Free Webinar - Thursday, June 3rd from 2 to 3:30pm CDT

Banner Beyond COVID-19: Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Workplace Free Webinar

Webinar Information

Register at: https://maaw2021.eventbrite.ca

You Will Learn About:

  • Issues of accessibility in the workplace, currently and as we return to work
  • Experiences, strategies, and tools to create and maintain a culture of accessibility in your workplace

Featuring:

  • Yazmine Laroche, Deputy Minister, Public Accessibility, Government of Canada
  • Panel of Manitobans with disabilities discussing workplace barriers and solutions, organized with assistance from the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

If you have further questions, or concerns, please contact the Manitoba Accessibility Office at:

MAO@gov.mb.ca
(204) 945 - 7613
1-800-282-8069 (Ext. 7613) (toll-free)


Get Involved in MAAW 2021

This year, MAAW will be celebrated safely, online. However, there are simple steps we can take in our daily lives that will help increase accessibility and reduce barriers for people with disabilities.

Whether it's in your community, home, workplace, or on your personal social media, we have a list of tips and resources for you to use and share with your family, friends, and/or coworkers.


  1. Ensure your community has accessible parking with clear signage.
  2. Accessible transportation options help people with disabilities get to work, & access goods & services.
  3. Ensure your outdoor and indoor paths are free of barriers that might cause problems for people who use canes, crutches, or wheelchairs.
  4. Does your community offer public washrooms? Are these washrooms accessible? Washrooms should have enough space for wheelchair or walker users, as well as grab bars and sinks and hand drying materials at a reachable height.
  5. Offer information in different ways – ensure that print text is also electronically accessible.
  6. Write in plain language, which is easier for all readers to understand.
  7. Make sure that accessibility is considered when making plans for events and invite attendees to tell you if they have specific accessibility needs. Use accessibility checklists for events.


  1. Have a discussion with your family members about accessibility and removing barriers, for instance for senior relatives.
    1. What does accessibility mean to your family?
    2. How can you ensure that you are removing barriers for family, friends and neighbors, while making Manitoba more inclusive for everyone?
    3. If you have children, ask them if they can identify accessibility features within their school, or community. Examples include the placement of ramps, automatic door buttons, audible crosswalks (a beeping sound, indicating an individual has time to cross), accessible parking spots, accessible washrooms, documents that are offered in braille, buttons that feature braille, curb cuts, and tactile paving (steel stripes and dots for people with low vision).
  2. Ensure your sidewalks and walkways are clear of snow and other debris.
  3. Install handrails where there are staircases and ramps.
  4. Replace round doorknobs with lever style door knobs that are easier to grab, including for people with Arthritis.
  5. Avoid covering floors with loose rugs.
  6. Introduce motion sensors to switch indoor and outdoor lights on and off to help prevent falls.
  7. Consider creating at least one no-step entry into your home and widening doors and hallways (especially when building new homes).
  8. Upgrade your lighting throughout your home. "By age 75, most people require twice as much light as the normal recommended standard, and nearly four times as much as a 20-year-old, to see satisfactorily (Dementia Services Development Center – The Importance of Lighting).
  9. People have different degrees of sight, hearing, & understanding that can affect communication. Mental health issues & chronic illness can also create barriers to participation.
  10. Nearly 1 in 4 Manitobans has a disability. Provide support & prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially to people with disabilities.


  1. Accessibility is law in Manitoba. Ensure your business or organization is providing accessible customer service to everyone, especially people with disabilities.
  2. Ask employees whether they have any accessibility or disability concerns & consult with them on how to address these concerns.  Remember, pre-existing health conditions make some people more vulnerable to COVID-19.
  3. Offer accessible customer service by understanding & removing barriers that prevent people from accessing goods or services.
  4. Ensure your business or organization is providing accessible customer service to everyone, especially people with disabilities using assistive devices like walkers or canes.
  5. Offer seating and place-holders for customers unable to stand in line-ups to access goods or services.
  6. Avoid floor & standing signs that can trip a customers who are visually impaired or whose vision is blocked.
  7. Practice accessible customer service by ensuring all customers & clients can understand your plain language message.
  8. Ensure staff who interact with the public have information and training in how to communicate with people who have speech and language disabilities in face-to face and telephone interactions.
  9. Post Access Offer Signs that state you offer service in different ways. Always ask, "How can we help?" and do not assume what a person can or cannot do. View the Printable Access Offer Sign: http://accessibilitymb.ca/pdf/how_can_we_help1.pdf
  10. When communicating in person, have a paper and pen on hand, or use clear masks.
  11. Use cellphones to text with customers to address hearing, understanding or memory barriers.  Using a pen and paper is another option.

  1. Post information that is easy to understand, in short sentences.
  2. Use at least 14-point font for people with low vision.
  3. Offer contact information, including email and phone number.
  4. Separate your message from any images, as merging the two can create a barrier for people with low or no vision, or who are colour blind.
  5. Add a short written description to images.
  6. Ensure that marketing and communications, including photos and testimonials, reflect diverse people with a range of abilities and ages.
  7. Ensure that every email is accessible to people who use screen readers and offer alternative methods of communication.
  8. Provide descriptions using "alt tags" for graphics and charts for people with vision loss.

 

Join the #MAAW2021 conversation on social media

To help promote MAAW and increase your social media engagement, download the toolkit.

It includes ready-to-use text and images relevant to all community allies, including individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

MAAW Toolkit

Do your part to help spread the word about accessibility. Download and share these resources on social media and in your community.




Manitoba celebrates MAAW annually to raise awareness about accessibility issues that affect people with disabilities.

MAAW ProclamationMAAW Proclamation French

  • MAAW Proclamation English (PDF) (Word)
  • MAAW Proclamation French (PDF) (Word)

Previous MAAW Celebrations

Accessibility in the Workplace during COVID-19 (MAAW 2020)

All MAAW 2020 resources are now available to download and share:

If you have any questions or feedback about MAAW, including the webinar or any of the information presented, please contact the Disabilities Issues Office at 204-945-7613 or 1-800-282-8069 (Ext. 7613).