This year, on December 3, International Day for Persons with Disabilities, PSAC is calling on the recently elected federal government to make accessibility a priority.
Federal accessibility law
Just before the election, the government passed the Accessible Canada Act into law. This was an important step forward for accessibility rights in the federal sector. However, the most significant part lies ahead. The Act simply sets out the general framework – the government must create strong regulations to make the Act effective.
PSAC calls on this government to ensure comprehensive and enforceable accessibility regulations and standards that make a positive difference in the lives of persons with disabilities in Canada.
Federal accessibility strategy
The government has also recently prepared a federal Accessibility Strategy that will apply to the federal public service.
Once again, this strategy is simply a foundation and the true commitment to accessibility will only be shown by ensuring that the strategy is implemented properly. There must be a culture change in the federal public service, where one in three workers with disabilities have said they experienced harassment, and one in four have said they experienced discrimination.
We are calling on the government and the central agencies to make accessibility a priority and to demonstrate real commitment to removing barriers.
PSAC releases new tools on the duty to accommodate
Also, in recognition of December 3, PSAC is releasing a new pamphlet for our members entitled Duty to Accommodate in the Workplace, as well as our revised and updated Duty to Accommodate: A PSAC Guide for Union Representatives. PSAC is also promoting a video that explains the duty to accommodate. These tools will help PSAC members, stewards, and other representatives to better understand the right to accommodation in the workplace.
PSAC will continue to advocate for a Canada where persons with disabilities are able to fully and equitably participate in all aspects of society.
The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.