Design and delivery of programs and services

Here are Accessibility Standards Canada’s standards and funded grants and contributions research related to the design and delivery of programs and services. Check here often for new information related to this priority area.

Standards

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CAN-ASC-5.2 Design and Delivery of Accessible Programs and Services Including Customer Service

CAN-ASC-5.2 Design and Delivery of Accessible Programs and Services Including Customer Service

Areas of focus

There are common areas where people with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in the design and delivery of accessible programs and services including customer service. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs related to programs and services
  • Policies that do not take accessibility into account
  • Attitudinal barriers
  • Accessibility of information
  • Customer service
  • Accessibility of buildings and outdoor spaces
  • Communication with providers
  • Accessibility of technology and systems

This standard is in development

  • The standards development process started on November 2023
  • The public review period is scheduled to start in Winter 2027
  • The publication of the final standard is expected in Spring 2028

Technical committee members

Lucille Berlinguette-Saumure (Chairperson), Accessibility Professional, City of Ottawa

Lisa Snider (Vice chairperson), Senior Digital Accessibility Consultant and Trainer, Access Changes Everything Inc.

Alicia Jarvis, Senior Product Manager, Accessibility Portfolio, Bell Canada

Angie Conrad, Manager, Accessibility Policy, Canada Post

Cameron Stockdale, Chief Executive Officer and President, Work Wellness Institute

Cara Wilkie, Principal Accessibility Consultant, Left Turn Right Turn Ltd.

Jameson Jones-Doyle, Executive Director, Capitals Hub Canada

Jessica Burylo, Regional Outreach Coordinator, Elections Canada

Kenneth Aquin-Abboud, Senior Program Analyst, Accessibility Readiness Team (ART), Health Canada

Majid Turmusani, Volunteer, Board of Directors, Every Canadian Counts Coalition

Marie-Claude Gagnon, Director (interim), Human Rights Office, University of Ottawa

Melanie Stone, Accessibility and Inclusion Advisor, City of London

Mitchell Wanless, Assistant Director, Service Policy, Insights and Digital Channel Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Monica Ackermann, Head of Accessibility, Scotiabank

Niki Ramesh, Senior Manager, Product Accessibility & Equity, Canadian Broadcasting Corportation (CBC)

Teresa Lee, Service Design Lead, British Columbia Public Service

CAN-ASC-5.3 Accessible Tourism

CAN-ASC-5.3 Accessible Tourism

Areas of focus

There are common areas where people with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in tourism. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Communication
  • Accessibility of information
  • Accessibility of buildings, facilities, outdoor spaces, and paths of travel
  • Travel accommodations
  • Delivery of services, such as tourism operations, travel agencies, and food and beverage services
  • Self-service machines, such as ticketing kiosks and dispensing devices

This standard is in development

Standard started March 7, 2023

Public review - TBD

Publication - TBD

Technical Committee Members

To be established

Grants and Contributions Research

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Research and Inform Standards for Next-Generation 911

Research and Inform Standards for Next-Generation 911

This research project is completed.

Who is leading the research?

Neil Squire Society

What is the goal of this study?

This study will review emerging technologies that enable accessible communication. This information will be used to optimize the accessibility of the upcoming Next-generation 911. (Next-generation 911 is to integrate new services that will allow users to send and receive text, photos, and video as well as make voice calls from mobile devices.)

Why does this study matter?

Next-Generation 911 needs to be accessible to people with all types of disabilities.

What are the key findings?

  • There are many options for integrating emerging technologies to make Next-generation 911 services more accessible.
  • All new 911 services require an education and outreach program. This will ensure more people know about these services and how to use them.
  • To improve accessibility, the new 911 services should be consistent across the country. Also, when using a mobile device to communicate with 911 services, there should be no charge for data usage.

Researchers surveyed 493 people with disabilities. The results indicate they would prefer a 911 service that combines live video with a phone call. 

If you would like a full copy of the report, please email us

Communication Access within the Accessible Canada Act

Communication Access within the Accessible Canada Act

This research project is complete.

Who is leading this research?

Inclusive Design Research Centre - Ontario College of Art and Design University

What is the goal of this study?

People with various communication disabilities face barriers when accessing federal services. This study will gather information on these barriers. It will also gather information on accommodation requirements. The goal will be to use this data to inform future standard development.

Why does this study matter?

Federal services need to be accessible to people with communication disabilities.

What are the key findings?

  • We do not always know when someone has a communication disability. Therefore, all communication should use plain and accessible terms.  
  • Training, service delivery, and program design need to be flexible. This will help address the needs of those who use augmentative and alternative ways to communicate. (These are methods that supplement or replace speech or writing.) 
  • Automated services and phone services need to allow for the use of augmentative and alternative communication methods. For example, a live phone operator is a more inclusive form of support because they can adjust their approach based on the needs of the caller.  

Not all individuals have the same levels of literacy or ability to write or speak. Therefore, service and program design must not assume that they do.

If you would like a full copy of the report, please email us

Accessibility Standards for Deaf and Deafblind Canadians

Accessibility Standards for Deaf and Deafblind Canadians

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Canadian Association of the Deaf

What is the goal of this study?

This study will focus on the barriers faced by people who are deaf or deafblind. The goal is to determine where changes can be made to existing standards. The purpose of these changes will be to improve access and remove barriers for people who are deaf and deafblind.

Why does this study matter?

The deafblind community faces unique challenges. This study will improve our understanding of these challenges. This is needed to support the development of standards that support the accessibility needs of people who are deaf or deafblind.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Guide Dog Access in Canada

Guide Dog Access in Canada

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Canadian National Institute for the Blind

What is the goal of this study?

This study will review the existing barriers faced by guide dogs and their handlers in accessing programs and services. The goal will be to present solutions to address these barriers.

Why does this study matter?

A clear understanding of the technical barriers to guide dog access in Canada is needed.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

First Nations Accessibility Standards: A Path Forward to Inclusion

First Nations Accessibility Standards: A Path Forward to Inclusion

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society

What is the goal of this study?

This study will develop recommendations for removing and preventing barriers. It will look specifically at barriers in the built environment and in current programs and services for people with disabilities in First Nation communities.

Why does this study matter?

Accessibility standards need to consider the unique needs of First Nation communities.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Advancing Accessibility Standards through Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

Advancing Accessibility Standards through Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society

What is the goal of this study?

This study will gather information on how accessibility standards are used in Nunavut. It will identify barriers faced by people with disabilities from an Indigenous perspective.

Why does this study matter?

A better understanding of Indigenous perspectives on disability and accessibility is needed. This will make future standards more relevant to Indigenous communities.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Hearing their Voices: From Isolation to Self-Determination

Hearing their Voices: From Isolation to Self-Determination

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Mawita’mk Society

What is the goal of this study?

This study will gather information on accessibility and disability from an Indigenous perspective. It will identify barriers to accessibility and the needs of Indigenous people in First Nation communities in Nova Scotia.

Why does this study matter?

A better understanding of what is important to First Nation Peoples from an accessibility perspective is needed. This will make future standards more relevant to these communities.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Accessible and Explainable Artificial Intelligence in Decision-Making

Accessible and Explainable Artificial Intelligence in Decision-Making

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Canadian National Institute for the Blind

What is the goal of this study?

This study will develop best practices. The goal is to integrate accessibility considerations when making decisions related to artificial intelligence.

Why does this study matter?

Decisions are increasingly being made based on artificial intelligence. The impact of this on people with disabilities needs to be studied. This will ensure that everyone is treated equally.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Communication in Service Provision for the Deafblind Community

Communication in Service Provision for the Deafblind Community

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

DeafBlind Community Services

What is the goal of this study?

The Deafblind community faces barriers to accessibility. This study will develop best practices for designing services that remove and prevent these barriers.

Why does this study matter?

A better understanding of the preferences of people who are deafblind is needed to provide accessible services.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Status Report: Accessibility of Child Care in Canada for Children with Disabilities Aged 0 to 5

Status Report: Accessibility of Child Care in Canada for Children with Disabilities Aged 0 to 5

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Université de Laval

What is the goal of this study?

This study will look at the current accessibility-related gaps in childcare. It will develop best practices for the built environment and educational programming. The goal will be to make childcare more inclusive and accessible.

Why does this study matter?

All children should have equal access to childcare services. All children need to be able to participate in childcare programming.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Quiet waves: Seeing Communication Barriers in Inclusive Design

Quiet waves: Seeing Communication Barriers in Inclusive Design

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Canadian Association of the Deaf

What is the goal of this study?

This study will identify best practices in communication that help remove barriers faced by the Deaf community. It will also include a review of technology-based solutions. This review will look at both policy-based and cost-sharing solutions.

Why does this study matter?

People who are Deaf and use sign language must have equitable access to communication. This will enable them to connect with others wherever they go.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Enhancing Social Cohesion by Creating Accessible Festivals and Events

Enhancing Social Cohesion by Creating Accessible Festivals and Events

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Independent Living Canada

What is the goal of this study?

This study will explore the accessibility of festivals and other events in Canada. It will also look at the experiences and job opportunities for youth with disabilities who want to work at such events.

Why does this study matter?

Arts and cultural activities are a part of everyday life. They also offer interesting employment opportunities. Such activities need to be accessible to everyone—regardless of ability.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

SURF: Sourcing Understanding Thru Research for Future Talent

SURF: Sourcing Understanding Thru Research for Future Talent

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

What is the goal of this study?

This study will investigate what youth with disabilities experience when they transition from school to work. Specifically, it will look at how students with disabilities can be better supported during this period.

Why does this study matter?

Students with disabilities often face greater barriers when they leave school and enter the workforce. When students have the right supports, they can successfully enter the workforce.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Accessible Canada, Accessible World: Co-creating a Global Standards Community

Accessible Canada, Accessible World: Co-creating a Global Standards Community

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Inclusive Design Research Centre - Ontario College of Art and Design University

What is the goal of this study?

This project will build resources for research informed by the experience of people with disabilities. These resources will be created through in-person and online events. 

Why does this study matter?

Including the lived experience and expertise of people with disabilities allows for a more inclusive approach to accessibility. Increased accessibility can be achieved when the people who face barriers are included in the research and standards development process.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Brain Injury and Accessibility of the Electoral Process in Canada

Brain Injury and Accessibility of the Electoral Process in Canada

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Brain Injury Canada

What is the goal of this study?

People with brain injuries experience barriers to participating in election-related activities. This study will identify ways to remove and prevent these barriers.

Why does this study matter?

Every Canadian has the right to vote and be involved in the electoral process.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Mapping Accessible Employment Pathways for Youth with Disabilities: National and International Best Practices

Mapping Accessible Employment Pathways for Youth with Disabilities: National and International Best Practices

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

McGill University and the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning

What is the goal of this study?

This study will identify best practices in transitioning youth with disabilities from school to work. It will also look at the specific barriers faced by Indigenous youth with disabilities and youth living in non-urban communities.

Why does this study matter?

Youth with disabilities can have intersecting identities. For example, they could be Indigenous or located in a rural or remote area. This can increase the barriers they face when they transition from school to work.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Exploring the Use of Navigators to Advance Access to Federal Programs and Services for People with Disabilities

Exploring the Use of Navigators to Advance Access to Federal Programs and Services for People with Disabilities

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Inclusion Canada

What is the goal of this study?

A navigator is a person who guides others to help them access a service or program. This study will look at the experience of people with disabilities in accessing federal services and programs. It will look at the role that navigation plays and explore whether navigators could improve access and remove barriers. 

Why does this study matter?

People with disabilities rely on federal programs and services, as do all Canadians. They require increased access to get what they need.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Accessibility of Canadian Emergency Alerts: Study of Unmet Needs

Accessibility of Canadian Emergency Alerts: Study of Unmet Needs

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Neil Squire Society

What is the goal of this study?

This study will look at ways to make emergency alert systems in Canada accessible to people with disabilities.

Why does this study matter?

All Canadians need to receive emergency alerts at the same time. In some cases, a person with a disability may need more time and resources to respond to an emergency.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Virtual Communication Project

Virtual Communication Project

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility

What is the goal of this study?

This study will identify the factors that make it harder or easier for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf/Blind to communicate. This includes communication that takes place in person, virtually (online), or both (hybrid environment).

Why does this study matter?

Communication is essential for all Canadians, including people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf/Blind. Being able to communicate enables them to participate meaningfully in society.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Ensuring access and understanding of public information for people with disabilities

Ensuring access and understanding of public information for people with disabilities

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Université du Québec à Rimouski

What is the goal of this study?

People with disabilities face barriers to accessing and understanding online information. This study will focus on the barriers that hinder access to legal and communication services online. It will assess best practices and recommend ways to develop the next generation of model accessibility standards as they relate to communication and technology.

Why does this study matter?

Governments have a responsibility to communicate with all Canadians. They must also ensure equitable access to information.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Accessibility Futurisms: Analyzing Access through a Disability Justice Modality

Accessibility Futurisms: Analyzing Access through a Disability Justice Modality

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

The Youth Project Society of Nova Scotia

What is the goal of this study?

A disability justice framework centres the experiences of excluded groups. This study will explore the intersecting experiences of young 2SLGBTQIA+ people with disabilities. It will study the increased barriers they may face in their communities. The study will include recommendations to increase accessibility. These will focus on buildings, outdoor spaces, programs and services, communication, and transportation.

Why does this study matter?

Everyone deserves equal access and support within their community.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

Inclusive Airports

Inclusive Airports 

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Université Laval

What is the goal of this study?

This study will explore what people with disabilities experience when navigating airports. It will also make recommendations to support the employment of people with disabilities at airports.

Why does this study matter?

All Canadians should have easy access to airports and the services they provide. This includes having access to employment opportunities at airports. 

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.

New projects

Investigating the Development of Accessibility Standards in Canada and the Inclusion/Exclusion of Episodic Disabilities

Investigating the Development of Accessibility Standards in Canada and the Inclusion/Exclusion of Episodic Disabilities

This research project is still underway.

Who is leading this research?

Realize

What is the goal of this study?

Some disabilities come and go. These are known as episodic disabilities. This study will look at how accessibility standards can address the barriers faced by people with episodic disabilities.

Why does this study matter?

Most people think of disabilities as visible, permanent, and unchanging. Episodic disabilities challenge that belief.

There is a need for more focused action to address a broader range of conditions. Increasing our understanding of the types of episodic disabilities will help spur such action.

What are the key findings?

Key findings will be shared once the research is completed.