What to know before you go

Deafblind Network of Ontario (DBNO) welcomes you to this year’s Deafblind International (DbI) 18th World Conference in Ottawa. We have put together the following reference guide to ensure you are prepared for a successful event. Please read through this information before your arrival at the conference venue.

Updates will be shared through our social media channels: Deafblind Network of Ontario.

We look forward to welcoming you!

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Official Conference Venue
Shaw Centre
55 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9J2

Onsite Registration Desk
You'll need to pick up your badge upon first arriving at the conference. The conference's on-site registration desk will be located on the 2nd Floor of the Shaw Centre. The registration desk will be open during the hours listed below.

  • Monday, July 24: from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 25: from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 26: from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 27: from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 28: from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Time Zone
Ottawa is in the Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Weather – Ottawa in the summer!
July average high: 26°C / 79°F; July average low: 15°C / 59°F.

What to Pack
Attire is business casual for the conference during the day. We do recommend you dress in layers as temperatures in meeting rooms can vary. The Gala Dinner and Awards Celebration is “Cocktail Comfortable” which is a mix between cocktail and business casual attire. This could include a dress, pencil skirt, button-down shirt for men or semi-formal style.

In an emergency, dial 911: https://www.textwith911.ca/en/home/

Additional Information
The drinking age for Ontario is 19 and 18 for Quebec.

English and French are the two official languages of Canada.


Airport Ground Transportation
The Ottawa International Airport (YOW) is located 20 minutes from the Shaw Centre. The Westin Ottawa and CF Rideau Centre by car, taxi or ride-share or 35 minutes by public transit.

Public Transit

  • OC Transpo operates buses and Ottawa’s light rail train (O-Train).
  • Tickets and day passes can be purchased on the bus with cash, at all O-Train stations with credit card or cash, or at select pharmacies, grocery stores, and the CF Rideau Centre.
  • Find fare information at: https://www.octranspo.com/en/fares/

Ottawa’s taxi companies can now be booked ahead of time through their apps, text message or online options for pick-ups and drop offs, including to and from the airport.


In the warm months, a water taxi shuttles visitors between major sites between the Ontario and Quebec sides of the Ottawa River.

  • Water Taxi Eh (https://www.watertaxieh.ca/)
    You can get on an eco-friendly and quiet water taxi for a quick ride on the Ottawa River between downtown Ottawa and Gatineau. The fully accessible Water Taxi Eh travels between the Ontario and Quebec shores of the Ottawa River. The water taxis, which run every day from mid-May to mid-October, allow wheelchairs, bikes, strollers, and pets.


City Accessibility
All city buses and light rail trains are fully accessible. Many taxicabs are accessible and are marked with special license plates to indicate so.

Some intersections with traffic lights have Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), which emit a sound that indicates visually impaired pedestrians when it is safe to cross the street.

All national museums in Ottawa are barrier-free and many city buildings are fully accessible.

Outdoor parks as well as many sites in Canada’s Capital Greenbelt are accessible.

Conference Accessibility
Conference organizers will provide ASL & LSQ platform sign language interpreters for the Keynotes and main stage sessions only.

If you require a one-on-one interpreter, intervenor and/or guiding support, you are responsible for providing these members of your Support Team. Each support person must register for the conference.


Welcome Reception
Monday, July 24 from 7:30 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m.
Location: Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Quebec)

Group transport to the museum is provided. Please assemble in front of the Westin Ottawa hotel at 7:00 p.m. to load onto the buses.

NOTE: This is a ticketed event. It is included for all Full-Conference passes and must be purchased for any single-day passes. Your Registration Confirmation will indicate if you have a ticket, and this information can also be verified with the Conference Registration Desk onsite.

Family Night
Tuesday, July 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Shaw Centre - Canada Hall 2

Movie Night
"Advocacy Club – Better Opportunities for All of Us!"
Wednesday, July 26 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Shaw Centre - Canada Hall 1

Gala Dinner and Awards Celebration
Thursday, July 27 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Location: Shaw Centre - Canada Hall 1

NOTE: This is a ticketed event and must have been purchased with your registration in order to attend. Your Registration Confirmation will indicate if you have a ticket, and this information can also be verified with the Conference Registration Desk onsite.


The Conference Organizers have prepared an online Event Hub for all registrants to access during the conference. This hub will provide the conference program with access to session handouts, speaker listing, poster presentation details, and a list of exhibitors.

The Event Hub will launch on Saturday, July 22. Please note: You will need to sign-in using your email address and password from when you registered. There will be a password recovery system if needed.

Use the QR code below to access the Event Hub, or navigate to https://canplan.swoogo.com/DBI2023/event-hub


Ottawa is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, shopping, and history.

Nearby attractions include:

  • ByWard Market is a 9-minute walk from the Shaw Centre. It is an outdoor market that sells fresh produce, souvenirs, with cafes and restaurants www.byward-market.com
  • Rideau Shopping Centre is a mall attached to the Westin Hotel and the Shaw Centre. There you can find coffee shops, clothing stores, liquor store and restaurants.
  • Parliament Hill is home to Canada’s federal government and is a short walk from the Shaw Centre. Guided tours are free of charge. Visitors are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance. https://lop.parl.ca/sites/Visit/default/en_CA/Planning

Ottawa Tourism has a list of other attractions you can visit. Their website is https://ottawatourism.ca/en/see-and-do.