The Accessible Canada Act is a federal law that aims to find, remove and prevent barriers facing people with disabilities. A barrier is anything that prevents people with disabilities from fully and equally participating in society. The goal of the Act is to create a Canada without barriers. The Act applies to the federal government and organizations regulated by the federal government.
Accessibility plans, feedback and reports
Organizations must create accessibility plans, feedback processes and progress reports.
- Accessibility plans
Accessibility plans explain how organizations are finding, removing and preventing barriers. Organizations must consult people with disabilities when preparing their accessibility plans. They must also consider the principles of the Act. Learn more about how to prepare an accessibility plan.
Organizations must set up a way to receive and respond to feedback about accessibility. This includes feedback about how they are following their accessibility plans. It also includes feedback about barriers that employees and the public have faced when dealing with the organization.
- Progress reports
Progress reports explain how organizations have been carrying out their accessibility plans. Organizations must consult people with disabilities when preparing their progress reports.
In the future, people will be able to file complaints with the Accessibility Commissioner if they are harmed because organizations did not follow the Act or the Accessible Canada Regulations. The Commissioner will be able to investigate complaints. They will be able to order organizations to follow the Act and the Regulations and order them to pay (compensate) people for harm they have suffered.
The Accessibility Commissioner’s complaints system is not available yet. For now, people with disabilities can continue to file complaints with:
- the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) about discrimination.
- the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) about barriers in the federal transportation system.
- the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) about barriers in broadcasting and telecommunications.
The government may make regulations that set accessibility standards in different areas (example: employment or communication).
An organization called Accessibility Standards Canada (ASC) is developing accessibility standards. This organization could recommend that the government make these standards into regulations. Organizations only have to follow accessibility standards if the government makes them into regulations.
So far, Accessibility Standards Canada has started working on standards for plain language, outdoor spaces, emergency exits and employment.
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