Accessibility Standards Canada: 2023 to 2024 Departmental Plan - Gender-based analysis plus

Definition of gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus)

A process used to identify the impacts of policies, programs and services on different groups of:

  • women;
  • men; and
  • gender-diverse people.

The "plus" considers many factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

Institutional GBA Plus Capacity

A 9-member Board of Directors oversees Accessibility Standards Canada. The Accessible Canada Act requires the government to consider diversity when appointing Directors. This includes having Directors:

  • who are persons with disabilities;
  • that reflect the diversity of Canadian society; and
  • that reflect the diversity of disabilities faced by Canadians.

Directors are mostly persons with disabilities. They represent a variety of disabilities. There is gender equality on the Board. The Board is responsible for setting the organization’s strategic direction. It ensures that GBA plus is included in departmental decision-making.

The organization was established in July 2019. It is a small departmental corporation. It has 58 planned full-time equivalents (employees) in 2023 to 2024. The organization as a whole will collectively share responsibility to take GBA plus into consideration.

Employees are now working in Accessibility Standards Canada’s new accessible office space. The office is a model for accessibility in the workplace. Many staff members have disabilities, and it is important for them to work in an office environment that accommodates their needs.

Highlights of GBA Plus Results Reporting Capacity by Program

Program: Standards Development

This program supports the following pillars and goals in the Gender Results Framework:

  • Leadership and democratic participation – Gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision-making;
  • Economic participation and prosperity – Equal and full participation in the economy; and
  • Poverty reduction, health and well-being – Reduced poverty and improved health outcomes.

Leadership and Democratic Participation

GBA Plus means that as we develop standards, policies, and programs the aspect of diversity and gender equality is taken into consideration in order not to create inequity between different groups.

Technical Committees

To help Accessibility Standards Canada reach this goal, we make sure that committees reflect diversity and gender equality to inform our work. This will help to include GBA plus considerations in the standards development process. This goal means promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities as well as women, Indigenous persons and visible minorities.

Women, visible minorities, youth, Indigenous people, members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and seniors may experience disability differently because of other aspects of their identity. That is why we encourage people from diverse communities to apply to our standards development technical committees.

The technical committee membership selection process calls for gender balance and technical expertise, to ensure inputs from all representatives without compromising the quality of work carried out by the committees.

Our  technical committees are made up of:

  • Persons with disabilities and representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities (50% of all committee members are persons with disabilities).
  • 52% of technical committees’ membership are women.
  • Each technical committee has members who identify as visible minorities.
  • Representatives from industries that would have to follow standards if they were turned into regulations.
  • Other experts.

The program will continue to collect data on this GBA plus goal for future reporting.

Advancing Accessibility Standards Research 

As part of the application for funding request, applicants have to explain how they plan to reflect and ensure Canada’s diversity in their research projects.

The GBA plus goal is to make sure that research reflects diversity. We remain committed to producing inclusive outcomes for Canadians through our research funding program. This will help to include GBA plus considerations in:

  • standards development; and
  • removing accessibility barriers. 

The program will report on all research projects and collect data on this GBA plus goal for future reporting.

Economic Participation and Prosperity / Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being

Standards Development

Standards development will have a direct impact on Canadians, particularly:

  • persons with disabilities; and
  • persons experiencing intersecting identity factors.

This year Canadians will be invited to publicly review the employment standard, together with other standards on outdoor spaces, emergency measures, plain language and information and communication technologies.

The purpose of the employment standard is to ensure that Canadians with disabilities have an equal chance at accessing employment opportunities just like all other Canadians. This standard is important as it focuses on employment equity and related compensation. This not only ensures economic participation by persons with disabilities but also addresses poverty.

Similarly, the public review of standards on outdoor spaces, emergency measures, plain language, and information and communication technologies, is a step towards improving the overall well being of persons with disabilities.

While the Accessibility Standards Canada has yet to issue it’s first standard, the work that has been carried out so far with standards development is encouraging. In future, the program will report on the GBA Plus impact of the employment and other standards, once published.

Program: Outreach and Knowledge Program

This program supports the following pillar and goal in the Gender Results Framework:

  • leadership and democratic participation – gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision-making.

Leadership and Democratic Participation

Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Accessibility Standards Canada (ASC) continues to engage Indigenous peoples and governments. This includes meeting with national Indigenous organizations. Our outreach to these organizations, communities and Indigenous disability groups is to promote:

  • feedback into draft ASC standards, 
  • the inclusion of Indigenous persons on technical committees; and
  • research funding for Indigenous-led projects, 

The organization will continue to engage with youth after successful Youth Round Table Events in 2022. The GBA plus goal is to create opportunities for youth with disabilities to:

  • come together to share their thoughts; and
  • inform our work.

What stood out during the 2022 events were the barriers that youth with disabilities encounter when transitioning from school to work. This has been added as a priority area for our research funding program.

These activities support the GBA plus goals noted above under the standards development program.