Please note this toolkit is also available as a pdf that can be downloaded here.


This toolkit is brought to you by CAWI and EnviroCentre and made possible through the Ottawa Climate Equity initiative, a program led by the Ottawa Climate Action Fund jointly managed with Ecology Ottawa and funded in part by the Government of Canada. To learn more about this initiative visit

We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the members of our Expert Panel on Accessibility. The panel members are all engaged citizens with lived experience of disability. They graciously shared their experience and wisdom to create this toolkit.

Members of the committee include (alphabetically)

  • Kathleen Fortin
  • Cathy Hamilton
  • Zeinab Mohamed
  • Peggy Nesbitt
  • Terri-Lee Rayvals-Mele
  • Carley Richards
  • Linda Tripp

Local production team: Laura Shantz (Civic Engagement Coordinator, CAWI), Vita Sgardello (Communications Manager, EnviroCentre) 

The members of the team that created this toolkit are living and working on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinaabe territory. We are grateful for our presence on this land. We recognize that settlers in this territory have done significant ecological damage, destroying habitat and contaminating the soil and water. Settlers have also often excluded and marginalized populations including Indigenous People, other communities of colour, disabled people, those living on low incomes, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and others. We are committed to doing our best to undo this damage and to reconcile with the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation to ensure that the people and the land remain for future generations.

A note on language

This document uses identity first language, and as such will refer to disability using terms such as “disabled people” and “deaf people.” This language recognizes that for many disabled people, being disabled is an important part of their identity and that they would not be who they are without their disability.

It is important to note that some people prefer person-first language, such as “person with a disability” or “person who is deaf.” Others prefer avoiding disability language altogether and will simply talk about accessible and inaccessible practices. When you reach out to the disability community, it is important to recognize that language has meaning and that different people may prefer different language. Choose your words carefully and thoughtfully, and be flexible to accommodate people’s preferences and identities.

Who is this toolkit for?

This is a toolkit for climate organizations who are looking to be more accessible and welcoming to people with accessibility needs or disabilities. The guide offers suggestions and tools to help you reflect on accessibility and to improve practices within your organization.

This guide is a starting point; organizations can work on accessibility in ways that are most relevant to the way they operate. Some climate organizations are staffed by volunteers working on shoestring budgets (or nonexistent ones), while others have physical office space and employ many staff. However, all organizations can be mindful of accessibility and work to create more open and inclusive environments for staff, volunteers and participants.

What is Accessibility?

Simply put, accessibility means ensuring that an organization’s policies, planning and actions are welcoming and inclusive of a diverse range of abilities and lived experiences. When we think about accessibility, it is important to recognize that many people have different experiences of the world due to disability and difference. While they may have different needs, their voices are no less important. They offer different perspectives and viewpoints which are essential to an inclusive climate dialogue.

It is important to note that the rights of disabled individuals are specifically protected under section 15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They are also protected by provisions in the Canadian Human Rights Act and all provincial and territorial human rights acts. Despite these protections, disability is often linked to discrimination: differing abilities are often excluded in big or small ways, are tokenized, or often lead to different forms of inclusion and exclusion. When we consider experiences of disability, we need to think in terms of intersectionality. The term was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in reference to the exclusion of Black women from the feminist movement. Patricia Hill Collins used the concept to highlight how various forms of oppression are bound together. Now, we use the term to recognize that advantage and oppression are tied to various attributes (age, gender, race, skin colour, religion, weight, language, where a person lives) which can amplify privilege or exclusion and disadvantage.

While this toolkit foregrounds accessibility for everyone and particularly for disabled people, it is important to also ask questions about diversity and inclusion more broadly within organizations. After all, ability is not the only way that people can be excluded. Increasing diversity in all its forms is a worthwhile goal. City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) has produced guides on equity, diversity and inclusion[1] for those wishing to think more broadly about equity.

Training associated with provincial legislation like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act can help your organization to improve accessibility, but that legislation is written with the presumption that someone who needs accessibility accommodations has already engaged with a business or organization. It does not help to lay the groundwork for an accessible and inviting environment.

Why an Accessibility and Inclusion Toolkit?

The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability found that more than 6 million Canadians over the age of 15, or 22% of the population, self-identify as having a disability. The actual rate of disability is likely higher still, as not everyone will self-identify or may be considered disabled according to the government’s definition even if not by their own.[2] Disability manifests in many ways. It can affect one’s physical function (e.g., mobility, motor control, dexterity), hearing, vision, mental health, cognitive function, sensory processing and stamina. Disability may be temporary or permanent, and may affect people intermittently or constantly. Of note, even when a disabled person has intermittent good days with high function, the person is still considered disabled.

As disability touches such a significant share of the population, it is easy to see that climate action must consider accessibility in all its forms in order to advance an equitable and inclusive agenda for change. The climate movement cannot leave one fifth of the country out of the conversation.

Getting Started

Improving accessibility takes time and effort. It can be difficult to know where to start or what to do first, especially for small organizations. There may be pressure to move quickly, instead of taking the time to reflect as an organization and to make accessibility changes that best meet the community around your organization.

Recognize Your Power and Privilege

In order to improve accessibility and inclusion, it is important to reflect on your privileges and how they impact how you experience the world. Everyone has a range of abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Do you live with chronic pain? Can you stand? Can you stand for more than five minutes without needing to sit? Are your energy and motivation levels stable? Do you have an easy time focusing on a screen or reading a book? Are you able to hear and process what people around you are saying? Can you make decisions big and small without excess stress? Do you have full use of your hands, arms, legs and feet?

Similarly, think about privilege. Disability has strong correlations with living on a low income. Do you have safe and stable housing? Is it accessible to you? Do you have access to sufficient, healthy, fresh and culturally appropriate food every day of the month? Do you have access to a computer? Do you have a healthy support system of friends, family and community? Can you afford any needed prescriptions, dental care, eye care, therapy or other health-care related costs?

Often the experience of disability involves being shut out of important conversations and not having one’s experiences and perspectives considered valuable. Reflect on the privilege and power of having your voice heard. Are you considered a subject matter expert? Do you have authority within your community? When you speak, who listens? How do you use this power?

Activity: Understanding Privilege

To better understand your own privilege, take a look at the wheel diagram below, developed by CAWI and the City of Ottawa as part of their Equity and Inclusion Lens Handbook. All the factors listed are examples of reasons that you may experience relative advantage or disadvantage compared to others.

It is important to note that some of these personal factors may be advantages and disadvantages at different points in your life, and that some of these factors (income, ability, immigration status, job tenure, etc.) may change over time.

Diagram illustrating examples of reasons that you may experience relative advantage or disadvantage compared to others

Source: City of Ottawa and CAWI, 2018[3]

Underline factors that give you relative advantage over others.

Circle factors that give you relative disadvantage.

How can you use your advantages to support others?

An Organizational Self-Audit

When thinking about accessibility in your organization, where do you start? A helpful place is to reflect on your current practices as well as past actions and events to determine what is already going well and what could be improved.

In terms of your current practices, ask:

  • What are you doing to be accessible? (be specific)
  • Do you currently have any members/staff/volunteers with accessibility needs? If so, how are you meeting their needs? Have you checked in to ensure that you are meeting their needs in the best way possible?
  • Is your online content accessible?
  • Are your messaging and communications inclusive of a range of experiences and abilities?

When thinking about past events (conferences, marches, gatherings, education sessions), ask:

  • Did you reach out to participants to find out if they had any accommodation needs?
  • If so, which accommodations? For whom? How were they addressed?
  • Did your organization consult with people with various accessibility needs? Who? What was done to address their concerns?
  • Did your organization review your accessibility accommodations after the event to learn what worked well and how it could be improved?

Creating a Welcoming Environment

Getting a diverse representation of voices and abilities around the table is not always easy. It can be challenging to develop a good understanding about why disabled individuals are not currently involved, or not involved to a greater extent. It takes time and energy, as well as looking through the lens of the disability community to understand the challenges they face each day.

Remember, people who have different accessibility needs are not, de facto, vulnerable or marginalized. Rather, they are marginalized by the system in which they live and made vulnerable due to a lack of accommodation, support and recognition of their needs.[4]

Who will take responsibility?

Even in small and volunteer-run organizations, having a knowledgeable point person who will be accountable for ensuring accessibility is important. This helps to streamline engagement from the service user’s perspective: they can have a single point of contact within the organization instead of checking in with different people for each meeting or activity that they attend. This also helps to ensure accountability for the organization so that accessibility needs are not overlooked or forgotten.

Physically Accessible Offices

If your organization has physical office space, there are individuals and organizations that can work with you to conduct an accessibility audit. These audits help to determine what works from an accessibility perspective and what needs to improve.

The Rick Hansen Foundation is one such organization offering accessibility audits to organizations of all sizes, and currently offers free accessibility audits to nonprofit organizations and charities in certain Ontario cities.

Rick Hansen Foundation:

Workers’ Mental Health

One in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or illness each year.[5] This can affect workers’ and volunteers’ ability to work and their performance on the job, and to participate in a consistent manner. For example, it can be difficult for someone to commit to a fixed number of hours per week when their energy levels or mental health vary from day to day or week to week. Some people will need accommodations for weeks when they are not able to work/participate as fully as they would like.

Having access to mental health care can also be an important factor in terms of attracting and retaining workers. Workplace health and wellness plans that include psychological support, emergency counselling and medication coverage are very helpful for those who are living with mental illness.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) offers training and tools to help organizations better support their employees and volunteers in taking care of their mental health and in managing mental illness.

The CMHA also has a social enterprise that offers workplace mental health training

Meaningful Participation

While it is not necessary for everyone to participate in the same way at the same time, it is essential to ensure that participation — in all its forms — has value for both the participants and the organization. If there are different possibilities for participation, these options should be communicated when anyone is invited into the organization or reaches out, or when engaging with a disability service organization.

It is okay to not have a long list of participation methods prepared for people with various accommodation needs. Instead, think about the skills that are needed to do various jobs, not about what cannot be done. If a volunteer is looking for opportunities to contribute, think about the potential volunteer’s skills before thinking about their limitations. A short conversation about their interests and skills could help them to find a satisfying opportunity.

If you do not know what different types of accommodations could be required or should be offered, you may wish to think about the various challenges listed below. Your organization can think of additional challenges that may be posed by their specific activities and ways to eliminate or mitigate the challenge. Additionally, disabled individuals are the experts on themselves. When in doubt, it is always best practice to ask: “how can we best accommodate you?”

ChallengePotential Solutions
Long meetingsShorter meetingsOffer opportunities for giving one-on-one feedback outside the meetingTimed agendas so that people can arrive and leave for the parts that are most relevant to themScheduled breaks
Speakers who talk quietly or are difficult to understand; Meeting rooms with poor acoustics or layouts that make listening more difficultOffer sound amplification for those who might be deaf or hard of hearing, or who otherwise have trouble following the conversation
Content only available in one format (e.g., auditory, written)Offer content in a variety of formats or which can be easily adapted (e.g., text that is formatted for a screen reader; offering video/audio content with closed captions)
Inaccessible venuesWhen possible, choose barrier-free venues or ensure that barriers are mitigated or avoided while offering equal participation (e.g., offering online and virtual participation with equal contribution opportunities)
Inflexible timingOffering a range of times for participation, or organizing asynchronous activities when possible (e.g., reviewing a document and providing feedback at one’s own pace instead of during a meeting)
High-level content (e.g., technical content about climate change)Offering plain language summaries, glossaries of terms and background resources to make materials easier to understand and invite participation of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.Highlight key information in different colours so that it can easily be found and understood.Offering a variety of resources aimed at different audiences so everyone feels included

Beware of over-accommodation

While it is very important to ensure that everyone is included and has the accommodations that they need to participate fully in activities, it is also important to ensure that their participation as an equal is invited and encouraged. Over-accommodation can feel patronizing and tokenizing. This can happen when people make assumptions about someone’s level of ability or about how they experience their disability.

It is always best to ask about individual accommodations instead of making assumptions. Disabled individuals can communicate their needs to you, and your organization can inform them about the range of accommodations available.

If you need more information in order to accommodate someone

You may receive a request for accommodation that is vague or where you do not know what will need to change in order to make sure that the person can participate. In these cases, you will want to clarify needs in a sensitive and thoughtful way. Think about how you phrase any requests for more information about someone’s disability. Remember that your honest desire to accommodate them well may feel like you are prying into their personal lives or invading their privacy. Ask questions respectfully and explain why you need more information.

It is important to remember that not everyone with a disability wants to explain all about their disability. Many people will have endured experiences where their disabilities are minimized or ignored. Especially for those with hidden disabilities, asking questions that could imply that their disability is not severe or is not real is very hurtful.


Climate advocacy is incredibly important in terms of raising awareness of key issues and building consensus. However, successful advocacy is inclusive and needs to demonstrate an awareness of the audience. In this way, it is important to understand and incorporate perspectives from the disability community and to reflect on how calls to action might impact accessibility for diverse groups.

We also know that there have been significant tensions between the disability community and the climate action community in the past over issues including, for example, whether or not to ban plastic drinking straws[6], and the value of packaged convenience foods.[7] Climate groups are sharing important messages about reducing our reliance on plastics and minimizing the amount of CO2 that Canadians put into the atmosphere. Accessibility and disability groups also raise important issues about their rights, independence and their participation and acceptance in society. Unfortunately, these debates have often resulted in anger and animosity instead of a search for mutually beneficial solutions.

Look for Commonalities

Frequently, there is a lack of big picture thinking about the environmental impact of disabled people. Oftentimes, they are already living low-carbon lifestyles and are mindful of how their choices impact the planet. For example, many disabled individuals live on low incomes: according to Statistics Canada, disabled individuals make up 41% of the low-income population.[8] As a result, they are less likely to engage in carbon-intensive activities like air travel and personal vehicle use. Having smaller homes also means that their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are up to 25% lower than those of people who live in larger homes.[9] Furthermore, they are more likely to have reduced consumption overall compared to others, and will generally reuse items whenever possible, and make good use of recycling and compost programs when they exist and are accessible.

Who is around your table?

When organizations set out advocacy plans, it is important to first think about who is doing the organizing, and who they are organizing for. While organizations often intend to be inclusive, they are not always considering ways that they can be welcoming and inclusive of the entire community. Unintentional exclusions may make climate advocacy seem like it is only targeted at middle-class, white, able-bodied people. Often, disabled individuals are forgotten or overlooked in planning.

To be more inclusive, ask yourself, “Who is missing from this discussion?”

It is not always easy to see who is not included, or who is excluded by structural and systemic barriers. If meetings are online and not closed-captioned, for example, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, who are deafblind, or who have disabilities that make computers more difficult to use may be excluded, even though technology can reduce the barriers to participation for people who have limited mobility.

How can the views of groups who were previously excluded, even unintentionally, be welcomed to the table and integrated in a meaningful, non-tokenized way? Inviting people with accessibility needs to the table, with an invitation that allows them to set expectations for their involvement is a great starting point.

Accessible Events

There are many factors to consider when creating accessible events. The province or territory in which you operate may have some requirements in terms of accessibility. For example, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires that accommodations be made for individuals with accessibility needs.

Active Participation

How are people invited to engage at your event? Having multiple options for being involved, such as participating in a discussion, adding notes to a collective flip chart or online collaboration tool, or listening to presentations and then sharing their thoughts after they have had time to reflect and process the information could all be ways that someone could feel included and made comfortable in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar environment.

Ask in Advance!

One of the easiest ways to be accessible is to ask participants in an event to indicate any accessibility needs when they register or sign up to participate. Asking about accessibility needs can be as easy as adding a line to a registration form, or offering an email address and phone number where participants can reach out to identify their accessibility needs. Offering a telephone option is important for those who do not have internet access or who feel more comfortable talking to a person. Keeping it simple is important! There may be people who require assistance but who do not self-identify at registration. Being ready to accommodate people as the event happens is important.

If your event does not require registration, it is likewise important to be ready to accommodate everyone. It is better to be over-prepared than to exclude someone.

Physical Accessibility

When we think of accessibility, often the first thing to come to mind is ensuring that there are ramps for people who use wheelchairs and walkers. Physical accessibility is a great place to start, but goes beyond these measures. Think about the different ways that people might want to move through a space, and about how different disabilities could affect that. Remember, not only people with wheelchairs and walkers need access; some individuals will also have difficulty with smooth but uneven ground, will need to find short and direct ways to get from point A to B, will require support with wayfinding, and will need places to sit and rest along the way. Often people with hearing disabilities will be better served if they can see everyone else in the room, or at least those who are speaking.

While a location may be considered accessible to some, doing a walkabout of a venue, of the route of a march, or of a park area where an activity is planned can help to highlight inaccessible elements that might create barriers for people with accessibility needs and limit their participation.

For example, if a person using a wheelchair has to find a separate entrance and navigate through a confusing detour to find the same room that is easily accessible by stairs, the venue might be “accessible” but is not inviting participation from people with mobility limitations. At a minimum, there needs to be clear signage and a similar welcome at the accessible entrance.

Do you have a designated person waiting outside to help people navigate to the assigned room? It is important to remember that people relying on accessible transit are sometimes late due to the transit service and may have difficulty accessing a room that has already been closed.

Does your agenda leave enough time for people to navigate extra distances, to take longer breaks for snacks and washrooms to reflect that these activities may take longer for them?

Are there water bowls and nearby outdoor grass areas available to accommodate the needs of service dogs?

Having people designated to help those with mobility limitations navigate a crowd and find their seating can also help.

Are there places to sit? For some with mobility limitations, walking does not present a problem but standing still can be very painful. Ensuring that there are accessible places to sit at your venue, preferably with at least minimal shelter from the elements if outdoors, will help to ensure that people feel comfortable.

If you are renting space at a venue for your event, the venue likely already has an accessibility plan. Hotels, conference centres and community centres already have taken measures to ensure accessibility in line with provincial and territorial requirements. You can ask specifically about accessibility when you book space to determine what supports are provided by the venue and what you may need to provide yourself. These venues may be ready to provide important accommodations such as scent-free environments, a range of meal and food options to accommodate dietary restrictions, and a range of chairs to meet the needs of various participants (e.g., sturdy chairs with arms for those who have difficulty standing, solid seats for people who are overweight, etc.).

Visual Accessibility

At your event, are people expected to read written information, including signs?

Is the signage prominently displayed, using a large, clear font and high contrast? Does it include pictograms for quick identification, especially for those with reading disabilities or who do not have a strong mastery of English? Are volunteers and staff educated in how to appropriately guide blind and low vision participants without invading their personal space?

Sensory Accessibility

If you are organizing an event, especially a large one, are you planning for people who need sensory accommodations?

Accommodation can start with thinking about how all of someone’s senses will be stimulated during an event, and offering sensory-friendly spaces and activities for those who find crowds, large spaces, noisy events or other sensory inputs to be overwhelming. If someone needs a break due to sensory overload, is there a quiet place for them to go? Is there a way for them to catch up when they return, such as ensuring there is a recording that can be shared later? What accommodations are there for those who need a slower pace?

Sensory accommodation involves both the physical space as well as thinking about your agenda. How strict and fast-moving is your agenda? Are there breaks and unstructured time so that people can decompress, seek quiet and reduce stimulation?

Finding ways to help reduce sensory overload, including offering earplugs, setting aside a quiet, scent-free space with gentle lighting, including some unstructured time or offering a solitary or small group activity, can help people with sensory processing difficulties or with sensitivities to sound, light and overstimulation.

Sensory Friendly Solutions offers a free guide to creating a sensory friendly event:

Sign Language Interpretation

While not everyone who is deaf or hard of hearing understands Sign language, having Sign language interpretation available is an excellent way to ensure that more people have equal access to the information being shared at an event. For many, Sign is a first language and is essential for comprehending subject matter, especially in long meetings or events. Interpretation needs will differ depending on the length of the event, the nature of the information shared and the language(s) spoken.

The Ontario Association of the Deaf has put together a guide to help those interested in hiring an interpreter.

The Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI) is a membership organization for Sign language interpreters and has an interpreter directory to help those looking for interpretation services. Most interpreters are American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, but the directory includes a range of interpreters:

L’Association québécoise des interprètes en langues des signes (AQILS) also offers a directory of interpretation services for those looking for langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) interpretation for a French or bilingual event:

Sound Amplification

Hearing loss is a very common phenomenon, and is often undiagnosed. Offering proper sound amplification can make an event or meeting easier to understand and welcoming to more people, including those who do not identify needing an accommodation. You may be able to use a single microphone, passed around, to allow many different people to take turns talking, or you may sometimes need to repeat questions from the audience into a microphone if there is only one fixed microphone. Either way, having clear sound will help your message to get across clearly to everyone.

Safety Planning

While it is not often discussed in terms of accessibility, people who struggle with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder may need additional support to attend events. Having a safety plan in place and clearly communicated is an easy first step to help individuals with PTSD, panic disorders, anxiety, and other physical and mental health challenges feel more comfortable with participating. These measures are also very helpful to those who have health conditions that may affect their participation, from medical conditions that increase their susceptibility to heat exhaustion to disabilities that are invisible but which can flare up, such as experiencing severe migraine headaches or vertigo attacks.

A safety plan should outline measures in place for any health emergencies or for any situations that may be stressful or dangerous. It should identify who will be present to help (first aid, route marshalls, etc.) and how these individuals can be identified. It may also include some information about what to do in the case of counterprotests or police action, if these possibilities are relevant to your event.

The Ontario Federation of Labour has produced a guide on safe protesting and knowing your rights. While a safety plan for arrest may not need to be part of the plan for your activity, their guide has many useful tips that you may wish to communicate to help people feel safe and supported.

Your safety plan should also include non-police emergency numbers. Do not call 911 for someone having a mental health crisis unless absolutely necessary; police may escalate the situation. Check with your local mental health services to find out what number would be most appropriate to call in case of a mental health emergency.

Websites and Printed Materials

Plain language writing for accessibility

While academic and research language is appropriate for some audiences, this content excludes many who might want to engage. Plain language is very helpful to ensure that your materials are broadly accessible, including to youth, to those with low literacy levels and to people who do not have strong English-language skills.

Not all content needs to be available in plain language, but having summaries or information available at an accessible level helps your organization to reach a wider audience, while also leaving space for including more technical and high-level documents.

Many online guides offer help in simplifying and transforming content. The Government of Canada’s Translation Bureau has created a plain language guide to make their documents more accessible for everyone.

Is your written content accessible?

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind has crafted guidelines to ensure that written content is accessible to people with vision loss, including font and presentation suggestions to guide you in developing printed and online content.

Accessibility at CNIB:

Is your website easily read with a screen reader?

For those with vision impairments, not all sites are created equally. There are specific accessibility requirements that websites of medium and large organizations must meet, but which can be adopted by organizations of any size.

World Wide Web Consortium

Are videos closed-captioned?

Online meeting services including Adobe Connect, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and others offer live closed captions for meetings and online events. These captions can be instantly generated, but sometimes have errors. Therefore, if using automatically generated captions they mustbe edited for accuracy. Captions are not accessible if they do not mirror what is being said in the video. In some of these tools, you may need to purchase an upgraded version in order to access closed captions.

For content that will be permanently hosted on the web, many companies offer closed captioning services to create highly accurate captions that can be added before your video is uploaded to a web platform.

In addition to these considerations, you may wish to think about having some of your materials translated into other languages. Even if your audience is all comfortable in English, they may wish to share information more widely.

Creating an inclusive environment

Being inclusive and welcoming involves thinking about potential barriers to inclusion and addressing them in ways that welcome participation in an equitable and meaningful way.

As you continue on your path toward greater accessibility, you may wish to reach out to local organizations that advocate or work on behalf of people with disabilities and accessibility needs. Creating these networks helps to build a stronger community for everyone.

Making your organization more accessible may feel overwhelming at first. There are many things to consider, and it is not easy to make major changes overnight. Remember, even small changes that help you to be more accessible will help everyone. Your organization will be more aware of the community that it serves. You will be welcoming a greater diversity of abilities and experiences to the table. And, you will be helping to create a social climate that welcomes disabled people wherever they go.

We do not work alone when we are trying to limit the impacts of climate change. By making your organization more accessible to the 22% of adults who are living with disabilities, you are taking strides to ensure that they are included, and that they can be part of an equitable and inclusive solution to our climate crisis.


Here is a list of organizations and resources that may be of interest to you as you learn more about accessibility and welcoming individuals of all abilities to work with you. Many organizations work both nationally and locally, providing both advocacy and individual services and support. You can also search for other organizations in your community.

Canadian Association for the Deaf

Canadian Mental Health Association

Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc.

Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

Chronic Pain Association of Canada

Council of Canadians With Disabilities

Hire for Talent

Inclusion Canada

Rick Hansen Foundation:

Spinal Cord Injury Canada

[1] City of Ottawa and City for All Women Initiative, 2018. Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities.

[2] Employment and Social Development Canada, Making an Accessible Canada for People with Disabilities. 2021

[3] City of Ottawa and City for All Women Initiative. Equity and Inclusion Lens Handbook, 2018 Edition. Ottawa: City for All Women Initiative.

[4] Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians. The Social Model of Disability Explained.

[5] Canadian Mental Health Association. Fast Facts about Mental Health and Mental Illness.

[6] See, for example: Grayson Schulz, How Plastic Straw Bans Affect People with Disabilities,

[7] Crippled Scholar, When Accessibility Gets Labeled Wasteful,

[8] Wall, Katherine, Low income among persons with a disability in Canada, Statistics Canada

[9] University of Michigan. Homes of wealthy Americans have carbon footprints 25% higher than lower-income residences.