Today Vancouver International Airport (YVR) proudly launched Beyond Accessibility, a comprehensive three-year Accessibility Plan that builds upon YVR’s long-standing work to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible travel experience for people of all abilities.
“Accessibility is one of our top priorities and, as a diverse global hub, we remain committed to ensuring all travellers, guests, and employees have equal access at YVR. With this plan, we will continue to lead the way in delivering an inclusive and accessible airport through our programs and impactful partnerships inspired and informed by the lived experiences and needs of our community,” said Richard Beed, Vice President, People & Brand at Vancouver Airport Authority.
YVR’s new Accessibility Plan, Beyond Accessibility, was co-developed with input from the airport’s community partners and is designed to meet and exceed compliance with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). The plan follows the seven focus areas of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR) and outlines what YVR has achieved, what it learned from consulting with the public, and areas for improvement. This includes continuing to enhance terminal facilities, communications technology, support programs, and procurement practices.
In addition to insights from its community partners, YVR considered inputs from airport employees, accessibility consultants, passengers, and the public as well as research from Leger and the Return on Disability Group.
For more than 30 years, YVR has been at the forefront of delivering inclusive and accessible facilities and guest services for people of all abilities. The plan builds upon YVR’s vision for an inclusive airport, realized through actions such as incorporating customer-inspired features in its newly expanded international terminal, which includes additional private washrooms, a quiet room, animal relief areas, a variety of seating options, and a new style of charging units; providing a dementia-friendly community; offering the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program; and, continued collaboration with key partners like Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) to support neurodiverse individuals and their families in their journey through YVR.
Changing demographics, combined with an increasingly active community of people with disabilities, continues to inspire the team at YVR to create and deliver more inclusive terminal facilities and services that support people of all abilities. Updated every three years, YVR’s Accessibility Plan will allow the airport and its partners to continually test and adapt new accessibility practices through ongoing implementation and learning.
All of this would not be possible without the valuable support and contributions of YVR’s many community partners including, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Canucks Autism Network (CAN), Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN), Rick Hansen Foundation, Spinal Cord Injury – British Columbia (SCI BC), The Alzheimer Society of British Columbia, United Way British Columbia, Universal Access Design, and Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility.
To learn more about accessibility at YVR and read our Accessibility Plan, Beyond Accessibility, visit www.YVR.ca/Accessibility.
YVR has an Accessibility Certified Gold rating from the Rick Hansen Foundation – a rating system to measure the accessibility of buildings and sites. YVR was also the first airport to complete the assessment and one of the highest- rated buildings in British Columbia, receiving 93 out of 100 points.
"Congratulations to YVR on the release of the 2023 - 2025 YVR Accessibility Plan. The plan again demonstrates the leadership of YVR in the areas of accessible terminal and large public building environments. Practical solutions serving people with lived experience has been the hallmark of YVR since it’s very beginning. This new three-year plan builds on that important record of success.”
- Brad McCannell, Vice President, Access and Inclusion, Rick Hansen Foundation
We deeply value our long-standing partnership with YVR and take great pride in our contribution to YVR's three-year Accessibility Plan. By working together, we are helping to build a YVR where everyone feels a sense of belonging and where authenticity and inclusivity are at the core of the guest experience."
- Britt Andersen, CEO, Canucks Autism Network
"I am excited and honoured to represent my organization in our partnership with YVR. I am proud to live in a city whose airport not only wants to improve accessibility for me and my community but is actively engaged with various related organizations in order to strive for a better tomorrow."
- Ryan W Clarkson, Peer Support Program Specialist, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre and Metro Vancouver, Spinal Cord Injury BC
"Accessibility is not just a feature or an afterthought, it is a necessity that must be at the forefront of any travel experience. Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility is honoured to be a part of the development of YVR's Accessibility Plan, which we view as an exciting step towards a more inclusive future of travel. This three-year plan is a testament to YVR’s commitment to making air travel accessible and enjoyable for everyone.”
- Christopher T. Sutton, CEO, Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility
“YVR’s goal to become one of the leading airports in the world when it comes to accessibility is highly commendable. In my view, the consultation process YVR recently organized provides a model for inclusion for those of us working with transportation-disadvantaged populations in the province. In the case of United Way BC, this especially includes the low-income, community-dwelling seniors we support together with the not-for-profit agencies in the community-based seniors service sector, thanks to funding from BC’s Ministry of Health.”
- Beverley Pitman, PHD, Senior Regional Community Developer, Population Health at United Way British Columbia