The HMD Project

In this illustration of the entrance to a chronic pain clinic, a man is standing on the sidewalk looking at the steps. There's a set of stairs, and a long access ramp. An accessible entrance sign points towards the ramp. There's a question mark bubble over the man's head. He's wondering how he's going to walk up the stairs or the ramp. He's holding one hand against his hip. The illustrator used a star and line shooting out from the man's legs to show how pain is emanating from the man's hip and legs, and the letters H-M-D are on the man's back to illustrate that he has a hidden mobility disability.

At least 500,000 Canadians are affected by hidden mobility disabilities (HMD). The Hidden Mobility Disabilities Project is sponsored by the Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance. It’s exploring possible changes to federal accessibility standards needed to address HMD, an often-overlooked area of disability. HMD is the ability to walk independently but no more than a short distance; and to stand unsupported but only for a brief time.

To date, no accessibility standards have addressed distance to be walked or time standing as access barriers.

ODEN is a partner in The HMD Project. To learn more about this project, and how you can participate to have your say in federal accessibility standards, visit

The HMD Project quick links

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