Accessibility Plan Progress Report 2023

ISSN 2818-0119 (Online)

Creating a culture of belonging for employees living with a disability

Diverse group of people smiling and waving

Table of Contents

Introduction and Land Acknowledgement

As Accessibility Officer for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), it is my pleasure to present to you our first progress report, following the publication of our ambitious and expansive National Accessibility Plan on December 30, 2022.

My work is filled with gratitude and it remains grounded on this quote from Lee Seto-Thomas: "Disabilities are a gift from the creator to remind us of our humanity, they help us make meaningful changes to the world. They teach us to love, to have compassion and to be creative".

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of employees who are part of our National Council for persons living with a disability (NCE PwD), we were able to have yet another very successful and informative National AccessAbility Week 2023. Throughout the past year, we also offered specific training and communicated on a great number of occasions in order to raise awareness and encourage meaningful conversations.

Our accomplishments give me great hope that the PPSC will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to make sure that progress continues to be seen and felt at all levels of our organization.

I acknowledge Canada as the land of the First Peoples (Nations), Inuit and Métis. I pay homage to the Indigenous Peoples, past, present and future who continue to work, educate and contribute to the strength of this country. I recognize land that is shared through historic treaties, developed through contemporary treaties and land that continues to be unceded territory.


"The recognition of our history on this land is an act of reconciliation
and we honour those who walk with us."

Chief Willie Littlechild



Norma Pavoni, Accessibility Officer
Public Prosecution Service of Canada


Should you have any feedback to provide regarding barriers at the PPSC, or any questions related to the implementation of our accessibility plan and progress reports, employees, as well as persons who deal with our organization, may reach us by using any of the means listed below. Feedback may be provided anonymously. Feedback will be acknowledged through the same means by which it was received, unless it was received anonymously.

You may reach us by mail:

Norma Pavoni, Pronouns: She, Her

National Liaison EDIA and Accessibility Officer
Accessibility and Disability Champion
Advancement Centre for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Government of Canada

160 Elgin Street, 12th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H8

You may reach us by Email:

You may reach us by using our toll-free telephone number:
. Please leave a detailed message for the Accessibility Officer. Should you wish to leave your contact information, a member of the Advancement Centre for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility will return the call within 72 hours. You may also leave an anonymous message.

You may reach us via social media:

This document is available in alternate formats upon request.

Such formats include, but are not limited to: print, large print, Braille, audio format or an electronic format that is compatible with adaptive technology that is intended to assist persons living with a disability.


ACEDIA Advancement Centre for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Barrier As per the Accessible Canada Act, can mean anything — including anything physical, architectural, technological or attitudinal, anything that is based on information or communications or anything that is the result of a policy or a practice — that hinders the full and equal participation in society of persons with an impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation.
Disability As per the Accessible Canada Act, is defined as 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.
EDIA Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
NAAW National AccessAbility Week
NCE National Council of Employees
NCE PwD National Council of Employees for Persons Living with a Disability
OHS Occupational Health and Safety
OPSA Office of Public Service Accessibility
PSES Public Service Employee Survey
PwD Person living with a disability


During the past year, we have continued our efforts to promote and implement the GC Workplace Accessibility Passport and we take part in all meetings of the GC Workplace Accessibility Passport Adopter Community of Practice. We have engaged with various departments at the request of the Office of Public Service Accessibility (OPSA) in order to share our best practices and success stories.

Since January 1, 2023, the Accessibility Officer has provided assistance, guidance and support to 45 employees.

As of January 1, 2023, the PPSC hired six additional PwD, but it also lost four employees living with a disability (either indeterminate or term).

From January 1, 2023 to November 1, 2023, the promotion rate for PwD is 0.3%.

Following a government-wide simple survey in 2023, OPSA advised us that 23 out of 25 respondents from the PPSC know about the GC Workplace Accessibility Passport, and that five employees are currently using it.

Barriers worked on in 2022-2023:

Key Actions by Senior Management:

Key Actions by the ACEDIA and the NCE PwD - Publications and Messages:

Key Actions by the ACEDIA and the NCE PwD - Trainings and Live Events:

Key Actions by HR:

Under development:

The Built Environment

At this time, we do not have a complete picture of all the barriers experienced by employees as we haven't been able to make a clear assessment. The Facilities Management and Accommodation Services Unit (FMA) considers this pillar as one that requires specific attention and funding for the removal of barriers brought to our attention. FMA has advised internal stakeholders that although considered in the past during design development, all current and future facilities management and accommodations projects will factor in as many accessibility requirements as possible.

A request for temporary funding that would have enabled us to audit all of our regional offices was denied in the fall.

As a next step, the FMA will work collaboratively with Regional Office Managers, OHS, and the NCE PwD to conduct on-site assessments of the current state of affairs in all of our locations. This assessment will allow us to determine whether requirements can or will be included in existing projects or become projects of their own. After this assessment is conducted, a comprehensive operational plan will be developed to identify urgent priorities and longer-term objectives, and to lay out timelines for the work to be implemented in each of our 33 locations.

Barriers worked on in 2022-2023

Key Actions:

Under development:

Information and Communication Technologies

We focused our efforts on creating a meaningful relationship with the experts in this area, Accessibility, Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology (AAACT). We also started working collaboratively with an IT specialist in our department on accommodation requests in order to increase employee satisfaction. Because of a lack of resources, we did not make great strides with regards to this pillar. However, we did support employees who reached out to the Accessibility Officer for accommodation requests as quickly and efficiently as possible. Building internal expertise and making sure sufficient resources are allocated to this pillar will remain a priority.

In the past year, we participated in 10 Info-Sessions with AAACT, and we consulted with them via email on a variety of questions on a regular basis.

Barriers worked on in 2022-2023

Key Actions by IT:

Key Actions by the ACEDIA and the NCE PwD:

Under development:

Communication, other than Information and Communication Technologies

This pillar has improved significantly during the past year. We recognize that we still need to make progress when it comes to plain language and provide training to our employees. We have joined a Government of Canada Community of Practice for Accessible Communications and hope that it will help us bring awareness and address some of the barriers identified within our plan.

Barriers worked on in 2022-2023

Key Actions by the ACEDIA and the NCE PwD:

Key Actions by Communications:

Under development:

The Procurement of Goods, Services and Facilities

Over the past year, we have been attending meetings with the Accessible Procurement Agents of Change Community of Practice, and sharing important resources with our Chief Procurement Officer.

More recently, we found out that the Accessible Procurement Resource Centre is available to deliver accessible procurement sessions to help build capacity and awareness. We will engage with this Centre in order to expand our expertise.

Barriers worked on in 2022-2023

Key Actions:

The Design and Delivery of Programs and Services

In our first accessibility plan, we looked into accessibility issues related to our National Fine Recovery Program (NFRP), which provides a service to Canadians. A new online payment solution for the collection of federal fines was launched in 2023, and four employees living with a disability were given the opportunity to review and test the portal before it was made accessible to the public. A sole barrier was discovered, and work is ongoing to address it.

Barrier worked on in 2022-2023

Key Action:


Prosecutors and paralegals must use different means of transportation on a daily basis in order to attend court, work with investigative agencies, or meet with witnesses in various locations throughout the country.

Barrier worked on in 2022-2023

Key Action by the NCE PwD:


Monthly meetings with the National Council of Employees for PwD have continued throughout the past year, with a break for the months of July and August.

The NCE PwD now sits at 20 employees from coast to coast to coast. The members come from a variety of occupational groups and a large number of disabilities are represented within the council. During the past year, the NCE planned an elaborate daily agenda for NAAW 2023, and prepared several communications and events to educate employees and create a culture of belonging.

A special consultation was held on October 18, 2023, to discuss barriers to transportation. Following this consultation, our Accessibility Plan 2022-2025 was updated accordingly.

The NCE was consulted with the preparation of this Progress Report and members were encouraged to provide comments once a first draft of this report was finalized, as were the managers and directors who helped develop our Accessibility Plan.

A special meeting of the NCE was held on November 1, 2023, to discuss this Progress Report. Comments received from members were incorporated directly into this report. Members were pleased with the progress. One member asked to add data related to the promotion of PwD within the department. Another member mentioned that IT has been consulting PwD with regards to the Amicus project. Finally, a member asked to reframe and add more context to the conclusion of this report as it relates to the self-identification of PwD.


Since January 1, 2023, the Accessibility Officer:

These private conversations with PwD provided meaningful information related to the culture of the office. We tailored all communications and training events during the past year to address concerns raised by PwD.

Feedback was also anonymized and integrated into discussions with internal stakeholders when planning for focused activities for the removal and prevention of barriers within each pillar of our Accessibility Plan.


Accessibility is a priority at the PPSC. We are striving to become an organization where every employee feels that they belong.

We are happy to have seen some progress in the number of PwD who feel they can safely self-identify in PeopleSoft. However, we still have much work ahead of us. A total of 134 PwD had anonymously self-declared in our 2021 survey, while only 87 have done so officially in PeopleSoft. This means that 47 employees are still masking their disability and possibly struggling in their work, unable to ask for the accommodations and workplace adjustments that they require to thrive.

Thanks to the recent updating of the PPSC's values, the choice of more inclusive wording in our job application posters, and the setting up of a new Workplace Accessibility Centre, we are confident that our department is becoming a more inclusive workplace for PwD. Following the Public Service's announcement to hire an additional 5,000 PwD before 2025, we are hopeful that the measures that we are implementing will help all PwDs feel comfortable in bringing their full selves to work and seeking all the accommodations that they require.

Update on self-identification at the PPSC
Update on self-identification at the PPSC
Text description

In June 2021, 59 employees self-identified in PeopleSoft. That number increased to 75 in June 2022 and to 87 in June 2023.

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