The disability community has been advocating for a federal accessibility law for decades. On June 20, the Government of Canada finally tabled Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act. If passed, this bill could go a long way in reducing barriers facing people with disabilities.
Unfortunately, the bill only applies to areas within the power of the federal government, such as:
broadcasting and telecommunications
travel between provinces by plane, train, bus or ferry
Canada ratified the CRPD in 2010, but it hasn’t yet ratified the Optional Protocol. Essentially, this Protocol would allow Canadian organizations and citizens to file a complaint with the UN if their rights aren’t respected. Canada, the provinces and the territories will therefore have a new incentive to create an accessible and inclusive society!
The Government of Canada has launched a public consultation about the proposed federal accessibility law. This law will promote equal opportunities and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians with disabilities.
Individuals are invited to share their ideas and experiences about the barriers they face. For more information about the consultation , click here.
To complete the government’s survey , click here .
Let’s all share our experiences to ensure that the new federal law addresses our needs!
This excellent interview gives a glimpse of the barriers faced by the Deaf community. For example, unlike more than 60 countries who have officially recognized their sign languages, Quebec Sign Language (QSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) are not recognized as official languages in Quebec or Canada.
Communication access is part of Quebec Accessible’s vision for a new provincial accessibility law.
Click here to watch and listen to the interview (in French and QSL).
The CKUT radio show LegalEase played a recording of Me Melanie Benard’s presentation at this year’s RadLaw Forum at McGill University. Click here to listen to her talk about the need for a new accessibility law in Quebec.