Accessible Transportation Bulletin to Transportation Service Providers

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September 2007

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This bulletin contains important information for transportation service providers who are subject to the codes of practice and regulations of the Canadian Transportation Agency, including:

  • Industry implementation of the Agency's Code of Practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities (Communication Code);

  • The launch of the Agency's fifth Code of Practice: Passenger Terminal Accessibility (Terminal Code);

  • A new standard for automated dispensing machines from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA); and

  • The release of Transport Canada's updated training materials entitled Getting on Board.

Implementation of the Communication Code and Submission of Multiple Format Policies

The Communication Code, which was released in June 2004, came into effect on June 1, 2007.

Transportation service providers are asked to review the Communication Code in its entirety to ensure compliance with all of its provisions. The Code, along with its accompanying Guide, is available on the Agency's Web site at or by e-mail upon request.

In addition, provision 1.1 of the Communication Code states that transportation service providers are to develop and follow their own multiple format policies to ensure that transportation-related information is available in accessible formats for travellers with disabilities.

Templates are available to assist both carriers and terminal operators in the development of their multiple format policy. These templates are based on the generic multiple format policy included in Appendix A of the Communication Code. While each transportation service provider must evaluate its own needs and decide what formats will be provided for the documents it makes available to the public, service providers are strongly encouraged to incorporate the policy elements included in the template into their own multiple format policies. The templates are available by e-mail upon request.

Transportation service providers should provide their multiple format policy to the Agency as soon as possible at the coordinates listed below where it will be placed on file for future reference. Agency staff will follow up with individual service providers who have not provided their policies by October 12, 2007.

Automated Dispensing Machine Standard

The Canadian Standards Association(CSA) released its new standard, Accessible design for self-service interactive devices (CAN/CSA B651.2-07), in spring 2007.

This standard will help transportation service providers to comply with subsection 1.3 of the Communication Code and should be referred to when upgrading, and especially when purchasing dispensing machines or computerized information kiosks.

This document is an important reference tool for making electronic and mechanical self-service interactive devices, such as information or ticket kiosks, accessible to and usable by people with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.

Some of the areas included in the standard are:

  • hardware components such as displays, card readers, keypads;

  • software components such as display, contrast, graphics; and

  • information on issues faced by persons with specific types of disabilities that could impact their use of such devices.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the revised standard, visit the online store at

Release of New Code on Passenger Terminal Accessibility

In June 2007, after extensive consultation and input from industry and the community representing persons with disabilities, the Agency released the new Code of Practice: Passenger Terminal Accessibility (Terminal Code), as well as an accompanying Guide, to improve the accessibility of air, rail and ferry terminals for persons with disabilities. The Terminal Code and Guide are available at or by e-mail upon request.

The Terminal Code is one in a series of voluntary codes of practice, the others being:

  • Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Air Code);

  • Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Rail of Persons with Disabilities (Rail Code);

  • Ferry Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Ferry Code); and

  • Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities (Communication Code).

The Terminal Code applies to airports in the National Airports System, as well as to rail and ferry terminals where 10,000 or more passengers embark and disembark annually.

The Terminal Code includes provisions for improving the level of accessibility of passenger terminals across Canada including technical specifications for accessibility, facility considerations, service considerations, and considerations for security screening of passengers.

Its accompanying Guide to Passenger Terminal Accessibility provides resources and tips to help passenger terminal operators implement the accessibility criteria in the Terminal Code, including examples of best practices where businesses provide facilities or services of benefit to persons with disabilities. In addition, the Guide is an excellent source of contacts for expertise on accessibility.

As with all of the other codes of practice, some time has been provided for implementation of the Terminal Code to give terminal operators the opportunity to make any physical or operational adjustments necessary to ensure compliance with the Terminal Code. With the exception of section 1 and subsection 2.7.1, which are to be implemented immediately, the rest of the Terminal Code will take effect in June 2009.

Section 1 and subsection 2.7.1 are effective immediately to ensure their implementation in any new contract or document pertaining to both new construction and renovations, and ground transportation, drawn up or renewed at any time after the June 2007 release of the Terminal Code. In other words:

  • As contracts or other documents are drawn up for new buildings, renovations or replacement of equipment covered under the Canadian Standards Association's B651 standard, Accessible design for the built environment, such contracts or documents require that buildings, renovations or changes conform with the provisions contained within the CSA's standard, as set out in section 1 of the Terminal Code;

  • As contracts with ground transportation service providers are drawn up or renewed, those contracts are to include clauses that require the provision of accessible ground transportation, as set out in subsection 2.7.1 of the Terminal Code.

Given the above, this bulletin should be forwarded to transportation service providers' appropriate contracting authorities to ensure that they are made aware of these requirements and to ensure compliance with the Terminal Code.

Updated Disability Awareness Training Materials Available from Transport Canada

Transport Canada's disability awareness training kit has recently been updated and given a new name: Getting on Board. The updated kit was released in June 2007. It is available free of charge to small transportation service providers, such as small airports or airlines, who need to comply with the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations, but may not be in a position to develop their own training programs.

Transportation service providers who wish to obtain a copy of the kit may do so by contacting Transport Canada at 1-800-665-6478.

The Canadian Transportation Agency is responsible for ensuring that undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities are removed from federally-regulated transportation services and facilities, which includes air, rail, marine and interprovincial bus transportation. It seeks to remove such obstacles by developing regulations, codes of practice and standards; communicating with the transportation industry and the community of persons with disabilities; resolving individual accessibility-related complaints; and by ordering corrective measures as required.

For further information:

Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0N9
Tel: 1-888-222-2592
TTY: 1-800-669-5575

File No. 655-A2/07-1

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