“Our annotated statute provides information for many different types of knowledge-users, including members of the disability community, disability rights advocates, people interested in the history of the statute and in comparisons with other accessibility legislation (such as researchers and scholars), and the general public,” said Jacobs, who noted that annotated statutes have usually been very legalistic and designed for practising lawyers.
The Law, Disability and Social Change Project released an excerpt of the resource in December 2020 and has now posted the complete text version on the project’s website, on the University of Windsor’s Scholarship Repository and through the Canadian Legal Information Institute.
The Accessible Canada Act, which came into force on July 11, 2019, is the country’s first federal legislation that focuses on accessibility for persons with disabilities. It seeks to work toward achieving a “Canada without barriers” by Jan. 1, 2040 by eliminating disability barriers in the economic sectors within federal jurisdiction under s. 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, including federal works and undertakings; parliamentary entities like the Senate and the House of Commons; the Canadian Forces; businesses and organizations like banks, airlines, railways and interprovincial transportation carriers; and Crown corporations like Canada Post. The legislation provides numerous exceptions, leading to a patchwork approach.
Statistics Canada reported in 2017 that people with disabilities comprise 22 per cent of Canada’s population who are 15 years old and above, or over seven million people, out of the population of approximately 38 million.
The Law, Disability and Social Change Project, established in 2014, aims to respect the voices of people with disabilities, to help empower them to fully attain their rights, to promote inclusive communities and to advance the motto “nothing about us without us.”