Engaging people in the performing arts is our passion. As Canada’s home for the performing arts, we make space for a diversity of voices, perspectives and lived experiences both on the national stage and within all the circles of people we touch, including audiences, artists, arts workers, and volunteers. The National Arts Centre is committed to providing a safe, dignified, and welcoming environment for everyone. We believe in integration, equality of opportunity, independent access, and participation for persons with disabilities. We will ensure compliance with all applicable accessibility legislation by identifying, preventing, and removing barriers to accessibility. We are committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner.
The National Arts Centre (NAC) recognizes and supports the principles set out in the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) and our obligations under this legislation. This policy describes our commitment to accessibility and inclusion and includes responsibilities intended to contribute to meeting the objective of the ACA to achieve a barrier-free Canada on or before January 1, 2040. This policy will help the NAC become a more welcoming space where all visitors can experience an increased sense of belonging.
This policy applies to all National Arts Centre operations, employees, and volunteers.
In response to Bill C-81, An Act to Ensure a Barrier Free Canada, the NAC formed an Accessibility Advisory Committee, comprised of a cross section of employees with diverse lived experiences.
To help us meet our commitment to accessibility, the NAC engaged a consultant specialized in accessibility to complete an assessment of our policies, practices and initiatives to guide our committee’s work. Interviews were held with internal stakeholders to identify opportunities for improvements and to establish a list of external partners within the Disability communities. We will invite these external contacts to provide input on our accessibility plan based on their lived experience to help identify accessibility barriers and opportunities to better meet the needs of our communities.
We will create and maintain an accessibility plan outlining our strategy to identify, prevent and remove barriers and meet our requirements under the ACA. We will consult with persons with disabilities when creating and updating our accessibility plan, will post our accessibility plans on our website, and will provide the plan in an alternate format upon request.
We will review our accessibility plan annually and will update the plan once every three years. The NAC will also prepare and publish public progress reports to report on the progress of steps taken to implement its accessibility plan. We will consult with our Accessibility Advisory Committee and include persons with disabilities when updating our accessibility plan and when preparing progress reports.
As with other public documents, accessibility plans and progress reports will be provided in accessible or alternate formats upon request.
Accessible, Accessibility: products, services, facilities or environments that can be accessed, used by, or understood by all persons, including those with disabilities.
Assistive Devices: any device used to assist persons with disabilities, including:
Barrier: anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of their disability, including physical, architectural, information or communications, attitudinal, technological, or systemic policies or practices.
Disability: any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.
Information: includes data, facts and knowledge that exists in any format, including text, audio, images, digital or print, and that conveys meaning.
Service Animal: An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:
Support Person: In relation to a person with a disability, a support person is any person who accompanies a person with a disability in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care, or medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities.
Feedback regarding accessibility to our goods and services and the manner in which we interact with others is welcome and appreciated. An accessibility feedback form is available upon request and on the Accessibility page of the National Arts Centre website. A member of the Visitor Experience team will provide a response to accessibility feedback within five business days. Concerns will be addressed according to the NAC’s complaint management procedures.
We will also develop a feedback plan that describes the process for receiving and addressing feedback related to the implementation of its accessibility plan, identifying any barriers noted and describing how they will be or have been addressed. We will provide notice to the Accessibility Commissioner and share details of this feedback plan.
The NAC will provide accessibility training to all employees and volunteers. This training will be provided during the initial onboarding period and when changes are made to accessibility policies or procedures.
Accessible or Alternate Formats and Communication Supports
Upon request and at no additional cost to the individual, the NAC will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible or alternate formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities. Individual accessibility needs will be taken into account when responding to requests. We will provide alternate formats and communication supports in a timely manner, wherever possible.
Employees and volunteers will be trained how to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device.
For audience members attending our events, a limited selection of assistive devices is available on-site, on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Visitor Experience to request access to NAC wheelchairs, backrests, booster seats, or hearing aid accessories.
Employees and volunteers will be trained how to interact with persons with disabilities who require the assistance of a guide dog or other service animal.
When purchasing tickets, contact the NAC Box Office to request appropriate seating arrangements. When at a NAC event, contact House Management to request support from ushers.
Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to access to our premises that are open to the public. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to their support person while on the premises.
When purchasing tickets, contact the NAC Box Office to request appropriate seating arrangements. For information on making arrangements for discounted tickets for support persons accompanying patrons with disabilities attending NAC-presented shows, visit the National Arts Centre website.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
We will provide notice in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in accessible facilities, programs, or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. This notice will be posted at the location of the disruption of facilities or services and at the front entrance of the facility. For lengthy and planned delays, notice will also be posted on the National Arts Centre website.
We are committed to being inclusive in our hiring policies. We will notify the public that we will accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities throughout our selection and hiring process. During the selection process, we will include the following paragraph in print and online job postings:
The National Arts Centre (NAC) is committed to inclusive employee recruitment and selection. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. If you require an accommodation during the selection process, please inform us as soon as possible and we will make every effort to fulfill your accommodation request.
If an interview candidate requests an accommodation, we will make every effort to fulfill their accommodation requests.
Workplace Information for Employees
We will provide workplace information in an accessible format if an employee requests it. This includes information employees need to perform their jobs (for example, job descriptions and manuals) and general information that is available to all employees at work (for example, newsletters, news bulletins, and health and safety information).
If an employee with a disability requests information in an accessible or alternate format or requires communication supports, we will work with them to determine how best to meet their needs and to provide accessible workplace information in a timely manner.
We will work with employees with disabilities to develop individual accommodation plans. Where necessary, these plans will also include individual emergency response plans and information to assist during an emergency or evacuation.