Consulting with Canadians on accessibility legislation

From Employment and Social Development Canada


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This consultation is now closed

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the Government of Canada consulted with Canadians on planned accessibility legislation.


If you would like to receive information in another format, including large print, braille, e-text, or Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY), please contact the Office for Disability Issues.

Consultation objectives

Canadians, communities and workplaces benefit when everyone can participate equally in everyday life. There has been much progress in making our society more inclusive, but we can do better.

This is why the Government of Canada is committed to developing new planned accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations.

Many Canadians continue to face barriers that affect their ability to participate in daily activities that most people take for granted. These could include:

  • physical and architectural barriers that impede the ability to move freely in the built environment, use public transportation, access information or use technology;
  • attitudes, beliefs and misconceptions that some people may have about people with disabilities and what they can and cannot do; and
  • outdated policies and practices that do not take into account the varying abilities and disabilities that people may have.

In developing this new legislation, the Government of Canada is consulting Canadians both in person and online.

The Government of Canada is seeking your ideas to inform the development of this planned new legislation, including:

  • feedback on the overall goal and approach;
  • whom it should cover;
  • what accessibility issues and barriers it should address;
  • how it could be monitored and enforced;
  • when or how often it should be reviewed;
  • how and when to report to Canadians on its implementation; and
  • how to raise accessibility awareness more generally and support organizations in improving accessibility.

The public consultation will be open until February 2017 and information on viewpoints received will be made available after the consultation is closed.

Canadians are encouraged to visit this site often and explore what’s new.

Latest activities

Message from the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Transcript: Message from the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

In Canada we've made considerable progress in making our society more inclusive. We see this throughout our communities. But there is still work to do.

Canadians with disabilities continue to face barriers in their daily lives. Persistent gaps remain in areas such as employment, income and social inclusion.

As Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, I have been asked to lead a consultation process that will inform the development of new accessibility legislation.

Canadians with disabilities, their families, and the organizations that represent them have been integral to many of the advancements Canada has made in accessibility. To draw on this knowledge and experience, as well as that of businesses, community organizations and government partners, the Government of Canada is conducting consultations to gather input on options for the new legislation.

We have a long road ahead, but this is a big step in helping to ensure our communities become more inclusive for all Canadians.

What does an Accessible Canada mean to you? Please take the time to participate in our online consultation or attend one of our in-person public sessions.

Together, we will make history.

Attend an in-person session

Join us in the following locations to share your feedback in-person.

To pre-register for an in-person session, or to notify us of accommodation needs, please contact the Office for Disability Issues.

Public session agenda

  • Welcome and opening remarks
  • Public discussion
    1. What are the main barriers to accessibility that Canadians with disabilities face?
    2. What would it take to fix those barriers?
    3. How can we change attitudes in Canada to better include and respect people with disabilities?
  • Conclusion

By attending and/or participating in this event, you consent to the capture of your image, likeness or voice via photgraphs, audio or video recordings. ESDC may collect, use, produce, reproduce, publish and communicate likeness or voice via photographs, audio or video recordings captured during this event.

Note: additional details will be added as they become available.

Public session dates

Date Province/Territory City Details
Thursday, September 22nd
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Yukon Whitehorse Westmark Hotel and Conference Centre
201 Wood St, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2E4
Room: Ballroom
Saturday, September 24th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Nunavut Iqaluit Frobisher Inn
Astro Hill Quickstop, 505 Astro Hill, Iqaluit, NU  X0A 0H0
Room: Koojesse North
Monday, September 26th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Northwest Territories Yellowknife Tree of Peace Friendship Centre
5011-51 St, Yellowknife, NT  X1A 2P9
Room: Large Boardroom
*Note: Accessible transportation will be available for participants at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre between 6:00pm and 9:00pm
Wednesday, September 28th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Saskatchewan Regina Double Tree Hotel
1975 Broad St, Regina, SK  S4P 1Y1
Room: Capital Ballroom
Monday, October 3rd
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Manitoba Winnipeg Delta Hotel by Marriott
350 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg, MB  R3C 3J2
Room: Delta AB
Friday, October 7th
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Alberta Edmonton Matrix Hotel
10640 100 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB  T5J 3N8
Room : Quartz Ballroom
Tuesday, October 11th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Ontario Thunder Bay Italian Cultural Centre
132 Algoma St S, Thunder Bay, ON  P7B 3B7
Room: Mediterrenean Ballroom
Thursday, October 13th
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Alberta Calgary Telus Convention Centre
120 Ninth Ave SE, Calgary, AB  T2G 0P3
Room : Macleod Hall A
Thursday, October 20th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
New Brunswick Moncton Moncton Lion's Community Centre
473 St. George St, Moncton, NB  E1C 1Y2
Room: Auditorium
Thursday, November 3rd
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Newfoundland St. John's The Hampton Inn
411 Stavanger Dr, St. John's, NL  A1A 0A1
Room: TBC
Monday, November 7th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
British Columbia Victoria Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 3Z5
Meeting room: Pacific Ballroom
Thursday, November 10th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Quebec Québec City Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec 179 Grande Allée Ouest Québec (Québec)  G1R 2H1
Room : Salle Multi
Wednesday, November 16th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Quebec Montreal Palais des congrès
1001 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC  H2Z 1H5
Room : Salle 513
Saturday, November 26th
2:00 pm to 5:30pm
British Columbia Vancouver Vancouver Convention Center - West Building
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC  V6C 0C3
Room : West Meeting Room 211
Wednesday, November 30th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Ontario Ottawa Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place (LeBreton Flats), Ottawa, ON K1A 0M8
Thursday, December 8th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Prince Edward Island Charlottetown Murphy's Community Centre
200 Richmond St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1J2
Room: Auditorium
Friday, December 9th
3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Nova Scotia Halifax Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
1055 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Room Kenneth C. Rowe Hall
Wednesday, February 8th
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Ontario Toronto Chelsea Hotel Toronto
33 Gerrard Street West
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z4
Room: Churchill Ballroom

National Youth Forum

Please note the application process is now closed.

This fall, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, will host a one-day national forum for youth with disabilities and youth who have life experience, work experience or academic experience related to disability. The event is part of the Government of Canada’s consultation process to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation.

The selected participants will have the opportunity to:

  • join other youth from across the country and share your ideas on how to improve accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in Canada;
  • showcase what you have done to remove barriers for people with disabilities; and
  • inspire other youth to demonstrate their leadership in promoting the participation of all Canadians in society, including those with disabilities.

The forum is taking place on November 1st, 2016, in Ottawa, Ontario. Further details about the Forum will be confirmed with participants who are selected. Travel and accommodation expenses for selected participants will be paid, according to Treasury Board of Canada guidelines.

If you would like to receive information in another format, including large print, braille, e-text, or Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY), please contact the Office for Disability Issues.

Privacy Notice Statement

Participation in this consultation is voluntary, and acceptance or refusal to participate will in no way affect any relationship with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or the Government of Canada.

Information provided to the Office for Disability Issues related to this engagement initiative can be subject to access to information and privacy requests and will be administered in accordance with the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

The information is collected under the authority of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA) for the 2016-2017 Federal Accessibility Legislation Consultation. It may be used by ESDC, including the Office for Disability Issues, by other Government of Canada departments, or by other levels of government, for policy analysis and research; however, these uses and/or disclosures of your personal information will never result in an administrative decision being made about you.

Any personal information provided to the Office for Disability Issues will be administered in accordance with the DESDA, the Privacy Act and other applicable laws. However, those providing information are requested not to provide any identifying personal information about themselves or anyone else (other than name, organization and contact information). In the event that you provide unsolicited personal information for the purpose of attribution, your unsolicited personal information could be used in publicly available reports on the consultation and elsewhere as deemed appropriate by ESDC. If personal information is provided by an individual member of the general public (who is not an individual participating in the consultation on behalf of, or as a representative of, a stakeholder organization), ESDC shall make every effort to remove the identifying personal information prior to including the individual’s responses in the data analysis, unless otherwise noted. Your submission, or portions thereof, may be published on, included in publicly available reports on the consultation, compiled with other responses to the consultation in an open-data submission on or shared throughout the Government of Canada or with other levels of government.

You have the right to the protection of, access to and correction of your personal information, which is described in Personal Information Banks ESDC-PSU-914 or ESDC-PSU-938. Instructions for obtaining this information are outlined in Info Source. Info Source may also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre.

You have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the institution’s handling of your personal information.

To obtain information related to this consultation, a request may be submitted in writing to ESDC pursuant to the Access to Information Act. When making a request, reference should be made to the name of this discussion paper.

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