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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 10:45 AM 

Toronto Pearson earns Rick Hansen Foundation accessibility certification gold rating

  • Air
  •   06-07-2024  8:08 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Toronto Pearson earns Rick Hansen Foundation accessibility certification gold rating
Toronto Pearson airport. (Pax Global Media/file photo)
Pax Global Media

Toronto Pearson has received the RHF Accessibility Certified Gold rating, the highest accessibility rating awarded by the Rick Hansen Foundation accessibility certification (RHFAC) program.

This achievement marks a significant milestone in the airport’s ongoing commitment to becoming the most accessible airport in the world.

“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 of 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.”

RHFAC is a national rating system that provides building owners with a comprehensive tool to measure accessibility, offers a roadmap for improvements and recognizes dedication to accessibility.

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.

“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,” said Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “An accessible airport is a key step towards ensuring a more holistic and positive travel experience for all.”

Some of the key changes Toronto Pearson has recently made to make the airport more accessible include:

Enhanced Accessibility Features

  • Hearing loops were installed to assist people with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
  • Added tactile and easy-to-understand signage across terminals, new automatic door openers, and frosted film and colour-contrasting strips on terminal doors to improve visibility.

Upgraded Comfort and Safety

  • Increased seating across the terminals with a variety of new indoor and outdoor seats, ensuring ample resting spots throughout the airport.
  • Installed over 450 tactile attention indicators, providing crucial cues for travellers who are blind or partially sighted.
  • Improved lighting in elevator lobbies and added visual emergency strobes in all public washrooms and parking garages.

Accessible Technology

  • Installed over 500 new accessible self-serve kiosks in various airline check-in areas, Canada customs processing spaces and parking garages, enhancing ease of use for all passengers.

Modernized Facilities

  • Comprehensive upgrades to washrooms with additional accessories, back support on accessible toilets, and enhanced assisted changeroom facilities featuring adjustable shower components and convenient amenities.

Expanded Services and Training

  • Partnered with the Canadian Hearing Society to integrate welcome greetings with American Sign Language interpreters on screens around the airport.
  • Continued to build upon our in-terminal training sessions with the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides Service Animal Training Program, allowing new service dogs to learn and practice airport experiences.
  • Expanded recognition of the Sunflower Lanyard Program to more airport workers to help support passengers with hidden disabilities.

To read more about accessibility at Toronto Pearson, click here.

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