio version of the policy are also available by contacting the office of the Review Council at 416-327-5672.