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 organizations and to private organizations that are regulated by the federal government.

Government organizations

Here are examples of government organizations that must follow the Act:

  • Federal government departments like the Department of Finance Canada, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and Global Affairs Canada
  • Federal agencies like the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency and Parks Canada
  • Crown corporations like Via Rail, Canada Post and the National Gallery of Canada
  • The Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • Parliament, including the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament and the Parliamentary Protective Service
  • Organizations that work at arm’s length from the government, like the Canadian Human Rights Commission

Private organizations

The Act also applies to private organizations (businesses) that are regulated by the federal government. This includes organizations that work in certain areas like banking, broadcasting and some types of transportation. Here are examples of private organizations that must follow the Act:

  • Banks
  • Broadcasting organizations like radio and television stations
  • Telecommunications organizations like internet and phone companies
  • Transportation organizations that carry people between provinces or outside the country by plane, train, bus or boat

Who the Act does not apply to

The Act does not apply to provincial and territorial governments or to private organizations (businesses) that are regulated by the provinces and territories.

For example, the Act does not apply to provincial and territorial:

  • Schools, universities and colleges
  • Hospitals, medical clinics and long-term care homes
  • Most businesses like stores, restaurants and gyms
  • Police forces

Some provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and British Columbia) have adopted their own accessibility laws.

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