Disabilities come in a wide variety of forms, and many of them (e.g., deafness, learning disabilities) are not visible

Approximately 3.8 million people in Canada have a disability. Disabilities come in a wide variety of forms, and many of them (e.g., deafness, learning disabilities) are not visible. This is why inclusive design is important, to ensure everyone can access the products and services they need. Promoting inclusion allows people with diverse skills, abilities and experiences to offer different viewpoints and ideas. And by focusing on people’s capabilities, we can create equal opportunities for everyone and learn from each other along the way.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 10 Canadians has a learning disability.

  • More than 25% of workers with disabilities do not tell their employer.

  • 55 athletes represented Team Canada in the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games.
  • In 2018, Google Maps added wheelchair-accessible routes to their transit navigation.

The importance of accessibility and inclusion

Accessibility is often taken for granted, but it affects us all. Every day, each of us, no matter our abilities, enjoys the benefits of products, devices, services and environments that have been created or adapted to be more accessible. We each take advantage of these benefits without thinking about what may have existed before and who may have been left out.

When it comes to people, there’s no such thing as “normal.” All humans are growing, changing and adapting to the world around them every day. Accessibility features like curb cuts, automatic doors and texture tape on stairs are all part of this system of adaptations that help all people move through the world with fewer barriers.

By promoting tolerance and acceptance, and treating everyone with respect and dignity, you can help people feel safe and valued. In addition, by appreciating your community’s diversity, you can expand your horizons as you and other people share your different identities. By valuing and supporting each other’s differences, we break boundaries as we build an open and meaningful environment that fosters learning, sharing and understanding.

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