Accessibility in programs and services at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

As a Government of Canada agency, SSHRC is committed to ensuring accessibility is at the forefront when creating and administering its programs and services within the research enterprise.

This web page presents a consolidated overview of SSHRC’s services to address barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities.

On this page

SSHRC’s commitment to accessibility

SSHRC is committed to achieving the highest possible standard of accessibility, as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices, in delivering its programs and services.

A note on terminology: SSHRC recognizes that many dynamic forms of terminology exist regarding person-first and disability-first identity, as well as the distinctions between “accessibility” and “adaptive measures” (or “accommodations”) needed to address inaccessible processes.

Beyond recent landmark initiatives that will inform our work for the next three years and beyond, such as the SSHRC Accessibility Plan, SSHRC will continue to learn and improve its services to become an agency that is as barrier-free as possible by January 1, 2040, as mandated by the Accessible Canada Act. For more information on SSHRC’s plans to address accessibility, see the SSHRC Accessibility Plan .

How will SSHRC protect my privacy?

SSHRC is committed to protecting personal information.

When seeking an adaptive measure or an accommodation, identify the barrier you encounter and the adaptive measure you need; avoid sharing a medical diagnosis or other specific sensitive personal information. As required under the Privacy Act, information provided with a request is shared only on a need-to-know basis for the purpose of providing an adaptive measure.

How can SSHRC assist me?

For applicants and award holders

If you have one or more disabilities and are seeking adaptive measures or accommodations to complete an application or manage an award due to barriers in the process, follow these steps.

  1. Contact your eligible Canadian institution as your employer or place of study (for example, scholarship liaison officer, research grant office or other applicant support office). Institutions have a responsibility to ensure that their services and infrastructure are accessible.
  2. If you prefer not to share personal information with your institution, if your institution has indicated it cannot provide assistance or needs SSHRC to collaborate on an adaptive measure or accommodation, or if you are applying to the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships funding opportunity as a direct applicant, contact

Note: For applicants to the Canada Graduate Studies – Master’s program, the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) is your first point of contact for all questions, including those related to adaptive measures.

For committee members, committee chairs, observers and external reviewers

  • If you require adaptive measures to participate in SSHRC’s review process, contact either the program officer you have been communicating with or
  • If you are participating in an internal review process led by the institution, contact the relevant institutional representative.

For navigating the website

If our web pages present accessibility barriers, contact our webmaster for assistance or support (for example, alternative formats such as regular print, Braille or another appropriate format).

“Skip navigation” links are provided on the website for individuals using assistive technology such as screen readers and personal digital assistants. Placed at the top of all pages, these links allow readers to skip directly to the content or a local submenu. To access the skip navigation links, press the tab key on your keyboard.

Types of adaptive measures

Adaptive measures are available to applicants, award holders and application reviewers. Co-applicants, collaborators, co-directors or referees who need an adaptive measure can also contact SSHRC directly. In some cases, applicants may need to be informed if team members or others involved in the application process request adaptive measures that may affect the application.

Frequently requested adaptive measures include, but are not limited to:

  • one-on-one phone or video-conference appointments via Zoom or MS Teams with program or technical support staff, with closed captions in either English or French
  • alternative formats (for example, Word documents), to the extent possible, of material on the website and/or SSHRC merit review materials (presentations, merit review manuals, etc.) to enable access using assistive technology
  • alternate means or format for submitting the application (in full or in part). This might include, for example, a hard copy, email attachment for letters of reference or other attachments-with permission of the applicant-or data entry by SSHRC staff on the applicant’s behalf

Contact SSHRC for any other kind of adaptive measure required but not listed among these examples.

How to request an adaptive measure

If submitting a request for an adaptive measure at, contact SSHRC as early as possible. Provide the following information:

  1. Your name and institutional affiliation, or the name of the institution submitting the application, as applicable
  2. The funding opportunity in question:
    • for applicants: the competition deadline (if applicable)
    • for reviewers: relevant deadline (i.e., to provide scores or the committee meeting date)
  3. The barrier you are encountering
  4. The adaptive measure you are seeking (if known)

If submitting a request for an adaptive measure to the institution, follow all institutional procedures.

SSHRC does its utmost to provide adaptive measures. If fulfilling a request would cause undue burden on core services, SSHRC may not be able to fulfill the request.

Contact us

If you have questions about accessibility in SSHRC’s programs and services, contact us at

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