Roadmap to 2040 - A plan to guide the work of Accessibility Standards Canada

Executive summary

Accessibility Standards Canada was created under the Accessible Canada Act (Act). Its role is to develop accessibility standards among other things. It then recommends these standards to the Minister responsible for accessibility. These standards fall into the priority areas listed in the Act.

The development of standards is driven by the idea of “Nothing about us, without us.” For that reason, people with disabilities, other members of diverse disability communities and allies are involved at all stages of development. This includes deciding which standards should be developed. It includes participating as experts in the research and processes to develop standards. The disability community also helps educate the rest of Canadian society on why it is necessary to remove barriers to accessibility.

The Roadmap to 2040 was written to guide Accessibility Standards Canada’s work. The Roadmap has 2 work streams:

  1. Develop world-class standards. This stream breaks down the criteria for deciding on the standards to be developed in the short, medium, and long term.
  2. Position Accessibility Standards Canada as a strong leader, partner and influencer. This includes activities required to support standard development and the key partnerships that need to be built. It also includes the role of the organization in promoting a culture shift in Canada.

The Roadmap contains rough timelines for the activities within the 2 work streams. It is designed to be flexible so that it can be adapted to address emerging priorities. This includes emerging needs facing diverse disability communities. This tool will be used to guide the organization’s activities and contribute to the goal: a Canada without barriers by 2040.

Context

Accessibility Standards Canada was created to develop accessibility standards.

Accessibility Standards Canada was created to help build a Canada without barriers by January 1, 2040. Its role is to develop standards to remove the barriers to access that people with disabilities face. These standards fall within the priority areas listed in the Act.

Four groups will be involved in developing standards: The Accessibility Standards Canada Board of Directors (Board); Technical Committees; Accessibility Standards Canada staff; and diverse disability communities.

  1. Board. Board members provide lived experience and professional expertise. Their role is to decide on the priorities for standards. Their role is also to approve the selection criteria and terms of reference for Technical Committees.
  2. Technical Committees. These committees follow a process to develop standards. This process includes balanced representation, consensus, and other important elements. See Appendix A for more information.
  3. Accessibility Standards Canada staff. Staff members recommend to the Board which standards will be developed and in what order based on public consultations and other considerations. They support the formation and operation of committees. They also confirm that committees follow the right process.
  4. Diverse disability communities. People with lived experience will be consulted. This means their voices will be heard when standards are being developed. It also means their knowledge will be shared. This is in line with the Standards Council of Canada requirement that public consultation be included in the development process.

To develop standards, the organization will work with other standards development organizations, such as the Canadian Standards Association. This will enable Accessibility Standards Canada to tap into the strengths and expertise of others. For example, the organization plans to work with this association to co-brand some standards and to avoid duplicating efforts. The organization brings its values to this work.

How much impact will the new standards have? That will depend on the regulations and where the standards are adopted.

The Government of Canada may make regulations under the Act. Regulations are a tool for making requirements that must be followed in order to achieve policy goals. This could include making standards into regulations to remove barriers and to improve accessibility.

The Act makes Accessibility Standards Canada responsible for recommending standards to the Minister. Standards are voluntary unless they are made into regulations. Only the Government of Canada can make standards become mandatory regulations.

The standards developed by Accessibility Standards Canada will apply only to federally regulated and Government of Canada entities, unless they are adopted elsewhere, such as by a province or territory. The best approach is to harmonize standards across Canada. To further that goal, the organization will build relationships with the provinces and territories. This will be done to promote the harmonizing of federal, provincial, and territorial standards.

Accessibility Standards Canada developed the Roadmap to 2040 to guide its work.

The Roadmap is designed to help Accessibility Standards Canada fulfill its mandate. It includes milestones, timelines, and a clear plan to guide the organization’s work until January 1, 2040.

The Roadmap was developed with input from the Board, the Strategic Planning Committee, and staff of Accessibility Standards Canada. It was guided by the spirit of “Nothing about us, without us.” The Roadmap reflects the organization’s mission, vision, and values. It emphasizes engaging with both diverse disability communities and industry.

The plan is to review and adjust the Roadmap at least every 3 years. This will ensure it reflects changes in technology, society, and elsewhere. The Roadmap outlines activities within the organization’s areas of responsibility. However, the vision is much broader: to have a barrier-free Canada by 2040.

Benefits

The Roadmap will guide Accessibility Standards Canada until 2040.

The Roadmap sets out a rough timeline for developing standards in the areas that are named in the Act. The exact timing of activities may change.

To meet the needs of people with disabilities in Canada, Accessibility Standards Canada will need to adapt to changes in Canada and the world. The Roadmap notes that standards should be maintained and reviewed at least every 5 years to see if they need to be updated. This a requirement for accredited standards development organizations.

The Roadmap can be used to measure progress. It can also educate the public on how the organization is helping to remove barriers by 2040. To fulfill its mandate, it is vital for the organization to work with external stakeholders and communicate with them often. Among these groups are diverse disability communities, allies, other levels of government and government entities, federally regulated entities, and standards development organizations.

The Roadmap will benefit various stakeholder groups.

The primary groups that will benefit from the Roadmap are Canadians, the Government of Canada, and Accessibility Standards Canada.

  • Canadians will benefit because the Roadmap outlines a plan for barriers to be reduced. The goal is for positive impacts to be felt before 2040.
  • The Government of Canada will benefit because the Roadmap will help inform plans for regulatory development.
  • Accessibility Standards Canada will benefit because the Roadmap will help set priorities, support annual business planning, and maintain focus from now to 2040. This is key. Board members and staff will change over time, so the Roadmap will ensure continuity. The Roadmap will also help the organization work and coordinate with stakeholders, such as other standards development bodies.

A guiding vision

The goal is for Canada to be barrier-free by 2040. Accessibility Standards Canada’s role is to develop accessibility standards.

The goal is for Canada to be barrier-free for all people by 2040. People with disabilities should not have to ask for the things they are entitled to. People with disabilities should not be denied the same opportunities or services as people without disabilities.

The first step is to develop accessibility standards. But for standards to improve quality of life and benefit all of society, they must be followed. Accessibility Standards Canada’s role is to create standards. The organization helps remove barriers in Canada by encouraging the use of standards. The Government of Canada is responsible for converting these standards into regulations that will remove barriers.

To support this process, the organization’s efforts must be aligned with the Government of Canada’s plans for implementing regulations once they come into force. The organization needs to have strong relationships with all entities under the Act. This includes the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), the Canadian Radio-television Commission (CRTC), and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), in particular. ESDC is the Government of Canada’s lead for a range of regulatory, policy, program and engagement functions related to the implementation of the Act and to broader accessibility initiatives.

The Roadmap focuses on the priority areas listed in the Act. Addressing these will remove the most common barriers experienced by people with disabilities.

The 7 priority areas under the Act are:

  1. Employment.
  2. The built environment.
  3. Information and communication technologies.
  4. Communication (other than information and communication technologies).
  5. The procurement of goods, services, and facilities.
  6. The design and delivery of programs and services.
  7. Transportation.

Accessibility Standards Canada will create standards that support the following areas:

  • Employment. When it comes to jobs, everyone has equal access and opportunities, from before they are hired until they retire. Standards will help people with disabilities find work and be productive and engaged while working. Everyone has equal access to advancement opportunities throughout their careers.
  • The built environment. New buildings are accessible by design, and barriers within existing buildings are removed. Harmonizing standards across Canada is especially important in this area. Accessibility Standards Canada will work to further this goal. Organizations and federal, provincial, and territorial bodies across the country are involved to make this happen.
  • Information and communication technologies. Accessibility Standards Canada will work with the CRTC. Accessibility Standards Canada will do so to ensure the two organizations’ approaches are aligned as much as possible. In areas where there is overlap, Accessibility Standards Canada could provide support and/or could co-lead standards aimed at removing barriers.
  • Communication (other than information and communication technologies). People with all types of disabilities are able to access and be engaged in all forms of communication. Canadians are aware that accessible communication benefits everyone.
  • Procurement of goods, services, and facilities. Government of Canada purchasing processes are accessible to all. The products, services and facilities that are bought, leased or contracted are fully accessible. Vendors that are inclusive of people with disabilities are given preference. It is important to note that different organizations are responsible for setting federal contracting rules.
  • Design and delivery of programs and services. People with disabilities are treated as equal citizens. They have equal access to all services and programs. Potential standards could consider having accessibility champions. These people would train service delivery staff and ensure barriers are removed within delivery processes.
  • Transportation. Accessibility Standards Canada will work with the CTA. Accessibility Standards Canada will do so to ensure the two organizations’ approaches are aligned as much as possible. In areas where there is overlap, Accessibility Standards Canada could provide support and/or could co-lead standards aimed at removing barriers.

Success will mean that, by January 1, 2033, initial standards in priority areas will have been developed in consultation with people with disabilities. This will allow time for the standards to be added to regulations, implemented, and have an impact before 2040. However, the work will not end in 2033 or 2040. Standards will continue to be developed, revised, adopted into regulation, and implemented.

Structure

The visual version of the Roadmap can be found in Appendix B. The descriptive text version can be found in Appendix C.

The Roadmap begins in 2021. However, it includes the standards already under development. It also includes the other work done by Accessibility Standards Canada, such as building partnerships, conducting research, and working with the disability community.

The focus of the Roadmap is on priority areas for standards development. It is also focused on Accessibility Standards Canada’s related responsibilities.

The Roadmap includes 2 work streams.

Stream 1: Develop world-class standards

In this stream, standards are divided into 3 rounds of development. This is to ensure adequate resources are available. This also reflects the fact that some standards are less complex and can be developed sooner. Others are more complex. For complex standards, more time will be needed to acquire the necessary resources.

Developing standards in later rounds also provides flexibility. Standards can be prioritized and developed based on emerging needs. For example, any accessibility issues identified by the Chief Accessibility Officer and the Accessibility Commissioner may happen later, after those positions have been filled.

The 3 rounds are as follows:

  1. Standards that have an immediate impact. These are standards that should be (or will start to be) developed within 1 to 3 years (by the end of 2024).
  2. Standards that have a high impact and will be developed in the medium term. These are standards that should be (or will start to be) developed within 2 to 5 years (by the end of 2026).
  3. Standards that address the remaining areas causing barriers and other emerging priorities. These standards will be developed in the longer term. These should be (or will start to be) developed within 4 to 7 years (by the end of 2028).

By the end of 2028, the development of the standards in all 3 rounds will have started or been completed. The target date for completing the initial standards in the priority areas is January 1, 2033. This is to allow time for complex or broad standards started in 2028 to be completed. These types of standards could take 3 years or more. This is also to allow time for standards to be added to regulations by 2035 as well as time for them to be implemented and have an impact before 2040.

Of course, changes may happen in the future and standards may need to be adjusted. During the remaining years, Accessibility Standards Canada will focus on adjusting standards affected by major changes in the environment. Regular maintenance work will also continue.

Stream 2: Position Accessibility Standards Canada as a strong leader, partner and influencer

This work must be within the scope of Accessibility Standards Canada’s mandate. There are 5 types of activities in this stream:

  1. Conduct and share ongoing research. This includes research led by and done in consultation with people with disabilities. Then, update standards and monitor and report on progress. This includes developing indicators for what success looks like in terms of the impact of standards and seeking feedback from all stakeholders to make sure standards are working.
  2. Work closely with the regulators to support the timely and effective addition of standards into regulations. Work with federally regulated entities to encourage adoption of accessibility standards that are not already added into regulations. This includes engaging with industry.
  3. Liaise and coordinate with other standards development organizations and government entities within Canada and abroad. This will enable the organization to exercise leadership and influence to leverage expertise, maximize sharing, and avoid duplication.
  4. Foster the harmonizing of accessibility standards across Canada. Do this by consulting and working with provincial and territorial governments.
  5. Work with other organizations, diverse disability communities and industry to create a culture shift. This includes providing information, products and services about new and revised standards. It also includes sharing best practices for removing and preventing accessibility barriers.

Accessibility Standards Canada will become an accredited standards development organization. This will be obtained through the Standards Council of Canada. This will formally recognize the policies and processes that the organization follows when developing standards. It will also show that these processes align with best practices in Canada and abroad. This will open the door to having federal accessibility standards become part of the National Standards of Canada. It will also show that the organization is a leader in accessibility standards development.

1. Develop world-class standards

Several criteria can be used to decide when standards should be developed.

The following can help decide when standards should be (or should start to be) developed. There are 3 timeframes: the short term (by the end of 2024), the medium term (by the end of 2026), and the long term (by the end of 2028):

  • Timing. This refers to the standard development period. This also considers the effect of technology and the risk of standards becoming outdated. This is to avoid acting too soon if, for example, a standard will be affected by advances in technology.
  • Resources. This refers to the time it takes to form the Technical Committee that will develop the standard. It also refers to the research and other resources needed. A standard can be developed only if resources are available. To that end, it is estimated that no more than 9 technical committees should be operating at the same time. This number considers the current context as well as timing and resources. Ensuring there are enough qualified members for the technical committees is also a factor. This number does not include standards that Accessibility Standards Canada works on with other standards development organizations. It also does not generally include the work to review standards depending on the scope of each review process. See Appendix A for more information.
  • Safety. This refers to whether the standard addresses a safety concern experienced by people with disabilities.
  • Priorities of Canadians. This refers to the results of the public consultations that the organization held. These took place to learn how the public prioritizes the 7 areas listed in the Act. More consultations and different forms of engagement will be held in future. Being aligned with the priorities of diverse disability communities is critical. More opportunities for input will be provided through meetings with stakeholders, events, email, and other means. Continuing engagement is essential to reflect emerging barriers that people with disabilities face as the future unfolds.
  • Building positive relationships with other federal organizations as they develop regulatory plans and accessibility initiatives. This will help ensure a productive working relationship with ESDC and other departments and agencies.
  • Alignment with the priorities of the Minister responsible for accessibility. The Minister responsible for accessibility under the Act may issue general direction to the organization. The Minister may also send mandate letters to the Board. These could include direction related to standards development.
  • Alignment with the accessibility issues identified by the Accessibility Commissioner and the Chief Accessibility Officer. Because these positions are not yet filled, they will not affect the standards developed in round 1.
    Many federal partners are working to achieve a barrier-free Canada. When prioritizing standards, the findings of reports made by the Accessibility Commissioner and the Chief Accessibility Officer should be taken into account. These reports could be on systemic or emerging accessibility issues. These reports and other work could also inform standards development in the key areas where accessibility complaints are being made under the Act.
    Prioritizing standards should also be informed by disability-related complaints made under the Canadian Human Rights Act to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that align with the key areas in the Act.
  • Working together with the CTA and CRTC. This refers to the organization working with the CTA on standards related to transportation, and with the CRTC on standards related to information and communication technologies.

Appendix D explains the criteria that will be used to decide whether a standard should be developed in the first, second, or third round.

The standards in round 1 are those that will have an immediate impact. They can be developed (or start to be developed) by the end of 2024.

The standards in round 1 are those that can have an immediate and significant impact. These standards would aim to reduce barriers within the first 3 years.

Round 1 standards relate to employment, plain language and emergency services under the area of communication. They also relate to outdoor spaces under the area of built environment. These were key priorities identified by people with disabilities. That input informed the development of the Act. To align with these findings, the Board identified the following as priority areas for standard development in the short term:

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

Standards in round 1 may also fall within the “top 3 priority” areas. These are areas identified by 30% to 50% of the people who participated in the public consultations led by the organization. These areas include:

  • emergency measures (particularly in the time of a pandemic);
  • wayfinding including signage (finding out where you are and how to get to your final location);
  • procurement; and
  • acoustics (sound quality).

By reducing barriers in the short term, the quality of life of people with disabilities could begin to improve well before 2040.

Round 2 standards are those that will have a high impact. These are standards that can be developed (or start to be developed) by the end of 2026.

These standards are in areas where removing barriers will have a high impact but are more complex to develop. Standards developed during this round will fall within the priority areas identified by the Board. They will be based on consultations with Canadians.

Round 3 standards will aim to reduce barriers in the remaining and emerging priority areas. These are standards that can be developed (or start to be developed) by the end of 2028.

The standards developed in round 3 will fall within priority areas identified by the Board. They will be informed through public consultations.

Standards in this round may also address accessibility issues identified by the Chief Accessibility Officer and the Accessibility Commissioner.

Development of these standards will begin near the end of round 2. For them to be added to regulations, implemented, and have an impact before 2040, the target date for standards in round 3 to be completed is January 1, 2033.

The development process for all standards will be the same.

  • The Board decides the priority areas for the standards. It also approves the selection criteria and terms of reference for Technical Committees.
  • Accessibility Standards Canada staff recommend to the Board which standards will be developed and in what order. They support the formation and operation of technical committees. They also confirm that the committees follow the right process.
  • The Technical Committees handle the details of the standards.

At every step, it will be critical to engage and consult with people with disabilities.

Accessibility Standards Canada is responsible for developing standards. These are voluntary standards only. They become mandatory only once they are made into regulations. This generally takes 2 years or more. The timelines set out in the Roadmap can be affected by different factors and may vary as a result.

Some standards depend on others. Some share similar goals.

Standards can relate to more than 1 priority area. For example, an employment standard may touch on technology and communication in round 1. Then in round 2, a specific technology-focused standard could be created.

A standard developed in an earlier round may need to be updated before a related standard can be created. Each standard is reviewed at least every 5 years. Sometimes, this will reveal a major update is needed because it will shape a future standard. This could delay the timing of the future standard.

All of the standards will work to remove barriers by 2040. As that happens, “inclusion for all” will become an accepted part of Canadian society. For example, it will be a given that all websites and mobile applications are accessible. As well, inclusion will be built into such tasks as getting and keeping a job, navigating buildings, and getting from place to place. Thus, every new standard will have the same outcome: ensuring equal opportunity for participation in society and in the economy.

2. Be a strong leader, partner and influencer

Stream 2 includes activities that will position Accessibility Standards Canada as a strong leader, partner and influencer.

Accessibility Standards Canada is only one player involved in creating a barrier-free society by 2040. The organization will need to work with other key players to achieve the vision. This includes a need for the organization to work closely with diverse disability communities to conduct research and develop standards that will remove and prevent barriers. Additionally, engagement with these communities is required to create a Canada-wide culture shift. Activities in stream 2 will support the work performed in stream 1.

2.1 To assess priorities, Accessibility Standards Canada will need to conduct ongoing research, including research led by and done in consultation with people with disabilities. Research will ensure the standards are relevant and continue to apply. Plus, it will support having a built-in cycle to review standards at least every 5 years. This cycle applies to all accredited standards development organizations.

The organization will need to monitor its progress and report on the impact being made by the standards and how they improve the lives of Canadians. This includes developing indicators for what success looks like in terms of the impact of standards.

To ensure that its work continually improves the lives of Canadians, the organization must be flexible and adapt to change. This may result in priorities shifting and new ones being added.

Other federal leaders may inform decisions about priorities for standards. This includes the Accessibility Commissioner and the Chief Accessibility Officer. Once they are appointed, they will report on systemic and emerging accessibility issues.

2.2 Accessibility Standards Canada will need to work closely with the regulators. This will support the timely addition of standards into regulations. It will also support effective implementation. The organization may suggest proposed timelines for the addition of standards into regulations such as two years within their recommendation to the Minister responsible for accessibility.

The organization will also need to work closely with federally regulated entities to generate support as the standards are developed. These entities should be involved in the development process. This could make it more likely for them to adopt voluntary standards once they are developed.

2.3 Accessibility Standards Canada will work with other government and standards development bodies (in Canada or abroad). This will allow the organization to leverage the expertise of these entities. It will also avoid duplication. For example, the organization will work with the CTA on transportation standards, with the CRTC on information and communication standards, and with the National Research Council and Canadian Standards Association on standards related to the built environment. This also includes working with the Canadian Standards Association to co-brand some standards and leverage the standards each organization develops.

2.4 Accessibility Standards Canada will work with other levels of government to harmonize standards across Canada and share best practices. Having the organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada will be key. This will increase the organization’s influence as a leader in the development of accessibility standards, both in Canada and abroad. It will also foster partnerships.

2.5 Accessibility Standards Canada will play a role in creating a barrier-free society by supporting barrier removal throughout the country. It will do so by providing information, products and services about new and revised standards. It will also do so by sharing best practices for removing and preventing accessibility barriers. Where possible and reasonable to do so, every effort will be made to have training and education led by people with lived experience.

It will also foster and support an inclusive Canadian culture. Such a culture would eliminate attitudinal barriers that hinder accessibility.

Obtaining accreditation will increase the organization’s credibility as a driver of culture change.

Conclusion

Momentum for a barrier-free Canada is building. Accessibility Standards Canada has an important role to play.

Accessibility Standards Canada will work hard to develop standards that help achieve Canada’s vision of a barrier-free society by 2040. The organization will also support this vision by working closely with others. This includes diverse disability communities, governments across Canada, federally regulated entities, and other standards development organizations. The Roadmap is a key tool for guiding these activities.

Appendix A: Information on technical committees

Technical committee selection process

Overview

Standards development organizations, both in Canada and abroad, commonly form Technical Committees to develop standards. These committees are balanced groups of experts who develop the technical content of a standard.

Committee members are Canadian citizens or employees of an organization with Canadian interests. This is so they can represent Canadian viewpoints.

In that regard, balanced representation is key. It ensures that committees represent the views of varied communities. The Standards Council of Canada defines this as “a representation of interest groups in a Technical Committee such that no single category of interest can dominate the voting procedures.”

Accessibility Standards Canada is creating balanced committees that include people with disabilities as a separate category to add their expertise and knowledge. Thirty percent of committee members must be people with disabilities. Lived experience is considered an asset for members of other categories.

Each committee has 12 to 18 members who represent the following:

  • people with disabilities;
  • industry and commerce;
  • federal, provincial, and territorial governments and authorities;
  • consumers and the public interest;
  • labour and unions;
  • academic and research bodies;
  • non-governmental organizations;
  • standards development organizations;
  • federally-regulated public sector;
  • federally-regulated industries and workplaces; and
  • territorial private-sector firms and municipalities.

The organization can create additional stakeholder groups and categories if such additions are relevant to the committee.

Technical Committees are created in 3 steps:

  1. The organization publishes a call for experts for a committee.
  2. Reviewers carefully assess applications based on selection criteria pre-approved by the Board of Directors (Board). This application review process includes 3 stages. Lower levels of the organization complete the first 2 stages of review. A selection panel that includes the Chief Operating Officer completes the third stage. The selection panel proposes 12 to 18 members after their review. They also propose at least 1 alternate member for each stakeholder category. The Chief Executive Officer approves the members. The Board is not involved with review or selection.
  3. The organization offers membership to approved applicants. Once 12 to 18 members agree to participate, the process is closed. Remaining applicants are told the positions have been filled.

Applicant information

Applicants provide the following:

  • Their contact information: Name, telephone number, email address, and physical address.
  • The title and name of their organization, if applicable.
  • Their stakeholder category (or categories).
  • A summary of their expertise related to the committee’s subject matter.
  • Their resume.
  • Their interest in the chairperson and/or vice chairperson positions.
  • A summary of their expertise related to the chairperson and/or vice chairperson positions if they are interested.

Selection criteria

The applicants must show they have relevant experience. This includes lived experience, professional or volunteer experience, education and training, and technical knowledge. Accessibility Standards Canada staff grade the applications and propose members based on the selection criteria and scoring system.

The organization can add criteria if it is:

  • relevant to the committee;
  • approved by the Board before the selection process begins; and
  • documented in the committee’s terms of reference.

A total maximum of 9 technical committees are expected to be operating at any given time.

Nine is an estimated number that takes into consideration several factors. These are outlined below:

  • Current context. Currently, there are 4 committees working at the same time. It is expected that another 3 will be launched in 2021, and 1 or 2 more in 2022. In that case, there will be 9 separate committees developing standards, supported by the organization’s Standards Development team. This team will also lead other initiatives, such as co-developing standards with other standards bodies.
  • Timing. It takes about 24 to 30 months to develop a standard. If it is very complex or broad in scope, it can take 3 years or more.
  • Other factors. A variety of elements come into play when setting or adjusting Accessibility Standards Canada’s standards development work plan. This includes the availability of qualified committee members and the complexity of a standard. Other government entities that develop or are responsible for standards also play a role.

Appendix B: Visual version of Roadmap

This appendix shows a visual version of the Roadmap to 2040. A descriptive text version of the roadmap is also provided in Appendix C, below.

Appendix C: Descriptive text version of Roadmap to 2040

The Roadmap begins in 2021. However, it includes the standards already under development. It also includes the other work done by Accessibility Standards Canada, such as building partnerships, conducting research, and working with the disability community.

Stream 1

The first stream of activities involves developing world-class standards. This stream has 3 rounds.

1.1 Standards developed in the short term. The first round begins in 2021. These are standards that are being (or will start to be) developed by the end of 2024.

1.2 Standards developed in the medium term. The second round begins in 2023. These are standards that will be (or will start to be) developed by the end of 2026.

1.3 Standards developed in the long term. The third and final round begins in 2025. These are standards that will be (or will start to be developed) by the end of 2028.

Appendix D explains the criteria that will be used to select the standards for each round. Once it is developed, a standard is added to regulations, which takes about 2 years. After it is implemented, barriers may begin to be reduced and inclusion improved. The organization will ensure the standards remain relevant and continue to apply. This will be done through a built-in cycle to review standards at least every 5 years.

Stream 2

The second stream of activities includes positioning Accessibility Standards Canada as a strong leader, partner and influencer. This stream is further divided into 5 sets of activities.

2.1 These activities include conducting and sharing ongoing research. This includes research led by and done in consultation with people with disabilities. These activities also include monitoring and reporting on progress. They also include updating standards to ensure they have a tangible impact on the lives of Canadians. This includes developing indicators for what success looks like in terms of impacting standards and seeking feedback from all stakeholders to make sure standards are working. These activities will begin in 2021 and continue until 2040.

2.2 These activities include working closely with the regulators. This will support the timely addition of standards to the regulations. These activities also include working with federally regulated entities to encourage adoption of standards that are not already added into regulations. As part of this the organization will engage with industry. These activities will begin in 2021 and continue until 2040.

2.3 These activities include liaising and coordinating with other standards development organizations and government entities. This will enable the organization to exercise leadership and influence to leverage expertise, maximize sharing, and avoid duplication. These activities will begin in 2021 and continue until 2040.

2.4 These activities are focused on harmonizing accessibility standards across Canada. This involves consulting and working with provincial and territorial governments. These activities will begin in 2021 and continue until 2040.

2.5 These activities include working with other organizations, diverse disability communities and industry to create a culture shift. This includes providing information, products and services about new and revised standards. It also includes sharing best practices for removing and preventing accessibility barriers. These activities will begin in 2021 and continue until 2040.

Appendix D: Development criteria

This table presents standards development criteria as well as the timing of standards to be developed or begin to be developed in the short term, medium term and long term.

Criteria Round 1: Short term 
(by the end of 2024)
Round 2: Medium term (by the end of 2026) Round 3: Long term (by the end of 2028)
Timing Next 1 to 3 years
  • These are standards that may be less affected by technological changes. They may be less likely to become outdated in the short term.
Next 2 to 5 years
  • These standards may be more affected by technological changes. They may be at greater risk of becoming outdated if developed in round 1.
Next 4 to 7 years
  • These standards may be more affected by technological changes. They may be at greater risk of becoming outdated if they are developed in the short term.
Resources  
  • Technical Committees are already formed or may be formed soon.
  • Research is readily available or could be done in the short term (next 3 years).
  • 9 Technical Committees are up and running.
  • Technical Committees will be formed in the future.
  • Additional research needs to be conducted. This would be done by the organization or through the grants and contributions program, depending on resource availability.
  • 9 Technical Committees are up and running.
  • Technical Committees will be formed in the future.
  • Additional research needs to be conducted. This would be done by the organization or through the grants and contributions program, depending on resource availability.
  • 9 Technical Committees are up and running.
Safety
  • These standards may address safety concerns experienced by people with disabilities.
  • These standards are not related to safety concerns.
Priorities identified through consultation with Canadians
  • These standards fall in an area seen as a priority by people with disabilities during consultations that informed the development of the Accessible Canada Act.
  • Other standards in this round may fall into a priority area identified during other consultations led by the organization.
  • Standards developed during rounds 2 and 3 will fall within priority areas identified by the Board. They will be informed primarily by public consultations and as well by other things, including staff guidance, and Board knowledge.
Alignment with other federal organizations’ plans and initiatives
  • Standards that align with the current and short-term regulatory plans and accessibility initiatives of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and other departments and agencies.
  • Standards that align the medium-term regulatory plans and accessibility initiatives of ESDC and other departments and agencies.
  • Standards that align the long-term regulatory plans and accessibility initiatives of ESDC and other departments and agencies.
Alignment with the priorities of the Minister responsible for accessibility
  • Standards that align with the Minister’s short-term priorities and direction.
  • Standards that align with the Minister’s medium-term priorities and direction.
  • Standards that align with the Minister’s long-term priorities and direction.
Alignment with the priorities identified by the Accessibility Commissioner and the Chief Accessibility Officer
  • This does not affect round 1 because these priorities are not yet identified.
  • Standards that align with medium-term priorities based on reports from the Accessibility Commissioner and Chief Accessibility Officer.
  • Standards to address systemic or emerging accessibility issues identified in the medium term or accessibility complaints.
  • The organization’s scope in the development of related standards is clearly defined.
  • Standards that align with long-term priorities based on reports from the Accessibility Commissioner and the Chief Accessibility Officer.
  • Standards to address systemic or emerging accessibility issues identified in the long term or accessibility complaints.
  • The organization’s scope in the development of related standards is clearly defined.
Working together with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC)
  • Standards developed in collaboration with, or support the standards being developed by, the CTA and CRTC in the short term.
  • Standards developed in collaboration with, or support the standards being developed by, the CTA and CRTC in the medium term.
  • Standards developed in collaboration with, or support the standards being developed by, the CTA and CRTC in the long term.