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Accessibility at the Senate

Overview

Statement of commitment

The Senate is committed to representing Canada’s diversity and to giving voice to many underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities. To ensure that all Canadians can participate fully in their democratic institutions, we are dedicated to making all aspects of the Senate’s activities accessible. Accessibility is an ongoing process, and we strive to continuously improve accessibility by listening to the voices of people with disabilities.

Senate of Canada’s 2023-2025 Accessibility Plan

This three-year plan details the actions the Senate is taking to improve accessibility across the institution.

The Senate publishes annual progress reports on its accessibility plan.

Versions available

Alternative formats

You can request a copy of our accessibility plan and a description of our feedback process in alternative formats by contacting the Senate Accessibility Officer at accessible@sen.parl.gc.ca or 1-888-810-9470.

In accordance with the Accessible Canada Regulations, the Senate will provide the following alternative formats within 15 days of the initial request:

  • Print
  • Large print (increased font size)

The Senate will provide a braille format within 45 days of the initial request. This deadline is set out in the Accessible Canada Regulations and allows for the time necessary to produce and distribute the braille version. Should there be an urgent need for this version, the Senate will make every effort to send it sooner.

Additional information about accessibility at the Senate

Web accessibility

With a few exceptions, the Senate’s public and internal websites comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA. Ongoing, automated and manual accessibility testing of the sites is in place. Remaining issues will be addressed as part of our accessibility plan.

Some third-party applications that we may link to, or documents or publications submitted by third parties, may not meet the level of accessibility we strive for. If you require accessible formats, please contact us and we will do our best to make them available.

A version of the Senate of Canada Building Virtual Tour is compatible with assistive technology, such as screen readers. Explore this historic building virtually from any location!

Closed captioning

The Senate recognizes the importance of access to its proceedings for all Canadians to participate fully in our democratic institutions. Closed captioning is available for Senate Chamber and televised committee proceedings live and on demand on Senate ParlVU.

Attending in person? Tablets preloaded with Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) are available upon request by emailing accessible@sen.parl.gc.ca. Please provide advance notice of one business day. In the Senate Chamber, a live closed-captioned video feed is also visible from the public galleries.

Senate of Canada Building accessibility

The Senate of Canada Building, home to the Senate Chamber, features a barrier-free path and is accessible to service animals.

If you are planning to take a guided tour of the building, you can visit the Guided Tours of Parliament Program Plan Your Visit webpage for more information on tour accessibility and accommodations.

Witnesses appearing before a Senate committee

Senate committees regularly invite individuals (“witnesses”) to give testimony on bills and special studies. Witnesses may be invited to appear before a committee virtually or in person. Most of these meetings take place in the Senate of Canada Building or 1 Wellington. Both buildings are fully accessible to wheelchairs and service animals.

Witnesses who require accommodations should notify the clerk of the committee before which they will appear. For general information on witness accommodations, please contact the Senate Committees Directorate at ctm@sen.parl.gc.ca.

You may also visit the committee witness page for more information.

Feedback

The Senate welcomes your feedback about accessibility at the Senate. We are committed to reviewing the feedback we receive in good faith and to taking steps to address barriers that are identified.

There are several ways to submit your feedback — including anonymously — about accessibility at the Senate or our accessibility plan.

Contact the Senate Accessibility Officer

Learn how your feedback is handled by the Senate, including response times.

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