Last updated on 19 December 2021
Almost 7 years to the date of the last legal decision around the Federal Government’s consitutional duty to ensure web-related content are accessible to all, Bill C-81 has now passed the 3rd reading in the Senate and has one last step before it receives Royal Assent and becomes law.
When Bill C-81 becomes law, which I suspect will happen during National AccessAbility Week, it will bring into affect changes that affect accesibility for:
- Built Environment
- Information / Communication Technologies
- Communication (not included in Information / Communication Technologies)
- Procurement of goods / services / facilities
- Design / delivery of programs and services
- Other items defined in the Bill where regulations can be applied
Most importantly, it will mandate that all agencies controlled by the Federal Government must remove barriers for those with accessibility needs.
Executive Summary of Bill C-81 + Potential Impacts
I’ve read through the Bill and made a summary of the changes and impacts, as it relates specifically to Information and Communications Technologies and Web Accessibility. NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list and is based on my initial interpretations. Subject to change as this develops.
|Bill C-81 (Parts of Act)||Information / Communication technologies impacts|
I’ve highlighted the impacts from the web accessibility perspective, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other impacts to accessibility overall within the Government of Canada and the stakeholders it serves.
The overall goal of the Bill is to create an Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. As a long time advocate for Web Accessibility, I’m always encouraged to see any kind of advancement to help others.
Much like the overall goal of Bill C-81, I will also continue to monitor further developments, report on the results and assure equal access to all, regardless of ability. For now, it’s good to see more progress!
- Government of Canada: National AccessAbility Week – May 26 to June 1
- Parliament of Canada: Bill C-81 – Accessible Canada Act
- Federal Accessibility Legislation Alliance
- Federal Accessibility Legislation Alliance – Send a Letter to MPs Telling them to Pass Bill C-81
- Federal Court of appeal’s May 30 2012 decision in Jodhan v. Canada, reaffirming the Federal Government’s constitutional duty to ensure its websites are accessible to people with disabilities.
- Blind Canadians Applaud Decision of the Federal Court of Appeal Finding That Federal Government Breached Charter Rights
- Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians – September 2011 Activities Report
- Future of Web Accessibility in Canada
- Nablopomo – Day 29 – Future of Web Accessibility in Canada – Update
- Future of Web Accessibility in Canada – Judgement Amended