The following sections outline RBC’s action plans across the applicable priority areas:
Information and Communications
Design and Delivery of Programs and Services
Procurement of Goods, Services and Facilities
Leveraging the D&I Governance and Accountability model, RBC will enable accountability for accessibility within the bank by incorporating the commitments detailed in this Plan into the management activities of our Global Diversity Leadership Council (DLC), Global D&I Centre of Excellence (CoE), Group Executive and business units, functions and their DLCs. The CoE is supported by teams across the organization who drive accountability for inclusion and accessibility efforts, programs, initiatives; and track progress against our commitments. These teams include but are not limited to:
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Corporate Real Estate
Technology & Operations
Brand, Marketing and Communications
Regulatory Strategy & Delivery
Group Risk Management
For more information, please see Governance & Accountability of Diversity & Inclusion.
To enhance our culture of accessibility, RBC will establish a central Accessibility Office within our CoE, supported by co-executive champions. This Office will enable RBC to lead and support our ongoing accessibility journey by setting accessibility goals, acting on feedback and consistently evaluating opportunities to improve accessibility at RBC.
At RBC, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where every individual is enabled to reach their full potential and provided equal opportunity in the workplace.
RBC’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy is focused on three key priorities:
Advancing diversity and representation
Enabling economic inclusion
We are also more clearly defining our Disability Inclusion strategy to continue to bring accessibility to the forefront.
Enterprise-wide policies and practices focused on creating an inclusive environment for all employees include the Code of Conduct, Respectful Workplace Policy, Accommodation Policy for Employees and Job Applicants, and Workplace Accessibility Guidelines.
RBC is committed to providing employees and job applicants with reasonable accommodations that value diversity in our culture and business practices, focus on individual needs and provide working conditions inclusive of the needs of a diverse workforce.
RBC understands the importance and impact of supporting employee well-being, and we believe employers need to play an active role in fostering healthy workplaces that support physical, mental and financial well-being. Our Wellness+ program aims to educate employees about well-being through interactive wellness activities, including educational content and engagement opportunities. We offer comprehensive mental health support and psychological benefits for employees and eligible family
Employee Resource Groups
RBC’s employee resource group (ERG) network for Persons with Disabilities brings together employees who share a common group identity and set of interests. The RBC REACH ERG’s mission is to eliminate stereotypes and stigma associated with Persons with Disabilities and drive engagement and performance through awareness, education, coaching and accommodation. This group is open to employees who identify as Persons with Disabilities, caregivers as well as allies.
For more on programs, policies and practices, please see our About Value for Employees Backgrounder(opens pdf in a new window).
The following section outlines the goals and actions RBC will take to address barriers and other opportunities for improvements related to employment practices as identified through consultations.
RBC currently supports Persons with Disabilities throughout the talent lifecycle by striving to ensure job descriptions are clear, specific and skills- based and by offering accommodations to all candidates during the application and interview processes.
RBC also offers flexible working arrangements as appropriate and uses skills-based assessments and structured interviews when applicable.
To drive accountability for advancing diversity and representation, we review our representation, hires, promotions and departures for Persons with Disabilities on a quarterly basis to better understand and determine how best to continue to foster equitable opportunities.
RBC actively uses the Career Edge Internship program to recruit and onboard Persons with Disabilities, and actively monitors and manages progress against representation goals for Persons with Disabilities on a quarterly basis.
RBC regularly highlights employee stories to raise awareness, demonstrate active sponsorship and share views of representation across all position levels. RBC also hosts annual enterprise-wide virtual events for World Mental Health Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) to deepen awareness and drive conversations about disability inclusion.
To strengthen inclusion through community, RBC’s REACH ERG provides its members (over 1,800 employees) with access to resources and peer support and hosts regular events to increase awareness, eliminate stigma and drive inclusion.
RBC’s enterprise virtual events include closed captioning, ASL (if requested), post event transcripts and accessible technology. Enterprise in-person events provide accommodations where requested, and invitations ask for accommodation requirements.
Reasonable accommodations are made available to RBC employees and candidates. The Workplace Accommodation team responds to all accommodation inquiries and provides guidance to support the accommodations process. Workplace accommodations information and guidance is available to all employees through RBC’s internal site.
RBC conducts an annual review of its employee Benefits Program and offerings to confirm it provides valuable coverage, flexibility and choice to meet its employees’ diverse needs.
RBC offers enterprise-wide learning programs focused on creating an inclusive workplace, including training on anti-bias and anti-discrimination, as well as inclusion and belonging webinars. In April 2023, we refreshed our D&I Essentials program, including enhancements of the content on disability, neurodiversity, empathy and compassion. We also offer a quarterly webinar on the topic of Creating an Inclusive Workplace for Employees with Disabilities. This program helps deepen awareness of disability and opportunities to strengthen inclusion.
RBC’s Learning & Performance team works to ensure that RBC’s enterprise- wide learning offerings are accessible, or accessible formats are made available, and that content meets RBC’s Accessibility Policies by providing guidance and follow-up testing when required. The team also responds to concerns about accessibility raised to them on a case-by-case basis, updating content to meet web accessibility standards when applicable.
RBC’s Learning Design team has documented RBC’s Accessibility Policies, provides learning/information sessions and is committed to design with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s concept of POUR (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust), as outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
We continue to make ongoing accessibility improvements, involving employees, customers, industry specialists and other stakeholders in the process. RBC’s workspaces and retail branches are designed by our expert team of corporate real estate professionals and third-party licensed architects, who provide knowledge and guidance on design guidelines, including accessibility.
Accessibility of RBC’s workspaces and retail branches is governed by RBC’s design standards, which are informed by regional/municipal building codes and standards (including the Canadian Standards Association B651 Accessible Design for the Built Environment and B651.2 Accessible Design for Automated Banking Machines). In addition, RBC has been an active supporter of the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program since 2021, which helps to inform our accessibility efforts in the built environment.
In early 2023, the design team engaged external consultants to conduct an accessibility review of a subset of offices and retail branches, which includes physical site visits and an assessment of our workplace and retail design guidelines and other related accessibility initiatives (e.g. assistive technologies). The review is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will enable us to understand and develop action plans to address any gaps in our built environment and update our current accessibility guidelines in both RBC’s workplace and retail branch network.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
ICTDisclaimer3 includes everything we use to communicate and do business online, including web-based interfaces and non-web content such as PDFs and Word documents.
Accessibility of digital technology solutions at RBC is governed by an enterprise level policy that references digital accessibility requirements consisting of WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 Level AA and RBC’s digital accommodation requirements.
Communications other than ICT
RBC recognizes that people receive and provide communication in many different ways and formats. RBC will continue to communicate in a manner that maintains flexibility and includes different communication modes to suit a broad range of needs. This will be an ongoing effort to update the way we interact with our clients and prioritize simplicity across their journey.
Design and Delivery of Programs and Services
RBC offers an RDSP, which is a registered savings plan that helps Persons with Disabilities who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and their families save for long-term financial needs.
RBC will strive to update and enhance its programs and services based on the input received through ongoing consultations with Persons with Disabilities and to align with industry best practices and future ACA regulations.
Procurement of Goods, Services and Facilities
Through our preliminary assessment, no specific barriers for Persons with Disabilities were identified in our Procurement practice. However, in the spirit of continuing to enhance accessibility, we will:
Increase awareness of accessibility and the Universal Design Principles by providing access to training and learning resources for all Procurement employees
Develop Requests for Proposal (RFP) criteria that reflect RBC’s evolving accessibility requirements, as applicable
Review RBC’s Third-Party Risk Management Policy and Standards to ensure expectations regarding accessibility are clearly articulated.
While transportation is the seventh pillar of accessibility importance in the Accessible Canada Act, RBC does not operate or provide transportation services and, therefore, is not within the purview of this plan.
We will publish an updated Plan in 2026 and progress reports in the interim, which will incorporate any feedback we receive.
Diversity & Inclusion is core to RBC’s Purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper. That’s why we’re committed to removing barriers to support the full and equal participation of all. To continue delivering on our commitment, we are improving our overarching governance of accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.
Accelerating Diversity & Inclusion
In practice, bringing RBC’s D&I vision to life involves setting bold commitments – informed by meaningful consultation – measuring and disclosing our progress and ensuring we remain accountable to our stakeholders.
RBC engaged Return on Disability Group (RoDG) to assist in conducting consultations with Persons with Disabilities. With deep expertise in this area, RoDG provides insights and guidance on data, strategy, process and offerings to enable companies to enhance accessibility and add value.
“ At some point in our lives, almost everyone will experience or be touched by disability in some form, whether that’s temporary or permanent, visible or invisible.
Across RBC, we will continue to celebrate the many contributions of persons with disabilities in every aspect of our society and economy and are committed to sustained, meaningful action and progress in order to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.
A truly inclusive society is one where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. A greater understanding of the barriers and gaps we need to address is how we’ll inspire action and create change.”
President & Chief Executive Officer
Some examples of ICT include:
Web applications such as web-based email, web-based online banking
Non-web documents like PDF and MS Word files, presentations such as PowerPoint • Software such as Windows, iOS, Skype and QuickBooks
Mobile hardware such as smartphones and tablets
Stationary hardware such as ATMs and self-service kiosks for parking payment
Other hardware, including computers, mice, keyboards, scanners and printers
Assistive technology like screen readers and braille displays
Virtual meeting platforms like Webex, Microsoft Teams and Zoom
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This RBC Accessibility Plan (Plan) may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of certain securities laws, including the “safe harbour” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and any applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements in this Plan may include, but are not limited to, statements related to certain social and governance-related objectives, vision, commitments and goals of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC, we, us or our), including our objectives, vision, commitments and goals related to the identification, prevention and removal of accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities in relevant areas identified in the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). The forward-looking information contained in this Plan is presented for the purpose of assisting our stakeholders in understanding the ways we intend to address accessibility barriers and pursue opportunities to enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities and to meet relevant ACA requirements, as well as our related social and governance-related objectives, vision, commitments and goals, and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “expectation”, “aim”, “achieve”, “intend”, “commit”, “goal”, “plan”, “strive” and “objective”, and similar expressions of future or conditional verbs such as “will”, “may”, “might”, “should”, “could” or “would”.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements require us to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, which give rise to the possibility that our expectations or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that our assumptions may not be correct, and that our social and governance-related visions, commitments, goals and objectives will not be achieved. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of risk factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements.
These factors – many of which are beyond our control and the effects of which can be difficult to predict – include but are not limited to: our ability to successfully implement various initiatives throughout the company under expected time frames, the risk that initiatives will not be completed within a specified period or at all or with the results or outcomes as originally expected or anticipated by RBC, our ability to enhance accessibility in RBC’s business operations, including RBC’s workspaces and retail branches, feasibility of incorporating accessibility into our information and communication technologies, the legal and regulatory environment, and regulatory compliance (which could lead to us being subject to various legal and regulatory proceedings, the potential outcome of which could include regulatory restrictions, penalties and fines), strategic, reputation, competitive, and systemic risks and other risks. We caution that the foregoing list of risk factors is not exhaustive and other factors could also adversely affect our results. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations in such forward-looking statements can be found in the risk sections of our Annual Report for the year ended October 31, 2022 (2022 Annual Report) and the Risk management section of our Quarterly Report for the three-month period ended April 30, 2023 (Q2 2023 Report to Shareholders). When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to us, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events.
Except as required by law, RBC does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.
All references to websites are for your information only. The content of any websites referred to in this Plan, including via a website link, and any other websites they refer to are not incorporated by reference in, and do not form part of, this Plan.