Barriers to accessibility are obstacles that make it difficult - or sometimes impossible - for people with different abilities to fully participate in school, work, social situations or receive health services.

Barriers usually develop because accessibility needs are not considered. The Region’s Accessibility Planning Committee needs to understand what are the barriers to accessibility in our healthcare facilities. Then we can identify ways to improve.

There are many different types of barriers, both visible and invisible. The following are a few examples.


ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS - may result in people with disabilities being treated differently than people without disabilities (e.g., talking to an individual's support person assuming the individual with a disability will not be able to understand; assuming a person who has a speech impairment or speaks a different language cannot understand you; thinking a person with an intellectual or mental health disability cannot make decisions, etc.).

INFORMATIONAL AND COMMUNICATION BARRIERS - arise when a person with a disability cannot easily receive and /or understand information available to others (e.g., print is too small to be read by a person with impaired vision; public address systems alert only people who can hear, etc.).

TECHNOLOGICAL BARRIERS - occur when technology, or the way it is used, is not accessible (e.g., websites not accessible to people who are blind and use screen reader software; accepting only online registration forms for programs, etc.).

SYSTEMIC BARRIERS - are policies, practices or procedures that result in some people receiving unequal access or being excluded (e.g., not considering the needs of persons with disabilities at the event planning stage; not being aware of policies that support accessibility, etc.).

PHYSICAL AND ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS - in the environment prevent physical access for people with disabilities (e.g., a door knob cannot be turned by a person with limited mobility or strength; aisles are narrowed by displays or equipment making them impassable by a person using a wheelchair or walker, etc.).

Thinking about where you work or you receive care. . .

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* 1. I have experienced or witnessed attitudinal barriers

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* 2. I have experienced or witnessed informational and communication barriers

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* 3. I have experienced or witnessed technological barriers

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* 4. I have experienced or witnessed systemic barriers

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* 5. I have experienced or witnessed physical and architectural barriers

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* 6. Considering a very broad range of needs and abilities, I feel that I am a person with a disability that requires an accommodation. (Answer not required)

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* 7. Select your top 3 priorities for our Regional Accessibility Plan.

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* 8. Please feel free to add any information you think will help the Region’s Accessibility Planning Committee develop the Region’s Accessibility Plan.