Accessible Canada Act Adopted
June 21, 2019 – A historical moment for Canadians, “An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada” has been adopted by the Senate and House of Commons. Known as the Accessible Canada Act, this is the first piece of federal legislation aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Act was first introduced in the House of Commons in June 2018 and includes the term “episodic” in the definition of disability – a positive step in recognizing the nature of many diseases, including multiple sclerosis. The MS Society of Canada and people affected by MS participated extensively in the consultations leading up to the Act being introduced with the same message to include episodic in the definition of disability.
The new law will help identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers people face daily across the country in areas that fall under federal jurisdiction. This includes built environments, federally run programs and services, transportation sectors, broadcasting and telecommunications services, and banking.
It includes legislation that would ensure federal agencies proactively update their buildings to allow people to move more freely as well as design their programs in ways that can be delivered to all Canadians. This Act will also be supportive of the employment for Canadians living with disabilities.
Accessible Canada Act, Bill C-81