Apply to become a member of a technical committee
- Technical committee for accessible and equitable artificial intelligence systems
- Technical committee for existing built environment
To learn more about each individual technical committee, click or press on one of the two links above. The application period ends August 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Join our technical committees to help us create accessibility standards. This is a unique opportunity to be a leader for accessibility and inclusion. We are accepting applications until August 25, 2023 for the following technical committees.
Technical committees open for applications
1. Technical committee for accessible and equitable artificial intelligence systems
People with disabilities experience the extremes of both the opportunities and risks when using artificial intelligence systems. They also face barriers and discrimination in all aspects of such systems.
The tools needed to participate in the artificial intelligence industry are not accessible to many people with disabilities. This creates employment barriers and prevents people with disabilities from contributing to the development of artificial intelligence systems.
The proposed standard is required to improve current guidance and directives supporting ethical practices when using artificial intelligence systems. This is needed to prevent harm to people with disabilities. It is also needed to ensure they can access and participate equitably in artificial intelligence systems.
There are common areas where people with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in artificial intelligence systems. These include, but are not limited to:
- Accessible artificial intelligence systems including:
- barriers to participating in, designing, developing, implementing, using, or improving artificial intelligence systems. It also includes barriers to evaluating (or being evaluated by) such systems.
- Equitable artificial intelligence systems including:
- bias against people with disabilities in all stages of the artificial intelligence life cycle. This includes any bias that leads to the inequitable treatment of people with disabilities. For example, any bias found in data, labelling, training, algorithms, deployment, and evaluation of artificial intelligence.
- Artificial intelligence system processes that lead to biases against people with disabilities
To address these barriers, the technical committee will be responsible for:
- creating requirements and guidance for accessible artificial intelligence tools including:
- data visualization
- programming and coding
- marketed products and tools that include artificial intelligence processing
- creating requirements and guidance for equitable artificial intelligence specific to people with disabilities in the following areas:
- accuracy, including misinformation and disinformation
- bias, including statistical bias
- fairness in outcome and process
- safety and security
- privacy, surveillance, and protection from misuse and abuse of data
- individual agency (power or control), informed consent, and choice in the application of artificial intelligence
- human control and decision-making
- the application of human judgment in decision-making
- cumulative harms
- developing guidance for organizations to establish processes for putting accessible and equitable artificial intelligence systems in place. Such processes include:
- planning and justifying the use of artificial intelligence
- assessing impacts
- ensuring ethics oversight
- designing, developing, buying and/or customizing artificial intelligence systems
- training users and operators
- providing access to alternative approaches
This also includes processes for the following mechanisms:
- transparency, accountability, and consent
- feedback, complaints, redress (remedies), and appeals
- review, refinement, and termination.
2. Technical committee for existing built environment
The technical committee will develop a standard in accessibility: CAN-ASC-2.6: Existing Built Environment - Accessibility for federally regulated entities as defined in the Accessible Canada Act. Specifically, the committee will address barriers in the existing built environment for people with disabilities, which is required under the Accessible Canada Act.
There are common areas where people with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in the existing built environment. These include, but are not limited to:
- service spaces (spaces in which service is the primary function)
- egress (exiting a space)
- notifications (e.g., visual signals and two-way communications)
- washrooms (including showers)
To address these barriers, the technical committee will be responsible for ensuring that the technical requirements for all aspects within the existing built environment are equitable; for example, this would include enabling access to the building’s programs (how the spaces in a building are used).
The barriers listed above may be present in different types of existing built environments. These include, but are not limited to:
- office and retail spaces
- lecture and concert halls and other gathering (assembly) places
- clinics within office buildings
Note: Heritage and historical buildings will not be included in this standard.
To meet the standard, organizations will need to put accessibility measures in place for their existing built environment(s) according to a defined timeline.
The standard will use a tiered approach. Each level will contain technical requirements defined by the technical committee.
This standard will align with the technical requirements of other Accessibility Standards Canada standards.
Experts with disabilities are key to the successful development of accessibility standards. Experts with disabilities as well as other experts would fit into one of the stakeholder categories noted below. A technical committee must have no fewer than 12 and no more than 18 members.
Accessibility Standards Canada is dedicated to creating committees that reflect the diversity of the Canadian population. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds to consider applying to the technical committees.
Group 1: Lived experience and public interest
There are 2 categories in this group:
Persons with disabilities
Under the Accessible Canada Act, "disability" is defined as:
any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication, or sensory impairment—or a functional limitation—whether permanent, temporary, or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.
Any persons with a disability (as defined in the Act) can represent this category or other related category.
Consumer and public interest
This includes those who represent national, regional, or international consumer bodies. This includes, but is not limited to, those representing persons with disabilities. However, they cannot fall into the “business and industry” category (see group 4). It also includes experts who focus on consumer or public interests.
Someone who is not part of a specific stakeholder category is often considered a member of this category.
Group 2: General interest
There are 2 categories in this group:
Academic and research bodies
This includes those who represent universities and other higher educational bodies. It also includes the professional educators associated with them. Professional associations and research institutions are also part of this category.
This includes those who represent charitable, not-for-profit, or non–profit-distributing organizations. These bodies must have a public interest objective related to social or environmental concerns.
Group 3: Policy-makers
There are 3 categories in this group:
Government bodies and authorities with jurisdiction
This includes those who represent the following:
- international and regional treaty organizations
- federal, provincial, and territorial, or municipal government bodies
- bodies that have a legally recognized regulatory function
Labour and unions
This includes those who represent an international, national, or local trade union. It also includes federations of trade unions. These are bodies that promote or safeguard the collective interests of employees in relation to their employers.
Standards development bodies
These experts represent accredited standards organizations that develop, publish, and maintain standards.
Group 4: Standards users
There are 3 categories in this group:
Federally regulated industries and workplaces
These members may represent an air transportation company, a bank, or a grain elevator. Representatives of a First Nations band council or federal Crown corporation also fall under this category.
Federally regulated public sector bodies, municipalities, and territorial private-sector firms
These are bodies regulated under parts II and IV of the Canada Labour Code.
These individuals represent the federal public service and Parliament. These are bodies regulated under part I of the Canada Labour Code. These are representatives of private-sector firms and municipalities in Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
Representatives of government and other bodies that do not have the authority to create policy related to the standard are considered “standards users.”
Business and industry
These individuals may represent any of the following:
- manufacturers, producers and designers
- service industries
- companies involved in distribution, warehousing, or transport
- business and trade associations
Frequently asked questions
How will members be chosen?
Accessibility Standards Canada's technical committees have members who are persons with disabilities and stakeholders whose work could be affected by our standards. This means that our committees are well-balanced. It also means that the standards we create are reliable and:
- reflect the needs and perspectives of Canadians with disabilities;
- take into consideration the needs of the organizations which will apply those standards;
- take into consideration the perspectives of partners, including provinces and territories; and
- leads to best practices.
These four aspects will increase the adoption of the standards.
How does the selection process work?
A selection panel reviews all applications and chooses members. We review applications for:
- lived experience of persons with disabilities
- professional experience
- education and training experience
- technical knowledge, and
- stakeholder category
We are creating technical committees with a balance of perspectives. This includes perspectives coming from persons with disabilities and representatives from all stakeholder categories listed in the Membership section above.
How long does the selection process take?
We are committed to ensuring our technical committees include the best mix of experts. This process can take about 6 months or more. We will notify all applicants whether they are successful or not.
How much time will I have to commit as a technical committee member?
The standards development process takes up to 36 months. The following table categorizes how many hours members can expect to dedicate to a technical committee:
|Steps: Standards development process||Hours per month|
|Months 1 to 5 (5 months): Letter of Offer and Scoping||10 to 12 hours|
|Months 6 to 25 (20 months): Task Group work||up to 5 hours|
|Months 26 to 29 (4 months): Public review period||0|
|Months 30 to 33 (4 months): Addressing public comments||10 to 12 hours|
|Months 34 to 36 (3 months): Publication process||0|
The amount of time you interact and work with the committee will fluctuate. This is due to the nature of the standards development process, and the steps involved. For example, during the 4-month public review period, members will not be expected to meet at all.
Once the standard has been officially published, a maintenance phase begins. This is where the committee can make amendments to the standard. You should expect to dedicate the same amount of time to this second phase of the process.
Depending on your role with the committee, you may need to dedicate up to an additional 8 hours per month. These roles include:
- The Chairperson is in charge of leading the Technical Committee during standards development.
- The Vice Chairperson assists the Chairperson in their duties.
- Task Group Leader
- A Task Group Lead is a Technical Committee Member who is in charge of a task group.
Will persons with disabilities be compensated for their work as experts on the committees?
We are following Canadian and international best practices to develop our standards. This means we recruit persons with disabilities and other experts to be sure our committees are balanced. These are volunteer roles, but if an expert with a disability is not paid by an organization, we will pay them for their role on a technical committee.
Where will meetings be held?
Technical committee meetings are held virtually. These meeting bring together people from different regions across the country and with diverse accommodation needs. This approach optimizes meeting accessibility and encourages full participation by all members. Holding virtual meetings also eliminates travel time to a specific location. It also means that they can be held more frequently. Finally, it simplifies logistics while optimizing the use of resources.
Will I be reimbursed if there is travel involved?
Technical committee meetings are held virtually. Should members eventually need to travel, Accessibility Standards Canada would cover some expenditures, as per the Government of Canada travel directive.
Will meetings be accessible?
Accessibility Standards Canada will work with technical committee members to meet their accessibility needs.
If you have questions or need assistance filling out the form, contact us:
- By phone: 1-833-854-7628
- By e-mail.
- The form only allows you to apply for one technical committee at a time. If you are interested in joining more than one, you must submit an additional application.
- Once you submit your completed form, you should see a confirmation message. If you do not get a confirmation message, please contact us right away by phone or e-mail.