CACUSS values inclusive and safe environments where all attendees may build relationships, celebrate their personal and professional growth and contribute to the CACUSS community. The CACUSS conference team strives to foster positive intellectual and social spaces where all attendees feel included, understood, appreciated and respected across all conference aspects. 

Conference Attendees

The term conference attendee refers to all conference participants, including staff, volunteers, workers, presenters and delegates. 

How does CACUSS define access and accessibility?

Access refers to the ability of all people to enjoy and benefit from the conference, taking into account personal and cultural dimensions.

The term accessibility relates to disability and the ability to use services or participate in conference activities.

Where can I learn about the Shaw Centre’s emergency procedures?

The Shaw Centre app details emergency procedures and other useful information. The app is titled, Shaw Centre. For information about how to download their app, see the instructions page about how to download the app. Areas of Refuge/Rescue Assistance are available on each floor to facilitate the safe holding and evacuation of people with mobility impairments and people who are unable to evacuate independently. Evacuation to the Rideau Centre Terrace on Level 3 is possible.

What are some of the conference’s key access and inclusion features?  

The conference’s key access and inclusion features are: event descriptions, quiet room, gender neutral restrooms, the CACUSS Café, and volunteers. Each feature is described in more detail below.

Quiet Room

A Quiet Room in Meeting Room 107 will be available in the Shaw Centre throughout the conference. This room is available to all conference attendees to use in any way, whether to pray, meditate, nap or other. The Quiet Room will be open during the following times:

Monday June 12: 8AM – 5PM

Tuesday June 13: 8AM – 5PM

Wednesday June 14: 8AM – 5PM

Gender neutral restrooms

The family bathrooms located on the South end of the Centre on the 2nd and 3rd floor were permanently converted to gender-neutral bathrooms. The single unit bathrooms will be accessible to everyone.


The CACUSS Café will be open for those who wish to have quiet conversation or fuel up on water or coffee. The Café will provide tables and chairs. Beverages will be available free of charge, and donations will be accepted for Do it for Daron. To learn more about this charity, visit the Do it for Daron website.

Monday June 12: 10:30AM – 5PM

Tuesday June 13: 9AM – 5PM

Wednesday June 14: 9AM – 4PM


A large team of volunteers will be available to assist conference attendees during all conference programming. Volunteers will be wearing a distinct t-shirt. Placed in strategic locations throughout the conference buildings, this team will be available to direct attendees to conference rooms, key programming elements and to provide assistance in any way.

What are some of the Shaw Centre’s accessibility features?

The Shaw Centre Facility meets all major accessibility and building codes.  Key features include and are not limited to: door-less washrooms, accessible washroom stalls that are wheelchair accessible and at least 1500 x 1600 mm, lavatories and soap dispensers are hands free, ramps in public areas have a slope of at least 1:13. The ramps have a colour-contrasting strip at the top and bottom, stairs feature contrasting colours, edging and tactile warnings. In addition, the exterior landscape, including the pedestrian crossings, was designed with pedestrian crossing signals and a tactile wayfinding guide to ensure the safe crossing and wayfinding by persons with visual impairments.

How do attendees request accessibility services?

The registration form includes an option to request accessibility services, such as CART or sign language interpretation. A member of the conference access team will confirm individual requests with each attendee.

Attendees can place or confirm a request in two alternative ways: by emailing or phoning 416 660 5724.

What is the deadline to request accessibility services?

We ask that attendees submit requests for accessibility services (CART, attendant services, etc.) as soon as possible, by May 26, 2017.

We invite questions, concerns and comments regarding accessibility at any point before, during or after the conference. Please reach us at, by phone at 416 660 5724 or see us at the Access Hub.

Which sessions will automatically feature Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) service?

The June 12, 13 and 14 Plenary Sessions in the Shaw Centre will feature CART.

One breakout session in each concurrent session block will run in the main plenary room and will also feature CART.

Will there be a liaison person on-site at the conference, with whom I could discuss my accessibility service request?

A dedicated Access Hub will be open at all times during the conference. Located near the registration area in the Shaw Centre, the Hub’s staff will be available to answer questions and provide pre-requested materials or accessibility equipment, such as large print materials or direction to FM systems available in the plenary.

What else will be at the Access Hub?

The following information describes the Access Hub and the hours that it will be in service. The Access Hub is a designated counter in the Shaw Centre attending to all matters that relate to access and inclusion. The Access Hub team will be available to:

  • provide assistance as it relates to religious or spiritual practice or observance
  • make additional requests for accessibility services
  • provide information about inclusive and accessible restaurants
  • connect conference attendees with on-site attendant services
  • provide pre-requested materials in large print
  • provide a tire pump
  • loan wheelchairs
  • answer questions about FM systems or other accessibility equipment
  • provide information about transportation, including accessible options.

The Access Hub will be open during following dates and times:

Saturday June 10: 8AM - 5PM – at Shaw Centre

Sunday June 11: 8AM – 6PM - Carleton University, Tory Building + 6PM – 8PM Canadian Museum of Nature

Monday June 12: 8AM – 5PM - Shaw Centre

Tuesday June 13: 8AM – 5PM - Shaw Centre

Wednesday June 14: 8AM – 12PM - Shaw Centre

Will presenters be sharing their presentations after the conference? Will note takers be available?

Some presentation materials, such as PowerPoint slides, will be available after the conference, pending the presenters’ permission. Those presentations that the CACUSS team obtains permission to share will be placed online and made accessible for CACUSS members.  Those who are not CACUSS members and who wish to view the available presentations are welcome to contact Allison Girardin, Conference Manager, at 416 660 5724 or

Upon request, attendees are welcome to request a volunteer note taker to provide notes of conference proceedings. Those who wish to request note taking assistance are invited to notify a staff member/volunteer at the Access Hub or to email or phone 416 660 5724.

What is the Shaw Centre’s policy regarding service and comfort animals?

Animals or pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted in the Shaw Centre except when an approved exhibit, activity or performance legitimately requires the use of animals. Such animals or pets must be on a leash or in an enclosed pen, and under control at all times. The owner must take full responsibility for his or her pet.

Are there any discounted registration fees for personal support workers?

We ask all guests with questions about personal support worker or attendant registration to speak with the Conference Manager, Allison Girardin, at

How can attendees place a dietary request? What will the food menu be like?

The registration form includes an option for attendees to indicate dietary requests. To confirm a request, guests can contact the Conference Manager, Allison Girardin, at

CACUSS is committed to offering nutritious meals with an emphasis on proteins and vegetables to keep attendees energized throughout the conference. Each conference meal will offer vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free options. Please note that the Shaw Centre kitchen does have traces of nuts. An overview of all food served during the conference is available on our website.

Will the conference accommodate my observation of Ramadan?

We have a Islamic Prayer Room reserved for the duration of the conference that all attendees are welcome to use. The Islamic Prayer Room is located in Meeting Room 101 on the first floor of the Shaw Centre. This space will be open at all times between 7AM and 5PM.

The conference registration form will include a space for attendees to indicate whether they are observing Ramadan.

The conference restaurant list features halal restaurants that are alcohol-free. For each conference program evening, we have listed suggested restaurants or cafes that are alcohol free.

Should you have any concerns, requests or feedback regarding how the conference team could improve your experience, please email, phone 416 660 5724 or visit the Access Hub.

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How can presenters make their sessions inclusive?

The CACUSS team asks that you factor readability and accessibility into your presentation design.  This will ensure that all attendees, regardless of their concentration style, level of vision, language level and seating location in the conference spaces, will enjoy and learn from your presentation.

Upon introducing yourself to your audience, please indicate your preferred pronoun, for example, “my name is Shad and I prefer the pronoun ‘he.’”

Be mindful of the language you use in your presentations. When referring to any specific population please ensure that you are using inclusive and politically correct language. To confirm the appropriateness of your language use, we encourage you to obtain feedback from your institution’s equity office or from your institution’s department that serves the population you plan to discuss.

Follow accessible presentation guidelines and tips. Accessibility guidelines and tips will be sent to speakers, booth staff, and poster presenters. For a sneak peak of this document, see Minimum Expectations of CACUSS Presenters

Are there any helpful online resources that provide accessibility guideline information?

For more information, see the Council of Ontario University’s page regarding accessible PowerPoint presentations. To view Microsoft’s tips on accessible PowerPoint presentations, see their PowerPoint accessibility page. Further, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) offers information
about developing accessible media. To view the CNIB’s resources, see their Clear Print Guidelines. For tips on colour contrast and font size checkers, see WebAIM’s Contrast Checker.

Where can I receive support in order to make my presentation accessible and inclusive?

Due to the CACUSS conference’s high volume of presentations, the conference coordinators encourage you to work within your teams to support one another as much as possible.

If needed, please consider working with your institution’s departments that oversee accessibility efforts or have expertise in accessible document creation, accessible instruction and accessible presentations. Your equity office, teaching and learning unit, information technology office or disability service office may have useful leads for you.

Should you have difficulty in meeting our accessibility guidelines, please do not hesitate to reach Allison Girardin, Conference Manager at 416 660 5724.

An Access Review Committee will review all presentations after their submission to the Presentation Management System on Monday, May 29, 2017. Should you encounter roadblocks in designing your presentation, please be assured that the Access Review Committee will note any issues and provide assistance when needed.

We encourage all presenters, whether they have last-minute questions or must change their presentation, to visit the speaker ready room, in Show Office 2C-D on the first floor of the Shaw Centre.

How do I convert my PowerPoint presentation to an .rtf file for review by conference team?

All PowerPoint presentations must be submitted to conference staff for review as a Rich Text File (.rtf). Those using assistive technology, like a screen reader, can therefore access the transcript of your presentation slides. The quickest way to ensure you submit a transcript of the slides is to "Save As" in PowerPoint, and save as a Rich Text Format (.rtf). The resulting file will not have images but will have the text with headings listed on the left side when open in Word (a program assistive technologies use). With an .rtf file, the conference staff can ensure that those requesting this presentation format will be accommodated.

I am a presenter with a disability and I would like to request accessibility services.

The registration form includes an option to request accessibility services, such as CART or sign language interpretation. A member of the access team will directly follow up with those who make requests.

Alternatively, attendees can make or confirm a request by emailing or phoning Allison Giardin, Conference Manager, at 416 660 5724.

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Conference access and inclusion

Learn What to Expect for each conference component and social excursion

Each conference component and social activity will have an accompanying What to Expect description, which provides insight into the event venue’s physical space, style, sounds and other notable features. Aligned with the CACUSS conference’s value of access and inclusion, the What to Expect descriptions will discuss components that may provide an environment that will be fully enjoyed by all conference attendees.

Crowd   Crowd – What is the estimated number of people who will attend the event?

Sound/lighting  Sound/lighting – How quiet or loud is the event expected to be?

Space/quiet space  Space/quiet space – Where could I find private, quiet space to rest, meditate or pray?

Language   Language – What languages will be used at this event? For example, will there be French, English or sign language interpretation available?

Alcohol/beverage  Alcohol/beverage – Will alcohol be served? Will there be alcohol-free areas at the event venue?

Food/service   Food/service – Will there be food available, at this event? What kinds of foods? Will service staff be available to assist with taking food and beverage orders?

Restrooms   Restrooms – Are there gendered and non-gendered washrooms available at this venue? Are there private restrooms? Are there wheelchair accessible washrooms?

Elevators/stairs  Elevators/stairs – Are there stairs and/elevators available at this event?

Transportation/terrain  Transportation/terrain – How could I get to and from this event? Are there terrain considerations?

Attendant care  Attendant care – Will personal attendants be available to people with disabilities for activities of daily living? How can I request an attendant?

Get involved - give feedback regarding the conference’s access and inclusion program?

We invite your questions, requests and feedback about the CACUSS conference’s level of access and inclusion.

The Access Hub team will be available to you throughout the conference, located at the registration desk on the 2nd floor of the SHAW Centre.

Email or phone Allison at 416 660 5724 or enquire at the Access Hub, which is located at the registration desk on the 2nd floor.

Hotels, transportation and restaurants

The following restaurants offer Halal options.  Please check our website for other accessible restaurants you can enjoy while in Ottawa!

I am looking for accessible accommodations, what will be available during CACUSS?

The conference hotels offer accessible hotel rooms on a first-come, first served basis. Please book early to secure your room.

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at Carleton University’s Housing and Residence Services. The room prices are lower than traditional hotel fees, and accessible rooms may be available. On-site personal care attendants will be available on an on-call basis, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. We ask those who wish to use attendant services on the Carleton University campus to note their request on the conference registration form, or email or phone 416 660 5724.

What accessible transit service providers will be available to attendees?

The following information outlines the OC Transpo bus accessibility features, the city’s Para Transpo service for those who cannot use conventional public transit, UberASSIST, and one of Ottawa’s Taxi companies.

OC Transpo offers a fully accessible, low-floor bus fleet. To learn more, see the OC Transpo accessibility page.

Some of the other OC Transpo accessibility features are

  • Kneeling feature that allows the bus to lower to the curb so the first step is easier
  • Ramp for easy boarding, with slip-resistant surface and raised edges to prevent your assistive device, wheelchair, walker or scooter from rolling off
  • Cooperative or priority seating near the front of the bus for persons with disabilities and other customers who may have difficulty standing on a moving bus
  • Visual display of the next stop, bus route, destination and time on a sign inside the bus
  • Visual warning light and audible alarm when the kneeling feature or ramp are being raised or lowered
  • Slip-resistant, low-glare floors
  • Lights to illuminate the doorway, passages and bus interior during the loading and unloading of customers
  • Colour-contrasted handholds and grab bars (adapted from the OC Transpo website).

OC Transpo’s service, Para Transpo, is a public transportation alternative for customers who cannot use conventional transit. Para Transpo has allowed conference attendees the opportunity to request personal service if needed. A one-way ride costs $3.40 and attendees must call in advance to request transportation. To book Para Transpo service, call Marc at 613-842-3681. To learn more about Para Transpo, see the Para Transpo information page.

Ottawa offers UberASSIST, a transportation alternative, which serves seniors and riders with disabilities. To use UberASSIST, simply download the Uber app and use the UberASSIST option.

Ottawa Taxi companies, such as, BlueLine, offer accessible vehicle options.  To reach BlueLine, call 613-238-1111.


Conference Restaurant List

Click here for a complete list of accessible and Halal restaurant options close to the Shaw Centre. 

Special note regarding restaurants

Ottawa is the centre of the year-long celebrations for Canada’s 150th Birthday! June will certainly be a busy month in the city, on the streets and in shops and restaurants. We encourage you to consider adding additional travel time to your activities and reserving your restaurant visits.

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