Universal Design and Accessibility Consulting

Providing consultative services to ensure facilities are in compliance with accessibility requirements

Accessibility • Inclusion • Equity


Betty Dion Enterprises Ltd. (BDEL) is an Ottawa based Canadian firm that offers comprehensive Universal Design and accessibility expertise in Canada and internationally. The award-winning company has been recognized for their contribution to the accessibility of the built environment. The BDEL team provides exceptional expertise with in-depth knowledge of accessibility codes, standards and legislation, including the requirements of the Accessible Canada Act, Canadian Human Rights Act, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and others.

Specialists in understanding the legislative frameworks and the broad range of technical specifications from the various national, provincial, municipal and international building codes and standards, BDEL was awarded the United Nations Habitat Dubai Award for the seminal document, International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review.

BDEL has extensive experience with a wide range of architectural projects in both the private and public realm including the new Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, the National Gallery of Canada.

BDEL has conducted accessibility audits of hundreds of government, educational, and corporate facilities as well as museums and galleries. The firm has reviewed architectural drawings for proposed construction of public buildings, sports facilities, health care, housing, fire and life safety, and emergency egress, transportation and educational complexes. BDEL members sit on a variety of codes and standards committees relating to issues of universal design and accessibility.

Betty Dion founder of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES).

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With a combination of consumer participation, an international perspective and professional architectural expertise in accessibility and fire and life safety, BDEL provides an exceptional team approach. BDEL offers service in English, French and American Sign Language.


Betty Dion Enterprises Limited understands the complexities, obligations and importance of designing elements that will meet the needs of the whole community of users, including persons with disabilities, older persons and children.

From Canadian based projects such as the design and construction of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit System, the Ottawa International Airport, Lansdowne Park Redevelopment, the new Ottawa Art Gallery to the development of accessibility codes and standards in Dubai, Canada, the United States and Hong Kong, the firm has the experience and expertise to contribute to making the world a more usable and friendly environment for all.

Headshot of Betty Dion _ NYC 2013

BDEL has extensive international and Canadian based experience working collaboratively with a range of clients, including governments and design teams. We provide consultative services in: building code development, analysis and compliance, in the review of construction drawings, conducting accessibility audits and developing detailed and comprehensive recommendations to ensure facilities are in compliance with accessibility requirements. The firm is able to suggest innovative and unique accessible design features and best practices in universal design in order to create an accessible environment that is functional for the greatest number of users.

Betty Dion is a recognized International leader in accessibility of the built and virtual environments and has expertise in universal and accessible design which enables her to apply her understanding of design and human functioning.

Betty is past member of the Canadian National Building Code Executive Committee and served, for 15 years as the Chair of the Canadian Standards Association CSA/CAN B651 Accessibility of the Built Environment Standard. Betty represented Canada in the development of the first international standard on accessibility of the built environment and is the Chair of Canadian Advisory Committee to the ISO TC59/SC16 Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment.

Betty is the Founder and Past - President of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), the leading International NGO dedicated to Universal Design and Accessibility. As a frequent speaker at the United Nations, Betty has presented widely on disaster preparedness, fire and life safety and universal design and accessibility in the areas of the built environment, assistive technologies and accessible transportation.

Betty is the author of the international recognized seminal document International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review (2005) and the International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Comparative Study (2000). These reports provided technical specification on accessibility codes and standards in Australia, Spain, Uruguay, Lebanon, Canada, the US, Bangladesh, Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, Ireland and Sweden.