Building a barrier-free Canada: the time is now

May 29, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

To mark National AccessAbility Week from May 28 to June 3, 2023, the Canadian Human Rights Commission issues the following statement:

This week is an opportunity to celebrate the important contributions of people with disabilities in Canada. It is also an opportunity to bring our voices together and insist that everyone has equal access to all parts of society, such as access to adequate housing. It is time to start making a barrier-free Canada a reality.

While we’ve made important progress, we still have a long way to go. Too many barriers are still preventing people with disabilities from fully participating in society. Those who experience multiple forms of discrimination face even more barriers— such as women with disabilities or racialized people with disabilities. Where these kinds of human rights barriers intersect, that is where the need for action is most urgent.

Accessibility goes beyond providing ramps for wheelchair users. It’s about rethinking how we do things and how we interact with people to make them feel welcome. Now is the time for organizations to be creative and proactive in making their workplaces and services more accessible.

The Accessible Canada Act will guide us on our journey to become barrier-free. It requires the federal government and federally regulated organizations to consult people with disabilities and proactively identify, remove and prevent barriers.

As we mark this important week, we must keep up the momentum and work together to make Canada a society where everyone can contribute and no one gets left behind. We all benefit when our society is more inclusive and accessible.


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