We are working to ensure the accessibility of our systems, services, and environments, in order to remove identified barriers for people with disabilities and provide an inclusive experience for current and future employees and members. In doing so, we are dedicated to actively collaborating with people with disabilities in order to take a long-term, inclusive approach to addressing existing barriers and preventing new ones.
Our commitment to accessibility
Payments Canada is responsible for Canada's payment clearing and settlement infrastructure, including associated systems, by-laws, rules and standards. In fulfilling our mandate, we have a duty to promote the efficiency, safety and soundness of its clearing and settlement systems and take into account the interests of users. Payments Canada convenes and collaborates across the payment ecosystem. Through formalized processes and regular interactions, we work with our member financial institutions, the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada, our national stakeholders and international counterparts to provide and improve the payment clearing and settlement systems in Canada.
In order to do the work that we do, and to collaborate with our members, stakeholders and employees, Payments Canada is committed to creating an inclusive, barrier-free and non-discriminatory work environment to ensure that all staff, including those with disabilities, can effectively and efficiently contribute their skills and experience to deliver on our mandate.
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Areas described under section 5 of the Accessible Canada Act (ACA)
Through consultations conducted with employees with disabilities and subject matter experts, barriers to accessibility were identified along with proposed actions we could take to prevent or remove these barriers. As a result of these consultations, contributors indicated attitudinal, physical, technological, informational and systemic barriers to accessibility within our organization.
At Payments Canada, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion best practices at all stages of the employee lifecycle. We endeavor to create an environment where all employees can thrive.
- The process and grounds on which to request an accommodation are unclear.
- Employees, including management and leadership teams, do not receive adequate accessibility training.
- Offsite team activities, including team‑building or social events, are often designed for people without disabilities and may unintentionally exclude participation by peers with disabilities.
- There are discrepancies between employee self-identification rates and those who identify as having accessibility needs when the reporting is anonymous, indicating a culture where employees do not feel comfortable self-disclosing.
- Increase employee awareness of our Accommodations Policy and process to request an accommodation by launching an internal campaign.
- Provide guidance to management and leadership on leading accessible teams.
- Introduce required accessibility training for all employees on a variety of disability inclusion and accessibility topics.
- Create accessibility requirements for selection of venues hosting offsite events.
- Employees with disabilities will be included in identifying appropriate team-building and offsite activities.
- Enrich our community partnerships in order to better connect with, support and retain job seekers and existing employees with disabilities and enrich our culture around comfort levels of self-identification.
- Benchmark against ACA standards for employment, when made available and where applicable.
At Payments Canada, our goal is to support all of our employees and visitors in barrier-free access to Payments Canada facilities.
An assessment has been completed for our two offices, in Toronto and Ottawa, both of which are leased spaces. These assessments identified a number of barriers and proposed improvements to various built elements.
- Doors, hardware, and mounted devices (e.g., room access ipads, televisions) are not designed for inclusive access for people using mobility devices or with visual impairments.
- A focus on teaming and collaboration spaces has led to a lack of quiet, focus space for those with noise sensitivities.
- Interior circulation (e.g., hallways, locker areas, doors and doorways) are not accessible for those with mobility impairments.
- Signage and wayfinding design is lacking high-contrast and tactile elements.
- Kitchen spaces are not designed for wheelchair use.
- Unassigned seating makes it difficult to manage accommodations.
- Develop an action plan and timeline to address areas identified by accessibility audit and employee consultations.
- Engage with building operations to incorporate accessibility best practices into built areas outside our control.
- Reinforce awareness of the capabilities and function of the hoteling system.
- Benchmark against ACA standards for built environment, where applicable
- CSA/ASC B651:23 published February 2023
Information and communication technologies (ICT)
ICT technologies include items such as websites, email, text messages and computer programs, both those used internally by staff and those for which we are the system operator. Telecommunications include telephone and internet services.
Payments Canada’s goal for information and communications technologies is to ensure that our content meets accessibility guidelines and to provide all users with appropriate and effective tools that enhance capacity and improve efficiency.
- While our systems and supporting services are Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) enabled, more information is required as to the system capabilities as they relate to members' access and use of the platforms.
- E-learning does not include accessibility elements.
- Determine our obligations and technical limitations as they relate to the accessibility of our systems.
- Work on the development plan to enable accessibility functions of our systems once action item 1 has been determined.
- Conduct an accessibility audit of a sampling of e-learning and the training delivery platform (The Key).
- Start implementation of WCAG standards to e-learning including voiceover audio, high contrast, alt descriptions.
- Benchmark existing payment systems against the ACA standards for ICT, when available and where applicable.
Communication, other than ICT
Payments Canada strives to make its internal and external communications accessible to all. As such, our communications tools and properties should reflect the inclusive nature of our organization and our members.
- Lack of awareness organization-wide around requirements for accessibility as it relates to communications.
- The way we communicate, including asset development (eg., graphics, banners, brochures, etc), terminology, language and images we use, may not be inclusive of people with disabilities.
- Corporate guidance on how to create accessible meeting materials, presentations, etc. are not robust and universally used.
- Conduct an accessibility audit for Payments Canada’s corporate intranet site to ensure WCAG compliance.
- Develop an action plan to ensure our communications and marketing activities consider accessibility.
- Share information with all staff on accessible meeting materials and best practices for ensuring engaging meeting experiences for people with disabilities.
- Benchmark external and internal websites against ACA standards for communication, when made available and where applicable.
Procurement of goods, services and facilities
At Payments Canada, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion best practices at all stages of the procurement process. From development of our requirements for goods and services, to our engagement with all of our vendors, to continually reviewing our procurement policies and procedures to reflect these values, we will endeavor to create an environment where any and all potential vendors can become a valued partner of Payments Canada.
- No policy or internal guidelines exist for accessible procurement.
- Employees lack an understanding of accessibility criteria when determining providers of goods, services and facilities.
- Vendor contracts do not currently include accessibility criteria.
- Seek guidance on best practices through outreach and collaboration with supplier councils and other industry experts.
- Integrate accessibility criteria and guidelines into existing procurement processes and policy, where applicable
- Provide training for the procurement team on accessible procurement and ecosystem awareness.
- Add accessibility requirements to vendor agreements and update existing contracts where necessary.
- Benchmark against ACA standards for accessible procurement, when made available.
- Currently, there is no information available on expected timelines for release.
Design and delivery of services and programs
Payments Canada is committed to engaging with persons with disabilities in the design and delivery of our services and programs. Barriers identified in this area were applicable under other areas of section 5 of the ACA and have been reflected in the identified barriers and action items where they were most relevant.
We commit to benchmarking against ACA standards for design and delivery of services and programs when they are made available, and will continue to monitor and expand this area of focus when and where appropriate.
At Payments Canada, our objective is to support our employees and visitors with information regarding accessible transportation to and from our offices and external meeting spaces.
A review of transportation to both our offices, along with external meeting spaces has been completed. The review has identified a number of barriers and proposed improvements to various transportation elements.
- Our office buildings (leased spaces) lack readily available information regarding accessible ramps, curbs, elevators, crosswalks and sidewalks, and adequate vehicle design.
- Accessible parking availability varies between our office locations, and is not openly identified in communications to employees.
- Employees and visitors will be provided with all available information regarding accessible travel to and from our offices and offsite work events.
- Ensure that there is proper information readily available regarding the accessible parking at each of our office locations.
- When choosing locations for external events, availability of accessible transportation and parking will be a requirement.
Throughout the creation of Payments Canada’s Accessibility Plan, we endeavored to consult employees with disabilities and subject matter experts in order to identify barriers and proposed solutions. Attempts to engage with employees with disabilities through live consultations, working groups, etc. resulted in minimal engagement.
The decision was made to solicit feedback through an anonymous survey, allowing employees to participate without the need to self-identify. We received minimal response to this survey which, while the information shared provided helpful feedback, indicated that we have work to do to build a culture where employees with disabilities feel safe disclosing and sharing their experiences.
We will continue to solicit anonymous feedback on accessibility at Payments Canada, and have included actions to address the current culture in our accessibility plan. We will closely monitor incidents, collaborate with employees with disabilities, and ensure we are following requirements and best practices in order to enhance the accessibility of our workplace. Our aim is to provide training for employees and people leaders, and integrate accessibility best practices into our day-to-day operations. Our objective is to create an environment where people with disabilities feel welcomed, included, safe, and where they feel comfortable participating in future exercises to inform accessibility planning.
We welcome feedback on our accessibility plan that will improve the accessibility of our services and practices by email at email@example.com, in person, by mail or by telephone at 613-238-4173.
Constitution Square, Tower II
350 Albert, Suite 800
Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4
145 King Street West, Suite 1005,
Toronto, ON M5H 1J8
Anonymous feedback can be provided through our accessibility feedback form.