Unlike human rights laws, accessibility legislation is found in just a handful of jurisdictions.
More than 1 in 5 adult Canadians (22%) have a physical or mental disability, according to Statistics Canada. These individuals have the same legal rights to participate in employment and other aspects of public life as their fellow citizens. Simple protection from discrimination afforded by human rights laws is essential but not enough. Enabling true equality opportunity for the disabled requires employers and owners of businesses, public facilities and lands to take proactive measures to tear down barriers and ensure accessibility. And that’s just what accessibility laws are all about.
But unlike human rights laws, accessibility laws aren’t universal. Only a few of Canada’s jurisdictions have them. A few others are exploring adopting them. Here’s a map summarizing the current state of accessibility laws across the country.