Accessibility Standards Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction join forces to eliminate accessibility barriers
Accessibility Standards Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction met today to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) they recently signed. This joining of forces sets forth a collaboration to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility in Canada.
The MOU aims to improve coordination and collaboration between the mandates and objectives of the Governments of Canada and British Columbia relating to accessibility. Specifically, this agreement aims to optimize the efforts and resources of both entities. That way, they can strengthen their complementary approaches to accessibility. This would lead to a more consistent accessibility experience between jurisdictions.
In Canada, federal, provincial, and territorial governments develop their own policies and standards. Collaborations like this one allow uniformity between governments. This is crucial when developing accessibility standards.
Harmonizing accessibility standards nationally carries benefits for all Canadians:
- It increases the potential for a cohesive accessibility experience across Canada.
- It ensures that standards reflect the needs of people living with disabilities, regardless of jurisdiction.
- It promotes equity and consistency of accessibility for all Canadians as they live, work, and travel from coast to coast.
“Our collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will lead to better coordination of accessibility standards. We want Canadians to experience accessibility in a consistent and seamless way, no matter where they live. By harmonizing standards across Canada, we are ensuring accessibility is consistent across the entire country. Our ultimate goal is to work with all provinces and territories to create this kind of agreement. This will drive us to develop timely standards that Canadians really need.”
– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada
“It’s very important to us that the work we are doing to improve accessibility and inclusion at a provincial level is in harmony with the work being done by our federal counterparts. We designed the Accessible B.C. Act to complement the existing Accessible Canada Act. That way, we can better work together to integrate accessibility into all aspects of our lives. As well, we can ensure that people living with disabilities can participate more fully in their communities no matter where they live.”
– Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility, British Columbia
- This MOU was officially signed on May 11, 2022.
- The harmonization of accessibility standards seeks to optimize everyone’s individual and collective objectives. Sharing knowledge and best practices reduces and eliminates the duplication of resources and efforts. It benefits all Canadians.
- Accessibility Standards Canada’s vision is that everyone, including people with disabilities, can expect a Canada without barriers. This ensures that opportunities and services are fully accessible.
British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction