Passenger Terminal Accessibility
A. Role of the Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal of the Government of Canada. Under Canadian legislation, the Agency has the responsibility for ensuring that persons with disabilities obtain access to this country's federal transportation system by eliminating unnecessary or unjustified barriers. One way to achieve this goal is to develop and administer accessibility standards covering the transportation network under federal jurisdiction. Other ways include addressing complaints through the formal process, mediation, facilitation, and by consulting with stakeholders.
Under subsection 170(1) of the Canada Transportation Act, the Agency may make regulations to eliminate undue obstacles in the transportation network under federal jurisdiction. For example, the Agency may regulate:
- the design, construction or modification of means of transportation and related facilities and premises and their equipment;
- training of personnel interacting with persons with disabilities;
- the tariffs, rates, fares, charges and terms and conditions of carriage of persons with disabilities; and
- communication of information for persons with disabilities.
Two sets of regulations regarding accessible transportation are administered by the Agency. The first set, Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations (Personnel Training Regulations), ensures that personnel in the federal air, rail and marine transportation network have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to assist passengers with disabilities in an effective and sensitive fashion. The other – Air Transportation Regulations, Part VII,Terms and Conditions of Carriage of Persons (with Disabilities) – ensures that air carriers provide uniform services to passengers with disabilities travelling in Canada on aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats. This includes, among other things, assisting passengers to register at the check-in counter, proceeding through security to the boarding area, assisting in retrieving checked publication/baggage, and proceeding to the general public area.
In addition, the Agency has introduced the following four Codes of Practice:
- Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities;
- Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Rail of Persons with Disabilities;
- Ferry Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities; and
- Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities (Communication Code).
In addition to this Code that addresses aspects of the accessibility of passenger terminals, two of the above standards also address certain aspects of terminal accessibility. These are the Personnel Training Regulations and the Communication Code. These are discussed further in section H.
B. Purpose of this Code of Practice
The purpose of this Code is to provide a minimum level of accessibility for passenger terminals across Canada and to further improve the accessibility of terminals for persons with disabilities on a systemic basis as they use the federal transportation system. The Agency recognizes that terminals may vary significantly depending on the mode of transportation, location and passenger volume at each. As such, not all provisions in this Code will be relevant to all terminals.
In the most recent Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/89-577-XIE) of Statistics Canada in 2001, it was estimated that 3.4 million Canadians 15 years of age and over have some level of disability. It was further estimated that approximately 600,000 adults with disabilities travelled by air, and 100,000 travelled by rail (The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey does not cover long distance travel by ferry.). Since the incidence of disability increases with age, the demand for accessible transportation will be even greater as Canada's population ages.
While this Code focusses on the needs of persons with disabilities while they travel, the terminal enhancements contained in the Code will benefit most travellers. The Agency recognizes that the availability of some of the services described in this Code can only be provided when passengers communicate their needs. Passengers with disabilities may need to self-identify to take advantage of services that may be available.
The Agency emphasizes that this Code presents minimum standards that those subject to the Code are to meet and urges them to strive to exceed these standards wherever feasible.
This Code is applicable to public facilities and services, operated and maintained by terminal operators, and located inside or outside the main terminal facility and which are necessary to the successful execution of a trip. This includes parking, passenger drop-off and pick-up areas, transportation within and between terminals, public security screening and publication/baggage claim areas. This also includes work which may be contracted out by terminal operators and which is necessary to the successful execution of a trip, such as parking services or ground transportation. While this does not include retail outlets such as shops and restaurants, or other areas or services that are not vital, integral or necessary to the operation of a terminal, these are nevertheless encouraged to meet the provisions of this Code to better serve the needs of all of their customers.
Those covered by this Code may also be subject to the regulations and codes of practice listed in the /introduction under Section A, which are already in effect.
There is nothing in this Code of Practice that relieves any organization subject to this Code from complying with the provisions of any applicable safety and security standards or building codes.
D. Who is Covered by this Code
The following terminal operators are to comply with the provisions contained within sections 1 to 3 of this Code:
- Air Terminal Operators:
- Operators of terminals within the National Airports System. The definition of National Airports System can be found below:
- "National Airports System"
- is comprised of a number of Canadian airports as determined by Transport Canada and amended from time to time, and includes airports serving the national, provincial and territorial capitals. Refer to ttp://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/airports-policy-nas-1129.htm for more details about Transport Canada's National Airports System.)
- Rail Terminal Operators:
- Operators of terminals with 10,000 or more passengers embarking and 10,000 or more passengers disembarking in each of the two preceding calendar years, excluding those terminals operated and maintained by carriers that provide only commuter or tourist services.
- Ferry Terminal Operators:
- Canadian ferry terminals with 10,000 or more passengers embarking and 10,000 or more passengers disembarking in each of the two preceding calendar years; and at which ferries of 1,000 gross tonnes or more operate between provinces or territories, or between a province or territory and the United States.
Although other passenger terminal operators in Canada are not subject to this Code, they are encouraged to implement its provisions.
Any security agency or authority responsible for pre-board screening of passengers and their belongings, operating in any air, rail or ferry terminal covered by this Code, is to comply with the provisions contained within section 4 of this Code.
E. Background Research and Consultations
This Code has been produced by the Agency in consultation with its Accessibility Advisory Committee and stakeholders. The Committee is made up of representatives of organizations of and for persons with disabilities, representatives of the transportation industry as well as other departments of the Government of Canada. The mandate of the Committee is to provide input toward the development of the Agency's regulations and standards on the accessibility of transportation.
Work on a terminal accessibility standard dates back to 1983 when Transport Canada prepared and consulted on barrier free design standards for air terminals. In 1988, the standards work was moved to the jurisdiction of the Agency. In 1991, the focus shifted from regulating terminals and equipment to regulating services for persons with disabilities. In 1997, a report was published which was entitled A Look at Barriers to Communication Facing Persons with Disabilities Who Travel by Air. During consultations on communication barriers, a number of suggestions were made to modify the physical accessibility features of airports to improve the communication of information to travellers with disabilities. No recommendations were made at the time regarding physical features of terminals because the Agency believed that physical features should be dealt with in a comprehensive and global standard on terminal accessibility. The report noted that passengers with disabilities need to have access to information about the accessibility of equipment, accommodations and services available to them.
The Agency's research for this Code included a review of complaints pertaining to terminal accessibility filed with the Agency since 1989. These complaints included issues pertaining to ground transportation, physical accessibility of terminal facilities and boarding devices, all of which are covered in this Code. In addition, the Agency reviewed the National Transportation Agency's report from 1994 on the Inquiry into the Accessibility of Ground Transportation Services at Canadian Airports, and the Canadian Standards Association's 2004 standard, B651, Accessible Design for the Built Environment (barrier free design standard). Additionally, the Agency reviewed the Agency's Air Travel Accessibility Report from May 2001. In the year 2000, the Agency conducted a national survey of persons with disabilities who travelled by air. The Air Travel Accessibility Survey identified the following problems related to the accessibility of airport terminals:
- 12% of respondents had difficulty to get from the entrance to the check-in counter;
- 15% of respondents had difficulty accessing the help desk;
- 14% of respondents had difficulty accessing the publication/baggage retrieval area; and
- 46% of respondents required an accessible taxi, shuttle, city bus or other mode of transportation to get to or leave the airport and 13% said that ground transportation was not accessible to them.
The Agency will monitor the progress on the implementation of this Code using a variety of means. For example, the Agency may monitor via site visits, discussions with terminal operators, Web sites, review of contracts, or other methods deemed appropriate to obtain information on compliance by industry. The findings will be provided to the Agency's Accessibility Advisory Committee and results will be made available to the public.
In addition, the Agency will undertake periodic reviews of the Code. Any problems identified will be presented to the Accessibility Advisory Committee for consultation and any proposed amendments will be distributed to stakeholders for comment.
Independent of this process, the Agency will also continue to exercise its authority to deal with individual complaints regarding the accessibility of Canadian air, rail and ferry terminals to determine whether there are undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities.
- "Barrier-Free Design"
- refers to design which makes buildings accessible to persons with a range of disabilities.
- "Ground Transportation Service Providers"
- include taxis, limousines, motor coaches, shuttle buses and rental vehicle companies that operate from a terminal under contract or permit with the terminal operator.
- "National Airports System"
- is comprised of a number of Canadian airports as determined by Transport Canada and amended from time to time, and includes airports serving the national, provincial and territorial capitals. Refer to http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/airports-policy-nas-1129.htm for more details about Transport Canada's National Airports System.
- "Terminal Operators"
- include organizations, authorities and operators responsible for the management and operation of air, rail and ferry terminals.
- "Transportation Service Providers"
- include air, rail and ferry carriers that are subject to the Agency's Communication Code.
- "Universal Design"
- is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design (Ron Mace. Refer to www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud/ for more details about Universal Design.).
H. Training and Communications
As noted earlier, the Agency's Personnel Training Regulations and Communication Code also address the accessibility of terminals. As such, training and communication issues for terminals are not covered in this Code.
Training is an integral and vital part of most aspects of terminal accessibility and plays a key role in many of the provisions contained within this Code of Practice, including those regarding the operation of specialized equipment such as boarding devices, the provision of passenger assistance, ground transportation, and the security screening process.
Under the Personnel Training Regulations, air, rail and ferry terminal operators, with the exception of small air terminal operators, are required to ensure that their employees and contractors who provide different types of transportation-related services to persons with disabilities are properly trained to do so. Employees and contractors of terminal operators who interact with the public or make decisions respecting the carriage of persons with disabilities have to know the terminal operator's policies and procedures with respect to persons with disabilities. In addition, they have to receive general sensitivity training to be able to identify and respond to the needs of persons with disabilities while they travel.
Communication is also key in terminal accessibility. Without effective communication, including accessible information, passengers may not be aware of what facilities and services are available to them. While effective communication is vital to many aspects of terminal accessibility, it plays a particularly important role in aspects such as ground transportation, passenger assistance, customer service, and provision of information about terminal facilities and services.
The Communication Code applies to airports in the National Airports System and rail and ferry terminals where 10,000 or more passengers embark and disembark annually. The Communication Code includes general provisions for improving access to print, telephone, and Web based information, as well as provisions related to improving communications in terminals including signage, public announcements, public telephones and TTY machines, dispensing machines, automated information kiosks and arrival and departure monitors. Overlapping sections of this Code and the Communication Code have been identified.
I. Universal Design
Barrier-free design generally refers to design which incorporates specific elements to make buildings more accessible, focussing on disability and accommodating persons with disabilities in the environment.
In contrast, universal design results in design that is useable by the widest range of users, not just an "average" user. This means that a design is intended for use by all users, not just people with disabilities. For example, a lift at staircases is a barrier-free design solution which provides a means to change levels for people who use wheelchairs. A ramp or an elevator in addition to stairs however allows all people an alternative to using the staircase, including people who use wheelchairs and people with strollers or luggage.
Universal design in terminals benefits all travellers, including people with disabilities, people who are elderly, people travelling with many suitcases, heavy luggage, luggage on wheels, and people travelling with young children in strollers. This may result in an increased use of public transportation as transportation becomes more accessible for all.
Refer to Appendix 1 for a list of the Principles of Universal Design© and examples of their implementation. The Center for Universal Design (1997). The Principles of Universal Design, Version 2.0. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University. For more information, refer to www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud/.
Those covered by this Code are to implement its provisions as soon as possible, but by no later than June 2009 (2 years after release). The only two exceptions to the 2009 implementation apply to section 1 which deals with new construction and renovations and subsection 2.7.1 which deals with ground transportation.
Section 1 and subsection 2.7.1 are to be effective immediately to ensure that any contract or document pertaining to both new construction and renovations, and ground transportation, drawn up or renewed at any time after the release of the Code includes the provisions contained within this Code. That is, as contracts or other documents are drawn up for new buildings, renovations or replacement of equipment covered under the Canadian Standards Association's (CSA) standard, such contracts or documents will require that buildings, renovations or changes will conform with the provisions contained within the CSA's standard, as set out in section 1 of the Code. In addition, as contracts with ground transportation service providers are drawn up or renewed, those contracts will include clauses that require the provision of accessible ground transportation as set out in subsection 2.7.1 of the Code.
K. Accompanying Guide
To assist terminal operators in implementing the provisions of this Code, the Guide for Passenger Terminal Accessibility has been created by the Agency. This Guide provides technical and community resources for implementing the Code, as well as examples of best practices. The Guide was developed as a practical information resource and is not intended to restrict or specify any operational decisions to be taken during implementation of this Code. Those subject to the Code are encouraged to consult the accompanying Guide.
Section 1: Technical Specifications for Accessibility
The Agency recognizes the expertise of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) in establishing appropriate dimensions and design features for buildings and other facilities which are meant to ensure access and use by persons with disabilities.
The CSA is an association engaged in the development of standards and certification activities. CSA standards reflect a national consensus of producers and users, including consumers, retailers, unions, governmental agencies, and manufacturers. The standards are used by industry and have been adopted by all levels of government in their regulations, particularly in the fields of health, safety, building and construction, and the environment. Approximately one-third of the CSA standards have been referenced into law by provincial and federal authorities.
The CSA's CAN/CSA-B651, Accessible Design for the Built Environment, (CSA design standard), is the third edition of a design standard that was first published in 1990. The standard states that it was developed to fulfill an expressed need for a national, technical standard covering a broad range of building and environmental facilities and that can be referenced in whole or in part by a variety of adopting authorities.
The CSA design standard contains requirements for making buildings and other facilities accessible to persons with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities. The provisions contained in this standard are minimum levels and include requirements for, among other things, operating controls (door handles, faucets, etc.), floor and ground surfaces, protrusion hazards, detectable floor and ground surfaces, doors, handrails, stairs, ramps, elevators, signs, washrooms, parking, ticketing machines for parking, drinking fountains, etc. (Refer to Appendix 2 for a more comprehensive list of the technical specifications that are contained within the CSA design standard.)
As noted above, the Agency recognizes the expertise of the CSA. As such, terminal operators are to specify in their requests for proposals, contracts and other governing documents for the design and construction of new buildings; the alteration, reconstruction and renovation of existing buildings; and the replacement of equipment, that work will comply with the applicable provisions of the CSA's design standard. That is, as new buildings are constructed, existing buildings are renovated, or equipment covered under the CSA's standard such as drinking fountains and handrails are replaced, those buildings, renovations, or changes will conform with the provisions contained within the CSA's standard.
The Agency emphasizes that the CSA design standard presents minimum standards and urges terminal operators to strive to exceed these standards wherever feasible.
In addition, terminal facilities may be in shared premises with other tenants. As such, common areas may be operated and maintained by a landlord, and not a terminal operator, and may be governed by other codes and standards, such as building codes, which contain accessibility provisions. Where this is the case, terminal operators are encouraged to work actively with landlords to ensure that the needs of passengers with disabilities are met, and in this regard, are encouraged to use this Code and the accompanying Guide as references.
There is nothing in this Code of Practice that relieves any organization subject to this Code from complying with the provisions of any applicable safety and security standards or building codes.
Section 2: Facility Considerations
2.1 General Considerations
2.1.1 The needs of persons with physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities are to be included at the planning and design stage of projects including renovations and new construction, rather than after a project has been completed. The Agency is of the view that it is important to consult with persons knowledgeable in disability issues. This is especially important when addressing issues that are not already considered in other relevant accessibility standards such as the CSA's design standard referred to in section 1.
In addition, during the planning stage of projects, terminal operators are to apply the Principles of Universal Design©.
2.1.2 During the design phase of new construction and renovations, terminal operators are to incorporate wayfinding methods that allow a person to find his or her way to a given destination.
Buildings should be designed to minimize reliance on directional signage. Wayfinding considerations include, among other things, the positioning of entrances and exits, the use of colour contrasting, pattern direction on floors or walls, tactile markings, the arrangement of architectural features such as walls or columns, acoustics, and lighting. These features can help direct people to their intended destination.
Further information on wayfinding, including resources, can be found in the accompanying Guide to this Code.
2.1.3 Terminal operators are to ensure that accessibility features are maintained in good working order.
2.1.4 To avoid the creation of new barriers, the repair of uneven surfaces and the removal of furniture, fixtures or obstructions that encroach on corridors or accessible paths of travel and other such maintenance is to be performed on a regular basis.
If repairs or maintenance are required, or if an obstruction must remain in the path of travel, terminal operators are to ensure that the obstruction is detectable by those persons using canes to guide them and clearly colour-contrasted so as to be detectable by a person with a visual disability.
2.2 Outdoor Considerations
2.2.1 Passenger drop-off and pick-up areas for passengers with disabilities are to be available at the curb, as close as possible to entrance and exit areas. Where this is not possible or practical, drop-off and pick-up areas should be as close as possible to the entrance and exit areas.
2.2.2 Exterior accessible paths of travel, including for example, from parking areas, drop-off and pick-up areas, are to be kept clear of snow and ice for the safety of all passengers. It is recognized however, that there may be extenuating circumstances, such as severe winter storms or breakdown in equipment for example, that may hinder the timely removal of snow and ice.
2.3 Rest Areas
Some people have difficulty standing for long periods or walking long distances and may find areas of certain terminals problematic if seating is not provided. This may be particularly relevant in larger terminals where there may be long circulation paths from the time of entry to boarding areas. Potentially problematic areas include, for example, publication/baggage retrieval areas, long corridors, and passages to boarding platforms or boarding gates.
2.3.1 Where this is the case, terminal operators are to provide seating along the circulation path at regular intervals to ensure that persons who need to rest, have a place to do so. If seating is not possible, some other means is to be available upon request, to assist passengers with mobility impairments in getting to their destination.
2.3.2 In some areas there may be long waiting periods and inherent problems in providing fixed seating due to queuing systems, such as those for ticket sale counters, check-in counters, and secured screening and publication/customs areas.
In cases such as this, rail and ferry terminal operators are to have an alternative means available to address the needs of people who may have difficulty standing in lines.
Air terminal operators are to discuss with the authorities who operate and maintain those areas, the provision of alternative means for persons with disabilities to avoid having to stand for long periods of time.
Terminal operators are reminded that they are also to comply with section 2.6 of the Communication Code that deals with designated seating at boarding gates and departure areas.
2.4 Boarding and Deboarding
Ownership and operation of boarding equipment varies depending on the mode of transportation. In rail and ferry transportation, terminals are generally owned by rail and ferry carriers and boarding equipment is generally owned and operated by the same entities. In air transportation however, ownership and operation of boarding equipment varies greatly. Boarding equipment may be owned by an air carrier, an airport operator, a ground handling company or, a combination of these.
Given the possible scenarios for ownership and operation of boarding equipment, airport operators are encouraged to work with carriers and other entities such as ground handling companies responsible for boarding and deboarding, to ensure that, whenever possible, appropriate boarding equipment for carriers operating from that facility is available and used for boarding and deboarding persons with disabilities.
In addition, problems can arise when transferring mobility aids from the boarding level in preparation for carriage, or when boarding equipment is available but is not used due to a lack of training or information on the part of staff responsible for boarding and deboarding.
2.4.1 Boarding bridges, platforms, or gangways are to be accessible to persons with disabilities during the boarding and deboarding process.
2.4.2 Where the usual route of travel for boarding or deboarding is not accessible to persons with disabilities because of the presence of stairs, escalators or for other reasons, an alternate safe, dignified, and accessible route is to be available. Any alternate route is to be adequately maintained.
2.4.3 For the passenger who will not have access to his/her mobility aid during travel, such aid must be stored. A means is to be available to securely transfer the aid to or from the boarding level in preparation for carriage, without hand carrying it, to minimize the risk of damage.
2.4.4 Where terminal operators own and operate boarding devices or equipment, they are to be properly maintained and available for use to board and deboard.
2.4.5 Where terminals are owned or operated by transportation service providers, and boarding equipment is available for use at that terminal, it is to be used in a manner to provide safe and dignified boarding and deboarding of persons with disabilities.
2.5 Relieving Areas for Service Animals
People travelling with service animals need to relieve their animals regularly, particularly during lengthy trips. In many cases, the location and layout of the facility will already provide suitable space outdoors where animals may be relieved. However, if passengers have limited connecting time between flights, leaving and reentering the secured screening area can pose an additional challenge to persons who may need to relieve their animals. To avoid unnecessary delays or problems, staff or volunteers should be provided with the necessary information to direct travellers along a safe path of travel, to the location of the nearest suitable relieving area, whether designated or not.
2.5.1 Terminal operators are to ensure that there is an area available for animals to relieve themselves, whether designated or not. In addition, terminal operators are to ensure that there is a safe path of travel between the terminal and suitable relieving areas.
Where possible, persons travelling with service animals should have access to a relieving area within secured areas for use between connections. Where this is not possible, one should be easily accessed from secured areas to minimize the time required to relieve a service animal.
2.5.2 Terminal operators are to ensure that terminal staff or volunteers who may interact with the public, as well as carriers operating from that terminal, are made aware of the location of relieving areas, whether designated or not, so that they may make known to the public, upon request, where service animals may relieve themselves.
2.5.3 Terminal operators are to ensure that staff, volunteers and carriers are made aware of any procedures, if applicable, to facilitate passage for travellers from security screening areas to a relieving area for service animals, and re-entry to make connections.
2.5.4 Where designated relieving areas are provided, they are to be clearly identified and accessible directional signs to these designated relieving areas are to be provided.
Signs are to comply with section 2.2 of the Agency's Communication Code.
2.5.5 Designated relieving areas are to be adequately maintained.
2.6 Transportation Within and Between Passenger Terminals
All modes of transportation within and between passenger terminals (for example, shuttle buses and light rail) are to be accessible.
Public announcements within these modes of transportation are also to be made in both audio and visual format.
2.7 Ground Transportation
Ground transportation is a key element to the successful execution of a trip for passengers who do not have their own means of transportation from a terminal. As such, terminal operators are expected to ensure that accessible ground transportation is available for passengers and enter into contracts to this end.
Ground transportation at terminals, including accessible ground transportation, varies by type and availability. In addition, passenger needs for ground transportation may vary greatly from person to person. For example, small mobility aids, such as folding wheelchairs and walkers, are similar in size to luggage and as such, while recognizing that available space is dependent on the number of passengers and pieces of luggage being carried, can be carried by any vehicle.
However, those passengers who use larger mobility aids such as power wheelchairs and scooters will have different needs than those using smaller mobility aids. As such, passengers need to have access to information as to the type of ground transportation that is available, including accessible ground transportation, prior to making a decision about travel to or from a particular terminal.
2.7.1 Terminal operators are to include in contracts with ground transportation service providers, as contracts are being drawn up or renewed, clauses that require the provision of accessible ground transportation.
2.7.2 Ground transportation service providers should have adapted vehicles to accommodate the transportation of people with disabilities using large mobility aids.
In very limited circumstances, ground transportation service providers may not, themselves, own or operate adapted vehicles. Where a ground transportation service provider does not have the necessary means to transport a person with a disability using a large mobility aid, the ground transportation service provider is to have an agreement with an alternative provider to provide an equivalent level of service.
In cases where an equivalent level of service is not available but another means of accessible transportation is available in the community, whether through another commercial service provider or a community organization, terminal operators are to advise the public of the means to access these other service providers. Upon request, terminal operators are also to make their best efforts to assist passengers with disabilities who have difficulty making suitable ground transportation arrangements.
Key elements for the provision of accessible ground transportation that are to be included by terminal operators in their contracts with ground transportation service providers such as those that operate rental cars, buses, shuttles or taxis have been developed and are included in Appendix 3.
2.7.3 Terminal operators are to have means to inform the public of the types of ground transportation available at the terminal and resource information for these services, including accessible ground transportation, in advance of travel.
In addition, terminal operators are to ensure that information is available to the public about the procedures for the provision of ground transportation services to persons with disabilities. For example, passengers should be made aware of any need to make advance reservations for accessible ground transportation.
As previously stated, terminal operators are expected to ensure that accessible ground transportation is available from the terminal. Where accessible ground transportation is, however, not available at the terminal for persons using larger mobility aids, terminal operators are to include this fact in public information on ground transportation.
Terminal operators are reminded that they are also to comply with section 2.5 of the Communication Code that deals with information on ground transportation.
Section 3: Service Considerations
3.1 Passenger Assistance
Terminals vary greatly in size and complexity. Given the complexity of some larger terminals, particularly in entrance and exit areas, terminal operators are to provide a means for passengers to get information or assistance, during hours of service, once they have arrived at the terminal. The means to get information or assistance is to be available as close as possible to all major terminal entrances.
Terminal operators are reminded that they are also to comply with section 1.3 of the Communication Code that deals with automated information kiosks.
Terminal operators are to have a means to consult with representatives of a variety of groups of and for persons with disabilities to inform themselves about the concerns of persons with disabilities in terms of the accessibility of their terminal and explore ways of addressing these concerns.
3.3 Customer Service
Open communication between parties goes a long way towards resolving issues which may arise between a passenger and a terminal operator. Passengers with concerns about accessibility issues should address these directly to terminal operators so that they may be resolved at the earliest possible stage. Terminal operators have a responsibility to address any such concerns or complaints as expeditiously and effectively as possible, directly with the consumer.
3.3.1 Terminal operators are to have a process in place to deal with public concerns or complaints. This process is to include a designated person or group to deal with accessibility related concerns.
3.3.2 Terminal operators are to have a means to inform the public of the availability of this service, including how to voice a concern or make a complaint. Terminal operators' Web sites are to provide information about this service.
Web sites are to comply with section 1.2 of the Agency's Communication Code.
The Agency works to resolve accessibility disputes and to address concerns in three ways: by facilitation, mediation and complaint adjudication. In situations where issues cannot be resolved between a person and a terminal operator, terminal operators are encouraged to contact the Agency for assistance or inform the person that he or she may contact staff of the Accessible Transportation Directorate of the Canadian Transportation Agency to address a disability-related concern.
For more information, please contact the Agency at:
- 1-888-222-2592 (Canada only)
- 1-800-669-5575 (Canada only)
3.4 Escort Passes
While carriers are required to provide assistance to passengers with disabilities while travelling, having an additional escort who is not travelling accompany a passenger with a disability to the boarding area could also be useful for many passengers. For example, if a passenger travels infrequently, or if a passenger uses oxygen and cannot take his or her own supply on board, an escort, whether a friend or a family member, could provide additional assistance to the passenger.
Terminal operators are to work with carriers to have a process in place to provide temporary passes to escorts, so that persons with disabilities can be escorted by someone of their choosing, in addition to carrier or terminal staff, or volunteers, through secured areas to boarding areas.
3.5 Facility and Service Awareness Program
3.5.1 Terminal operators are to have a means available to make terminal accessibility features and services known to travellers.
This allows travellers with disabilities, including passengers who may travel infrequently or are uncomfortable travelling, to be aware of what accessibility features and services are available at terminal facilities prior to travel.
This also allows passengers to familiarize themselves with any required accessibility information independently, prior to travel. In addition, it helps to ensure that if terminal operators expend resources to provide accessible features and services, the intended users will be aware of their existence and be able to make use of them.
3.5.2 At a minimum, information on the following features and services are to be made available to the public, where applicable:
- hours of operation;
- location of designated parking areas;
- location of designated drop-off and pick-up areas;
- passenger assistance information, including telephone numbers for accessibility information;
- wheelchair or electric cart service;
- location of designated relieving areas for service animals;
- accessible inter-terminal transportation;
- accessible ground transportation;
- complaint resolution service;
- escort passes; and
- any other relevant information.
Section 4: Considerations for Security Screening of Passengers
This section applies only to security agencies or authorities responsible for pre-board screening of passengers and their belongings, operating in any air, rail or ferry terminal covered by this Code.
Secured screening areas may pose additional challenges for some passengers with disabilities. For example, they may be travelling with service animals, there may be long queues, different search procedures may be necessary, or mobility aids may be too wide for screening devices. It is essential to treat with respect and dignity all persons subject to the screening process.
4.1 An alternative means to the queuing system is to be available to people with disabilities.
4.2 Both audible and visual means are to be used to communicate with passengers during the screening process.
4.3 Some passengers may not be able to undergo screening using either walkthrough and/or hand-held metal detection equipment. In such cases, screening officers are to offer a physical search in lieu of metal detection screening, with the option of it being performed in a search area which is not open to public viewing.
4.4 All information presented in instructional or briefing videos for the public in a visual format is to be described verbally; and all audible information is to be presented visually.
4.5 Some assistance with the screening process is to be provided to the passenger upon request. Assistance includes, for example, ensuring a passenger is stable while his cane is processed through an X-ray machine, and picking up a boarding pass on the floor if a passenger drops it and has difficulty picking it up.
4.6 A means is to be available to make accessibility services of security agencies or authorities known to travellers. This allows travellers to be aware of what accessibility services are available prior to travel.
4.7 A process is to be in place to deal with public concerns or complaints. Such concerns or complaints are to be treated as expeditiously and effectively as possible. This process is to include a designated person or group to deal with accessibility-related concerns or complaints. Web sites and written materials are also to provide information about this service.
4.8 Public documents are to be available to travellers in multiple formats.
4.9 A means to consult with persons knowledgeable in disability issues is to be in place to deal with accessibility issues as they arise.
Appendix 1 Principles of Universal Design©
The seven Principles of Universal Design© can be used to evaluate existing designs or to guide the design process of new projects. The principles are found below with a description of each (The Center for Universal Design has developed guidelines to accompany the seven principles. These can be found on the Center's Web site, www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud/, and in the Guide which accompanies this Code.).
- PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use
- The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
- PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use
- The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
- PRINCIPLE THREE: Simple and Intuitive
- Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
- PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Information
- The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
- PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error
- The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
- PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Physical Effort
- The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
- PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Size and Space for Approach and Use
- Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility.
The following are some examples of applications of the Principles of Universal Design©:
- curb cuts aid many people including people who use wheelchairs, people with strollers, people with luggage on wheels;
- large print pamphlets and documents are easier to read by everyone;
- low buttons and slots on vending machines make them accessible to everyone including people in wheelchairs, children, and people of short stature;
- low floor buses are easier to use by everyone including children, seniors, and people carrying packages; and
- individual washroom facilities accommodate the needs of persons who use wheelchairs and/or attendants and also provide benefits to parents travelling with young children of the opposite sex, offering changing room facilities and amenities for families.
Appendix 2 Partial list of items included in CAN/CSA-B651 Accessible Design for the Built Environment
- Area allowances (size of clear floor area)
- Operating controls (including height, operation, settings, displays, lighting, colour contrast, signage)
- Floor and ground surfaces (including changes in level, carpeting, gratings)
- Protrusion hazards (including protruding objects, width, height, overhead hazards)
- Circulation (including accessible routes, lineup guides, detectable floor and ground surfaces, hazard indicators, direction indicators, doors and doorways, handrails, stairs, ramps, elevating devices, emergency and security)
- Drinking fountains
- Washroom facilities (including stalls, urinals, lavatories, grab bars, and accessories)
- Communications (including assistive listening systems, public telephones, TTYs, and signage)
- Seating (including spaces at tables and counters, and rest area seating)
- Parking (including signage, designated parking, ticketing/payment machines and passenger pick-up areas)
- Accessible routes
- Pedestrian crossings
- Rest area seating
Note: The annexes contain information on:
Annex A: Environmental considerations (including wayfinding, acoustics, lighting and indoor air quality)
Annex B: Anthropometrics
Annex C: Wheeled mobility devices
Annex D: Potential for slip of floor and tread finishes
Annex E: Elevator requirements for persons with physical disabilities
Appendix 3 Elements to be Included in Contracts for Accessible Ground Transportation
The following key elements are to be included, where applicable, by terminal operators in their contracts with ground transportation service providers such as bus, shuttle or taxi companies (Note that this list is not exhaustive.):
- an accessible vehicle shall be permitted to be called out of the taxi queue to serve travellers with disabilities;
- service animals shall be permitted to accompany the customer in the passenger compartment of the vehicle;
- aids to mobility for persons with disabilities shall be carried consistent with the capability of the vehicle; however, small mobility aids such as walkers, canes, crutches, braces and manually operated folding wheelchairs, are to be carried in all vehicles;
- there will be no extra charge to transport service animals or aids to mobility;
- adapted vehicles are to be available to accommodate the transportation of persons with disabilities using large mobility aids. In cases where a ground transportation service provider does not have the necessary means to transport a person with a disability using a large mobility aid and where alternative means are available by other service providers, the ground transportation service provider must have an agreement with the alternative provider to provide the service. The fee charged to the passenger must not be higher than the fee that would have been charged by the ground transportation service provider had it been able to transport the passenger;
- a process is to be in place to deal with passenger concerns or complaints; and
- training in accordance with the Personnel Training Regulations is required of staff interacting with persons with disabilities.
The following key elements are to be included by terminal operators in their contracts with car rental agencies for hand control systems for vehicles (Note that this list is not exhaustive.):
- hand-control systems are to be available to fill reservations received at least forty-eight hours in advance; however, if a reservation for a vehicle with a hand-control system is received at least forty-eight hours before the vehicle is required and the provider is unable to fulfill the reservation upon the customer's arrival, convenient, alternative transportation shall be arranged until a vehicle with hand-controls is made available and the provider will pay any cost for the alternative transportation that exceeds the cost of renting a vehicle with hand-controls for the same period of time;
- for reservations for a hand-controlled vehicle not received by the provider at least forty-eight hours in advance, the provider will make its best efforts to provide one if one is available at the time the reservation is received;
- hand-control systems shall be provided at no additional cost to the customer;
- hand controls shall meet Canadian Standards Association and other applicable certifications and standards set by regulatory agencies and provincial licensing bodies;
- a process is to be in place to deal with passenger concerns or complaints; and
- training in accordance with the Personnel Training Regulations is required of staff interacting with persons with disabilities.
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