Providing an accessible airport for everyone is one of our top priorities. This week, as Canada marks National AccessAbility Week, we are proud to launch our new three-year Accessibility Plan, Beyond Accessibility. This comprehensive plan provides a framework for us to continue and improve our long-standing efforts to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible travel experience for people of all abilities.

For more than 30 years, YVR has been at the forefront of delivering inclusive and accessible facilities and guest services for people of all abilities. Beyond Accessibility builds on this commitment and inspires us to look beyond regulatory requirements and continue to play a leadership role in delivering an inclusive and accessible airport experience.

Our new plan was co-developed with input from our community partners and is designed to meet and exceed compliance with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). The plan follows the seven focus areas of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR), outlining what has been achieved, what was learned from consulting with the public, and areas for improvement. This includes continuing to enhance terminal facilities, communications technology, support programs, work environment and procurement practices.

On that note, here are seven ways that YVR is going Beyond Accessibility:

  1. Our airport terminals are built to reflect universal design, ease of use and the needs of the community we serve. YVR has an Accessibility Certified Gold rating from the Rick Hansen Foundation – a rating system to measure the accessibility of buildings and sites. YVR was the first airport to complete the assessment and one of the highest-rated buildings in the program, receiving 93 out of 100 points. We are not stopping there and continue to look at ways we can make the terminal experience even better for our guests.
  2. We have incorporated customer-inspired features in our newly expanded international terminal, which includes additional private washrooms, a quiet room, animal relief areas, a variety of seating options, and a new style of charging units; providing a dementia-friendly community; we are also offering the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program; and, continue to collaborate with key partners like Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) to support neuro-diverse individuals and their families in their journey through YVR.
  3. Our website is WCAG-AA 2.0 compliant, meaning it is designed to meet accessibility requirements, including persons using adaptive technology. As part of our plan, we are aiming to go beyond to ensure meaningful access to information through our website.
  4. We continue to focus on and invest in digital tools and innovative technologies to streamline the travel journey and ensure equal access for everyone.
  5. Our employee training programs are designed in collaboration with leaders in the field of accessibility and inclusion who have practical knowledge and lived experience – this helps our employees understand language, communications and helping techniques to best support people of all abilities.
  6. We offer accessibility tours in collaboration with our community partners to help individuals be prepared, confident and comfortable with the travel experience. From check-in and security screening through locating their departure gate and boarding, the experiential tours provide the opportunity for guests to practice their travel journey.
  7. In collaboration with key partners like the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN), we are developing travel training resources to support neuro-diverse individuals and their families in their journey through the airport. This summer, we are also planning to introduce new and exciting initiatives to create training and employment opportunities for neuro-diverse individuals.

As outlined in our Accessibility Plan, we will continue to work with our many community partners on a variety of new and innovative accessibility services and solutions, including creating more sensory-friendly and quieter spaces throughout the airport, upgrading existing self-service bag drops in our Domestic Terminal, exploring opportunities for guests with accessibility considerations to familiarize themselves with the airport in advance by touring YVR using our Digital Twin.

To learn more about accessibility at YVR and read our Accessibility Plan, Beyond YVR, visit www.YVR.ca/Accessibility.