Celebrating one year since the enactment of the Accessible Canada Act
One year ago today, the Accessible Canada Act (the Act) received royal assent. This was a significant milestone for Canadians with disabilities and the efforts to make Canada barrier-free.
The Act also created Accessibility Standards Canada. Formerly known as the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO), the organization is majority led by persons with disabilities. This new departmental corporation has the mandate to develop accessibility standards in areas under federal jurisdiction. In the past year, Accessibility Standards Canada launched Advancing Accessibility Standards Research, its grants and contributions program. On July 6, it will start recruiting volunteer members for two technical committees. They will develop the first standards.
“Accessibility Standards Canada is committed to contribute to the creation of a barrier free Canada. We started our work with determination. United by our desire to improve the lives of the more than 6 million Canadians with disabilities, we are moving full speed ahead.”
– Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chairperson, Accessibility Standards Canada.
“It has been an extraordinary first year in which we stood up the organization in record time. I look forward to the exciting year ahead and our ongoing collaboration with the disability community and other stakeholders.”
– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada
Approximately one in five Canadians, or about 6.2 million people aged 15 and over, report having a disability that limits them in their daily activities.
The Accessible Canada Act was developed following the most inclusive and accessible consultations with the disability community in our country’s history. More than 100 accessibility organizations and 6,000 Canadians took part in the consultations.
Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, was tabled in Parliament on June 20, 2018, and was passed by the Senate, with amendments, on May 13, 2019. The House of Commons concurred with all amendments on May 29, 2019. It received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.