Factors influencing community engagement with the AccessTO website

Investigators: Barry Trentham, Jill Stier

Year of study: 2015/16


AccessTO is a multicomponent initiative whose vision is to have 100% of Toronto accessible to all persons. The AccessTO website is one of the primary components of this initiative, which features reviews of fully accessible and, more recently, age-friendly restaurants in Toronto. View the AccessTO website.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the public awareness and use of the AccessTO website. Undertaken by University of Toronto MScOT students Jane Tam and Hardeep Singh, and supervisors Barry Trentham and Jill Stier, the study seeks to explore the following research question: What are the factors that influence how people with physical and sensory disabilities, city officials, and restaurant owners in the greater Toronto area engage with the AccessTO website?

Employing a qualitative case study design, a focus group of persons with physical or sensory disabilities and individual semi-structured interviews with restaurant owners and city officials responsible for accessibility and inclusion will be conducted. Themes will be extracted from the data regarding awareness and understanding of the website, and opinions on website usability, audit criteria, content, and impact.

This research is part of an overarching program evaluation of AccessTO, whose purpose is to assess the impact of the initiative on the individual and community level in order to inform improvements and next steps. Download an overview of the strategic activities and advisory board of AccessTO.