July 12, 2019
Approximately one in five Canadians, or 6.2 million people aged 15 and over, report having a disability that limits their daily activities.
The Accessible Canada Act is purposed to eliminate barriers for Canadians with disabilities by creating communities, workplaces, and services that enable everyone to participate equally. Bill C-81 received royal assent on June 21; but today marks the implementation of the legislature and the next step in creating an accessible and equitable society.
Today marks a major milestone in the history of disability rights. I am so proud that the Accessible Canada Act has now come into force and is a reality. This important achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and engagement of the disability community and I thank them for their hard work. With this legislation now in place, we can begin a journey that will lead us to a society that treats all people with the dignity they deserve. Now more than ever, we can say: Nothing without us!– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
The Accessible Canada Act also establishes new structures and position, including:
- the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO), led by a board of directors comprised of a majority of persons with disabilities that will develop accessibility standards in collaboration with the disability community and industry;
- a Chief Accessibility Officer, who will advise the Minister of Accessibility and monitor systemic and emerging accessibility issues; and
- an Accessibility Commissioner, who will spearhead compliance and enforcement activities under the legislation.
The ONF focus is on the 500, 000 Ontarians who are affected by either spinal cord injury or acquired brain injury; the new federal legislature will create greater opportunity for people affected by neurotrauma to participate and make meaningful contributions to our community.