Accessible Canada Act workplace accommodations
Accessibility practices continue to evolve in Canada, and this has implications for persons with disabilities. The Accessible Canada Act (ACA), which came into effect in 2019, aims to identify, remove and prevent barriers for persons with disabilities when interacting with federally regulated organizations. The ACA’s priority areas are employment, the built environment, information and communications technology (ICT), communications, the procurement of goods, the design and delivery of programs and services, and transportation.
To shed light on accessibility in the ACA’s priority areas and improve understanding, Statistics Canada is releasing a fact sheet based on data from the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) that align with four of the seven priority areas. The findings provide insight into the 6.2 million Canadians with disabilities who may encounter barriers or require accessibility features. To further support the understanding of accessibility, Statistics Canada collaborated closely with Employment and Social Development Canada on various data initiatives, such as the Accessibility Data Hub and the Survey on Accessibility in Federal Sector Organizations.
The fact sheet shows that employees with more severe disabilities are more likely to have difficulty getting the necessary support than those with less severe disabilities. Workplace accommodations or modifications can help persons with disabilities perform their work-related tasks and create an inclusive work environment. A previous report, “Workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities in Canada, 2017,” showed that 37.3% of employees with disabilities require at least one workplace accommodation. Among employees with disabilities aged 25 to 64, 18.2% believed their condition made it difficult to change their current job or business because of difficulty obtaining required supports or accommodations. Employees with more severe disabilities were more likely (24.1%) than those with less severe disabilities (13.9%) to report difficulty getting the necessary supports.
Among persons with disabilities who were completely prevented from working at a job or business because of their condition, 14.4% indicated that some workplace accommodation or modification would enable them to work at a paid job or business. These accommodations can include modified or different duties or technical aids. Moreover, among those who encountered barriers while looking for work, 7.3% reported they were discouraged from looking for work because they experienced accessibility issues when applying to jobs.