When everyone can participate, everyone benefits

June 1, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

To mark National AccessAbility Week from May 30 to June 5, 2021, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

National AccessAbility Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities. It is a chance to reaffirm our commitment to inclusion and to eliminating barriers that deny people with disabilities full and equal access to health care, to economic security, to information, to products and services, to transportation, to education, and to employment.

Accessibility is a human right. It is essential to ensuring that people in Canada can fully participate and contribute to Canadian society. As we work to implement the Accessible Canada Act, the Commission is committed to ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy and benefit from this fundamental human right.

This work is more important than ever. The pandemic has put disability rights further at risk. It has expanded the circle of vulnerability in Canada and created new barriers, preventing people with disabilities from being able to participate fully in daily life.

As we look towards recovery, the rights of people with disabilities in Canada must be at the forefront of Canada's plan to build back better. In the spirit of nothing without us, it is essential that this plan incorporates the diverse voices of people with disabilities and is informed by their lived experiences.

We must continue the push for accessibility for all. From physical accessibility in public spaces, to the accessibility of information and virtual tools, to the dismantling of negative attitudes and stigma, we can all contribute to eliminating the barriers that stand in people’s way.

I encourage everyone to take some time this week to reflect upon and celebrate the valuable contributions made by people with disabilities throughout this country. We have an opportunity to bring about real and meaningful change. When everyone can participate, everyone benefits.

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