Travelling with disabilities

Accessibility standards can vary greatly from one country to another.  Many countries do not have facilities to provide access to people in wheelchairs or provide services for those with hearing, visual, or other disabilities.

Contact your destination country’s embassy or consulate in Canada to find out about the services available for travellers with disabilities there.

If you hold a valid accessible parking permit in Canada, it may be used in any member country of the International Transport Forum (ITF). Check with local authorities if you can use it in a country that is not a member of the ITF. 

Travel by air

Check the websites of your airline and the airport at your destination to find out what services are available to travellers with disabilities.

Plan your flight 

Booking your flight

Make sure your airline is aware of your needs so it can help ensure your safety and comfort. You may want to ask about services or conditions such as: 

Consulting your doctor

Ask if you will need to take precautions during your trip, and:

Packing medication

Pack your medication in your carry-on baggage and always bring documentation that supports your medical condition.

Travelling with a service animal

If you are travelling outside Canada, there may be rules and restrictions related to travelling with a service animal, including:

Keep any required documentation for your service animal with you at all times while you are visiting foreign countries.

At the airport

Check-in

Don’t hesitate to ask your airline for help with your mobility aids and carry-on items.

Security screening

When you arrive at the security checkpoint, let the screening officer know about any mobility, vision, hearing, speech, medical, or other needs. Screening options are available for most passengers with special needs:

If someone is helping you through the pre-boarding screening process, but is not boarding a flight, they will need a gate pass or authorization from the airline’s check-in counter. They must pass through the same security screening as other passengers.

Boarding gate

When you arrive at the gate, take advantage of priority boarding services. If you have difficulty carrying your carry-on baggage, ask an airline staff member for help when your boarding pass is issued at check-in.

Accessible transportation in Canada

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) creates accessibility regulations, codes of practice and guidelines to protect the fundamental human right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services in Canada.

If you have a complaint about accessibility and can’t resolve it directly with the transportation service provider, the CTA can help you resolve it through facilitation, mediation or adjudication.

The CTA Accessible Transportation website includes:

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