Barrier Free Elections

As of October 2015, all polling sites in Canada must feature either power assisted door openers or dedicated person to assist with door openings. On Election Day your voting station must be barrier free when you enter your polling station.

Check out your own polling station. Take a photo of any non-accessible door. Please email Stop Ableism if your polling station does not have barrier free doors at Please help to improve accessibility for future elections.

Guelph's Matt Wozenilek wins battle to improve voting accessibility

By Lisa Xing, CBC News |  September 2014

Elections Canada is improving accessibility to its polling stations across the country thanks to a Guelph man.

Matt Wozenilek has had a rare neurological disorder since he was 27. As a result, he uses a wheelchair and has a service dog.

His experiences trying to vote in the last two federal elections inspired him to take Elections Canada to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. In 2011, he relied on a passerby to help him into a polling station.

"Once I got in I couldn't get into the area where you're supposed to vote, either," he said. "So, I voted in the hallway ... it planted seeds of anger and resentment because I was being treated like a second class citizen."

Wozenilek said he then decided to speak out for himself, but also for others living with disabilities.

"A lot of people in their wheelchairs, or with their disabilities, or diseases, or conditions, don't have the time or the energy to do that," said Wozenilek. "So, I did what I could."

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing began Aug. 25 in Guelph.

But the two sides agreed to mediation, and a few days later they reached a settlement.

Elections Canada agreed to improve access for those in wheelchairs, either through using locations with automatic doors or having staff open doors at all 20,000 polling stations across the country.

"Elections Canada is currently conducting a national survey of polling sites within its data bank to determine the accessibility of all Canadian sites," the body said in a statement. "The survey results will be published and shared with the Advisory Group for Disability Issues, an advisory group established to assist Elections Canada in meeting the needs of all Canadian electors."

"In life's great chain of all events, it's not very important," said Wozenilek. "But it's the idea it represents. There wasn't something in place for persons with disabilities at that time. And that's why I got angry."

"We achieved something. That was the best part," he said.

"We pushed that bar of accessibility a little bit further so that ... the people who need it and the people who don't need it are more aware of it now."

Sources: CBC News, Elections Canada

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Opening Doors to Dignity

We promote equal access for people with physical disabilities to services, transportation, buildings, businesses, stores, and services.

We advocate that people with physical disabilities should receive the same respect and consideration that able-bodied people receive.

We remove attitudinal and systemic barriers that persons with physical disabilities must handle on a daily basis by educating and talking with able-bodied people.