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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.

 


 

Accessibility Standards Canada-Year End message

Dear stakeholders,

Over the past year, our organization has worked tirelessly to work with our partners across Canada. We strive to advance accessibility for all Canadians and break down barriers. We strongly believe that this work cannot be done without your help.

 

That's why today marks the introduction of my Quarterly Message. This newsletter is designed to keep you up to date on the projects we are working on. Being aware of our progress in a timely manner is another way for you to be involved in what we all strive for: a more accessible Canada.

 

As we are at the end of 2021, the organization is looking at the New Year with enthusiasm. As such, our 2022 priorities will include:

  • developing federal standards in priority areas;
  • recommending standards to the Minister in charge of our portfolio for incorporation into federal regulation;
  • collaborating with federal entities to align federal standards and regulatory development processes; and
  • collaborating with provincial and territorial governments to harmonize accessibility standards across jurisdictions.

Please find below more updates on what we have achieved in the last months.

 

Grants and Research

Our Advancing Accessibility Standards Research grants and contribution program supports research to identify, prevent and remove barriers to accessibility and inform future standards. It funds on average 15 projects annually and has funded 24 projects so far.

 

Collaboration with CSA Group

We are proud to collaborate with CSA Group on three accessibility standards. This collaboration will enable us to share knowledge and expertise. (Read the November 30 News Release).

Each standard will focus on the technical requirements for accessibility and usability in one of three areas.

  • Accessible design for automated banking machines and other interactive self-service devices
  • Accessible design for the built environment
  • Accessible Housing

Technical Committee Updates

Canadians will be given the opportunity to review six accessibility standards this year. Three are being developed as joint standards with CSA Group and three others relate to plain language, outdoor spaces, and a model standard for the built environment - accessibility.

 

We continue to support five technical committees that are currently developing standards:

  • Plain language
  • Outdoor Spaces
  • Model standards for the built environment – accessibility
  • Employment
  • Emergency egress

Our technical committees have started creating content for their standards. In addition, each committee has created detailed work plans for the next 12 to 18 months. Visit this webpage to learn more about our work program.

 

Recruiting for New Technical Committees

Since November 25, we are currently looking for members for two new technical committees. These committees will work on standards related to:

Our aim is to create balanced and inclusive teams that value the lived experience of people with disabilities.

Committee members have an opportunity to:

  • work with other accessibility experts;
  • have their voice heard; and
  • become a leader for inclusion in Canada.

Please share this information with your contacts and encourage them to apply today by visiting our website.

 

The application deadline is January 14, 2022.

 

Roadmap to 2040 - A plan to guide the work of Accessibility Standards Canada

Members of our Board of Directors have been drafting a roadmap to 2040. This roadmap will essentially guide Accessibility Standards Canada as it contributes to a Canada without barriers by 2040. I am proud to say that the roadmap is now completed. Stay tuned, as it will be published early in the New Year.

 

Working with the Provinces

We need to ensure our standards reflect the needs of all people with disabilities, no matter where they live. To that end, our Intergovernmental Relations team is currently negotiating agreements with several provinces. These partnerships will allow us to increase our positive impact on the lives of Canadians.

 

Many provinces, territories, and municipalities have their own standards. By collaborating, we can share best practices and learn more about where our standards could be adopted. This enables us to harmonize our efforts. It also helps us promote a consistent and high level of accessibility across the country.

 

I will let you know when something concrete can be announced. I am proud of the work being done in this area.

 

As we wrap up another unprecedented year, the entire team would like to wish you all the best as we approach the holidays.

 

We hope that health and joy will be with you and yours during this festive season and throughout 2022.

Leah Bowman at 10:40 AM
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