Step 5: Preliminary Plan

Developing a Preliminary Plan needs to be developed in collaboration with the full committee. It should be available to the public for comment through a public feedback mechanism. In response to the Accessible Canada Act, the federal government developed this guide for federally regulated organizations. From this, and other plans, we suggest these headings for your plan. The headings are briefly described below, see the Toolkit for more details.

Outline of a Plan

Section 1: Introduction

The Introduction serves to set the stage by emphasizing the commitment the committee has to the plan and the context in which it was developed. Acknowledging those that have contributed to the plan is important as it highlights the role of people with disabilities in its development. It should reflect the mantra “Nothing About Us Without Us”

  1. About the Organization
  2. Our Accessibility Story
  3. Message from Leadership
  4. Message from the Accessibility Committee
  5. Acknowledgements of Contributors to the Plan
  6. Territorial Acknowledgements
  7. Definitions

Section 2: Executive Summary

This optional section provides a quick synopsis of the purpose of the plan and key features/actions in that plan.

Section 3: Guiding Framework

As you develop your plan, you will need to decide on a framework that will help organize how you examine accessibility in your operations and how you explain this approach to stakeholders internally and externally. It will include

  • Principles (inclusion, adaptability, diversity, collaboration, self-determination, and universal design)
  • Links to other legislation or policies is helpful context to show how the Accessibility Plan fits into broader organizational strategies
  • Internal values and vision statement for the plan
  • Approach that your committee will have in developing the plan

Section 4: About the Committee

  • Reiterate the scope and focus of what the committee wants to achieve through their plan
  • Recruitment strategy
  • List committee members and describe their background

Section 5: Consultation Process

  • Consultations to date
  • Who was consulted
  • How consultation was conducted
  • Key discussion themes

Section 6 Feedback Mechanism

You may want to include some details about how you have developed your feedback mechanism. This could be especially helpful If you have determined that you will take an incremental approach to the tool’s development.

Section 7: Identify Barriers

The legislation recognizes that barriers can be caused by environments, attitudes, practices, policies, information, communications, or technologies. This framing might be helpful to keep in mind as you take on your public consultation or work with your accessibility plan. Alternatively, you may want to use the forthcoming standards areas to categorize the reports of barriers:

  • Employment
  • Delivery of services
  • Built environment
  • Information and communications
  • Transportation
  • Health
  • Education
  • Procurement

Section 8: Three Year Plan

This is the crux of the plan. It is an opportunity to highlight actions complete, barriers identified, and action plans for addressing those barriers. It is essential that you prioritize barriers and actions so that they are feasible. Associate these plans with measurable goals that can be used to monitor and evaluate.

Section 9: Monitoring and Evaluation

Based on the Three Year Plan, a process for monitoring and evaluating actions should be in place. It is alright if unexpected challenges arise (like environmental or health crises) and you need to adjust your plan to incorporate them. For example, during the Covid epidemic, refocusing on health-related accessibility issues that weren’t in the plan is not only acceptable but encouraged.

Section 10: Conclusions

Some Organizations will want to conclude their overall plan with a conclusion that restates their commitment to accessibility or include a summary of the key actions that were taken.

A conclusion could be a good spot to invite feedback on the plan or emphasize the next steps for the Organization.

Section 11: How to Give Feedback

You may want to highlight the feedback mechanism in its own section so that users can scan the Table of Contents to find it quickly.


Go to the Templates and Plans page in the Resources section to see examples.