In October of 2015, the newly minted Canadian government announced its commitment to the creation of federal legislation that guarantees the rights of people with disability across the country. This legislation, currently referred to as the Canadians with Disabilities Act, is an attempt to establish a cohesive federal framework that ensures that the rights of people with disabilities are not infringed upon.
Carla Qualtrough, a former human rights lawyer and Paralympian, was appointed as the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to spearhead this initiative which began with extensive public consultations.
Public participation during the consultation phase is essential for shaping the government's approach to this legislation. It's equally important for the public to understand what goes into the establishment of effective legislation which meets the needs of an entire population.
Barrier Free Canada, a non-partisan advocate organization concerned with the creation of effective disability legislation, has published a series of documents that outline the necessary components of this type of regulation:
- The Principles For Canadians with Disabilities Act (HTML)
- Canadians with Disabilities Act Detailed Tip Sheet (Word doc)
- Barrier Free Canada Leaflet (Word doc)
For more information regarding CDA consultations across the country, please visit the Consulting with Canadians on accessibility legislation resource from the Employment and Social Development Canada website. The public consultation period closes in February 2017, so there is still time to be heard!