Home Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Toronto Pearson receives gold rating for accessibility from Rick Hansen Foundation

Toronto Pearson receives gold rating for accessibility from Rick Hansen Foundation

by HR News Canada
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Toronto Pearson International Airport has been awarded the “RHF Accessibility Certified Gold” rating, the highest accessibility rating by the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program.

This accolade represents a significant achievement in Toronto Pearson’s ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility and ensure barrier-free travel for all passengers.

“This certification is the result of substantial investments and multiple improvements made at Toronto Pearson so that travelling is a barrier-free experience for everyone,” said Kurush Minocher, Executive Director Customer Experience and Airline Relations at Toronto Pearson. “While we celebrate this achievement from the Rick Hansen Foundation, our journey does not stop here. We are committed to setting new global accessibility standards and will continue to make additional improvements so that flying at Toronto Pearson is a seamless experience for all travellers.”

Hansen offers congratulations

The RHFAC is a national rating system that evaluates the accessibility of buildings, offering a comprehensive tool for improvement and recognition of accessibility efforts. It measures the level of meaningful access based on the user experience of people with mobility, vision, and hearing disabilities, as well as individuals with neurodivergent needs.

Rick Hansen, Founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, congratulated Toronto Pearson, stating, “Congratulations to Toronto Pearson for this fantastic achievement and for your leadership and commitment to accessibility. Over one billion people worldwide identify as having a disability and everyone regardless of their age or ability should have the opportunity to travel with comfort, dignity, and independence. An accessible airport is a key step towards ensuring a more holistic and positive travel experience for all.”

Recent improvements

Toronto Pearson has implemented several key changes to improve accessibility:

  • Enhanced Accessibility Features: The airport has installed hearing loops to assist those with hearing aids or cochlear implants and added tactile and easy-to-understand signage, automatic door openers, and visibility improvements such as frosted film and color-contrasting strips on terminal doors.
  • Upgraded Comfort and Safety: Increased seating across terminals, installation of over 450 tactile attention indicators for the visually impaired, improved lighting in elevator lobbies, and added visual emergency strobes in public washrooms and parking garages.
  • Accessible Technology: Over 500 new accessible self-serve kiosks have been installed in airline check-in areas, customs processing spaces, and parking garages to enhance ease of use for all passengers.
  • Modernized Facilities: Upgraded washrooms now include additional accessories, back support on accessible toilets, and enhanced assisted changeroom facilities with adjustable shower components.
  • Expanded Services and Training: Toronto Pearson has partnered with the Canadian Hearing Society to integrate welcome greetings with American Sign Language interpreters on screens around the airport. The airport also continues to build upon in-terminal training sessions with the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides Service Animal Training Program and has expanded recognition of the Sunflower Lanyard Program to assist passengers with hidden disabilities.

Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport, connected 45 million passengers to 195 destinations in 2023 and employs 50,000 people.

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