Annex: Intersectional and cultural considerations

Annex: Intersectional and cultural considerations

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Everyone is different – for each of us, multiple and diverse factors define our identity.

These identity factors can include sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, geography, culture, income, sexual orientation and education, among others.

These factors affect how we understand and experience the world. Some factors can be intersectional, combining to affect our understanding and experience in new ways. Some factors, both historically and in the present, have also been targets of discrimination.

Below are some things to consider as you plan your consultations. These lists are not exhaustive; some examples may apply to some persons with disabilities and not to others. Take them as a starting point for thinking about how different cultural and identity factors can intersect with disability and contribute to barriers.


Because everyone is different, remember that different people may also prefer that you use different words or terms to address or describe them. Language and usage are also constantly evolving, and different words may become more or less accepted over time.

These guidance materials use terminology consistent with other Government of Canada publications. Nevertheless, it is always best to follow the lead set by the people you meet and consult. If they prefer a certain vocabulary, you may wish to use those words as well.

Read the annex on inclusive language relating to accessibility and disability. Remember also to use respectful, culturally sensitive, and culturally safe wording when referring to different persons, groups, and communities. For example:

Intersecting factors

Here are a few examples of how identity-based discrimination can affect the barriers persons with disabilities face:

Additional resources

Identity factors in planning consultations

You should keep in mind how different identity factors matter for persons with disabilities as you plan your consultations. These factors could affect how invitees participate in your consultations, for example, or create barriers to accessibility for some participants.

Here are some things to consider when planning your consultations:

Cultural factors in planning consultations

Here are some other cultural factors to consider when planning your consultation:

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