Invest in Canada’s 3-year accessibility plan - 2022
Published: December 19, 2022 PDF Version
On this page
- Message from the CEO
- Our context
- Our plan: priority areas, commitments and action plans
- Priority area 1: Employment
- Priority area 2: Built environment
- Priority area 3: Information and communication technologies (ICT)
- Priority area 4: Communication, other than ICT
- Priority area 5: Procurement of goods, services and facilities
- Priority area 6: Design and delivery of programs and services
- Priority area 7: Transportation
- Monitoring and reporting
Message from the CEO
We are proud to share Invest in Canada’s 3-Year Accessibility Plan, based on the Accessible Canada Act and Regulations. We are committed to playing our role in achieving the overarching Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada. In keeping with the principle of “nothing without us”, we have created this plan in consultation with persons with disabilities.
To achieve this strategy, this plan will take action on:
- Enhancing our approach to workplace accommodation
- Ensuring our offices are accessible for employees, clients and the public
- Ensuring that information and communications products are usable by all
- Ensuring that accessibility is considered from the start to finish of the procurement process
- Making the design and delivery of our programs and services as accessible as possible
- Making human resources processes more accessible
- Providing accessibility training
As we modernize our approach to work, including implementing a hybrid work strategy, we learn that organizations can adapt to new priorities. Now is the time that we refocus our attention on the accessibility of our new work environment and removing and preventing barriers so that persons with disabilities can participate seamlessly in Invest in Canada’s programs, services, and employment opportunities.
As we implement this plan, we will monitor and report on our progress every year. We will keep listening to feedback that is provided, and we know the success of this plan will require purposeful and thoughtful changes within the organization.
Invest in Canada is committed to prioritizing the actions of this plan as part of our organization's results and reinforcing the importance of accessibility as part of our organization’s culture.
Accessibility is everyone’s business at Invest in Canada, and I am confident we can achieve these results together.
Chief Executive Officer, Invest in Canada
This Accessibility Plan (“plan”) outlines the strategy of Invest in Canada to prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities as outlined in the Accessible Canada Act (S.C. 2019, c 10), as well as to fulfill Invest in Canada’s own accessibility commitments beyond the regulation.
This is a multi-year, results-based plan outlining the actions Invest in Canada will take to create a barrier-free environment and address accessibility needs of persons with disabilities. As an organization, Invest in Canada recognizes its responsibility to create a welcoming, safe, respectful environment for employees, clients, job candidates and visitors who enter its offices, use its services or access its information. Invest in Canada is committed to ensuring its policies, programs, procedures, environment and services are created as accessible as possible, ensuring compliance with Accessibility regulations.
Feedback process and contact information
Invest in Canada established a process for receiving and addressing feedback regarding the implementation of this Accessibility Plan and barriers experienced by employees and people interacting with the organization. The process is designed to facilitate both anonymous and direct feedback internally and externally.
The designated person to receive feedback at Invest in Canada is the Human Resources Advisor.
Feedback can be shared through any of the following channels:
- call the Human Resources Advisor at 613-407-2139
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- mail us at:
- Human Resources
Invest in Canada
18th floor, 160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, ON. K2P 2P7
- Human Resources
- submit anonymous feedback using this form
You can also use these channels to request this plan, our progress reports or the feedback process in alternative accessible formats.
Invest in Canada is a departmental corporation operating under schedules II and V of the Financial Administration Act. It is a micro-organization consisting of 67 full-time equivalents with an annual operating budget of $34 million. Invest in Canada operates as a national investment promotion agency and therefore has employees located across the country. The organization recently formalized a hybrid work model with employees working from remote locations and in the office. Invest in Canada’s primary clients are global investors therefore many of its programs and services are provided abroad in a variety of languages.
Invest in Canada has three main results designed to achieve its core responsibility:
- Canada is promoted as a foreign direct investment destination.
- Investors are investing or expanding in Canada through the support of Invest in Canada services.
- Partners have access to services and tools to support their investment attraction efforts.
To achieve these results, Invest in Canada works closely with partners and stakeholders within Canada, including provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as the Trade Commissioner service abroad.
Our plan: priority areas, commitments and action plans
Priority area 1: Employment
Invest in Canada is committed to creating and maintaining a healthy, safe, accessible and inclusive workplace. Currently, we are building our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy which will integrate this plan into an intersectional strategy that furthers the experience of all employment equity groups including persons with disabilities. Invest in Canada has a strong case-by-case approach to accommodations at every employment stage and monitors the wider employee experience through accessibility related questions in engagement surveys including the Public Service Employee Survey. While cultural change is a large part of the work ahead, programs and tools have been identified to support employees and candidates with disabilities.
Implement and improve human resources practices to remove and prevent barriers in the recruitment, retention and promotion of persons with disabilities.
The responsibility of the actions below is designated to the Human Resources Advisor.
- Introduce disability management training for Human Resources and managers
- Proactively recruit persons with disabilities through partnerships with employment organizations and associations for targeted recruitment
- Implement a formal accommodation process using the Government of Canada’s Accessibility Passport and communicate the process during onboarding and via the internal SharePoint page
- Create awareness through an internal communications campaign for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- Evaluate barriers in the recruitment and selection process and tools and implement remediation initiatives
- Include duty to accommodate in our mandatory training program for all employees
Priority area 2: Built environment
Creating an accessible built environment helps everyone though it happens through purposeful actions. Invest in Canada is committed to taking the necessary steps to ensuring our work environment is more inclusive and welcoming to employees and visitors. In partnership with Public Services and Procurement Canada and the building management companies, Invest in Canada ensured entrances and hallways of workspaces are accessible. In order to streamline an accessible experience, the following processes and initiatives have been identified.
Create barrier-free access to and the use of Invest in Canada’s workplaces.
The responsibility of the actions below is shared between the Human Resources Advisor and Chief Administrative Officer.
- Formalize the equipment standard with options for ergonomic chairs, sit stand desks and monitor configurations that give employees the opportunity to choose the equipment that works best for them, including the option of an ergonomics assessment to help determine suitable equipment
- Introduce training for individuals who coordinate meetings to assist them in planning and conducting accessible meetings within built environments
- Ensure the Telework Policy supports the needs of employees with disabilities
- Conduct an accessibility assessment of Invest in Canada’s headquarter office to address barriers in meeting spaces, shared spaces, and standard cubical configurations
- Partner with Public Services and Procurement Canada on government-wide changes to office environments
Priority area 3: Information and communication technologies (ICT)
Information technology is more critical than ever to how we work, making it important to provide barrier-free access to information, tools and technology. Barrier-free technologies not only benefits people with disabilities but makes technology easier to use for all. Currently, Invest in Canada’s public facing websites and applications are compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and are compatible with assistive technologies. Using the most up-to-date Microsoft Suite, our employees inherently have access to accessible functionality. Actions have been identified to inform employees of their current tools and identify opportunities for improvement.
Make information and communication technology accessible and inclusive for all.
The responsibility of the actions below is shared between the Director of Communications, the Manager of IM/IT, and the Chief Information Officer.
- Update website to be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.
- Launch awareness campaigns and training sessions to all employees on the accessible functionality of Office 365 for Windows 11
- Conduct an accessibility assessment, followed by any necessary remediation on the following platforms:
- Invest in Canada’s Intranet
- Invest in Canada’s Customer Relationship Management software
Priority area 4: Communication, other than ICT
Accessible communication ensures the same message is getting through to the entire audience without barriers. This is critical to ensuring a team or organization is working towards the same goal and is communicating effectively between each other. Currently, Invest in Canada uses Microsoft Outlook for email and Microsoft Teams for virtual calls and messaging. Both communication platforms have accessible functionality including live captions, speech to text and meeting recording. Recently Invest in Canada implemented a Style Guide that outlines how to use plain and direct language to communicate both internally and externally. To further our efforts in making communications accessible, the following actions have been identified.
Ensure communication from and within the organization can be accessed by all employees and clients.
The responsibility of the actions below is shared between the Director of Communications, the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer and the Manager of IM/IT.
- Ensure documents published under proactive disclosure are accessible
- Implement the Style Guide training video as part of employee onboarding and share as a reminder to all employees
- Implement an accessibility checklist to ensure in-person all-staff meetings and events are accessible
- Inform employees of accessible communication functionality in Office 365 for Windows 11 through an awareness campaign
Priority area 5: Procurement of goods, services and facilities
Whether its through the purchase of physical assets, computer software or professional services, procurement is a key aspect of achieving accessibility. Invest in Canada purchased ergonomic chairs and sit stand desks for all employees in their offices and have made ergonomic assessments available for home offices as we transitioned to hybrid work. In addition, when purchasing computer software and hardware, accessible functionality is prioritized. In order to ensure Invest in Canada has a full picture of the gaps in our procurement process related to accessibility, one key action has been identified.
Make the purchasing process accessible by including an accessibility lens.
The responsibility of the action below is designated to the Director of Finance.
- Formally review the process and platforms used throughout the procurement process, specifically, the software used to receive proposals, proposal evaluation process and scoring methods, and the approach to communicating with vendors
Priority area 6: Design and delivery of programs and services
As an agency who delivers investor services and marketing programs, Invest in Canada must consider the accessibility of programs and services from design to delivery. Currently, Invest in Canada’s marketing campaigns are delivered on web platforms that are compliant to WCAG 2.0. When launching promotional campaigns, the agency of record uses a legibility and readability test as a final stage. In terms of investment facilitation services, more efforts will be identified to improve access to our services for persons with disabilities.
Ensure stakeholders and clients are receiving programs and services that were designed and delivered as accessible as possible.
The responsibility of the action below is designated to the Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer and the Chief of Investor Services.
- Evaluate marketing and communications processes and identify remediation actions where there are gaps
- Evaluate barriers in the user experience of data portals and identify and address actions to remove and prevent barriers
- Ensure services are offered in accessible formats throughout the investment facilitation process
- Plan, conduct and assess external stakeholder survey data regarding the accessibility of programs and services
Priority area 7: Transportation
Providing accessible transportation to persons with disabilities, is outside of Invest in Canada’s operational scope and therefore there is no proposed actions for this plan.
As part of the development of this plan, Invest in Canada consulted with employees who self-identified as persons with disabilities. Virtual one-on-one interviews were performed in 2022 to discuss the barriers within every priority area that they may have experienced since beginning their employment with Invest in Canada. These barriers were taken into consideration in the formulation of this plan.
- Employees highlighted barriers in built environments outside the office, for example, at all-staff meetings or events.
- Accessibility should be considered more formally in investment facilitation and the planning of investor visits.
- The design of branded materials and size of fonts can be a barrier.
- The accommodation process and available equipment should be proactively communicated during the onboarding process.
- Employees appreciated the option of going to their manager or Human Resources to request accommodations and encouraged the organization to keep both avenues in the accommodation process.
- Management should have a better understanding of the accommodation process and their role in accommodations.
- Accessibility should be considered more formally when planning marketing events.
In addition, virtual interviews were performed with the leaders responsible for priority areas including the Procurement, Information Technology and Marketing and Communications teams. These interviews helped create a full picture of what Invest in Canada is currently doing, and where opportunities for improvement exist.
- While the Marketing and Communications team currently considers accessibility in their campaigns, the organization should formalize and document these processes to ensure accessibility is applied correctly and consistently.
- The Information Technology team sources accessible software used internally but the functionality of the software should be better understood by all employees. There is opportunity to evaluate external-facing platforms.
- The Procurement team has yet to embed accessibility into their processes and the organization should take time to understand where improvements may be required.
Invest in Canada is committed to surveying external stakeholders to ensure the design and delivery of our programs and services are as accessible as possible. A survey will be developed and deployed to inform the next iteration Invest in Canada’s Accessibility Plan.
Monitoring and reporting
This 3-year plan includes a wide variety of activities that will be foundational for Invest in Canada as we reinforce and embed accessibility into our work and culture.
Invest in Canada will continue to monitor the results of the accessibility related questions in employee engagement surveys including the Public Service Employee Survey to understand the experience of employees overall and to highlight any obstacles being experienced.
The actions in this plan will be integrated into the organization’s business plan and will be assigned to the responsible business unit. The progress of this plan will be monitored through the business plan evaluation process.
In accordance with the Accessible Canada Act and Regulations, we will publish an updated accessibility plan every 3 years. Progress reports will be published every year in between. In our progress reports, we will present an overview of the feedback we have received and how we have used it.
The degree to which a product, service, program or environment can be accessed or used by all. (Source: Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada)
Any change in the work environment that allows a person with functional limitations to do their job. Accommodations can be temporary, periodic or long-term, including:
- adjusting the physical workspace
- adapting the equipment or tools
- working flexible hours or job-sharing
- moving the workspace
- working from home
- removing or changing some non-essential tasks for others
- time off for medical appointments
- assistive or adaptive device/technology
A device, system or equipment designed to help a person do a task. Examples include canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, hearing aids and personal emergency response systems. They can also be IT-related items such as screen-reading software. (Source: Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada)
Anything that hinders the full and equal participation in society of persons with an impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation. Barriers can be physical, architectural, technological, attitudinal or based on information or communications. They can also be the result of a policy or practice. (Source: Accessible Canada Act)
Any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication, or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent, temporary, or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society. (Source: Accessible Canada Act)
- Persons with disabilities (PWD)
“Persons who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric, or learning impairment and who
(a) consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or
(b) believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment,
and includes persons whose functional limitations owing to their impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace.” (Source: Employment Equity Act)
Providing employment equity information for statistical purposes. The federal public service uses this information to monitor the progress of employment equity groups and to report on workforce representation. (Source: Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada)