➟ promoting compliance with the Act;
➟ ensuring that federally regulated organizations meet their accessibility obligations; and,
➟ receiving, investigating and ruling on complaints filed under the Act.
The Accessibility Commissioner will also advise and inform the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and submit an annual report to the Minister, for tabling in Parliament, on their activities under the Act.
- According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, more than 6 million Canadians aged 15 and over (22% of the population) identify as having a disability, and more than 1 in 10 youth in Canada have one or more disabilities.
- The Accessible Canada Act came into force on July 11, 2019, and focuses on proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility. A major milestone of the Act was realized on December 13, 2021, with the coming into force of Accessible Canada Regulations that require federally regulated organizations to report to the public on their policies and practices to identify and remove existing barriers.
- The Act also established new structures and positions, including:
- the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization, responsible for developing accessibility standards in collaboration with the disability community and industry;
- a Chief Accessibility Officer, to advise the Minister of Accessibility and monitor accessibility issues; and,
- an Accessibility Commissioner, to spearhead compliance and enforcement activities under the legislation.
- The Government is committed to open, transparent and merit-based processes for selecting GIC appointees, who play a fundamental role in Canadian democracy.
- In 2019, out of 1129 filed complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, disability was the most commonly cited ground of discrimination, representing 52 % of all complaints received.
- The Government is developing a Disability Inclusion Action Plan to meet the Act’s objective of realizing a barrier-free Canada. Its focus will be on reducing poverty among persons with disabilities, getting them into good quality jobs and making it easier to access federal programs and services while fostering a culture of inclusion.