Accessibility Standards Canada: 2020 to 2021 Departmental Results Report - Operating Context

Accessibility Standards Canada is a departmental corporation. It was created under the Accessible Canada Act (Act). It has the mandate to help build a Canada without barriers. It will do this by:

  • developing and revising accessibility standards;
  • providing information, products and services about new and revised standards;
  • supporting and conducting research on accessibility barriers; and
  • sharing best practices for removing and preventing accessibility barriers.

The Act creates a framework for developing, reporting on and enforcing accessibility requirements. Accessibility Standards Canada is one of many federal organizations that will play a role in creating a Canada without barriers. 

The Act established an Accessibility Commissioner, within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and a Chief Accessibility Officer. The Act also expands the accessibility mandates of the following organizations:

  • Canadian Transportation Agency;
  • Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission;
  • Canadian Human Rights Tribunal; and
  • Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.

Several provinces have accessibility legislation and others are developing it. The organization will work with provincial and territorial governments to encourage consistent standards.

The organization will also seek to collaborate with:

  • persons with disabilities;
  • representatives from disability organizations;
  • Indigenous people, their organizations and governments;
  • other federal departments and agencies;
  • national and international bodies;
  • other standard development organizations; and
  • industry.

The organization identified 3 key risks for 2020 to 2021. These are internal and external factors that could influence departmental results in 2020 to 2021 and beyond. They are:

  • Internal
    • Staffing – Accessibility Standards Canada’s recruitment pool will at times be more focused by its desire to hire people with disabilities. The organization will need to do its work as though it has a full staff without actually having a full staff.
  • External
    • Credibility - Accessibility Standards Canada is the first organization of its kind in Canada. It needs to quickly establish credibility by showing results. This way, persons with disabilities and other experts and partners will continue to participate.
    • Research – Accessibility Standards Canada will have to depend on research findings and results to set priorities and to develop or revise accessibility standards. Research often takes time and funding, which increases uncertainty of meeting the organization’s expected results within the deadlines.

These factors did not have a significant impact on achievement of the organization’s planned results in 2020 to 2021. The 2020 to 2021 Departmental Results Report shows that the organization is meeting and in some cases exceeding its planned results in these and other areas.

The organization was able to do this even though it did not meet its full staffing plans for the year. It planned to have 46 full-time equivalents (employees) and had 39 employees as of March 31, 2021.

The organization continues to put measures in place to mitigate these factors.