About the Accessible Canada Act
The purpose of the Accessible Canada Act is to benefit everyone, especially persons with disabilities, by helping to create a barrier-free Canada through the proactive identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to accessibility wherever Canadians interact with federal jurisdiction. The new law will help ensure the full economic, social and civic participation of all Canadians, regardless of their disabilities, and allow them to fully exercise their rights and responsibilities in a barrier-free Canada.
The Act builds on the Canadian Human Rights Act, providing a new human rights framework for accessibility. It will help improve accessibility by proactively identifying, removing and preventing accessibility barriers in seven priority areas:
- Built Environment
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Design and Delivery of Programs and Services
The Act will require employers and service providers under federal jurisdiction to take proactive measures to identify and remove barriers, and to prevent the creation of new barriers. It will also require them to develop and publish an accessibility plan in consultation with persons with disabilities, to introduce a feedback mechanism and to report on progress annually.
The Accessible Canada Act signals a transformational shift in the approach to disability and accessibility, bringing cohesion and leadership to federal efforts and proactively improving accessibility across Canada.
The Act legally requires the participation of persons with disabilities in the development and implementation of accessibility policies and plans that impact their lives. Importantly, the Act:
- proactively shifts the burden off individual Canadians with disabilities to address systemic accessibility issues;
- provides for the development of accessibility standards that organizations under federal jurisdiction will be required to achieve and maintain; and
- provides that organizations develop and publish an accessibility plan in consultation with persons with disabilities, introduce a feedback mechanism, and report on progress annually.
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