Customer service and integrated accessibility standard policy

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA).

At Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), we set high standards for the way we conduct business — in areas from corporate and social responsibility to sound business ethics including compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

All CPA Canada leaders, employees and contractors, who interact with or provide service to the public, must comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), and the Integrated Accessibility Standards (the “Regulation”).

CPA Canada’s General Accessibility Policy, Accessible Customer Service Policy and Accessible Employment Policy are set out below.

General accessibility policy

Accessibility policy

CPA Canada is committed to providing accessibility for persons with disabilities based upon the core principles of dignity, independence, inclusion, integration, responsiveness, and equality of opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting the accessibility requirements under the AODA.

Accessibility plan

CPA Canada maintains a multi-year accessibility plan outlining its strategy to prevent and remove barriers and to comply with the Regulation. The plan will be reviewed and updated at least every five years.

The accessibility plan is posted on the CPA Canada website and intranet site and will be made available in an accessible format or with communication supports, upon request.

CPA Canada shall incorporate accessibility design, criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities (e.g., doorways, walkways), except where it is not practicable to do so. For example, CPA Canada will be required to have regard to accessibility for persons with disabilities when designing, procuring or acquiring new self-service kiosks. For existing goods, services or facilities prior to January 1, 2014, accommodations are made for people with disabilities when requested, and the respective CPA Canada group(s) (e.g., Office Services, Information Technology and appropriate vendor) will accommodate the request.

Information and communications

CPA Canada will endeavour to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible to people with disabilities. When asked, CPA Canada will provide organizational information and communications made available to its customers and the public, including this policy and any public safety information, in an accessible format or with communication supports.

If CPA Canada determines that it is not technically feasible to convert the information or communications or that the technology to convert the information or communications is not readily available, CPA Canada shall, upon request, provide the person that requires the information with an explanation as to why the information or communications are inconvertible, and a summary of the inconvertible information or communications. 

Accessible formats and communication supports

Upon request, CPA Canada will provide or arrange for accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities:

  • in a timely manner that takes into account the person's accessibility needs in consultation with the person making the request; and
  • at a cost that is no more than the standard cost charged to other persons.

This information and documentation will be provided as soon as is practicable, but specific timeframes may vary depending on the format requested. 

Accessible websites and web content

CPA Canada is committed to making its information technology widely available and accessible, regardless of the functional abilities of the user. CPA Canada websites meet the Worldwide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as required by the AODA. As of January 1, 2021, all of CPA Canada’s internet websites and web content, backdated to 2012, conform to WCAG 2.0 Level AA (other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions)).

Changes to existing policies

CPA Canada will modify or remove any existing policies that do not respect the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Emergency information

If CPA Canada prepares emergency procedures, plans or public safety information and makes the information available to the public, CPA Canada will provide the information in an accessible format or with appropriate communication supports, as soon as practicable, upon request.


CPA Canada will ensure that all employees, volunteers, individuals who participate in the development of CPA Canada’s policies, and all other individuals who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of CPA Canada have been trained on the requirements of the Regulation and the Ontario Human Rights Code, as it pertains to people with disabilities. The training will be appropriate to the duties of the individual and will be provided as soon as practicable. If any changes are made to the General Accessibility Policy or the requirements, additional training will be provided. CPA Canada will maintain a record of the dates when training was provided and the number of individuals to whom it was provided.

Accessible customer service policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish how CPA Canada will provide access to goods, services or facilities to the public and other third parties that do business with CPA Canada (collectively “the Public”) in a manner that is consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity, and that is compliant with the AODA and the Regulation.

Policy statement

CPA Canada recognizes the importance of:

  • Providing goods, services or facilities in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
  • Integrating the provision of goods, services or facilities to persons with disabilities with the provision of goods, services or facilities to others, unless an alternative measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods, services or facilities.
  • Giving persons with disabilities an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods, services or facilities.
  • Communicating with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.


CPA Canada and its employees, volunteers, individuals who participate in developing CPA Canada’s policies, and individuals who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of CPA Canada (collectively “Representatives”) will communicate with members of the Public with disabilities in a manner that takes into account their disabilities. CPA Canada will consider how the individual’s disability may affect the way that that person expresses, receives or processes communications and, where possible, ask the member of the Public how to best communicate with them.

Assistive devices

CPA Canada allows the use of assistive devices for persons with disabilities at all of its locations that are open to the Public. These devices may include but are not limited to:

  • manual and motorized wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches and walkers
  • assistive technology such as screen readers, head mouse, screen magnifiers and voice recognition

CPA Canada will take steps to ensure that its Representatives are familiar with commonly used assistive devices.

Service animals and support persons policy

CPA Canada allows persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal in all CPA Canada locations that are open to the Public and will permit the member of the Public to keep the service animal with him/her, except where prohibited by law for health and safety reasons. In the event that a service animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises, CPA Canada will provide the member of the Public with an alternative method of obtaining, using or benefitting from its goods or services.

Support persons accompanying members of the Public with disabilities are welcome at any CPA Canada location that are open to the public or other third parties. CPA Canada will ensure that members of the Public who so require have access to their support person while on the premises.

Temporary unavailability of access to goods or services for members of the public with disabilities

In the event that a facility, service or system offered by CPA Canada to the Public with disabilities is expected in advance to become temporarily unavailable, in whole or in part, CPA Canada will provide advance notice of the disruption on its website and at the entrance of its premises, as is reasonable in the circumstances, at a reasonable time in advance of the disruption and during the disruption. If the disruption is unexpected, the notices will be provided as soon as the anticipated disruption becomes known to CPA Canada.

  • explain the reason for and anticipated length of the disruption; and
  • provide a description of and indicate the location of an alternative facility or service that is accessible to individuals with disabilities, if available. 


CPA Canada will ensure that all of its Representatives are trained on:

  • The purpose of the AODA and an overview of the Customer Service Standards;
  • How to interact, communicate and assist people with disabilities, and in particular, people with assistive devices, and those who require the assistance of a guide dog, service animal or support person;
  • How to use equipment or devices available on CPA Canada’s premises, if any, or otherwise provided by CPA Canada that may help with the provision of goods, services or facilities to a person with a disability;
  • The policies and procedures created by CPA Canada in accordance with the Customer Service Standards under the AODA; and
  • How to help a person with a disability who is having difficulty accessing CPA Canada’s goods or services.

The training will be provided as soon as practicable upon commencement of the individual’s employment or engagement with the Company. The training will also be provided on an ongoing basis, as soon as practicable, whenever CPA Canada’s policies change with respect to customer service accessibility for individuals with disabilities. 

CPA Canada will keep a log of all of the training it will provide documenting who was trained, on what and when.

Accessible employment

CPA Canada is committed to removing any barriers in employment faced by employees with disabilities. As such, CPA Canada provides a working environment which complies with the requirements of the Employment Standards in the Regulation, and as established under the AODA. It is important to CPA Canada that all employees with disabilities (including potential employees) find the workplace to be welcoming and supportive. To that end, CPA Canada has put in place the processes listed below. 

This Accessible Employment Policy applies to all CPA Canada employees and job candidates in the Province of Ontario.

Recruitment, assessment or selection process

CPA Canada‘s employees and the public are advised of the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process on each of its job opportunity postings, when candidates are individually selected to participate further in an assessment or selection process upon request, and if a selected candidate requests an accommodation, Human Resources will consult with the applicant and provide, or arrange, a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability. Any existing accommodation plans will be considered throughout the process.

Employee notification

CPA Canada informs its employees of its policies used to support its employees with disabilities: (a) to new employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment; and (b) whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account accessibility needs due to a disability. 

Accessible formats and communication supports for employees

CPA Canada, upon the request of an employee with a disability, consults with the employee to provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for information that is needed to perform the employee’s job, and employment-related information that is generally available to other employees.

Individual accommodation plans

Each CPA Canada employee with a disability is considered individually, on a case-by-case basis, in order to determine accommodation requirements including a return to work process. Employees requiring an accommodation are to contact Human Resources so that CPA Canada and the employee can work together to develop an individual accommodation plan (IAP). If requested, information regarding accessible formats and communications supports provided will also be included in individual accommodation plans. Accommodation plans will include individualized workplace emergency response information (where required), and will identify any other accommodation that is to be provided. Third party expertise will be consulted where appropriate. The IAP process will be kept as confidential as possible.  No information will be released to other team members without the permission of the employee, except as where required for reasonable operational purposes. Those who are informed will be advised on a “need to know” basis only (e.g., direct supervisor of the employee).

The IAP Process is as follows: 

  • Employee advises their Manager or Human Resources that they require an accommodation due to a disability. If the employee advises his or her Manager, the Manager is responsible for contacting Human Resources to engage this IAP Process. 
  • Employee participates in the development of the IAP with Human Resources.  The employee may make a request to Human Resources for the participation of one (1) representative from the workplace to participate in this process with the employee.
  • Employee provides Human Resources with information and documentation regarding the employee’s functional limitations and advises how CPA Canada may be able to accommodate the disability.  CPA Canada will consider the employee’s proposals; however, ultimately it is up to CPA Canada to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodations will be provided, based on the documentation submitted by the employee and the organization’s operational needs.
  • CPA Canada can, at its discretion, request an evaluation by an outside medical or other expert, at the organization’s expense, to assist in assessing potential options to accommodate the employee. 
  • Human Resources documents the accommodation requirements in the IAP, including any workplace emergency response information that may be required.
  • Within one (1) week of finalizing the IAP, CPA Canada will provide the employee with a copy of the IAP in a format which takes into account the individual’s disability.  A copy is placed in the employee’s file and a copy will be provided to the employee’s direct supervisor. 
  • Human Resources takes responsibility for ensuring the plan of action outlined in the IAP is in place.
  • Each IAP is reviewed when CPA Canada receives information suggesting that the employee’s disability-related needs have changed.

If CPA Canada determines that accommodation is not required or if CPA Canada cannot accommodate the employee without undue hardship, the employee will be provided with the reasons for this decision. 

Workplace emergency response information

CPA Canada will work with employees to provide any additional reasonable accommodations that may be required in the event of an emergency and will document these measures in the employee’s IAP.

If you are a person with a temporary or permanent disability, and require assistance in the event of an emergency, please contact Bob Hannan so that the organization can provide you with a personalized workplace emergency response plan, with your input and consent. 

CPA Canada will review and update, if necessary, the response plan when:

  • the employee changes locations;
  • the employee’s overall accommodation needs and/or accommodation plan are reviewed; and
  • when CPA Canada’s general emergency policies are reviewed.   

If an employee requires assistance in emergency situations, CPA Canada will provide the employee’s personalized workplace emergency response plan to a designated person(s), with the employee’s consent and in a way that respects the employee’s privacy.   

Return to work process

Employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work will meet with Human Resources and their manager to develop a return to work plan. Third party expertise will be accessed, when needed, in the development of the plan. The plan will be documented in the IAP. The return to work process does not replace or override any other return to work process created by or under any other statute.

The Return to Work process may include the following: 

  • A gradual return to work schedule
  • Ergonomic assessments (e.g., chair, desk, computer, etc.)
  • The purchase of items to support the individual (e.g., keyboard, mouse, etc.)
  • Restrictions (e.g., no heavy lifting, etc.)
  • Time off to attend doctor or specialist appointments
  • Other accommodations, as specified by the doctor (e.g., exercising at desk, etc.) 

Performance management, talent development and promotion and transfers

CPA Canada takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans throughout the career of its employees including performance management, talent development, promotions and transfers.


Open communication and feedback are very important to CPA Canada. We commit to ensure that the process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication support, upon request. CPA Canada welcomes feedback from its employees, customers, visitors and vendors about its accessibility policy.

Please direct all feedback to:

CPA Canada
Human Resources
277 Wellington Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3H2

Or you can contact us by email with any accessibility concerns or feedback.

Should you wish us to provide or arrange for accessible formats and communication supports, please include the following with your request:

  • your name
  • your affiliation (e.g. customer, visitor etc.)
  • contact information (telephone and/or email)
  • a brief summary of your feedback

Any feedback that is in the nature of a complaint will be reviewed and acknowledged within seven days of receipt.