The findings from our project (funded by Accessibility Standards Canada) are from key informant interviews, focus groups, and a survey taken by 2,642 participants, which documented that:
- 13 percent of Canadians 15 and older struggle with limited mobility, which is significantly more than the less than two percent that use wheeled mobility devices;
- Federal accessibility standards have focused exclusively on accessibility for those using wheeled mobility devices;
- Limited mobility results in significant community participation restrictions, or social isolation;
- If persons with limited mobility fear that they will have to walk too far, they often opt to stay home rather than access in-person services and programs;
- Limited mobility also results in dependency on others to help meet needs outside the home, the need for continual self-advocacy, and the need to ingratiate oneself with others to ensure goodwill;
- Those with limited mobility may struggle with self-esteem issues due to limitations on social engagement and a lack of serendipitous encounters;
- Societal messaging has reinforced negative attitudes towards those with limited mobility, designating them as not keeping physically fit; and
- The key accessibility barriers for those with limited mobility with regards to the design and delivery of federal programs and services are distance to be walked in order to access federal programs and services and time standing unsupported to wait for or receive service.
Survey data are summarized on the Fact Sheet on Limited Mobility: June 2023.