The Accessible Canada Act takes a new approach to accessibility. Proactive accessibility legislation puts the onus on employers and service providers to identify and remove both existing and potential barriers, and prevent new ones.
The past year was primarily dedicated to preparing for the Accessible Canada Regulations to become law. The regulations provide federally regulated organizations with precise rules to proactively identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers in their workplaces. For example, employers and service providers are required to develop and publish accessibility plans and progress reports, and establish a process to receive feedback from employees or the public.
The Commission also continued to develop tools and resources to help employers and service providers in understanding and meeting their regulatory obligations. These include compliance self-assessment tools, guidance and information explaining regulatory requirements. The Commission is designing an inspection program so that the Accessibility Commissioner can verify whether organizations are meeting their regulatory obligations, and then report to Parliament, the Chief Accessibility Officer, and the Canadian public.
As we prepare this Annual Report at the close of 2021, the Accessible Canada Regulations came into force December 2021, and we anticipate the soon to be appointment of Canada's first Accessibility Commissioner.