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Statement from Chief Accessibility Officer Stephanie Cadieux on release of first report on accessibility in Canada

 

 

Statement

February 15, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario

Today, Canada’s first Chief Accessibility Officer, Stephanie Cadieux made the following statement, following the release of her first report on the outcomes being achieved under the Accessible Canada Act (ACA):

“Accessibility is everyone’s business. In Canada, eight million Canadians aged 15 and over live with a disability. Worldwide, people with disabilities are the largest minority group, and the only group that anyone can become a part of at any time. It is not a niche issue. It affects us all.

“In 2019, with the coming into force of the ACA, the Government of Canada committed to making the country barrier-free by 2040. Many good initiatives are underway but we still have a long way to go, and much more to learn about what accessibility really means and why it matters to everyone.

“This report constitutes a first attempt to bring together what is happening across sectors and across the disability community, and to look at it as a whole. The report was developed with information gathered through extensive engagement with partners across Canada, as well as with international advocates and experts.

“While we are seeing some progress, more must be done to raise the awareness of all Canadians about the Accessible Canada Act and about the roles of all those involved in making Canada barrier-free. Accessibility is complex and some changes will take time but taking faster action in a few key areas will help ensure that we’re able to reach the goal.

“The report includes my early observations on some of these key areas, with an emphasis on mandatory training, regulations, dedicated accessibility funding, and more and better data. The report shares some of the promising efforts being made across government and federally regulated sectors, with the aim of demonstrating what is possible and encouraging others to act.

“No one organization or nation has yet gotten accessibility all right or all wrong. That’s why consistent collaboration and the sharing of best practices, challenges, solutions, and lessons learned is so important to embedding accessibility into the way we live and work. It’s important to remember that no one is better positioned to provide this information than people with disabilities themselves and it is critical that they be consulted from the outset of any initiative and all along the way.

“I encourage everyone to read this report and consider how it applies directly to them and how can be used to inform their work. Beyond providing an update on the progress being made and the challenges we are facing, my hope is that this report will go on to ignite conversations and encourage action that will lead to lasting, positive change.”

Quick facts

  • The role of Chief Accessibility Officer (CAO) was created by the Accessible Canada Act (ACA), which came into force in 2019
  • As an independent adviser to the Minister, the CAO provides advice on wide-ranging accessibility issues, monitors and report on progress made under the ACA, and will provide annual reports detailing outcomes achieved under the ACA, as well as systemic and emerging accessibility issues
  • The Office of the CAO serves as a trusted source of information on accessibility, and supports the CAO in promoting a positive and productive dialogue between the federal government, disability stakeholders, national and international organizations

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Associated links

Contacts

Jennifer Houle
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer
506-238-3677
Jennifer.jh.houle@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer
EDSC.OCAO.MEDIA-BDPA.MEDIA.ESDC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Report from the Chief Accessibility Officer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is from govt of Canada website go to the link here

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