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Privacy Policy

Last updated: November 24, 2023

The Accessibility Exchange is a website that is run by the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (also called IRIS). IRIS is responsible for information about you that you provide to The Accessibility Exchange. This document explains how IRIS handles information about you. If you have questions about this document please email

Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (“IRIS”, “we”, “us” or “our”) takes the privacy of personal information very seriously. This Privacy Policy applies to and describes the manner in which we collect, use, disclose, and otherwise treat personal information in the course of providing The Accessibility Exchange (the “Platform”), which includes the website portal located at


  • About our Platform
  • Collection and Use of Personal Information
  • Disclosure of Personal Information
  • Information Collected Automatically
  • Third Party Sites
  • Security of Personal Information
  • Retention of Personal Information
  • Your Rights
  • Updates to our Privacy Policy
  • Contact Us


The Accessibility Exchange is an online platform that brings people together to:

  • build strong and effective accessibility plans
  • share information resources
  • learn about accessibility through online training and courses
  • develop innovative solutions to barriers
  • and monitor progress on building an inclusive and accessible Canada,.

The platform enables diverse people with disabilities and Deaf people (including, Indigenous, racialized, Black, 2SLGBTQI+ and other identities) and their supporters and community organizations to

  • access certain consultation services (“Services”) such as consulting on accessibility plans of federally regulated organizations (“FROs”), connecting FROs to community members, and acting as an accessibility consultant to assist other organizations in designing and implementing accessibility plans and learning opportunities
  • connect with other individuals and organizations to collaborate and build capacity for achieving the purpose of the Accessible Canada Act which is to create a “Canada without barriers” by 2040.

In order to facilitate these meaningful partnerships, the Platform enrollment process will ask you to answer a series of questions to set up your account, which may include information about your experience of being a person with a disability, a Deaf person, or a supporter, and your personal background.

The Platform uses this information internally to create or optimize matches between FROs, community organizations and individuals who can provide Services. Only your contact information and information about any specific support needs to enable your participation in the consultation is disclosed by the Platform to FROs to initiate the Services, once you agree to participate. FROs will not receive any personal information from the Platform about an individual until the individual consents to the match made with the FRO.

Our Platform also allows individuals to provide payment information in order to make and accept payments (“Payments”) related to Services. IRIS uses third party service providers to process Payments from FROs for Services which individuals or community organizations provide.


To make The Accessibility Exchange work, it needs to get and use information about you. Four kinds of information are collected: personal contact information, personal support needs information, website use information, and demographic information.

The types of personal information we collect will depend on how you use the Platform. The personal information we collect may include:

“Personal Contact Information” – this information includes:

  • Contact information: such as full name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, social media links
  • Payment information: such as your preferred form of payment
  • Communications and consultation preference information: such as your settings related to how you can be contacted on the Platform, the groups you connect to, and the types of meeting you attended (in-person, virtual phone).
  • Engagement information: such as information related to the kinds of consultations you wish to participate in (e.g., on transportation barriers, or workplace barriers), the format of those consultations (e.g. survey, focus group) and those you are participating in

“Personal Support Needs Information” such as the accessibility features you need to have enabled so you can participate in consultations, for example, ASL/LSQ, communication assistance, personal assistance for in-person consultations, etc..

“Website Use Information” – see section below on “INFORMATION AUTOMATICALLY COLLECTED.” This is information that is automatically collected when you use the website, including, your IP (internet protocol) address, your preferences when using the site so that we can remember and authenticate you (e.g. language preference), and how you use the platform so we can improve users’ experiences. For more information see the section below, or contact us at

“Demographic Information” such as the disabilities you identify with, year of birth, gender, race, ethnicity, languages spoken, and other related information. This information is stored in the database of the platform and encrypted so that no one can access the information, including IRIS.

This information is used for two purposes:

  • Matching: To match individual consultants to consultations being requested by FROs. This is to ensure there is a diversity in participants for consultations, or for responding to requests for consultations with particular disability groups for example
  • Identifying the types of users on the site – for example, the number of people in a certain province or city, the percentage who identify with different disability experiences, gender identity, etc. No personal identifying information is available to IRIS or anyone else.

We may collect other information that you choose to provide to us, or that we collect with your consent.

We use personal information to provide the Platform. This includes:

  • To set up your account, establish, and maintain a relationship with you;
  • To verify your identity or contact you;
  • To make matches between individuals who can provide Services and FROs;
  • To process payments related to Services;
  • To analyze the Platform to better understand users of the Platform and enhance our product and service offerings, including by using personal information to anonymize it so that there is no risk of re-identification of that information;
  • To connect with you if you have an inquiry;
  • To monitor, protect and secure the Platform and our systems, including against fraud;
  • To meet audit, legal, and regulatory processes, and requirements; and
  • Otherwise with your consent or where permitted by law.

With your consent, we may publish your feedback on our Website or other promotional materials.

We may also send you email updates about the Website but you can tell us to stop sending emails at any time.

We may use your Personal Contact Information to send you newsletters and other communications about the Platform. You can opt-out of receiving promotional communications from us by following the opt-out or “unsubscribe” instructions provided in your email, or by contacting us as set out below. Please note that upon unsubscribing, you will continue to receive transactional and account-related electronic messages from us.


To make the Website work we need to share your Personal Contact and Support Needs Information with specific people. This includes people who help us run the Website, people who are looking for help with accessibility plans, and people the law requires us to send information to. We will tell you before we share information with other types of people, and will only share it you agree to have it shared.

Service Providers: In connection with our Platform, we may transfer (or otherwise make available) personal information to third parties who provide services on our behalf. For example, we may use service providers to host our Platform, store data and provide back-up Platform (including cloud-based service providers), process payments, or provide data analytics. Personal information may be maintained and processed by us or our third party service providers in Canada or in the United States. Our service providers are given the information they need to perform their designated functions, and we do not authorize them to use or disclose personal information for their own marketing or other purposes. Service providers may be authorized to used personal information to anonymize it on our behalf for their subsequent use of that anonymized information. For more information about the way in which our service providers treat personal information, please contact us as set out in the “Contact Us” section below.

FROs: If you participate in Services as a consultant, once a potential match has been made to an FRO or other organization, we will ask for your consent before disclosing your Personal Contact or Personal Support Needs Information to the organization. If applicable, your demographic and matching information will be shared with the organization in a de-identified form – so that, for example, an FRO can understand the range of disabilities participants identify with, or other descriptions of the group of consultants as a whole. Once your Personal Contact or Support Needs Information is disclosed to the FRO or other organization, they are responsible for how they use that information. Please contact the FRO or other organization if you have any questions about their use of your personal information.

Business Transactions: We may transfer personal information as an asset in connection with a prospective or completed merger, acquisition or sale (including transfers made as part of insolvency or bankruptcy proceeding) involving all or part of the Platform or as part of a corporate reorganization or other change in corporate control.

Legal: The Platform and its service providers may disclose your personal contact information in response to a search warrant or other legally valid inquiry or order (which may include lawful access by Canadian or other foreign governmental authorities, courts or law enforcement agencies), to other organizations in the case of investigating a breach of an agreement or contravention of law or detecting, suppressing or preventing fraud, or as otherwise required or permitted by applicable Canadian or other law.


We collect most of the information about you directly from you. Some information is collected automatically when you use the Website. You may have the option to control what information is collected automatically using the settings of your web browser. If you have questions about what information is collected automatically please email

Visiting our Website: We collect the IP (Internet protocol) addresses of all visitors to our website and other related information such as page requests, browser type, operating system and average time spent on our website. We use this information to help us understand our website activity and to improve our Website.

Cookies: Our website uses a technology called "cookies". A cookie is a tiny element of data that our website sends to a user’s browser, which may then be stored on the user’s hard drive so that we can recognize the user when they return. We use cookies to remember your preferences and to authenticate you. You may set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie or to not accept certain cookies. However, if you decide not to accept cookies from our Website, you may not be able to take advantage of all of the Website features.

Analytics: We may use third party service providers like Fathom Analytics to collect information about your use of the Platform, such as the features used and time spent on the Platform, to help us better understand our users and improve our Platform. The information we gather is used in an aggregate, non-identifiable form. For information about how information is processed in connection with Fathom Analytics please read the Fathom Analytics Policy here.


If you click a link to another website, we do not control how information about you on that website will be handled. You should read the privacy policy of every website you visit.

Third Party Links: Our Platform may contain links to other websites that Platform does not own or operate. We provide links to third party websites as a convenience to the user. These links are not intended as an endorsement of or referral to the linked websites. The linked websites have separate and independent privacy policies, notices, and terms of use. We do not have any control over such websites, and therefore we have no responsibility or liability for the manner in which the organizations that operate such linked websites may collect, use or disclose, secure and otherwise treat personal information. We encourage you to read the privacy policy of every website you visit.

Social Media: We may offer you the opportunity to engage with Platform content on or through third-party social networking websites, plug-ins and applications. When you engage with us or our content on or through third-party social networking websites, plug-ins and applications, or if you provide links to your social media accounts on your Platform account, you may allow us to have access to certain information associated with your social media account (e.g., name, username, email address, profile picture, gender). We may use this information to personalize your experience on the Platform, including by posting your username on your profile page on the Platform and on the third-party social networking websites, plug-ins and applications, and to provide you with other information you may request.


We protect information about you using physical tools and digital tools. We also make our staff follow rules to protect information about you. We cannot promise this protection is perfect.

We have implemented reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorized access, use, modification and disclosure of personal information in our custody and control. Wherever possible, we use industry-standard encryption techniques to secure our databases. We limit access to personal information to our employees and service providers who require access in connection with their role or function. However, please note that no security measures can offer absolute security and we cannot guarantee that your personal information will not be stolen or accessed without authorization.


We get rid of information about you when we no longer need to keep it.

Personal information is maintained on our servers or those of our service providers and is accessible by authorized employees, representatives and agents who require access for the purposes identified in this Privacy Policy. We have personal information retention processes designed to retain personal information for no longer than necessary for the purposes for which such information was provided or to otherwise meet legal requirements.


You can ask us to see the information about you that we have by emailing us at You can also ask us to stop using information about you at any time. Please ask us if you have any questions about how we use information about you.

You may request access, updating or correction of your personal information (subject to limited exceptions prescribed by law) by submitting a written request to the Platform’s Privacy Officer (see “Contact Us” below). You may also have the right, in specified circumstances depending on your jurisdiction, to object to our use of your personal information, to request the deletion of your personal information or restrict its use, to request a copy of the information you have provided to us be transferred to another person. You may also (subject to contractual and legal restrictions) refuse to provide your consent, or choose to withdraw your consent, to our processing of your personal information by contacting us as described below. Note that if you refuse to consent, or withdraw your consent, to certain processing of your personal information, we may not be able to provide certain of our services.

If you have any questions about these rights, or you would like to exercise any of them, please contact us as described below. We may request certain personal information for the purposes of verifying your identity.


If we make changes to this privacy policy we will let you know on the Website.

This Privacy Policy may be updated periodically to reflect changes to our personal information practices. The revised Privacy Policy will be posted on our website. We strongly encourage you to please refer to this Privacy Policy often for the latest information about our personal information practices.

The user acknowledges that a French version of these Terms and related documents have been provided to the user and that the user has opted to be bound by the English version.

L'utilisateur reconnaît avoir reçu une version française des présentes modalités et des documents y afférant et avoir choisi d'être lié par la version anglaise.


Please contact our Privacy Officer at if you have any questions, comments or complaints about this Privacy Policy or the personal information practices of us or our service providers.