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Understanding the Accessible Canada Act and What it Means for You

Canadians live in a great country that helps its citizens when they need it. Health care is free and there are several programs to help Canadians get on their feet during tough times.

It only made sense for the Canadian Government to put into action the Accessible Canada Act.

The purpose of the Accessible Canada Act is to make Canada barrier-free for employees with disabilities by January 1, 2040.

Here are the act's principles and scope:

Principles

  • everyone must be treated with dignity
  • everyone must have the same opportunity to make for themselves the life they are able and wish to have
  • everyone must be able to participate fully and equally in society
  • everyone must have meaningful options and be free to make their own choices, with support if they desire
  • laws, policies, programs, services, and structures must take into account the ways that different kinds of barriers and discrimination intersect
  • persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services, and structures, and
  • accessibility standards and regulations must be made with the goal of achieving the highest level of accessibility

Application

The Act applies to organizations under federal responsibility, including:

  • the Government of Canada, its departments, agencies and Crown corporations
  • parts of the private sector regulated by the Government of Canada such as:
    • banks
    • federal transportation network such as airlines, rail, road and marine transportation providers that cross provincial or international borders
    • broadcasting and telecommunications sectors
    • the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The act has already come to force on July 11, 2019 and requires every organization that has been mentioned to:

  • Prepare and publish accessibility plans
  • Set up a feedback process
  • Prepare and publish progress reports

You might already know that there are many tools that can help make the workplace more accessible. One of these tools is  Evatel. It helps workers with disabilities overcome the barriers they face when trying to use today's business communications and collaboration tools. Speech Mobility is providing its Evatel platform to resellers interested to address the needs of workers with disabilities and to position themselves to be a preferred provider of solutions to the government and large institutions. 
Click here to learn more on how your can use Evatel to make your products comply with the new Accessible Canada Act.

Evatel does many things to make business communications accessible to workers with disabilities:

  • People who are blind or with dexterity limitations can use voice commands to listen to their voicemail and emails, send and receive text messages, call contacts, check their calendar;
  • People who are blind or with dexterity limitations can use speech to change their phone status and call forwarding;
  • Deaf workers can read their voice messages as text using the voicemail transcription
  • The Web portal and mobile support voice over and text enlargement for blind and visually impaired workers;

If you think that it is time to do the right thing and make your solutions accessible for workers with disabilities, contact us.

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