Our standard on Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services

This standard is a National Standard of Canada.

This web page introduces CAN/ASC - EN 301 549:2024 Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services (EN 301 549:2021, IDT) as a published National Standard of Canada. As an official standard of the Government of Canada, it is approved for use throughout the country.

The approved version of this standard is in PDF format. It is identical to the original standard from the European Committee for Standardization (CEN, French: Comité Européen de Normalisation). For accessibility considerations, Accessibility Standards Canada also provides the standard in Word and HTML formats. Accessibility Standards Canada has worked to give these alternate formats the highest degree of accessibility while remaining accurate to the PDF version of the standard. If you note any conflict between the two versions, please inform us. In any such difference, the PDF version takes priority.

To find out more, read our news release.

Read the standard

There are three accessible formats of the standard available. If you require an alternate format, contact us.

Summary: A Model Standard for Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Products and Services

The summary of the standard is also available in PDF and Word formats.

Accessibility Standards Canada has adopted the European harmonized standard on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for use in Canada.

The standard EN 301 549 states the accessibility requirements for ICT products and services. It is already being used at the federal level in Europe. This globally recognized standard removes barriers for everyone in this field. It focuses on people with disabilities. 

The purpose of the standard is to:  

  • describe accessibility for:  

    • web-based technologies,  
    • non-web technologies, and  
    • hybrid technologies. 
  • describe procedures to test and evaluate each accessibility requirement. 
  • ensure each accessibility requirement is suitable for users and providers at a federal level.  

The standard supports the goals of: 

To adopt the standard in Canada, Accessibility Standards Canada has consulted with the public to understand any gaps. The technical committee considered the public’s feedback before making a final decision about the adoption.

This standard applies to all private and public sector organizations in federally regulated sectors. It addresses the following:

  1. Functional performance: Requirements to make sure that all users can:  

    1. locate, identify, and operate ICT functions,  
    2. access information provided about ICT functions, and 
    3. have access to the full functional performance of ICT regardless of physical, cognitive, or sensory abilities. 
  2. Generic requirements: Requirements for ICT functionalities that allow all users to adjust settings or install software.  
  3. ICT with two-way voice communication: Requirements for:  
    1. audio quality,  
    2. encoding and decoding two-way voice communication, and  
    3. limits for frequency ranges. 
  4. ICT with video capabilities: Requirements for how ICT displays video with synchronized audio. For example: 
    1. display of captions,  
    2. preserving caption data,  
    3. a mechanism to play available audio description,  
    4. the synchronization of audio/visual content, and 
    5. user controls to activate subtitling and audio description as the primary media controls. 
  5. Hardware: Requirements for the physical aspects of technology. 
  6. Web: Requirements for content and systems that are provided on web pages. 
  7. Non-web documents: Requirements for all documents that are not web pages and are not embedded in web pages.  
  8. Software: Requirements for digital aspects of:  
    1. platforms,  
    2. user interfaces,  
    3. authoring tools, and  
    4. assistive technology. 
  9. Support services: Requirements related to support services, including, but not limited to: 
    1. help desks,  
    2. call centres,  
    3. technical support,  
    4. relay services, and  
    5. training services. 
  10. ICT providing relay or emergency service access: Requirements for relay services to: 
    1. enable users of different modes of communication (e.g. text, sign, speech) to interact remotely through ICT with two-way communication; and  
    2. provide conversion between the modes of communication, normally by a human operator. 

Standards from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

This standard references other standards from European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) on the subject of Telephony for hearing impaired people.

With ETSI permission, Accessibility Standards Canada is making the following standards available on its website in PDF format, with HTML versions on the ETSI website:

  • Telephony for hearing impaired people; Inductive coupling of telephone earphones to hearing aids; Part 1: Fixed-line speech terminals
  • Telephony for hearing impaired people; Inductive coupling of telephone earphones to hearing aids; Part 2: Cellular speech terminals
  • Telephony for hearing impaired people; Inductive coupling of telephone earphones to hearing aids

Please note that the French version of the standards is a translation produced by Accessibility Standards Canada in Canadian French. Accessibility Standards Canada is not responsible for the content of the standards. If you have any questions about the standards and require assistance, or if you require an alternate format of the standard, contact us.