March 17, 2022
VIA RAIL’S 2022-2025 ACCESSIBILITY PLAN CHARTS THE COURSE FOR A MORE ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
With the tabling of this plan VIA Rail establishes itself as a leader in supporting the Government of Canada’s vision of creating a barrier-free Canada by 2040
MONTRÉAL, March 17th, 2022 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is proud to be the first Crown Corporation to table its 2022-2025 accessibility plan with the Government of Canada. The Corporation is determined to be Canada’s most accessible national and inter-city mode of transportation and driven by the mindset that it’s time to create a barrier-free travel experience from reservation to destination. VIA Rail’s multi-year plan charts the course for a more accessible and inclusive experience for employees at work and for passengers along their journey.
Across Canada 6.2 million people, or 22 per cent of the population, identify as having a disability, and this number is projected to increase as the population ages. “VIA Rail is committed to tailoring our services to these changing demographics.” said Cynthia Garneau President and Chief Executive Officer. “We understand the importance of listening to our passengers as we work toward offering barrier-free transport, which is why we consulted a wide range of advocacy groups as we developed this plan to make sure we were capturing the needs and expectations of the diverse Canadian population.”
Building on VIA Rail’s universal accessibility policy, this multi-year plan is the Corporation’s first ever accessibility plan and aims to make accessibility a key component in every decision-making process.
Highlights of the 2022-2025 accessibility plan include:
- The creation of American Sign Language (ASL) and la Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) videos on VIA Rail’s website.
- Ongoing accessibility awareness training for all our employees, from on-train service, to customer care, to office employees and executives.
- Improved equity in recruitment by removing bias in the hiring process and making our accessible hiring policy more visible to job seekers.
- An accessible procurement process to incorporate accessibility early on in decision making before projects are launched.
“VIA Rail teams have been working to improve accessibility for years ahead of this plan,” said Ben Marc Diendéré, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer. “Whether it's the new fleet of trains that will deliver an unparalleled, barrier-free and fully accessible travel experience, on-board announcements, or accessibility improvements to the Ottawa station, we have taken important actions already and will continue to ensure that we work to create an environment in which all people can travel autonomously and confidently.”
In addition to reaching out for feedback on our plan and its projects, VIA Rail has also assembled a Universal Accessibility Advisory Committee. This Committee is comprised of various groups who defend the rights of people with disabilities and it will be instrumental to planning Via Rail’s future accessibility projects.
VIA Rail is determined to continuously learn from its passengers, its employees, and its Universal Accessibility Advisory Committee to remove existing barriers, prioritize solutions and become agents of transformation to foster a culture of respect, dignity, and inclusivity. As we wanted to implement a seamless and easy feedback process, all information on how to offer feedback and our contact information can be found in a dedicated section right at the start of the multi-year plan.
You can consult the full 2022-2025 accessibility plan in electronic, large print or audio format on our website: https://www.viarail.ca/en/plan/accessibility
You can also request a copy of the plan in any of the above formats or in Braille by contacting us through one of the following channels:
- Phone: 1-888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or TTY 1 800 268-9503 for people who are D/deaf, deafened, or hard-of-hearing
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail: Customer Relations Officer
- VIA Rail Canada Inc. CP/PO BOX 8116 SUCC CENTRE-VILLE Montréal (Québec) H3C 3N3