Enacted in 2019, the Accessible Canada Act is designed to make Canada barrier-free by January 1, 2040.
It applies to the federally regulated private sector, which includes the banking, transportation, and telecommunications industries, as well as the Government of Canada, Crown corporations (any corporation that is established and regulated by a country’s state or government), and Parliament.
The Act focuses on identifying, removing, and preventing barriers in federal jurisdiction in the following priority areas:
Communication, as a priority area, includes the use of:
Under the Act, organizations are required to develop and publish accessibility plans, and establish a mechanism for receiving and addressing feedback on accessibility from anyone who interacts with their organization.
The Accessible Canada Act also established new structures and positions, including:
Individuals have the right to file complaints against an organization that has not complied with the Act. These complaints generally will go to the Accessibility Commissioner, who will deal with complaints in all the areas for which they are responsible. From a media and entertainment perspective, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will deal with complaints related to accessibility in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.