VOICES of Canada’s Seniors: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada
Seniors from all walks of life will face challenges as they age in Canada. Sadly, many of these issues were brought to natonal attention during the COVID-19, especially long-term care systems and social isolation. CanAge, a national seniors’ advocacy organization, worked with stakeholders across Canada to put together a roadmap document which examined a broad range of issues and provided recommendations for action.
CanAge needed the design to appeal to diverse stakeholder groups – governments, non-profits, health organizations, community groups, advocates, and caregivers – basically, anyone who worked with and cared for seniors. This meant the roadmap had to be easy to read, with digestible information, and balanced visual appeal with the seriousness of the content. It also had to align with CanAge’s brand as the first major publication from the organization that targeted broad audiences.
As a digital-first document, the content was laid out as single-page spreads to consider screen reading and scrolling. Large header images were used to help with navigating different sections, while the colours and visual style were consistent with CanAge’s online platforms. Section markers also helped readers identify and navigate the different issue categories.
An information hierarchy was important to support the legibility of the text-heavy content, such as contrasting type styles for issues and recommendations; a two-column layout helped sort the information into “bite-sized” pieces for easier understanding and inspiring action. Plenty of white-space was used to improve readability and provided opportunities to take notes on the page. Finally, the images used throughout the document reflected the diversity of lenses and experiences.
Read the full publication here.
The VOICES compass was designed to represent the 6 compass points of the roadmap.
The maple leaf sits at true north, or the north star, which guides with optimism as we collectively strive to improve seniors’ lives in Canada. Canada’s map sits in the background with the word VOICES stretching from sea to shining sea, which stands for the pan-Canadian and inclusive lens under which the roadmap was developed.
VOICES was published online in September 2020, with an official multimedia launch in October to coincide with National Seniors Day. A virtual conference of 6 webinars was held in early October, with each webinar covering one of the compass points. The roadmap has been read and shared with numerous seniors’ organizations, partners and stakeholders, including all levels of governments in every province and territory.
Next steps include developing multi-language versions of the roadmap, starting with French. There’s also the desire to create a shorter, summarized version following initial feedback and recommendations from the public, along with ongoing revisions to the main roadmap as issues and recommendations get resolved.