Our commitment to accessibility for our people and clients
EY has a long history of a culture that supports and welcomes all people, including those with disabilities. The notion began with our founder, Arthur Young, who was both sight and hearing impaired and extends to each and every person who has helped to build our business throughout the years.
Inclusiveness is key to our “people first” culture and we interact with those with disabilities in all of our service lines and at virtually all levels, from entry level auditors to mid level tax advisors to engagement partners. As a result, our diverse teams offer different perspectives and points of view that ultimately result in high-quality client service. In fact, clients often tell us how much they appreciate our efforts to create engagement teams with the same emphasis on diversity that they embrace in their own organizations.
EY’s commitment to accessibility
EY is committed to building a better working world — for our people, our clients and our communities. We’re committed to providing an environment that is free of barriers and biases and which fosters independence and dignity for our people and clients.
EY’s commitment to accessibility for our people
We encourage our people to view disabilities as differences, not as impediments. Our broad-based approach creates an enabling environment for people of all abilities, with initiatives such as:
- Making internal communications, meetings, training and technology as accessible and easy to use as possible for people of all abilities and disabilities
- Considering ways that maximize accessibility in our office design
- Providing accommodations in our offices, at offsite meetings and in client locations
- Educating all our people on disability-friendly etiquette, language and work habits
- Raising awareness of invisible disabilities such as chronic health conditions, serious illnesses, learning differences and mental health issues
- Fostering understanding of temporary disabilities such as complications of pregnancy, injuries and recovery after surgery
- Providing specific support for families through our network for parents of children with special health needs
- Providing support for caregivers of adults with disabilities through our Caregivers’ Circle network
Unleashing the full abilities of our people
Top talent comes in different packages. We invest a great deal to recruit and develop the best people and to create a culture that allows each person to achieve their potential and contribute fully to our success. This means that we value the contributions of people from all backgrounds and perspectives — including people with a range of abilities and disabilities.
Ability, not invisibility
EY supports People Resource Networks (PRNs), similar to affinity groups, to help all of our people achieve their full potential. These groups offer opportunities for those with similar backgrounds to exchange information, build business relationships and advise senior leadership about diversity issues. EY AccessAbilities™ is a PRN that provides guidance and raises awareness of workplace issues affecting people with disabilities. AccessAbilities holds monthly conference calls to discuss opportunities for improving EY’s support of its people with disabilities. Participants are drawn from across the US and Canada, representing all ranks and business units. Many members do not themselves have disabilities, but have family or friends with disabilities, or are involved in related volunteer or professional associations. Diverse membership provides a strong support base and allows the group to benefit from a variety of perspectives.
Networks of champions
Our Abilities Champion Network is a team of local and functional group representatives who make sure that disabilities awareness messages and educational materials are woven into local communications, meetings and events. They also ensure that office, service line and firmwide programs, policies and processes are accessible and inclusive.
Our Partner Champions serve as AccessAbilities advocates at a leadership level, working closely with their local Abilities Champions to raise awareness of disabilities-related issues and help educate our people.
By representing EY at various external events and building alliances with other organizations, we show our support for addressing emerging issues. We have:
- Represented EY at various external disability forums (example JOIN event)
- Established a joint scholarship, part of a three-year commitment to the Centre for Addiction Mental Health (CAMH), to support mental health and help youth continue their education while receiving treatment for addiction and mental health
- Held an Accessibility fair in the Toronto office with several organisations (e.g. MS Society) to show support for people with disabilities. Many employees participated in this event.
We make available to all our people a variety of educational resources and practical information and presentations, including:
- Information on how to be respectful of people with differing abilities
- A primer on disabilities-friendly language to use in communication with or about people who have disabilities
- A quick reference guide on appropriate etiquette for interacting with people who have disabilities
- Ten tips for making conference calls more productive for everyone, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Tips on how to be supportive and respectful
- Messages that can be hurtful and should be avoided
- True-life audio stories and a video about working at EY with disabilities
EY’s Commitment to accessibility for our clients
Just as EY is committed to respecting the dignity and independence of our people, we offer this same commitment to our clients and potential clients to ensure our services are equally accessible to them.
EY carries out this commitment in a variety of ways including:
We communicate with people in a way that takes their disabilities into account. We offer a number of methods of communication which will promptly be provided to clients as requested.
Available communication methods include:
- Fully accessible telephone service including TTY and Bell Relay
- Video conferencing
- Written communications in various formats, including hard copy, large print and email
We also train our people to adapt to the communication needs of our clients.
Please feel free to ask us if there is a specific communication method you require and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Assistive devices, service animals and support persons
We are dedicated to serving people who require assistive devices, support persons or service animals to obtain, use or benefit from our services. All of our offices are fully accessible to those using assistive devices or are accompanied by support persons or service animals.
We also ensure that our people are trained to be familiar with various assistive devices and how to interact with people with disabilities who require a support person or service animal.
EY will endeavour to provide notification if there are planned or unexpected disruptions at our offices or in services usually used by people with disabilities.
Our notice will include the reason for disruption, anticipated duration and description of alternative facilities or services if available.
Compliance with Legislation
We comply with applicable legislative requirements in respect of accessibility including:
- Applicable provincial human rights legislation; and
- The Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) including AODA’s Customer Service Standard and the Integrated Accessibility Standards.
Training for our people
Training is provided in accordance with the AODA to members of the firm and contractors who interact with our clients or are involved in the development of client service policies, practices and procedures. Training is also provided to new members of the firm in accordance with the AODA as part of their orientation to our organization. If our policies change, we will also provide training in connection with such changes.
If you would like a copy of this policy in an alternative format, please feel free to contact us as outlined below.
The following additional information is available on request:
- EY’s training plan for compliance with the AODA Customer Service Standard
- EY’s annual report confirming compliance with the AODA Customer Service Standard
- EY’s multi-year plan for compliance with the Integrated Services Standard
This policy applies to Ernst & Young LLP and its related/allied firms as required by the AODA.
Questions or feedback
Our ultimate goal is to meet and surpass expectations in the provision of our services.
Feedback regarding EY’s provision of services to people with disabilities or with respect to its compliance with the AODA can be made:
- By email: AODA.firstname.lastname@example.org
- By telephone: 1-800-291-3380 ext. 3059
- By mail:
Ernst & Young LLP
Ernst & Young Tower
222 Bay Street
Alternative methods of communication, including meeting in person, are also available on request.
All feedback will be reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate individual. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, please include your name and contact information. We will do our best to respond to you as promptly as possible.