Plain language: Notice of intent

This notice of intent informs the public and other standards development organizations of our intention to develop or adopt a new standard. This is to avoid duplication in the development of accessibility standards. The notice also defines the scope of the standard that we propose, and the period of time during which we invite the public to send us their comments about this standard.

American Sign Language (ASL) version of this page

Standards development organization

Accessibility Standards Canada

Contact information

320, St-Joseph Boulevard
Suite 246
Gatineau, QC  K1A 0H3
Telephone: 1-833-854-7628

Work program

The work program includes a list of all the in-progress and completed standards at Accessibility Standards Canada. This document includes:

  • the standards Accessibility Standards Canada is currently preparing
  • the standards that Accessibility Standards Canada has published in the preceding period
  • the classification relevant to the subject matter of the standard using the International Classification for Standards, “ICS” code(s)
  • the development-stage code and start date, based on the ISO International harmonized stage codes
  • the public review comment period start and end dates
  • references to any international standards as a basis

Please refer to the document entitled “Work program – Accessibility Standards Canada

Designation number


Standard type

Accessibility Standards Canada is seeking accreditation concurrent to the development of its first standards. Once Accessibility Standards Canada receives accreditation, we intend that this standard will be a National Standard of Canada.

Standard development activity

New standard

ICS codes

The following codes come from the International Classification for Standards document available on the International Organization for Standardization website.


  • 11.180.99: Other standards related to aids for disabled and handicapped people
  • 11.180.01: Aids for disabled and handicapped persons in general
  • 11.180.15: Aids for deaf and hearing-impaired people
  • 11.180.30: Aids for blind or partially sighted people (including braille)
  • 33.030: Telecommunications services. Applications
  • 33.170: Television and Radio broadcasting

Comment period start date

October 1, 2020

Comment period end date

October 16, 2020


The standard on plain language will apply to private and public sector organizations in the federally regulated sector. It will encourage organizations to:

  • use the active voice and avoid the passive voice
  • use strong, active verbs
  • write directly to the reader
  • use short, simple sentences and point form where possible
  • use examples to clarify complicated subject matter

Project need

This standard will contribute to Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate to develop and revise accessibility standards. A standard on plain language will set out how federally regulated private sector organizations, the Government of Canada and federal agencies can:

  • prevent
  • identify
  • remove barriers to accessibility for Canadians with disabilities

Posted on

September 25, 2020