Ensuring an accessible travel experience from reservation to destination with sign-language videos

Creating a barrier-free Canada doesn’t start on board or in-station, it starts way before that. At VIA Rail, we’re reimaging the way we move people, from reservation to destination, to deliver new levels of comfort, accessibility, and sustainability for all. And that’s why we’re proud to announce the latest step on our journey to ensuring a barrier-free travel experience for VIA Rail passengers: sign language videos on our website.

One of the more than 18 successfully completed and ongoing projects that aim to bring us closer to our vision of universal accessibility, this initiative was designed with our passengers with hearing disabilities in mind. People with “invisible” disabilities, such as the deaf and hard-of-hearing, often go unnoticed. But, according to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide, speaking more than 300 different sign languages[1]! In Canada, written languages such as English and French may only be a second language for them.

To allow those belonging to this community to find important and practical information on our services and navigate the booking process with ease, we’re integrating interpretation videos in American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes du Québec (LSQ), the two sign languages most commonly spoken in Canada, to various sections of our website.

Watch a special message on the project from our President and CEO, Cynthia Garneau, below.


By spring 2022, the home page and Accessibility section of our website will be more accessible for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, helping them to travel safely and autonomously.

“As a Crown Corporation whose mandate is to provide passenger rail service from coast-to-coast, it is our duty to ensure that accessing this essential service be a simple, seamless experience for all. This project will bring us one step closer to our goal of being Canada’s most accessible mobility option. We hope it will inspire others to join us.” 

 - Catherine Langlois, Senior Advisor, Universal Accessibility

To read more on what we’re doing to create a barrier-free Canada, visit our Accessibility Page.