Developing a framework for measuring culture change related to accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities

Reasons for the study

Research shows people with disabilities are often not permitted to, and/or are prevented from, participating in various activities in society, including employment. This exclusion can be partly attributed to various barriers and forms of discrimination described as institutional, environmental and attitudinal. These forms of discrimination work to exclude people through institutions’ day-to-day interactions, lack of accessibility and prevailing attitudes. Culture change is needed to make substantive and sustainable change.

However, without clear and robust measures to track culture change and outcomes, it is difficult to see the impact of efforts related to advancing social inclusion and accessibility. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a comprehensive list of indicators of culture change that can be used to measure progress in achieving targets set out in the Accessible Canada Act and to gauge improvements in accessibility and inclusion of persons with disability in all facets of society.

Objectives of the study

  • Develop a conceptual framework and measurement protocol for culture change relevant to accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities, with a focus on the priority domains in the Accessible Canada Act, including “employment” as one of the domains
  • Conduct a scoping review involving a rapid review of peer-reviewed and grey literatures
  • Conduct an environmental scan in the form of discussions with stakeholders in Canada and experts in other jurisdictions
  • Document gaps in data sources and develop strategies to fill them

Target audience

Federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments and policy-makers, as well as employers, educators, health-care providers, service providers and the public at large, will have a framework by which to gauge culture change regarding inclusion of persons with disabilities and how well targets in the Accessible Canada Act are being met.

Project status


Research team

  • Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Amir Mofidi, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
  • Sabrina Imam, Institute for Work & Health
  • Rebecca Gewurtz, McMaster University

Collaborators and partners

Employment and Social Development Canada

Funded by

Employment and Social Development Canada