The Accessible Canada Act (ACA) is a new federal law that passed in 2019. The law plans to make the Government of Canada, federal businesses, and organizations more accessible for people with disabilities. It wants to make Canada barrier-free by 2040.
The law applies to programs and services that the federal government controls. It includes these areas:
- access to buildings and spaces
- information and communication technology
- getting goods and services
- providing programs and services
- delivery of programs and services
The law will create a Canada without barriers by:
- Identifying and removing barriers that already exist, and
- Preventing new barriers from being created.
The law gives the Government of Canada the power to make regulations. Regulations are rules about how the law will be carried out.
The Government of Canada has written a first version of a regulation. This regulation is called the Accessible Canada Regulations. It tells federal government offices, organizations, and businesses about some of the things they need to do to make their services more accessible. The government did consultations to get feedback and comments about the suggested regulations.
To see the full draft regulations, please click here.
Inclusion Canada reviewed the regulations and sent its comments to the government on April 18, 2021. We were concerned about several things in the regulations. Some of the things we commented on were:
- planning and reporting requirements
- publication of annual reports
- use of plain language
- required alternate formats, and
- fine and penalties requirements
We will keep working to make sure this law and its regulations meet the accessibility needs of people with an intellectual disability. To learn more, please read Inclusion Canada’s full submission here.