New survey reveals that accessibility is a source of future anxiety and a significant consideration for Canadian consumers today

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadians find themselves worrying about decreased mobility, vision and hearing and the impact it may have on their own lives and the lives of loved ones, with two-thirds voicing concerns about themselves or a family member facing this reality over the next decade, according to a new national survey that highlights the concerns and challenges facing people with disabilities today.

Released today, the survey shows that many respondents say accessibility is a consideration for them when they’re thinking about which places they will go to and which they will avoid within their communities, with most finding the accessibility of small chain stores and restaurants as well as other people’s homes the most challenging.

Since 2015, the majority of Canadians consistently voice widespread support for universal accessibility as a goal for our country including one uniform set of standards, particularly when it comes to the construction of new buildings and homes. 

This data, gathered from a randomized sample of 1,800 Canadians, is part of a national public opinion poll canvassing disability and accessibility conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Disability and accessibility continues to be a growing reality for Canadians - 24% self-identify as having a mobility, vision or hearing disability or challenge and 47% are helping someone in their life facing a disability or challenge;
  • Canadians express anxiety about their future with two-thirds concerned that they will face decreased mobility, vision or hearing, and the impact it may have on their own lives or the lives of their loved ones;
  • 30% of Canadians (roughly 9 million adults) say accessibility is a consideration when they’re thinking about which places they frequent;
  • One in five state that knowing a business in their community was certified as accessible would lead them to support that business more often; and
  • More than half (54%) of Canadians agree there should be ‘one uniform set of rules for accessibility across Canada’ growing to 70% who think ‘universal accessibility should be the goal for all newly constructed buildings’.

Read the full report in English or in French.

“This research demonstrates the increasing prevalence of disability across our nation and growing importance of ensuring the places we live, work and play are accessible for people of all abilities,” says Rick Hansen, Founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “It also outlines a significant consideration for businesses and service providers in planning accessibility infrastructure. Having universal standards that measure where we’re at and provide a roadmap on how to move forward is critical.”

“While one-in-three Canadians currently say they have issues getting around their own home, a full majority say that they are anticipating challenges moving around at home in the future,” says Shachi Kurl, Executive Director, Angus Reid Institute. “These findings underscore the importance of accessibility in the built environment in the decades to come.”

About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour. For nearly 30 years, RHF has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Visit to learn more.

About the Angus Reid Institute:
The Angus Reid Institute was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research organization established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.

Additional Materials:
View or download ‘Canadian Consumers and Accessibility 2019’, an infographic which illustrates the key statistics from this report.


Dawn Tse 
Publicist, Rick Hansen Foundation

Shachi Kurl 
Executive Director, Angus Reid Institute