Canadians invited to help shape Canada’s first Disability Inclusion Action Plan

News release

June 4, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the lives of Canadians with disabilities. The pandemic has shed a light on the long-standing challenges that negatively affect the health, financial security and social well-being of persons with disabilities. As part of its response, the Government of Canada is moving forward with its first ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) and wants to engage all Canadians in the process. 

Today, as part of celebrations for National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) 2021, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, officially launched a public engagement process to help guide the development of the DIAP.  An accessible survey is now available online to allow Canadians to provide valuable insights and feedback on priority areas of the plan. These include financial security, employment, disability-inclusive spaces, and building a modern approach to disability within the Government of Canada. 

In the spirit of “Nothing Without Us”, all Canadians, especially persons with disabilities, their caregivers and family members, stakeholders and organizations working with persons with disabilities, are invited to complete the survey. 

Canadians can access and complete the survey online by August 31, 2021. More information is available on our Engagement webpage.  

Today’s announcement caps off a busy week of NAAW-related activities, and it fully supports this year’s theme - “Disability Inclusion 2021—Leaving No One Behind.” During the week, the Government announced the opening of two calls for proposals under the Enabling Accessibility Fund’s (EAF) Mid-sized projects and Youth Innovation components, while highlighting EAF funding for accessibility projects in local communities.

Minister Qualtrough took part in the introduction of new accessibility features for electronic payment terminals, and engaged youth with disabilities and community disability leaders on issues of importance to them in a series of virtual panel discussions. The Minister also announced an investment of over $130 million through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy program to provide young people facing barriers, including youth with disabilities, with good jobs and the supports and skills training they need to join the workforce.


“To truly achieve a barrier-free and inclusive Canada, we need to engage and take concrete action. The Disability Inclusion Action Plan is part of our Government’s plan to build back better in a way that leaves no one behind. I am delighted to launch this public engagement process during National Accessibility Week and look forward to hearing the creative ideas and innovative reflections of Canadians on how best to shape the future of disability inclusion.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough


Quick facts

  • May 30 to June 5, 2021 is National AccessAbility Week (NAAW), a time to celebrate accessibility and inclusion across Canada. It is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and recognize all efforts to remove barriers. It is also a time to amplify the efforts underway to ensure persons with disabilities are able to participate fully in all aspects of Canadian society.

  • Introduced in the 2020 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada is developing the first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) that will focus on:

    •  reducing poverty among persons with disabilities
    • getting more persons with disabilities into good quality jobs
    • helping to realize the goal of the Accessible Canada Act to achieve a barrier-free Canada by 2040
    • making it easier for persons with disabilities to access federal programs and services
    • fostering a culture of inclusion
  • The DIAP public engagement will build on the great success and input received from the Accessible Canada Act consultations - the most inclusive in Canada’s history, the 2019 National Disability Summit, and the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group. 

  • The Accessible Canada Act came into force on July 11, 2019. It includes seven priority areas: employment; the built environment; communication; information and communication technologies; the procurement of goods, services and facilities; the design and delivery of programs and services and transportation.

  • Budget 2021 committed the Government to undertaking extensive consultations with stakeholders on the design of a new disability benefit and engaging with provinces and territories, which play a central role in providing support to many Canadians with disabilities. 

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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