Accessibility Standards Canada 2020-2021 annual report: Keeping our focus on an accessible Canada

News release

Ottawa, Ontario
Accessibility Standards Canada


Accessibility Standards Canada is proud to release its second annual report, which recounts a year that saw real progress in advancing their mandate. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, tabled the report in Parliament on June 18, 2021.

The annual report provides a detailed account of the department’s accomplishments, engagement with Canadians and future goals.


Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate is to develop and revise accessibility standards that apply to the federal government and federally regulated organizations.

In fiscal year 2020 to 2021, Accessibility Standards Canada focused on achieving concrete results. Highlights of the report include:

  • The creation of four technical committees in the areas of plain language, outdoor spaces, emergency egress, and employment.
  • Providing funding for 18 accessibility standards research projects.
  • Successfully completing their first public consultation with over 500 participants.
  • The identification of standards development and research funding priorities for 2021-22.

The annual report reflects Accessibility Standards Canada’s commitment to accountability and transparency.


“Our work has begun. Technical committees have already started to develop our first four standards. We have identified another five priorities for standard development. Clearly, our focus was to achieve concrete results. We are committed to developing effective standards that remove and prevent barriers. We are committed to doing this by working with persons with disabilities throughout the country. These are our commitments.”

– Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chairperson, Accessibility Standards Canada

“Despite the challenges, we gathered momentum and achieved more than anticipated. Still, if 2020 showed us anything, it’s that we still have a lot of work to do. We already look forward to creating new technical committees, and are partnering with other standard development organizations, provinces, and territories to develop quality standards. After all, collaborating with persons with disabilities is the only way to build a truly accessible Canada.”

– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada

Quick facts

  • Accessibility Standards Canada’s goal is to help make Canada a place without barriers to accessibility.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic challenged our society and emphasized the importance of accessibility standards. We responded to these challenges with new tools, like our guidelines for accessibility during emergencies, and by keeping our focus on building a more accessible Canada.
  • Input from Canadians is vital to the development of effective accessibility standards that remove and prevent barriers. Accessibility Standards Canada is committed to doing this by working with persons with disabilities throughout the country.
  • Accessibility Standards Canada collaborates with the Canadian public through our public consultations, our technical committees, and direct engagement at our Annual Public Meeting. Receiving input and feedback from persons with disabilities with lived experience and technical expertise is the best way to prevent, identify and remove barriers to accessibility across Canada.

Associated links

2020-2021 Annual Report
Reports and Publications
Departmental Plan
Accessibility Standards
Advancing Accessibility Standards Research


Martine Bareil
Manager, Communications
Accessibility Standards Canada
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