What we learned: Accessibility of Canada Revenue Agency publications

Context and background

The Accessible Canada Act (the Act) came into force in July 2019. The Act reinforces the Government of Canada’s commitment to proactively identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility within the government’s span of influence.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is fully committed to the Act’s goal of making Canada barrier-free by January 1, 2040. In an effort to apply the Agency’s People First philosophy, the CRA recognizes that accessibility is a fundamental part of the client experience, and strengthening the accessibility of our programs, services, and policies is a priority.

The insights collected from this consultation will help the CRA to develop its Publication Accessibility Plan. That plan will address and improve the accessibility of tax and benefit administration forms and guides contributing to a seamless, empathic, and client-centric experience for all Canadians.

Share your thoughts: Accessibility of select Canada Revenue Agency publications” consultations were held from September 1, 2022, to October 4, 2022.

Consultation process

The CRA held six, one-on-one, in-depth interviews with community volunteers and service providers who help persons with disabilities obtain, complete, and submit benefit and tax forms. A sample list of forms and guides were provided. The community volunteers and service providers consulted were from organizations that reached out to the CRA expressing interest via a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) newsletter call out.

Consultation interviews were 30 to 60 minutes in length and were held online via Microsoft Teams. The first part of the interviews sought information about the participant’s organization and their experience helping clients to use CRA materials. The second part of the interview sought participant recommendations for improving accessibility of CRA forms and guides.

Key findings

Participants shared many insights regarding the various accessibility barriers both staff and clients face and how these barriers affect their experience. The findings were grouped into three themes:

Theme 1 – Barriers when searching for information in forms or guides, and using and submitting forms

Consultation participants identified the following barriers:

Theme 2 – Feedback on layout, design, form functionality, and text readability of forms and guides

Participants provided the following feedback on the barriers their clients face:

Theme 3 – Recommendations to address the barriers

Participants recommended the following:

What’s next?

The CRA will use the insights and feedback about accessibility barriers and the various recommendations to continue our work with stakeholders and program areas to develop an action plan. The action plan will address the identified barriers to make CRA forms and guides more accessible.

The CRA would like to thank the participants for sharing their experiences and for working with us to improve accessibility in CRA tax and benefit administration publications.

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