The Accessible Canada Act (ACA) and the Accessible Canada Regulations (regulations) require federally regulated entities to prepare and publish:

The regulations describe how these entities must meet these requirements. One requirement is that entities must consult persons with disabilities in the preparation of their accessibility plans and progress reports.

This guidance will help entities plan those consultations. They:

In line with the principles in section 6 of the ACA, this guidance reflects insights and input from the disability community.

While this guidance is not legally binding, it does describe actions that the ACA and the regulations require. These descriptions use the words "must" and "required." The guidance also contain recommendations, tips, and best practices for helping to ensure that consultations are useful and meaningful. These descriptions use the words "recommended," "should," “may,” "suggested," and "could."

This guidance and its annexes focus on consulting persons with disabilities.

You can also read the guidance on preparing and publishing accessibility plans.

Guidance on progress reports and feedback processes will be available in the spring of 2022.

Note: organizations should use the guidance as appropriate. Processes, policies and context are different depending on the type and size of the organization.

Regulatory and enforcement authorities

All federally regulated entities must notify the Accessibility Commissioner (a member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)). Some federally regulated entities engage in operations that may fall under additional sets of accessibility regulations under the ACA. Some of these regulations may be made by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) or the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). This means that some entities may be required to notify both the Accessibility Commissioner and either the CRTC or the CTA.

Entities to which these additional regulations apply must still publish accessibility plans, progress reports, and descriptions of their feedback processes. The contents of these documents may differ depending on the applicable regulation. These entities should plan their consultations with this in mind.

Consult sections 42 to 50 of the ACA for information about regulated entities who carry on broadcasting undertakings.

Consult sections 51 to 59 of the ACA for information about regulated entities who are Canadian carriers or telecommunications service providers.

Consult sections 60 to 68 of the ACA for information about regulated entities who are part of the federal transportation network.

Consult sections 69 to 72 of the ACA for information about all other regulated entities.

Consult the regulations for more information about how regulators and enforcement authorities will evaluate compliance.

Note: The Government of Canada recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the day-to-day lives of Canadians, businesses, and organizations. In many instances, there has been a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities, affecting their capacity to participate in regulatory consultations.

As the pandemic evolves and you plan your consultations, make sure these plans respect all applicable public health guidelines and restrictions. Even if local policies allow for in-person events, consider offering virtual consultation options as an alternative while the public health situation remains uncertain. Some participants may still want to avoid traveling, congregating indoors, or using public transportation.

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