Communications compliance reports find transportation industry is adopting voluntary code to remove barriers
OTTAWA — April 1, 2009 – The Canadian Transportation Agency today released two reports which found that the majority of key transportation service providers are compliant with two important sections of the Code of Practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities. The two reports:
- The Multiple Format Policy Compliance Report, and;
- The Alternative Communications Systems Compliance Report,
show how the Code of Practice is being adopted by service providers.
With one exception, Canada's key transportation service providers were compliant and had developed a multiple format policy – which allows travellers to request documents in accessible formats such as large print. Every major airport was compliant with the Code's provision that the car rental companies have alternate means of communications for customers to get information or make reservations.
"These reports show a strong commitment by the industry to facilitate communications for persons with disabilities," said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency. "The Agency looks forward to continued dialogue with all stakeholders to create a truly accessible transportation system for all Canadians."
Both of these reports are part of a broader Agency monitoring and compliance framework, which works towards achieving the Agency's strategic outcome of increasing the accessibility of the federal transportation network by removing undue obstacles, while at the same time increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of its monitoring activities.
Under the Code, all service providers are to develop and implement a multiple format policy to ensure that travel information can be made available in a variety of formats. At the time the Code came into effect in 2007, only one of the 55 providers covered under the Code had a policy.
To encourage providers to establish a policy, the Agency provided advice and guidance placing special emphasis on those providers which represent 75 per cent or more of passengers collectively for a particular mode. As of March 2009, only one of these key service providers, Northumberland and Bay Ferries, had not submitted a policy.
The Agency will continue to work with those service providers who need help drafting a multiple format policy, in order to facilitate full compliance.
Airports are responsible for ensuring that car rental companies offer services for persons with disabilities. The Agency reviewed the Web sites of the car rental companies located at Canada's key airports to determine whether they provided an alternate means of communications for persons with disabilities to make reservations or obtain information.
Agency staff reviewed the car rental companies' Web sites or called their reservation lines to ensure that the car rental companies had an alternative to the telephone for information or reservations. For example:
- a Web site with an online reservation system,
- an email address,
- a TTY telephone number,
- or a fax number.
At the time of the survey, all of the car rental companies offered at least one alternate mode of communication.
About the Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent Government of Canada quasi-judicial tribunal. Its mandate includes the responsibility to eliminate undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities within the federal transportation network. Its mission is to administer Government of Canada transportation legislation, regulations and policies to help achieve an efficient and accessible transportation network by breaking down barriers to accessible transportation and helping to solve problems on a systemic basis before they happen.
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Compliance reports are available online at the Canadian Transportation Agency Web site – www.cta.gc.ca, and in multiple formats by calling 1-888-222-2592.
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