Accessibility Standards Canada hosts second annual public meeting: Building Momentum for a barrier-free Canada
Collaboration with people with disabilities and other stakeholders is at the heart of Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate. Today, the organization hosted its second annual public meeting online, along with close to 250 participants from across Canada.
The meeting offered participants a chance to gain a clear understanding of the organization’s mandate and learn about the progress made toward a Canada without barriers. They also had the opportunity to hear about:
- current standards development;
- the grants and contributions program;
- collaboration with provinces and territories; and
- the organization’s plans for the future through the Roadmap to 2040.
More importantly, this was the first time that three key players under the Accessible Canada Act (the Act) came together in one place. Invited to speak about their important roles in carrying out the Act were:
- Stephanie Cadieux, Canada’s first Chief Accessibility Officer;
- Michael Gottheil, Canada’s first Accessibility Commissioner; and
- Phillip Rizcallah, Accessibility Standards Canada’s Chief Executive Officer.
Together, their mandate is to contribute to the realization of a Canada without barriers on or before January 1, 2040. The Act aims to improve accessibility in the federal sector and to support consistent experiences of accessibility across Canada.
“We are delighted to have shared our progress and goals during our Annual Public Meeting. Our objective is to develop rigorous standards that will contribute to a Canada without barriers. A Canada where everyone, including people with disabilities, can be confident that opportunities and services are accessible on an equitable basis. What we accomplished so far is significant – but more needs to be done. We are excited for what is to come for the benefit of all Canadians.”
– Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chairperson, Accessibility Standards Canada
“This past year saw us build true momentum toward our goal of a barrier-free Canada. We want Canadians to experience accessibility in a consistent and seamless way, no matter where they live. Our vision at Accessibility Standards Canada is that everyone, including people with disabilities, can expect a Canada without barriers and be sure that opportunities and services are fully accessible. It is their right, it is our mission. Change can be done by including people with disabilities in everything we do. We all can benefit from it. We are all better for it.”
– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada
- This was Accessibility Standards Canada’s second annual public meeting.
- Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate is to develop and revise accessibility standards for federally regulated organizations and government of Canada departments and agencies.
- Accessibility Standards Canada was created in 2019, stemming from the creation of the Accessible Canada Act.
- Accessibility Standards Canada, the Chief Accessibility Officer and the Accessibility Commissioner are the three new entities established by the Accessible Canada Act.
- Accessibility Standards Canada always looks to draw from the expertise of people with disabilities and other experts. Canadians can help the organization remove barriers by joining technical committees, applying to our grants and contributions program, participating in public consultations, and sharing feedback online.
- In the coming year, Canadians can expect to have the opportunity to review several Accessibility Standards Canada standards. The organization will also publish its first completed standard.