Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: https://www.aodaalliance.org Email: email@example.com Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/
July 28, 2021
It sure looks, sounds, tastes and smells like there is a federal election in the air. That means it is time for disability advocates to gear up to ask the federal parties for election commitments on accessibility for over six million people with disabilities in Canada!
To get ready, we would welcome your feedback. What should we be asking for regarding the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act. It was passed over two years ago. Yet the Federal Government has still not hired the national Accessibility Commissioner or the Chief Accessibility Officer to lead its implementation. No accessibility standards have yet been enacted to require specific action to remove and prevent disability barriers.
To learn more about this subject, we today unveil for you two captioned videos. Together, they bring you up to speed.
The first video, ” What should Canada’s promised national accessibility legislation include?” tells you why Canada needs a strong national accessibility law. It is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzUKVs28T8U
The second video, called “2018-2019 Campaign to get Canada’s parliament to Pass a Strong Accessible Canada Act,” gives you the history of the trip that the Accessible Canada Act took through Canada’s House of Commons, Senate, and back to the House of Commons again, in 2018-2019. That video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMdC0wi5FlM
Together these videos show that the Accessible Canada Act is helpful, but too weak. We and many others were especially worried because it commendably gave the Federal Government new powers, without imposing needed time lines on the Government to ensure that the law is implemented in a timely and effective way. By splintering its implementation and enforcement across three federal agencies, it made the law unnecessarily complicated and hard to navigate. Events since then have proven us correct.
In the October 2019 federal election, the governing Liberal party made election commitments on its implementation. It pledged to use a disability lens for all Government decisions. It also committed:
” We are fully committed to the timely and ambitious implementation of the Accessible Canada Act so that it can fully benefit all Canadians.”
Have they kept their word? What promises should we ask all the major parties to make? The Accessible Canada Act requires Canada to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2040, at least within federal jurisdiction. In the two years since the Accessible Canada Act was passed, has Canada made two years’ worth of progress towards that goal? Are we on schedule?
Send us your feedback. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For even more background on the AODA Alliance’s efforts regarding the Accessible Canada Act, visit the AODA Alliance website’s Canada page.