The Business Case to Build Physically Accessible Environments

The Conference Board of Canada, 64 pages, February 23, 2018
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Improving physical accessibility would dramatically improve labour force participation and consumer spending for the one in 10 Canadians with physical disabilities that impair their mobility, vision, or hearing, boosting the wider economy.

Document Highlights

  • There are 2.9 million Canadians living with a physical disability that impairs their mobility, vision, or hearing, representing 10 per cent of the country’s population.
  • That number will rise by 1.8 per cent annually over the next 13 years, nearly double the pace of the population as a whole.
  • Real spending by this group is set to rise from $165 billion in 2017 to $316 billion in 2030, increasing from 14 to 21 per cent of the total consumer market.
  • Reasonable investments in workplace access would allow over 550,000 Canadians with disabilities to participate more fully in the workforce, increasing GDP by $16.8 billion by 2030.
  • Physical accessibility is more than meeting legal standards or specifications—it also involves fostering a sense of inclusion so people with disabilities can flourish.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Population of Canadians With Physical Disabilities Set to Swell

Chapter 3—Workplace Upgrades and Management Practices Can Help

Chapter 4—Economic Impact of Improved Accessibility

Chapter 5—Canadians With Physical Disabilities—A Major Consumer Market

  • Spending Patterns of People With Physical Disabilities

Chapter 6—How Can Canada Improve Access?

  • Beyond the Building Code—Universal Design
  • Applying Universal Design to Create More Inclusive Spaces
  • Embedding Accessibility Into Organizational Strategy and Values
  • Leveraging Information and Resources

Chapter 7—Benefits to Business: Case Studies of Companies That Have Improved Accessibility

  • Flavelle OceanFront Development: Planning for Inclusion Makes Business Sense
  • Sodexo: Quality of Life Is for Customers and Employees
  • Toronto–Dominion Bank: Banking on TD’s Commitment to Accessible Employment

Chapter 8—Conclusion

Appendix A—Accessibility Audit 101: A Primer on Universal Design

  • Vehicular Access
  • Exterior Approach and Entrance
  • Interior Circulation
  • Interior Services and Environment
  • Sanitary Facilities
  • Signage, Wayfinding, and Communications
  • Emergency Systems
  • Additional Uses of Space

Appendix B—Methodology

  • Projecting Canada’s Population Over the Long Term
  • Estimating Canada’s Long-Term Potential Output
  • Estimating the Increase in Labour Market Participation and the Economic Impacts From Higher Labour Supply

Appendix C—Bibliography

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