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Accessible Canada Act – Are you ready for Canada’s first federal accessibility legislation?

16 July, 2019 by Ramya Venkitesh

Accessible Canada Act – Canadian Federal Accessibility Legislation

The Accessible Canada Act which was tabled in the Parliament on June 20, 2018 received the royal assent or the act came into force on June 21, 2019. The purpose of this Act is to benefit all persons, especially persons with disabilities, of a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040. With the Act coming into force, Canadians with disabilities can now rely on its Government to ensure greater access and full participation in the society.

The Act requires identification and removal of barriers and prevention of new barriers, in the priority areas of employment,information and communication technologies, communications, procurement of products and services, transportation, design and delivery of programs and services etc.

New structures and positions

  • the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO), led by a board of directors comprised of a majority of persons with disabilities that will develop accessibility standards in collaboration with the disability community and industry;
  • a Chief Accessibility Officer, who will advise the Minister of Accessibility and monitor systemic and emerging accessibility issues; and
  • an Accessibility Commissioner, who will spearhead compliance and enforcement activities under the legislation.

Application

The Accessible Canada Act will apply to:

  • The Federal Government
  • Private sector businesses under federal jurisdiction (includes banking, transportation and telecommunications sectors)
  • Crown corporations
  • The Parliament

The Act requires organizations to prepare and publish accessibility plans with respect to its policies, programs, practices and services in relation to the identification and removal of barriers, and the prevention of new barriers.  Organizations are required to consult people with disabilities in the preparation of its accessibility plan and every updated version of its accessibility plan and publish regular progress reports describing the feedback received and steps taken in the implementation of the same.

Is your organization ready for the Accessible Canada Act?

For more than a decade, BarrierBreak has been working with clients in the US, UK, European, Canadian & Middle Eastern markets to integrate accessibility into the DNA of the organizations. No matter what the level of your accessibility commitment as an organization is, with our expertise in creating accessibility strategies as well as ensuring digital accessibility compliance by adhering to  accessibility standards such as Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0 or 2.1 & PDF/UA, we can help achieve sustainable results.

Get in touch should you need more details about the Accessible Canada Act. Write to us sales@barrierbreak.com to know how we can support you with the Act.

Reference: Canada.ca – The official website of the Government of Canada

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