Accessibility Plan 2023-2025
Table of contents
1. Plain Language Summary of the Plan
ASL version of Plain Language Summary of the Plan
End of ASL video - Accessibility Plan 2023-2025
This is the plain language version of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) Accessibility Plan. You can read the full version of the Accessibility Plan here.
Note that this plan is about the accessibility of CTA as an organization. This plan is not about regulating accessibility and transportation, which is one of CTA’s mandates.
The Accessible Canada Act (ACA) is a law to make Canada accessible. Under the ACA, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) needs to make a plan to be more accessible. The CTA looks after the government’s policies on transportation. One of our jobs is to make sure that transportation is accessible. This includes air travel, as well as buses, trains, and ferries between provinces and internationally. We are working to be more accessible. This is important to the CTA, to our employees, and to Canadians. This plan is one step to being more accessible.
We created our plan by:
- Sending a survey to people who work at the CTA
- Sending a survey to disability organizations that work with the CTA
- Talking to a group of people with disabilities
- Looking at the barriers that we already know about
- Making a list of barriers that we found
- Making plans to remove these barriers or reduce them
We plan to make the CTA more accessible by doing the following:
- Collecting feedback about accessibility
- Providing clear information about the feedback process
- Talking to disability rights organizations about consultation
- Having a dedicated accessibility person on staff
- Accepting alternative application methods for employment
- Encouraging people with disabilities to apply to work for the CTA
- Making it clear for applicants how to request accommodations
- Including disability in our diversity and inclusion statements and efforts
- Training managers on disability and accessibility
- Making sure virtual meetings have accessibility features turned on
- Making training facilitators aware of how to run virtual meetings in an accessible way.
- Reviewing our employment system to make sure it is accessible
- Training human resources and staffing persons on accessibility
- Updating diversity, equity, and inclusion training to include disability
- Considering new training offered by the Canada School of Public Service about accessibility
- Making sure training is offered in accessible formats
- Updating our workplace accommodations policy
- Working towards Gold Certification in built environment accessibility through the Rick Hansen Foundation
- Collecting feedback about the accessibility of our new office spaces
- Making meeting rooms more accessible using assistive technology
- Making the process for resolving accessibility issues in information technology clear
- Reminding our new employees to identify their accessibility needs before their start date
- Using Shared Services Canada’s Accessibility, Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology division for support when needed
- Making sure new employees have accessible work tools by their start date
- Introducing web accessibility training for employees in IT.
- Ensuring processes are in place to make communications products accessible.
- Making new documents accessible or having alternate formats available upon request as required.
- Making sure existing documents that are high priority and still in use are accessible or are available in alternate formats upon request.
- Considering providing a summary of communications products in American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) as needed.
- Providing a statement of our commitment to Web Accessibility in American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) on our website.
- Creating accessibility features for new audio and visual products.
- Making sure the goods and services we purchase from vendors are accessible when applicable
- Ensuring visual representation of Canada’s diverse society by including images of persons with disabilities in everyday situations, fulfilling various roles.
We welcome feedback on this plan. If you would like this plan in a different version (e.g. braille or audio), the instructions are linked here: Feedback
2. Full Version of the Accessibility Plan
2.1 Description of Canadian Transportation Agency
The Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator.
The Agency oversees the large and complex Canadian transportation system, which is essential to Canadians' economic and social well-being. The Agency has specific powers assigned to it under the Canada Transportation Act.
The Agency is a regulator of modes of transportation under federal jurisdiction. The Agency develops and applies ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and that level the playing field among competitors. These rules can take the form of binding regulations or less formal guidelines or codes of practice.
The Agency is a tribunal and hears and resolves disputes, much like a court. The Agency resolves disputes between transportation service providers and their clients or neighbours, using various tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication.
The Agency's mandates are:
- To help ensure that the national transportation system runs efficiently and smoothly in the interests of all Canadians: those who work and invest in it; the producers, shippers, travellers, and businesses who rely on it; and the communities where it operates.
- To protect the human right of persons with disabilities to an accessible transportation network.
- To provide consumer protection for air passengers.
The Agency exercises its powers through its members, who are appointed by the Governor in Council (GIC), and temporary Members appointed by the Minister of Transport from a GIC-approved roster. Their responsibilities include:
- approving applications for licences,
- making regulations,
- rendering decisions and orders related to formal complaints or applications,
- authorizing the construction of railways.
To help advance these mandates, we have three tools at our disposal:
- Rule-making: We develop and enforce ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and that level the playing field among competitors. These rules can take the form of binding regulations or less formal guidelines, codes of practice or interpretation notes.
- Dispute resolution: We resolve disputes that arise between transportation providers on the one hand, and their clients and neighbours on the other, using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication.
- Information provision: We provide information on the transportation system, the rights and responsibilities of transportation providers and users, and the Agency's legislation and services.
2.2 Statement of Commitment
The CTA is committed to advancing accessibility and making it a priority in the delivery of our services. We put this into practice everyday in service to the Canadian public and in support of our employees. We will engage with persons with disabilities to better understand their experiences and meet their needs when interacting with the Agency.
All Canadians have a right to benefit from our services equally. And all people who work with us have a right to do their jobs free of barriers. This accessibility plan represents our commitment to identifying barriers at the CTA and to taking meaningful action to remove them.
2.3 Contact Information & Feedback Process
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) welcomes feedback from the public, stakeholders and our employees. Your feedback about the Accessibility Plan or the feedback process will help the CTA identify and break down accessibility barriers.
You can use our simple feedback form to submit feedback about accessibility.
You can also submit your feedback by:
Manager, Centre of Expertise Workplace and Workforce Services Directorate
Canadian Transportation Agency
60 Laval Street, Unit 01, Gatineau, QC
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 1-844-943-0273
- Fax: 819-997-6727
- TTY: 1-800-669-5575
We will acknowledge all accessibility feedback we receive with contact information. You can also submit anonymous feedback.
Alternative formats that are compatible with assistive technology of this plan can be downloaded immediately from our website.
The CTA will provide the following alternative formats of this plan:
- Large print (Increased font size)
- Braille (a system of raised dots that people who are blind or who have low vision can read with their fingers)
- Audio (a recording of someone reading the text out loud)
- Electronic formats that are compatible with adaptive technology
You can request alternative formats of this plan, and a description of our feedback process by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following are important terms in the ACA. They are used throughout this plan. They are defined here in plainer language. For the full ACA definitions, visit: Summary of the Accessible Canada Act
Disability: Any impairment, or difference in physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, or communication ability. Disabilities can be permanent, temporary, or can change over time.
Barrier: Anything that might hinder people with disabilities’ full and equal participation. Barriers can be architectural, technological, attitudinal, based on information or communications, or can be the result of a policy or procedure.
Accessibility: The design of products, devices, services, environments, technologies, policies and rules in a way that allows all people, including people with a variety of disabilities, to access them.
3. Areas Described under Section 5 of the ACA
3.1 Organization Wide Initiatives
To be fully accessible, accessibility needs to be a part of everything we do. Certain branches at the CTA will have specific accessibility goals and responsibilities. However, we all have a role to play in making the CTA more accessible. This needs to be an organization-wide mission. As part of this mission, the CTA would like to hear more from people with disabilities. This can be in the form of feedback or consultations. To make sure that the CTA is accessible and serves the interests of people with disabilities, we need their input. We also need people on staff who are dedicated to accessibility in the organization. The following goals will help us accomplish these things.
- Effective December 31, 2022, CTA will create a dedicated process for providing feedback on accessibility, ensuring accessible methods are available to provide said feedback. Processes for both employees and the public will be in place.
- Effective December 31, 2022, CTA will create a webpage promoting and outlining the feedback process along with the published Accessibility Plan.
- Starting in 2023, CTA will consult with disability rights organizations to determine best practices in consultation moving forward, including the possibility of increasing the frequency and scope of consultation.
- By 2025, CTA will have a staff member with lived experience with disability acting as a Disability Advisor on CTA’s operations, similar to the role of a Health and Safety officer. This will not be a new role, but a new duty within an existing role.
Approximately 300 people work at CTA. The CTA is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and respectful workplace to all its employees. We want employees to be able to do their work free of barriers, to have the conditions that enables them to succeed and to get satisfaction from their work. Using feedback from our employees, we have made commitments to improve accessibility for current employees at CTA. That said, we know that there are not enough people with disabilities working at CTA. Therefore, we have also made goals to improve our recruitment and hiring practices for people with disabilities.
- Starting in 2023, the CTA will include language in our job postings that we accept alternative application methods for employment where the standard procedure is inaccessible.
- Starting in 2023, the CTA will add a statement to our careers page encouraging people with disabilities to apply.
- In 2023, the CTA will update our Staffing Framework and Diversity and Inclusion Statement, and any other relevant messaging to include specific language around people with disabilities.
- By the end of 2023, all current managers will be up to date on available disability and workplace accommodations training offerings.
- Starting in 2023, the CTA will ensure that accessibility features are enabled in meeting platforms where training is conducted.
- By the end of 2024, the CTA will ensure that meeting organizers are trained and are knowledgeable about ways to make meeting platforms more accessible. For example, making sure that they know how to enable captions, to read comments in the chat aloud, and allow participants the option to join with camera off.
- Starting in 2024, the CTA will continually review our employment system to identify and begin to remove barriers to employment for people with disabilities.
- Starting in 2024, the CTA will add mandatory disability awareness and confidence training for all managers that have staffing responsibilities, using course offerings available through the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS).
- By the end of 2024, the CTA will include disability and accessibility training as part of the Human Resources or staffing Delegation Training.
- In 2024, the CTA will review current policies, practices, and trainings around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and identify opportunities for expansion and improvement on disability-specific content.
- In 2024, the CTA will review disability and accessibility-focused training options available through CSPS and update the CTA’s training offerings for employees accordingly.
- In 2024, the CTA will review and revise our workplace accommodations directives and guidelines to improve ease of access and use for employees with disabilities. This will include more clearly and narrowly defining the term “functional limitation” and eliminating or simplifying the need for professional health documentation.
- In 2024, the CTA will revise our employee onboarding process to include a directive that employees identify their known access needs prior to their start date to ensure that the CTA can fulfill our duty to accommodate.
- In 2025, the CTA will review and revise current DEI initiatives, including employee trainings at all levels, to ensure disability is included.
- By the end of 2025, the CTA will update our disability and accessibility training for managers, using course offerings available through CSPS. This curriculum will be used for all retraining and onboarding moving forward.
3.3 The Built Environment
Accessibility of the built environment has a significant impact on whether people with disabilities can access and use a space. The CTA recently moved operations to a new office located at 60 Laval Street in Gatineau, Quebec. We designed this office with the goal of achieving gold certification under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification standards. Our report from a Rick Hansen Foundation auditor indicated that our new offices nearly meet the criteria for gold certification. This plan will allow us to complete our goal. In addition to that goal, we are also committed to making our offices more disability-friendly according to feedback from employees with disabilities. The goals listed here reflect that commitment.
- In 2023, the CTA will make the necessary changes to address the barriers needed to achieve Gold Certification according to the Rick Hansen Foundation.
- Throughout 2023, the CTA will monitor and evaluate the use of our new office spaces. We will create a feedback mechanism for employees to offer their perspectives on how the new space is functioning.
- In 2024, the CTA will buy technology and/or assistive devices to make sure that meeting rooms are accessible to employees with hearing disabilities.
- Starting in 2024, the CTA will continually consult with employees with disabilities on ways to improve accessibility of the built environment.
3.4 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Information and communication technologies are important to the work the CTA does. To do their jobs effectively, people with disabilities need accessible work tools. Technology can help make things more accessible. However, some technology that hasn’t been designed with accessibility in mind can create barriers for people with disabilities. We are committed to using the best available and secure technology that is accessible and that helps people do their jobs. The following goals have been created with this in mind.
- In 2023, the CTA’s Information Technology (IT) help desk will clearly communicate to employees the help and support services and resolution process for barriers to accessibility in IT, which will be sorted and prioritized differently than general IT issues.
- Starting in 2024, The CTA’s IT department will develop guidelines for employees on when and how to work with Shared Services Canada’s Accessibility, Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology division. The CTA has a memorandum of understanding with Shared Services Canada for this process.
- In 2024, the CTA will review and revise our workplace accommodations directives and guidelines to include a commitment that work tools within our control are or will be made accessible by an employee’s start date. This will be done in consultation with the employee.
- In 2025, the CTA will source and implement mandatory document accessibility training from CSPS for current employees and new recruits for employees to complete.
3.5 Communications, other than ICT
The way that information is shared can impact whether it is accessible. All people who work for and interact with the CTA need to be able to understand information we share with them. This means that documents need to be easy to understand and meet the needs of people with disabilities. Social media, including photos and videos, needs to have accessible features such as ALT-text (a short, written description of an image), closed captions, and described video. The following goals will help make sure that people who work for or use CTA’s services can access the information they need.
- Starting in 2023, new documents distributed for communications will be available in accessible formats if published on the CTA’s public websites.
- Starting in 2023, the CTA will review pre-existing documents, and will update those that are determined to be high priority to ensure they are in accessible and/or in alternate formats.
- By 2023, the CTA will include a section on our intranet site offering tips and stating requirements for accessible documents.
3.6 The Design and Delivery of Programs and Services
The CTA is responsible for making sure that Canada’s national transportation systems serve the interests of all Canadians. The services that the CTA delivers make sure that customer’s rights are protected, and that transportation is accessible for people with disabilities. It is important that our programs and services are accessible. The following goals will help ensure that.
- In 2023, the CTA will make clear on our website what accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities.
- In 2023 the CTA will, in order to continue to remove of other barriers for persons with disabilities who required accommodations to access the adjudication process, increase the visibility of messaging for applicants and respondents on line and during the application process to proactively request accommodation for the dispute adjudication process.
- By the end of 2025, the CTA will create guides to using our services in plain language and screen reader-friendly formats (Word and HTML).
- By the end of 2025, the CTA will include ASL (American Sign Language) LSQ (Quebec Sign Language) videos on our website explaining how to use CTA’s services.
3.7 The Procurement of Goods, Services and Facilities
When accessibility is considered at the start of any process, barriers are reduced. Accessibility standards in procurement processes ensure that goods, services, and facilities are ready to use by anyone who needs them. The CTA currently has an accessibility clause in our procurement contracts. The following goal has been created to strengthen our commitment to accessibility in procurement.
- In 2023, the CTA will review and revise our statement of work for procurement. These revisions will add more detailed accessibility requirements, and/or a note indicating that additional accessibility requirements may be necessary depending on the nature of the good or service.
The CTA works to develop and enforce national transportation systems. It does not provide transportation services to employees or customers. No goals have been created under the heading of transportation.
The CTA is committed to including the perspectives of people with disabilities in our accessibility planning. We consulted with people with disabilities when preparing this plan. And we are committed to consulting people with disabilities for all future accessibility plans, as well as all other major projects undertaken by the CTA.
For this plan, we consulted people with disabilities who work at the CTA or who have used the CTA’s services, members of various disabilities organizations across Canada, and an independent accessibility advisory group made up of Canadians with disabilities. All the comments have been considered and informed the creation of the process for this consultation.
Beyond this plan, the CTA recognizes that consultations need to be ongoing. We are dedicated to building relationships of trust and respect with people who have disabilities to have even more meaningful consultations moving forward.
For future external consultations, we will explore ways to collaborate within the Canadian transportation portfolio and with other government departments on areas of common interest.
We commit to continue engagement and consultation throughout the implementation of the Plan. This applies both internally and externally. This will help us improve the accessibility of our organization and of our programs and services.
4.1 Consultations with Employees who Have Disabilities
A survey for employees with disabilities was developed and e-mailed to all employees to provide feedback about their experiences working for the CTA. While employees with disabilities were our primary focus, we also realize that the input of individuals who may not have a disability but are close to a person with a disability may provide valuable insight. People who answered the survey noted:
- Stigma and lack of knowledge within the CTA with regards to invisible and learning disabilities
- They expressed frustration about accessibility in IT, especially for those with visual disabilities.
- They noted that the CTA’s new open-concept offices posed barriers for some employees with disabilities.
Solutions to these barriers are included in our accessibility goals throughout this plan.
4.2 Consultations with Stakeholders who Have Disabilities
A second survey was developed for distribution to relevant stakeholders that interact with CTA. The CTA identified approximately 50 stakeholder groups to distribute the survey to, including federal disability organizations, women’s organizations, and organizations for Black people, Indigenous people and other people of colour. The survey asked stakeholders to provide their thoughts on accessibility at the CTA and to identify if they had experienced any specific barriers when interacting with the CTA. The most common feedback centered around the need for more meaningful engagement with stakeholders with disabilities, and more robust enforcement of regulations around accessibility.
A roundtable discussion took place with a group of national disability organizations who shared their thoughts on the CTA’s accessibility planning. They also discussed what role people with disabilities should play in the CTA’s operations in the future. The main takeaways from this discussion included that the CTA provides services that frequently impact people with disabilities (e.g. resolving disputes involving inaccessible transportation). They recommended that we should consult with people with disabilities early, meaningfully, and often on any initiatives that impact them. They advocated for active dialogue and co-design over passive consultation such as surveys.
We also received feedback from an independent accessibility advisory group. The group is made up of 10 Canadians with different kinds of disabilities. We asked the group to provide feedback on things like our website, our services, our job postings and job application process, and about general barriers they have encountered when working with and using the services of similar organizations. They provided feedback through a virtual roundtable discussion as well as through written notes. Their main feedback was around the accessibility and inclusivity of job postings, as well as on the content of our website. Members of the group found it difficult to understand some of the information on the site. They did not find the site intuitive to use.
The CTA is for all Canadians, and that includes people with disabilities. The CTA recognizes our responsibility to include people with disabilities in all aspects of our organization. This includes the work that we do, the plans that we make, the projects we undertake, and the services we provide. We are committed to listening to people with disabilities as we work towards our goals of becoming more accessible. And we are committed to making accessibility an ongoing priority. This plan represents a part of that commitment. It is also our guide to removing or reducing barriers over the next 3 years.
Accessibility plans will be published every three years with annual progress reports to track their implementation. Both the plan and the progress reports are serial publications and requirements. We recognize the goal of achieving full accessibility is a process. This plan is a step towards that goal.