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Ottawa, 28 March 2013

Mr. Ted Woodhead
Senior Vice-President
Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs
Telecommunications Communications Company (TELUS)
215 Slater Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 0A6


Dear Mr. Woodhead:

Subject: TELUS deferral account accessibility proposals

In letters to the Commission dated 15 November 2011 and 27 January 2012, TELUS requested Commission approval of deferral account funding for an initiative intended to improve the accessibility of its websites through the implementation of a Website Accessibility Compliance Audit. TELUS submitted that the total amount to be drawn from its deferral account for accessibility initiatives is $1.735M.

To formalize this request, TELUS is requested to file with the Commission a Part 1 application on or before 29 April 2013, pursuant to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, serving it on the enclosed list of persons at Attachment A.

TELUS’ application is to be filed with its responses to staff requests for information set out in Attachment B and is to include the documents listed in Attachment C. All documents are to follow specific staff requests regarding the accessibility of filed documents set out later in this letter.

Commission staff has conducted an extensive review of the file to date and has concluded that the balance remaining in TELUS’ deferral account for accessibility initiatives is $1,735,133 (see Attachment D). This amount represents: 1) funds leftover from TELUS’ “Special Needs Centre;” and 2) funds not utilized by TELUS for its Commission-approved “Future Service Accessibility” initiative.

TELUS has reported that it has completed its “Special Needs Centre” initiative. With respect to TELUS’ “Future Service Accessibility” initiative, staff notes that the Commission approved it in Decision 2008-1 after a full public consultation that involved various parties including those that represent persons with disabilities.

Given this, Commission staff considers TELUS’ request to use monies earmarked for its “Future Service Accessibility” initiative for its proposed new initiative to be a redirection of deferral account funds. As a result, TELUS is to file a Part 1 application no later than 29 April 2013, serving a copy on those persons listed in Attachment A. With its application, TELUS is to file its responses to the requests for information set out in Attachment B.
For efficiency of process, TELUS is also requested to file with its application all information pertaining to its “Future Service Accessibility” initiative that was submitted to the Commission including the documents listed at Attachment C. Moreover, given that some of the information provided in the documents listed at Attachment C were filed in confidence with the Commission over five years ago, TELUS is requested to file the information in these documents without designating it as confidential or provide specific rationale as to why the designated information in each document should continue to be considered confidential in accordance with Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, which states:
“Generic statements such as “the release of this information to competitors would result in specific, direct harm to the company” are not sufficient. Parties must provide sufficient reasons to allow meaningful analysis by the Commission or another party who may wish to request disclosure of the information.”
Accessibility of filed documents
TELUS is requested to ensure that its application is filed in a manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes both accessible formats as well as “accessibility of use” of documents filed. Accessibility of use entails clear naming convention for all of the elements, such as Appendices and Attachments, that all of the elements are referenced in such a way that all persons, including those with disabilities, are able to navigate the files and assemble the application.



Steven Harroun
A/Director General
Strategic Policy Directorate
Consumer Affairs and Strategic Policy



Canadian Association of the Deaf; Ontario College of Art and Design, Treviranus,; ARCH;; Council of Canadians with Disabilities,; Council of Canadians with Disabilities,; Independent Living Canada,; Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB),; Canadian Council of the Blind,; Ottawa Deaf Centre,; Ontario Association of the Deaf,; The Canadian Hearing Society,; Canadian Association for Community Living,; Centre québécois de la déficience auditive,; Public Interest Law Centre,; Disability and Information Technologies (Dis-IT),;; Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians/L'Alliance pour l'égalité des aveugles canadiens,;; Neil Squire; Society,; Chris Stark,;; Clayton Zekelman, clayton@MNSi.Net; Beverley Milligan, Media Access Canada,; Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec,


TELUS’ “Future Service Accessibility Initiative”
1. Provide the rationale for not implementing this initiative, including details on consultations undertaken. Also, specify any activities that TELUS undertook to identify a similar initiative that would provide for the same capabilities as originally proposed.
2. As informed by its consultations with organizations representing persons with disabilities, provide TELUS’ view as to the direct impact that not implementing its “Future Service Accessibility” initiative would have on improved access to telecommunications services by its customers with disabilities (i.e., what do these customers stand to lose in improved access to telecommunications services should TELUS fail to deliver its “Future Service Accessibility” initiative).

Provide this information in a manner that clearly sets out the following information by each service for each disability group (i.e., visual, mobility, dexterity, cognitive, hearing, and speech disabilities):

3. In its submissions to the Commission in the proceeding that led to Decision 2008-1, TELUS emphasized the “inclusive design” and the “consultative” aspects of its “Future Service Accessibility” initiative. At paragraph 20 of Decision 2008-1, the Commission stated that:
“...the use of inclusive design principles at the early stage of service development would improve access to telecommunications services by making them usable by as many people as possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”
a) Given the above, as informed by its consultations with organizations representing persons with disabilities, provide with substantiating detail TELUS’ view as to the direct impact that not implementing its “Future Service Accessibility” initiative would have on TELUS’ ability to incorporate inclusive design considerations into its service development processes and to deliver products and services that are usable by as many people as possible without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
b) How does TELUS define a “techno-accessibility expert?” Provide examples of “techno-accessibility experts” consulted.
TELUS’ proposed website initiative
4. Specify the extent to which the implementation of the Website Accessibility Compliance Audit would ensure compliance of TELUS’ websites to the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or the requirements of any other legislation, or pending legislation, that governs the jurisdictions where TELUS does business. Include in your answer justifying rationale as to why meeting the obligations of AODA, or any other legislation, is an appropriate use of deferral account funds.
5. Has TELUS consulted with organizations that represent persons with disabilities other than the CNIB in regard to its proposed website initiative? If yes,
a) Provide details of the consultations with other organizations representing persons with disabilities, specifying their area of focus;
b) Provide the feedback from these organizations in regard to TELUS’ proposed website initiative; and
c) Did TELUS inform any of the consulted organizations before or during the consultations that the funds proposed for use by TELUS for its website initiative would be re-allocated from another initiative that was approved by the Commission in Decision 2008-1.

6. Specify by percentage the extent to which TELUS’ proposed website initiative applies to Telecommunications products and services, as opposed to Broadcasting products and services.

TELUS’ Internal Programs
7. In Decision 2008-1, the Commission approved three internal programs at TELUS:
1) TELUS Accessibility Committee; 2) Incorporation of inclusive design considerations in service development; and 3) Work with wireless device manufacturers to procure accessible wireless handsets.

In a letter dated 27 Jan 2012, TELUS confirmed that these internal programs have been in place since Decision 2008-1, are still in force on an ongoing basis, and are entirely funded by TELUS. TELUS also noted that no economic studies were filed in support to these programs in its 1 Sept 2006 proposal.

a) Provide status information on each internal program including details pertaining to: its objectives; membership (including representation of the needs of persons with disabilities); internal reports; and the improvements to access of telecommunications delivered by TELUS to its customers with disabilities.
i. With respect to TELUS’ “Incorporation of inclusive design considerations in service development,” provide the status of TELUS’ proposed development of inclusive design guidelines and the incorporation of these into TELUS’ product/service development and implementation cycles.
ii. With respect to TELUS’ “Work with wireless device manufacturers to procure accessible wireless handsets,” provide details of the steps that TELUS has taken to understand the needs of its customers with disabilities and the steps that TELUS has taken to work with the manufacturers of wireless devices to address these needs.
iii. With respect to the “TELUS Accessibility Committee,” provide the following details relevant to the Committee and its primary functions.


1. Website Accessibility Compliance Audit, prepared by CNIB Accessibility Consulting, August 25, 2011.
2. TELUS’ 1 Sep 2006 Proposal including Attachments – Follow-up to Paragraph 211 of Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-9 Disposition of funds in the Deferral Account Proposed programs and services to improve accessibility to telecommunication services for persons with disabilities.
3. TELUS’ 31 July 2007 Argument – Accessibility Proposals, Final Argument of TELUS Communications Company, 31 July 2007.
4. TELUS’ 31 Jul 2007 Reply Argument – Accessibility Proposals, Reply Argument of TELUS Communications Company, 31 July 2007.
5. TELUS (CRTC)5Dec06-605
6. TELUS (CRTC)5Dec06-606
7. TELUS (CRTC)5Dec06-607
8. TELUS (CRTC)5Dec06-608
9. TELUS (CAD)30Mar07-2
10. TELUS (CAD)30Mar07-3
11. TELUS (CCA_CQDA)30Mar07-2
12. TELUS (CRTC)30Mar07-6006
13. TELUS (CRTC)30Mar07-6009
14. TELUS (CRTC)30Mar07-6010
15. TELUS (CRTC)30Mar07-6011

Remaining Balance for
Deferral Account Accessibility Initiatives Approved in Decision 2008-1

1. IP Relay:
Earmarked: $###
Additional: $###
Total Utilized: $###

2. Video Relay Trial:
Earmarked: $###
Additional: $### and $###
Total Utilized: $###

3. Enhanced Directory Assistance (EDA):
Earmarked: $###
Total Utilized: $###

4. Special Needs Centre ($### remains):
Earmarked: $###
Total Utilized: $###

5..Future Service Accessibility:
Earmarked: $###
Total Utilized: $0

6. Drawdown for TELUS Internal Programs
Earmarked: $0
Total Utilized: $0

Total amount utilized to date: $###
Total amount earmarked: $###
Balance remaining: $1,735,133

Breakdown of Balance Remaining:


Proposals submitted to the proceeding that led to Decision 2008-1

Review of Proposals to dispose of the funds accumulated in deferral accounts

Annual Reports

Date modified: