Technical committee for the Design and Delivery of Accessible Programs and Services including Customer Service
The technical committee’s role is to:
- identify where people with disabilities may face barriers related to the design and delivery of accessible programs and services; and
- develop a national standard or standards that will try to remove or prevent these barriers.
This standard or standards will apply to all private and public sector organizations in the federally regulated sector.
Areas of focus
There are common areas where people with disabilities may experience barriers when accessing programs and services. These include:
- policy development
- organizational policies, practices and procedures related to the provision of goods and services
- interaction with persons with disabilities
- impact of non-public facing roles and responsibilities
- Services and communications:
- online and electronic goods and services
- feedback systems
- communications and policies
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 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.
Will I be reimbursed if there is travel involved?
Committee meetings are currently online. If members eventually need to travel, Accessibility Standards Canada will cover some expenditures, as per the Government of Canada travel directive.
Where will meetings be held?
The safety of our committee members is our priority so committee meetings will take place online for the foreseeable future.
Will meetings be accessible?
Accessibility Standards Canada will work with technical committee members to meet their accessibility needs.