An Act to Ensure a Barrier Free Canada or “Accessible Canada Act”

May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month. Each year the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association strives to bring awareness to hearing loss in new and innovative ways. This year May 1, 2019 presented an opportunity for the National Executive Director, Christopher Sutton, to address the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on Bill C 81 – “An Act to Ensure a Barrier Free Canada” or the short form “Accessible Canada Act”.

This act was passed by the House of Commons on November 27, 2018 and has now moved forward for Senate approval. If passed this enactment enables the “Accessible Canada Act” to enhance the full participation of all persons, especially person with disabilities in society. This is to be achieved through the realization, with the purview to of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, of Canada without barriers, particularly by the identification, removal and prevention of barriers. Along with many other aspects of this bill the Act imposes duties on regulated entities that include the duty to prepare accessibility plans and progress reports in consultation with persons with disabilities, the duty to publish those plans and reports and the duty to establish a feedback process and to publish a description of it.

It was an honour for the National Executive Director to speak at this committee to ensure the needs of persons with hearing loss are heard within this inner circle. The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association needs to be a part of this historical bill and Christopher has made sure that your voices are heard. Please follow this link to see the presentation Christopher Sutton provided to the Committee: