Communications compliance reports find transportation industry is adopting voluntary code to remove barriers



    OTTAWA, April 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Transportation Agency today
released two reports which found that the majority of key transportation
service providers are compliant with two important sections of the Code of
Practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities,
specifically on the availability of multiple formats, and, on alternative
communications systems for car rental companies operating at Canadian aiports.
    With one exception, Canada's key transportation service providers were
compliant and had developed a multiple format policy - which allows travellers
to request documents in accessible formats such as large print. Every major
airport was compliant with the Code's provision that the car rental companies
have alternate means of communications for customers to get information or
make reservations.
    "These reports show a strong commitment by the industry to facilitate
communications for persons with disabilities," said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO
of the Canadian Transportation Agency "The Agency looks forward to continued
dialogue with all stakeholders to create a truly accessible transportation
system for all Canadians."
    Both of these reports are part of a broader Agency monitoring and
compliance framework, which works towards achieving the Agency's strategic
outcome of increasing the accessibility of the federal transportation network
by removing undue obstacles, while at the same time increasing the efficiency
and effectiveness of its monitoring activities.

    Multiple Format Policy Compliance Report

    Under the Code, all service providers are to develop and implement a
multiple format policy to ensure that travel information can be made available
in a variety of formats. At the time the Code came into effect in 2007, only
one of the 55 providers covered under the Code had a policy.
    To encourage providers to establish a policy the Agency provided advice
and guidance placing special emphasis on those providers which represent 75
per cent or more of passengers collectively for a particular mode. As of March
2009, only one of these key service providers, Northumberland and Bay Ferries,
had not submitted a policy.
    The Agency will continue to work with those service providers who need
help drafting a multiple format policy in order to facilitate full compliance.

    Alternative Communications Systems Compliance Report: Airport Car Rental
    Companies

    Airports are responsible for ensuring that car rental companies offer
services for persons with disabilities. The Agency reviewed the Web Sites of
the car rental companies located at Canada's key airports to determine whether
they provided an alternate means of communications for persons with
disabilities to make reservations or obtain information.
    Agency staff reviewed the car rental companies' Web sites or called their
reservation lines to ensure that the car rental companies had an alternative
to the telephone for information or reservations. For example:

    - a website with an online reservation system
    - an email address
    - a TTY telephone number
    - or a fax number

    At the time of the survey, all of the car rental companies offered at
least one alternate mode of communication.

    About the Canadian Transportation Agency

    The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent Government of Canada
quasi-judicial tribunal. Its mandate includes the responsibility to eliminate
undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities within the
federal transportation network. Its mission is to administer Government of
Canada transportation legislation, regulations and policies to help achieve an
efficient and accessible transportation network by breaking down barriers to
accessible transportation and helping to solve problems on a systemic basis
before they happen.




For further information:

For further information: News Media Enquiries: Natalie Hanson, (819)
934-9042; General Public Enquiries: 1-888-222-2592; TTY: 1-800-669-5575;
info@otc-cta.gc.ca; Compliance reports are available online at the Canadian
Transportation Agency Web site - www.cta.gc.ca, and in multiple formats by
calling 1-888-222-2592.


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