The Accessible Canada Act (ACA) requires organizations to publish accessibility plans that identify barriers in certain areas, and that explain how they will remove and prevent those barriers. Organizations must consult people with disabilities when preparing their plans. Learn about:
Remember: Organizations must publish their feedback processes at the same time they publish their first accessibility plans.
Organizations have different deadlines for publishing their first accessibility plans:
- Government organizations: December 31, 2022
- Large private organizations (100 or more employees): June 1, 2023
- Small private organizations (10 to 99 employees): June 1, 2024.
Organizations must update and publish their accessibility plans every three years.
Preparing your plan
Consulting people with disabilities
Organizations must consult people with disabilities when preparing their accessibility plans. People with disabilities can help you identify barriers and plan how to address them. Consultations can take many forms. Read the Government of Canada's Guidance on consulting people with disabilities to learn more.
Your accessibility plan must include the following headings and information:
- “General” heading: This section of your plan must include:
- The position (title) of the person responsible for receiving feedback on behalf of your organization; and
- The way the public can communicate with your organization to give feedback or to ask for your accessibility plan or feedback process in another format. This must include the mailing address of your organization’s publicly accessible businesses, a phone number and an email address.
- Separate headings for each applicable area listed in section 5 of the ACA. For each area that applies to your organization, you must identify barriers and explain how your organization will remove and prevent those barriers. Please use the following headings when writing your accessibility plan:
- the built environment;
- information and communication technologies;
- (c.1) communication, other than information and communication technologies;
- the procurement of goods, services and facilities;
- the design and delivery of programs and services; and
- “Consultations” heading: This section of your plan must explain how you consulted people with disabilities when preparing your accessibility plan.
Simple, clear and concise language
You must write your accessibility plan in simple, clear and concise language (“plain language”). That means language that is easy to read and understand. Avoid using technical terms and jargon. Read the Government of Canada’s Guidance on simple, clear and concise language to learn more.
Publishing your plan
You must publish your accessibility plan on the main digital platform your organization uses to communicate with the public. This is usually a website. Your plan must be available on the home screen or homepage of your website, or through a hyperlink on the home screen or homepage. Learn more about where to post your plan. Your plan must meet level AA requirements of version 2.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
If your organization doesn’t have a public digital platform, you must display printed copies of your accessibility plan in the reception areas or entrances of your businesses.
Notifying the Accessibility Commissioner
You must notify the Accessibility Commissioner within 48 hours of publishing your accessibility plan. You should do this through My Accessibility Portal. Your notification must include:
- The URL address of your plan
- The hyperlink to that URL address, or
- The mailing addresses of your businesses where you have displayed printed copies of your plan.
You must provide your accessibility plan in certain alternate formats on request. You must provide these formats as soon as possible, and meet these deadlines:
- Braille or audio formats: within 45 days (all organizations)
- Print, large print and electronic formats compatible with adaptive technology:
- Government organizations: Within 15 days
- Large private organizations (100 or more employees): Within 15 days
- Small private organizations (less than 100 employees): Within 20 days
Read the Government of Canada’s Guidance on alternate formats to learn more.
You must keep a copy of your accessibility plan on your digital platform (website) for seven years. If your organization doesn’t have a digital platform, you must keep print or electronic copies of your plan accessible to the public for seven years.
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