Accessibility Standards Canada and ULSE collaborate on accessibility standards research and development

News release

Gatineau, Quebec
Accessibility Standards Canada


Today, Accessibility Standards Canada and UL Standards & Engagement (ULSE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It aims to improve the coordination between both organizations and help influence accessibility standards across Canada and the United States of America.

In addition to increasing international collaboration, this MOU helps both parties:

  • create progressive, research-based standards and best practices for accessibility;
  • identify new areas of joint standards development initiatives;
  • increase stakeholder engagement with standards development activities; and
  • coordinate efforts on areas of common interest.

By building relationships on the international stage, Accessibility Standards Canada aims to influence change beyond Canada. It seeks to do this by sharing the benefits of developing equity-based accessibility standards with an intersectional lens. It hopes to create change now by showing that engaging people with lived experience and the best expertise is critical to the development of world-class accessibility standards.

Collaboration and harmonization on accessibility standards promote equity and consistency in accessibility for people with disabilities no matter where they live, work, or travel. Together, Accessibility Standards Canada and ULSE can optimize efforts to help create a more accessible society.


“We are very happy to work with ULSE. Collaborating at the international level lets us have a more effective and consistent approach to accessibility. It’s important to share our expertise and learn from others, especially when we all have a common goal. This agreement will serve both organizations and, more importantly, will benefit all of our citizens. As trailblazers, we, at Accessibility Standards Canada, aim to set the bar high to ensure we develop the highest quality of standards that are seamless and inclusive across our borders.”

– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada

“We look forward to growing our impact on safety by working with Accessibility Standards Canada. This partnership allows UL Standards & Engagement to build upon our efforts globally of ensuring our standards are designed for everyone, everywhere. Our commitment toward a safer, more secure and sustainable future relies on relationships like this and we look forward to a successful partnership.” 

– Dr. David Steel, Executive Director, UL Standards & Engagement  

Quick facts

  • The agreement officially took effect on December 19, 2023.
  • This MOU formalizes a mutual working relationship between Accessibility Standards Canada and ULSE. It acknowledges our complementary roles related to accessibility standards and research.
  • This MOU will help improve alignment and collaboration between both organizations. This includes the development of standards to promote equity and consistency for people with disabilities, and to optimize resources and efforts through a formal arrangement to share information and coordinate.
  • The goal of this agreement is to eliminate redundancy in research projects and improve the sharing of resources for the best outcomes.
  • This collaboration will allow for a more consistent accessibility experience between Canada and the United States.
  • Accessibility Standards Canada is a departmental corporation created in 2019 under the Accessible Canada Act (the Act). The organization is part of the portfolio of Employment and Social Development Canada. Their mandate is to help achieve a barrier-free Canada by 2040. They do that by developing accessibility standards and advancing accessibility research. These activities are aligned with the priority areas set out in the Act.
  • UL Standards & Engagement is a nonprofit organization that translates safety science into action through standards development, partnerships and advocacy. Since 1903, we have developed nearly 1,700 standards and guidance documents for products ranging from fire doors to autonomous vehicles. ULSE enables innovation and grows trust by convening experts and informing policymakers and regulators as we work toward a safer, more secure and sustainable future. Visit for more information.

Associated links

Accessibility Standards Canada


Stefany Chénier
Communications Manager
Accessibility Standards Canada
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Catie Talenti
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