Standards Development Technical Committees – Employment Terms of Reference

The standards developed by Accessibility Standards Canada will contain requirements that will contribute to its mandate of “contributing to the realization of a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040”.  Accessibility Standards Canada will also achieve the following, in accordance with the Accessible Canada Act (An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada):

  1. the development and revision of accessibility standards;
  2. the recommendation of accessibility standards;
  3. the provision of information, products and services in relation to the accessibility standards that it has developed or revised;
  4. the promotion, support and conduct of research into the identification and removal of barriers and the prevention of new barriers; and
  5. the dissemination of information, including information about best practices, in relation to the identification and removal of barriers and the prevention of new barriers.

Guidelines for Recommendations:

The following guidelines are intended to support the work of the committee as it develops its recommendations:

Respect and be complementary to the principles, purpose and requirements of the Accessible Canada Act, and support the end goal of achieving accessibility for Canadians with disabilities, taking into account: 

  • the range of disabilities and related impacts of the measures, policies, practices and requirements of specific standards;
  • the nature of the barriers that the measures, policies, practices and requirements are intended to identify, remove and prevent; and
  • any technical and fiscal considerations/impacts that may be associated with their implementation, i.e. for obligated organizations, sectors, and the provinces more broadly

The technical committee members and the activities undertaken by technical committees will adhere to the mission and values statements of Accessibility Standards Canada:

Mission

Accessibility Standards Canada is led by persons with disabilities to create a barrier-free Canada through developing innovative accessibility standards in priority areas, revising current accessibility standards, leading research and supporting all of society to obtain the highest level of accessibility in collaboration and engagement with persons with disabilities.

Values

The diversity of society; the work we do respects human rights and is conducted with an equal intersectional and inclusive lens.

Technical committees will:

  • Focus efforts on preventing barriers both now and in the future;
  • Consider existing Canadian legislative and regulatory frameworks, as well as measures and supports that already exist in the sector;
  • Consider inter-jurisdictional best practices and innovative solutions, keeping in mind the context of Canada’s current regulatory framework specific to the employment sector;
  • Consider fiscal implications and feasibility for the sector to comply
  • Consider the ‘enforceability’ of the requirements to support compliance and enforcement of the proposed standard;
  • Where appropriate, reflect international standards, legislation, regulation, codes, and best practices in Canada and internationally; and
  • Where appropriate, create task groups that will contribute to the specific elements and technical requirements of the proposed standard 

Technical Committees

The technical committees will work to identify barriers to accessibility in each of the identified priority areas.  They will also take into account emerging trends in the area of accessible employment.  Once barriers have been identified, committees will develop a national standard that will move toward eliminating barriers to accessibility which can be applied to all organizations belonging to the private and public sector organizations in the federally regulated sector.

Technical Committees will only be tasked with technical standards review and development activities and will provide this information to the Board. 

The Technical Committees shall select their Chair and a Vice Chair from the committee members who are responsible for ensuring the Technical Committee meets its duties as outlined in these terms of reference. The project manager will be responsible for reporting to the Accessibility Standards Canada CEO on the progress of the Technical Committee.  The CEO will share the draft standard with the Board of Directors prior to public review.

Technical Committee members are required to act in accordance with the Financial Administration Act, sensitivity of information, conflict of interest provisions and any Accessibility Standards Canada by-laws that may be applicable.

The Standards Development Committee will develop recommendations for a proposed accessibility standard to address barriers in employment, as required by the Accessible Canada Act. To develop this standard, members of the committee are required to:

  • Define the long-range objective of the proposed standard;
  • Determine the measures, policies, practices and requirements to be implemented, and the timeframe for their implementation;
  • Develop a proposed standard that the committee deems advisable for public comment;
  • Consider and support the response to public feedback, seek additional information if needed, and make any changes that the committee deems advisable; and
  • Make recommendations for a new accessibility standard to the CEO.

There are common areas where persons with disabilities may face barriers to accessible employment. These include:

  • information and awareness, including knowledge of available accommodations and training;
  • navigating the labour market, including seeking accommodations and participating in inclusive decision-making; and
  • transition planning, including moving between school systems and into employment

Standards will be developed to encourage active and inclusive participation of persons with disabilities at every phase of the employment journey: 

  • Recruitment;
  • Hiring; 
  • Onboarding;
  • Retention;
  • Individual accommodations;
  • Return to work;
  • Performance management;
  • Fair pay;
  • Career or job development or advancement; and
  • Job exit

In addition to proposing a standard for employment, the technical committee may choose to make recommendations on practical non-regulatory measures to remove or prevent barriers. These non-regulatory measures may relate to public information and awareness or other areas that could complement employment standards or lead to the development of new regulations and resources. 

Such measures could include recommendations related to public information and awareness or other programs that could complement updated or new regulation.

Key Deliverables and Timelines:

The Standards Development Committee will complete the following key deliverables within the specified timelines:

1.    Meetings

The committee will meet for one- or two-day sessions, 4 times per year or more if needed. 

2.    Standards Development Committee Work Plan

The committee will prepare and provide the CEO of Accessibility Standards Canada with a draft work plan early in the development of a proposed accessible employment standard. The work plan will outline key milestones, activities, and timelines to achieve the mandate described here.

3.    Recommendations for Accessibility Standard for Employment

Within 18-24 months or sooner of confirmation of the committee’s proposed priority areas, the committee will deliver to the CEO of Accessibility Standards Canada proposed recommendations to be posted for public review.  The CEO will share the draft standard with the Board of Directors prior to it being posted for public review.

4.    Finalizing Recommendations for Revisions to the Standard

As required by the Accessible Canada Act, a report on comments received during the public review will be prepared by Accessibility Standards Canada and the comments will be given to the committee for its consideration. 

The committee will consider public comments, seek additional information if needed, and make changes based on public comments as the committee deems advisable. The committee will submit the final recommendations to the CEO of Accessibility Standards Canada, along with a report on its consideration of public comments, after receiving the report and public comments.

5.    Meeting Minutes and Progress Reports

No later than four (4) weeks following each of its meetings, the committee will approve and provide Accessibility Standards Canada with a copy of its meeting minutes.

Quarterly progress reports will be provided to the CEO of Accessibility Standards Canada.