Accessibility Standards Canada: 2020 to 2021 Departmental Plan

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Official title: Accessibility Standards Canada, 2020 to 2021 Departmental Plan

Fiscal year: April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Signed by: The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion

 

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On this page

From the Minister

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

Departmental plans tell members of Parliament and Canadians about how government organizations plan to achieve their departmental results in the 2020 to 2021 year. The Departmental Plan for Accessibility Standards Canada clearly describes the activities that this new organization plans to do and the results it is expected to achieve. The purpose of this plan is to be open about how taxpayers’ money will be spent by Accessibility Standards Canada over the next year. This is so that Accessibility Standards Canada can have a leadership role in Canada to develop accessibility standards. It will also support and promote research on preventing and removing barriers to accessibility.

Our government is trying to ensure a better future for all people in Canada, including persons with disabilities. We are working hard to make disability rights stronger and real. The recent creation of the Accessibility Standards Canada is an important milestone in the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act, which came into effect on July 11, 2019. This Act is one of the most important achievements in disability rights in Canada in over 30 years. Now the world is paying close attention to this Act and what Accessibility Standards Canada will accomplish. The Act will take us from a system where people with disabilities have to fight for basic access on a daily basis to a system that will proactively address accessibility barriers. The Act addresses the structures that keep those barriers in place. It is our systems, policies, practices and laws that need to be corrected, not our citizens. Accessibility Standards Canada supports the government’s vision of a Canada that is accessible and inclusive for all. This includes the 6 million Canadians aged 15 and over with disabilities (22% of the population).

Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate, within the federal jurisdiction, is to help with the creation of a barrier-free Canada. It will:

  • develop and review accessibility standards
  • promote research on the identification, removal and prevention of barriers; and
  • spread information about accessibility

Accessibility Standards Canada shows the philosophy of the disability community, “Nothing about us without us.” It is the first federal institution that is mainly led by persons with disabilities. It was created following a coast-to-coast consultation process. Moreover, working together with persons with disabilities is central to its mandate. Accessibility Standards Canada will draw on the experience and expertise of:

  • persons with disabilities and their representative organizations
  • Indigenous people, their organizations and governments
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments
  • other technical experts; and
  • industry

This new organization will contribute to the long-awaited culture change regarding persons with disabilities and accessibility issues. If we want to have real progress that lasts, we will need to change our attitude and awareness of accessibility, inclusion and persons with disabilities. Accessibility Standards Canada will conduct its business while being transparent and accountable to Canadians.

I am proud to see Accessibility Standards Canada take shape. The Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are working to get the organization up and running and to begin creating standards as soon as possible. Our goal of building a barrier-free Canada for persons with disabilities by 2040 is a challenging one. Still, I am confident that the organization will make an important contribution soon. It will do that through the contribution of the talents and skills of persons with disabilities.

From the Chair of the Board of Directors

Mr. Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chair of the Board of Directors of Accessibility Standards Canada.

The members of the Board of Directors are proud to lead the Accessibility Standards Canada. This is an important opportunity in Canadian history to help reshape our society into one that is truly accessible and inclusive for all. The Board is responsible for being open to Canadians and for setting the path of this new organization. Our Directors represent a variety of disabilities experienced by people living in Canada. We have a lot of experience and expertise to use in determining the path of this organization. To that effect, we have recently adopted vision and mission statements and guiding values.

Accessibility Standards Canada is totally focused on accessibility standards, and most of the people leading it have disabilities. That makes it the first organization of its kind in Canada and one of only a few in the world. At all times, my colleagues and I are trying to make sure that the work of the organization reflects the priorities and the many experiences of persons with disabilities. Benefiting from their expertise is important to our organization’s success. In addition to the diversity of experience on the Board of Directors, our 5 standing committees have begun meeting and are finding additional members. This will add to the range of skills, diversity and perspectives represented on the committees.

Accessibility Standards Canada must also be representative of the country as a whole. All people living in Canada will benefit from creating a barrier-free Canada, not just those with disabilities. To that end, we are committed to connecting with Canadians and partners all over Canada. We hold meetings in different Canadian cities and we will have our first Annual Public Meeting in the spring.

We are now starting to work on the core of our mission. The Board of Directors recently decided on the important areas for the development of our first standards:

  • employment
  • plain language
  • emergency egress (exit); and
  • outdoor spaces

These areas fit within the priorities named during the public consultation process that was done to gather information for the Accessible Canada Act. We should have our first standards completed and recommended to the Minister by 2022.

We look forward to working on our mandate and helping to create a more accessible and inclusive Canada. It is clear that we have a long-term mission and that this culture change can only be achieved by working with all partners. As we get up and running, we are going to do more to maximize the organization’s impact.

From the Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer of Accessibility Standards Canada.

It is an honour for me to be the Chief Executive Officer of Accessibility Standards Canada. Since we are a brand-new organization, much of our work is going into setting up the organization. Recruitment is a priority because our goal is to have a workforce that reflects Canada’s diversity, which includes persons with disabilities. Our team is growing quickly, and we have made a lot of progress since our organization began.

Our accessibility standards development team is working on reviewing standards that are in place and areas where new standards should be developed. Over the next few months, we will bring together technical committees made up of experts, including persons with disabilities, industry representatives and other partners. These committees will review and establish a first set of four standards. We plan to be able to publish those draft standards in 2021 for consultation.

We also recently started our Advancing Accessibility Standards Research grants and contributions program. These key partnerships will help move accessibility standards forward in the future and make sure that they are very innovative. We are currently reviewing the first submissions for grants and contributions for the 2021 to 2022 year. At the same time, we are preparing to start a consultation process to identify important research topics related to removing barriers. This process will inform our thinking and the selection process for the 2022 to 2023 grants and contributions.

We are currently putting our first public and partner communications and engagement strategy in place. Our goal is to build awareness about the organization and to work with and benefit from the expertise and experience of:

  • persons with disabilities and their representative organizations
  • Indigenous people, their organizations and governments
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments; and
  • industry

Our communications team recently created a visual identity and will be releasing more tools and platforms over the next year. The goal is to tell Canadians and partners about the organization’s progress, its programs and ways to contribute to the organization’s activities.

Our small team is working hard to roll out our programs and make the greatest impact. In the next year, we plan to keep going so that we can start work on the key part of our mission.

Plans at a glance

When the Accessible Canada Act became law in July 2019, it created the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization. In January 2020, the organization adopted the title, “Accessibility Standards Canada” because it is easier to remember and also follows Treasury Board requirements. The legal title of the organization is still the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization, as per the Accessible Canada Act.

Accessibility Standards Canada will help to achieve a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040. It will do this by:

  • developing new and changing existing accessibility standards
  • supporting innovative research; and
  • sharing information about identifying, removing and preventing accessibility barriers

The December 2019 Mandate Letter to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion from the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Accessibility Standards Canada’s work. The letter asked the Minister to continue her efforts in leading the Government’s work to promote disability inclusion. It also asked the Minister to support the operationalization of Accessibility Standards Canada, in consultation with the disability community.

As a new departmental corporation, Accessibility Standards Canada’s priorities for the 2020 to 2021 year are in line with these directives in the Mandate Letter: Accessibility Standards Canada will focus on hiring new people, particularly persons with disabilities, and continue to build organizational capacity. The Board is committed to working with persons with disabilities and partners across the country to guide the work. Other planned activities include:

  • working towards signing grant and contribution funding agreements for the 2020 to 2021 year and future years
  • holding the first Board meeting of the 2020 to 2021 year in Toronto in the spring
  • dedicating part of the spring meeting to the first Annual Public Meeting
  • building Accessibility Standards Canada’s online presence to make sure its activities and operations are open and transparent
  • creating strong working relationships with partners and other governments; and
  • continuing to develop its internal policies, procedures and programs

Most importantly, the Board of Directors has identified the following priority areas for the development of accessibility standards beginning in 2020:

  • Employment
  • Plain language
  • Emergency egress (exit)
  • Outdoor spaces

Accessibility Standards Canada will create technical committees for each of these priority areas which will begin meeting this year.

For more information, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks

This section contains information about Accessibility Standards Canada’s planned results and resources for its core responsibility.

Core responsibility: accessibility standards

  • Develop and revise accessibility standards by establishing and providing support and research to technical committees
  • Technical committees will reflect diversity and be made up of:
    • persons with disabilities
    • Indigenous people
    • representatives from industries that would be required to follow the standards if made mandatory by regulation; and
    • other experts
  • Promote, support and conduct research to gather information for the development of standards
  • Inform organizations and the public and provide products and services about accessibility standards, as well as best practices used to identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers

Planning highlights

In the 2020 to 2021 year, Accessibility Standards Canada will take steps to achieve the following departmental results under this core responsibility:

  1. new and revised accessibility standards in priority areas contribute to the elimination of barriers for persons with disabilities
  2. pioneering research informs the next generation of accessibility standards
  3. information about accessibility standards, products, services and best practices to identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers is accessed online by organizations and the public
  4. Accessibility Standards Canada’s work in accessibility standards increases opportunities for collaboration in advancing a Canada without barriers

1. New and revised accessibility standards in priority areas contribute to the elimination of barriers for persons with disabilities

Developing new accessibility standards and revising existing standards is a key part of Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate. Accessibility Standards Canada will work to create model accessibility standards that describe how an organization can identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. Once created, Accessibility Standards Canada will recommend standards to the Minister who may make them into regulations. Federally regulated organizations would need to follow these regulations.

Creating of initial accessibility standards that focus on the priority areas in the Accessible Canada Act is a long-term and ongoing process. Accessibility Standards Canada will establish a multi-year work plan to make sure that its work is looking to the future. For the short-term, the organization’s Board of Directors has identified four areas for standards development:

  • employment
  • plain language
  • emergency egress (exit); and
  • outdoor spaces

In the 2020 to 2021 year, Accessibility Standards Canada will take important steps to achieve this departmental result, including the:

  • implementation of terms of reference for technical committees to make sure they operate effectively and efficiently
  • launch of recruitment processes for technical committee members that attract and retain a variety of experts, including persons with disabilities
  • creation and support of four technical committees that work towards finalizing the first standards by 2022
  • review of existing standards and areas where it should develop new standards
  • gathering of information for a multi-year work plan; and
  • start of the Standards Council of Canada accreditation process

2. Pioneering research informs the next generation of accessibility standards

Also key to organization’s mandate is supporting innovative research to gather information for standards development and removal of accessibility barriers. Accessibility Standards Canada launched the Advancing Accessibility Standards Research grants and contributions program in the 2019 to 2020 year through which the organization will pay for research projects.

In the 2020 to 2021 year, Accessibility Standards Canada will take important steps to achieve this departmental result, including the:

  • implementation of funding agreements with grant and contribution recipients for the 2020 to 2021 year and future years that help to make sure research outcomes are met; and
  • launch of a consultation process to identify priority research areas to gather information for a multi-year work plan and specifically the selection process for the 2022 to 2023 year

3. Information about accessibility standards, products, services and best practices to identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers is accessed online by organizations and the public

As Accessibility Standards Canada starts its activities, it will be very important for the organization to have an informative and helpful online presence. In the 2020 to 2021 year, Accessibility Standards Canada will take important steps to achieve this departmental result, including the:

  • creation of Accessibility Standards Canada’s online presence
  • implementation of accessible features that ensure open and inclusive public consultations and activities, including grant and contribution processes, the Annual Public Meeting and other activities
  • implementation of a visual identity and branding that creates a unique look and feel for the organization; and
  • release of social media and other tools and online platforms to maximize online uptake

4. Accessibility Standards Canada’s work in accessibility standards increases opportunities for collaboration in advancing a Canada without barriers

With its mandate, Accessibility Standards Canada is in a good position to create opportunities for working together within the federal government and with others. In the 2020 to 2021 year, Accessibility Standards Canada will take important steps to achieve this departmental result, including the:

  • implementation of the stakeholder engagement strategy
  • establishment of ongoing cooperation to make sure that Accessibility Standards Canada’s work reflects the views of persons with disabilities as well as other experts and stakeholders
  • holding the first Board of Directors Annual Public Meeting in the spring of 2020; and
  • developing plans for the 2021 Annual Public Meeting based on lessons learned

Gender-based analysis plus

Accessibility Standards Canada will try to apply and monitor gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) through these initiatives in the 2020 to 2021 year:

  • The Board of Directors will try to find external members for its standing committees that reflect diversity and gender equality. This will support the integration of gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) into the departmental decision-making processes during the 2020 to 2021 year; and
  • Accessibility Standards Canada will try to find members for the 4 standards development technical committees it creates in the 2020 to 2021 year that reflect diversity and gender equality

Looking past the 2020 to 2021 year, Accessibility Standards Canada will use gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) to ensure inclusive outcomes for Canadians through the Advancing Accessibility Standards Research grants and contributions program. It will include gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) considerations when evaluating this program in future years.

Experimentation

Note that all of Accessibility Standards Canada’s programs are only just being created because it is a new organization. Accessibility Standards Canada will test different ways to involve the public and technical standards development this year. Based on this experience, it will adjust ways of doing things in future years, as needed.

Key risks

3 key risks have been identified for Accessibility Standards Canada for the 2020 to 2021 year:

  1. Lack of 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
  2. Research issues: 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 a lot of time and funding, which increases uncertainty of meeting Accessibility Standards Canada’s expected results within the deadlines
  3. Staffing: Accessibility Standards Canada’s recruitment pool will at times be more focused by its desire to hire persons with disabilities. Accessibility Standards Canada will need to do its work as though it has a full staff without actually having a full staff

This table provides a summary of the results outlined in Accessibility Standards Canada’s Departmental Results Framework and the indicators associated with these results. The targets for the indicators presented in the table were set in the 2019 to 2020 year. Accessibility Standards Canada is a new organization and this is its first Departmental Results Framework. For that reason, it has not been able to track actual results yet. Therefore, no information is available for the “Actual Results” in the table below.

Planned results for Accessibility Standards
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Targeta Date to achieve target 2016 to 2017 actual resultb 2017 to 2018 actual resultb 2018 to 2019 actual resulta
New and revised accessibility standards in priority areas contribute to the elimination of barriers for persons with disabilities. Number of new or revised accessibility standards in priority areas that Accessibility Standards Canada developed, collaborated in or funded. 1 to 3c March 2025 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Pioneering research informs the next generation of accessibility standards. Percentage of funding invested by Accessibility Standards Canada in research and development (R&D) projects that influences accessibility standards or priority-setting for standards development. 75% to 85% March 2026 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Information about accessibility standards, products, services and best practices to identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers is accessed online by organizations and the public. Number of unique views online of Accessibility Standards Canada services and products (for example, technical papers, reports, presentations, peer-reviewed articles, guidelines) generated from funded research projects and/or from other Accessibility Standards Canada work. 7,000 to 12,000 March 2023 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Accessibility Standards Canada’s work in accessibility standards increases opportunities for collaboration in advancing a Canada without barriers. Number of Accessibility Standards Canada-led standards processes or other activities in which persons with disabilities, representatives from disability organizations, provincial and territorial governments, national associations, international bodies, industry and/or other standard development organizations collaborated or participated. 10 to 15 March 2025 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable

Note a: These targets were based on conservative estimates used for the first iteration of Accessibility Standards Canada’s Departmental Results Framework, developed prior to the organization having received appropriations from Parliament. The organization will review these targets and dates to achieve targets will be reviewed for the 2021 to 2022 year. At that time, it should have a greater staff complement and capacity to achieve a higher level of performance.

Note b: the actual results are not available for previous years because Accessibility Standards Canada was only created in 2019.

Note c: 1 to 3 indicates one to three suites (groups) of standards.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Accessibility Standards Canada’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned budgetary financial resources for Accessibility Standards Canada
2020 to 2021 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020 to 2021 planned spending 2021 to 2022 planned spending 2022 to 2023 planned spending
15,318,432 15,318,432 21,049,093 21,049,306

Financial, human resources and performance information for Accessibility Standards Canada’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned human resources for Accessibility Standards Canada
2020 to 2021 planned full-time equivalents (employees) 2021 to 2022 planned full-time equivalents (employees) 2022 to 2023 planned full-time equivalents (employees)
46 56 56

Financial, human resources and performance information for Accessibility Standards Canada’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services: planned results

Description

Internal Services are groups of activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet business obligations. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support program delivery in the organization. This is regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • management and oversight services
  • communications services
  • legal services
  • human resources management services
  • financial management services
  • information management Services
  • Information technology services
  • real property management services
  • materiel management services
  • acquisition management services

Planning highlights

Internal Services are very important to the success of a new federal corporation. Accessibility Standards Canada tries to be a corporation of excellence in promoting an inclusive and accessible society, and contributing to a barrier-free Canada.

In order to support its mandate, in the first full year of its implementation, Accessibility Standards Canada will focus on the following initiatives, activities and actions:

Real Property: With Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and Shared Services Canada (SSC), Accessibility Standards Canada will participate in designing and building a barrier-free work environment. Accessibility Standards Canada should be looked to as a model of an inclusive and accessible workplace and be a model of best practice.

Information Technology (IT)/ Information management (IM): In partnership with ESDC, Accessibility Standards Canada will research and implement accessible business intelligent tools and hardware. This will help support employees with disabilities and remove current barriers created by the use of basic technology. The organization will implement a new accessible file sharing solution for information sharing and storage. This will give all Accessibility Standards Canada employees a greater functionality and improve communications with all members of the public.

Communications: Accessibility Standards Canada will continue to develop tools to communicate with the public by:

  • improving its Web presence
  • refining its partner lists; and
  • growing its social media presence

Accessibility Standards Canada will also begin large-scale public engagement efforts in order to better gather information for its priority-setting work.

Internal Services in general: Accessibility Standards Canada will continue to establish all of its internal services as a new departmental corporation. As Accessibility Standards Canada continues to develop it will continue to look at how to make its internal services more accessible. Accessibility Standards Canada will examine whether to repatriate a number of internal services based on considerations of economy, service and accessibility.

Financial management

Planned budgetary financial resources for Accessibility Standards Canada
2020 to 2021 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020 to 2021 planned spending 2021 to 2022 planned spending 2022 to 2023 planned spending
4,329,640 4,329,640 5,597,958 4,675,511

Human resources management

Planned human resources for Internal Services
2020 to 2021 planned full-time equivalents (employees) 2021 to 2022 planned full-time equivalents (employees) 2022 to 2023 planned full-time equivalents (employees)
15 18 18

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the department’s planned spending and human resources for the next 3 years. It also compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Planned spending

The following graph shows planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.

Figure 1: Departmental spending the 2017 to 2018 year to the 2022 to 2023 year

This graph details planned departmental spending from the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year to the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year.  The spending is shown as either statutory spending or voted spending and the total of these two amounts is also shown.

Text description of figure 1
Fiscal year 2017 to 2018 2018 to 2019 2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021 2021 to 2022 2022 to 2023
Statutory 0 0 774,439 696,851 820,167 820,050
Voted 0 0 9,116,751 14,621,581 20,228,926 20,229,256
Total 0 0 9,891,190 15,318,432 21,049,093 21,049,306

Statutory expenditures (spending): Expenditures (spending) that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation (spending) acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures (spending) and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Voted expenditures (spending): Expenditures (spending) that Parliament approves each year through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core responsibility and Internal Services 2017 to 2018 expenditures (spending) 2018 to 2019 expenditures (spending) 2019 to 2020 forecast spending 2020 to 2021 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020 to 2021 planned spending 2021 to 2022 planned spending 2022 to 2023 planned spending
Accessible Canada Initiative Not applicable Not applicable 6,021,335 10,988,792 10,988,792 15,451,135 16,373,795
Subtotal Not applicable Not applicable 6,021,335 10,988,792 10,988,792 15,451,135 16,373,795
Internal Services Not applicable Not applicable 3,869,855 4,329,640 4,329,640 5,597,958 4,675,511
Total Not applicable Not applicable 9,891,190 15,318,432 15,318,432 21,049,093 21,049,306

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (employees) for:

  • the core responsibility in Accessibility Standards Canada’s departmental results framework; and
  • the Internal Services for the years that apply to the current planning year
Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services
Core responsibility and Internal Services 2017 to 2018 actual full time equivalents (employees) 2018 to 2019 actual full time equivalents (employees) 2019 to 2020 forecast full time equivalents (employees) 2020 to 2021 planned full time equivalents (employees) 2021 to 2022 planned full time equivalents (employees) 2022 to 2023 planned full time equivalents (employees)
Accessible Canada Initiative Not applicable Not applicable 20 31 38 38
Subtotal Not applicable Not applicable 20 31 38 38
Internal Services Not applicable Not applicable 13 15 18 18
Total Not applicable Not applicable 33 46 56 56

Accessibility Standards Canada was created in July 2019. The full-time equivalent (employees) forecast for the 2019 to 2020 year represents the team in place for a 9-month period from July 2019 to March 2020. The full-time equivalent (employees) levels will gradually increase until the 2021 to 2022 year.

Estimates by vote

Information on Accessibility Standards Canada’s organizational appropriations (spending) is available in the 2020 to 2021 Main Estimates.

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future oriented statement of operations provides an overview of Accessibility Standards Canada’s operations for the 2019 to 2020 year to the 2020 to 2021 year.

Amounts may differ because the amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual (increase) basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure (spending) basis.

A more detailed future oriented statement of operations and related notes, including a reconciliation (balancing) of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on Accessibility Standards Canada’s website.

Condensed future oriented statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2019 to 2020 forecast results 2020 to 2021 planned results Difference (2020 to 2021 planned results minus 2019 to 2020 forecast results)
Total expenses 9,891,190 15,318,432 5,427,242
Total revenues (income) 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 9,891,190 15,318,432 5,427,242

Accessibility Standards Canada was officially created in July 2019. The forecast for the 2019 to 2020 year represents the team in place for a period of 9 months. The planned results for the 2020 to 2021 year reflects a gradual ramp-up of Accessibility Standards Canada.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Chair: Mr. Paul-Claude Bérubé

Institutional head: Mr. Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio: Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Enabling instrument(s): The Accessible Canada Act

Year of incorporation / commencement (start year): 2019

Other: Accessibility Standards Canada is supervised by a 10-member Board of Directors, including a Chair and Vice-Chair.

The organization's Board of Directors:

  • sets its strategic direction
  • oversees its activities; and
  • provides advice to its Chief Executive Officer, also a Governor in Council appointee

Most of the directors are persons with disabilities and reflect the diversity of disabilities faced by Canadians.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Accessibility Standards Canada’s website.

For more information, see the “Chair of the Board’s Mandate Letter” and for the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the “Minister’s mandate letter”.

Operating context

Accessibility Standards Canada is a new departmental corporation established under the Accessible Canada Act (Act). It has the mandate to help create a barrier-free Canada on or before January 1, 2040. The Act came into force on July 11, 2019, and creates a new framework for developing, reporting on and enforcing accessibility requirements in priority areas. The implementation of the Act will also be monitored. Accessibility Standards Canada is one of several federal organizations that will play a role in creating a barrier-free Canada.

In addition to Accessibility Standards Canada, the Act established a new Accessibility Commissioner, within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and a Chief Accessibility Officer. The Act also enhanced the accessibility mandates of the:

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

The intent of the Act is to bring cohesion and leadership to federal efforts to improve accessibility.

In addition to the federal government, several provinces have accessibility legislation in place, and others are working on legislation. Accessibility Standards Canada will work with provincial and territorial governments to encourage and support harmonizing standards.

Accessibility Standards Canada will also seek to promote more consistent experiences of accessibility across Canada by collaborating with:

  • persons with disabilities
  • representatives from disability organizations
  • other federal departments and agencies
  • national associations
  • international bodies; and
  • industry and other standard development organizations

For more information, see the 3 key risks identified for Accessibility Standards Canada for the 2020 to 2021 year, under Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks.

Reporting framework

Accessibility Standards Canada’s approved departmental results framework and program inventory for the 2020 to 2021 year are as follows.

Core responsibility: accessibility standards

Departmental results framework: Internal Services
Departmental result: New and revised accessibility standards in priority areas contribute to the elimination of barriers for persons with disabilities

Indicator: Number of new or revised accessibility standards in priority areas that Accessibility Standards Canada developed, collaborated in or funded.

Departmental result: Pioneering research informs the next generation of standards

Indicator: Percentage of funding invested by Accessibility Standards Canada in research and development (R&D) projects that influences accessibility standards or priority-setting for standards development.

Departmental result: Information about accessibility standards, products, services and best practices to identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers is accessed online by organizations and the public

Indicator: Number of unique views online of Accessibility Standards Canada services and products (for example, technical papers, reports, presentations, peer-reviewed articles, guidelines) generated from funded research projects and/or from other Accessibility Standards Canada work.

Departmental result: Accessibility Standards Canada’s work in accessibility standards increases opportunities for collaboration in advancing a Canada without barriers

Indicator: Number of Accessibility Standards Canada-led standards processes or other activities in which persons with disabilities, representatives from disability organizations, provincial and territorial governments, national associations, international bodies, industry and/or other standard development organizations collaborated or participated.

Program inventory

  • Program: Standards Development
  • Program: Outreach and Knowledge Application

Supporting information on the program inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures (spending), human resources, and results related to Accessibility Standards Canada’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on Accessibility Standards Canada’s website:

Federal tax expenditures (spending)

Accessibility Standards Canada’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures (spending) that relate to its planned results for the 2020 to 2021 year.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government-wide tax expenditures (spending) each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs. It also provides information on evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are entirely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Mailing address:
Accessibility Standards Canada
111 Sussex Drive, Terrace Level, Suite 010 Confederation Room
Ottawa ON  K1A 0G2

Telephone: 1-833-854-7628

Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-833-854-7630

Email: Info.Accessibility.Standards-Normes.Accessibilite.Info@canada.gc.ca

Website: accessible.canada.ca

Appendix: Definitions

Appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Budgetary expenditures (spending) (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
A constant function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of a department over a 3-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
Departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.
Departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
Experimentation (expérimentation)
Doing activities that attempt to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but separate from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a strict comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
Full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
A process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
Horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative in which 2 or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
Non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
Performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
Performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
Performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.
Plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the reasoning behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
Planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

Program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.
Result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
Statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
Target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
Voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

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