Moving Ahead [June 2011]

Agency finds good level of accessibility at Marine Atlantic

In the Monitoring and Compliance Report Summary released in May, the Canadian Transportation Agency found a good level of accessibility for persons with disabilities at Marine Atlantic's Port aux Basques and North Sydney ferry terminals.

Examples of features are drop-off and pick-up areas at the curb and close to entrances and exits, designated parking areas, facilities for ferry boarding and disembarking, and clear public announcements.

In addition, maintenance and retrofitting of Marine Atlantic's vessel "Atlantic Vision" incorporated recommendations provided by the Agency on enhancing its accessibility.

Although the Agency recommended some further improvements, such as additional signage at the Port aux Basques terminal and the development of accessible ground transportation contracts at the North Sydney terminal, it reported that Marine Atlantic is "largely compliant" with the provisions of voluntary codes of practice governing passenger terminal accessibility, ferry accessibility and the removal of communication barriers for travellers with disabilities.

The compliance report is available in both official languages and in multiple formats.

Tool to help air carriers provide clear contracts for passengers

The Agency has proudly launched a new tool to help air carriers provide the clearest possible language in their contractual commitments to passengers.

The Sample Tariff covers 28 topics, ranging from fares and fees to flight delays, carriage of children, publication/baggage handling, and service for persons with disabilities. A tariff is the contract between an air carrier and its passengers.

By law, all air carriers are required to have tariffs and to make them available to the public. Agency staff developed the Sample Tariff as a means to assist carriers meet their obligations, and to help air travellers understand their rights as passengers.

The accessibility sections reflect current practices by carriers and the latest regulatory requirements, both domestic and international. The Sample Tariff will be updated regularly to reflect Agency decisions and evolving industry practices.

The Sample Tariff is available in both official languages and in multiple formats.

Upcoming Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting

Date: October 17-18, 2011
Location: Ottawa, ON

The Agency's Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) is made up of representatives from the community of persons with disabilities, the transportation industry and other interested parties.

The meeting is open to the members of the AAC. The Agency will report on the proceedings in a future edition of Moving Ahead.

Agency presents at conference on the rights of persons with disabilities

The first Government Conference on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took place on March 23, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario. The goal was to provide federal public servants with an opportunity to learn about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and how it relates to their daily work. It also showcased other accessibility initiatives in the federal government.

Government representatives provided practical examples of how to apply articles of the Convention. Agency staff member Glenda Nicol presented on an article that requires governments to closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities. As an example, Glenda described the Agency's outreach activities, including its collaboration with the Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Canada ratified the Convention on March 11, 2010. The Office for Disability Issues was designated as the federal focal point for the Convention, but every department has a role to play in meeting the objectives of the Convention.

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