AccessAbility Playbook - Introduction Story behind the Playbook


Who we are

The Centre of Expertise for Accessible Client Service

We work for Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Our small team is part of the Strategic Directions Directorate in Citizen Service Branch.

We have built our capacity to better understand the reality of how people live with a disability, and the service barriers that create a challenge when trying to access government programs and services.

Our mandate
  • Conduct research to improve our understanding of the service barriers;
  • Provide advice to programs and service delivery channels;
  • Lead initiatives to improve accessibility of programs and service delivery;
  • Share best practices and learn from others.
How to reach us

If you want to share your thoughts, exchange ideas or have any questions, send an email at

Our story behind the Playbook

The AccessAbility Playbook is part of a broader commitment to make Canada's public service the most accessible and inclusive in the world.

This is our way to engage and share with others what we know about accessibility in client service. We hope this is the start of many conversations. By reading this, you are one step closer to making this possible.

In July 2019, the Government of Canada enacted the Accessible Canada Act. The Act requires government departments to increase the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities or functional limitations, including when designing and delivering programs and services.

The Office of Public Service Accessibility launched a government-wide strategy titled: Nothing without us. This Playbook contributes to Goal 4 "Equip public servants to design and deliver accessible programs and services".

ESDC developed a Roadmap to Improve Accessible Client Service. The Roadmap proposed various accessibility solutions for the Department to adopt and make improvements on how persons with disabilities access ESDC programs and services.

The Centre of Expertise (CoE) for Accessible Client Service was a key recommendation identified in the Roadmap.

About the Playbook

Hi. My name is Billy. I am thrilled to be your guide and have you tag along this accessibility journey.

Why a playbook

To raise awareness in government about accessibility in client service and how to remove barriers in programs and service delivery.

Who is it for

Anyone seeking to better understand accessibility in client service and more specifically for those who initiate, design or deliver government programs and services.

How to use it

Use each play as a guide to explore lessons learned and best practices. Find tips and tools that will help you in making service delivery more accessible.

Meet Billy's friends

Before we start, I want you to meet my friends. All six of them have different needs and expectations.

Play by play, I will share meaningful insights about their experience and challenges when trying to access government programs and services.

Mark, 25 years old lives with a physical disability

Nora, 49 years old lives with a mental health condition

Luca, 31 years old lives with a cognitive disability

Jeremy, 44 years old Lives with a communication disability

Léo, 67 years old Lives with severe hearing loss

Sophie, 36 years old Born with a visual impairment