National AccessAbility Week: Changing the way we think, talk and act about barriers to accessibility and inclusion

News release

May 22, 2019              Gatineau, Québec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Providing opportunities to promote accessibility and inclusion is a priority for the Government of Canada. From May 26 to June 1, Canada’s third National AccessAbility Week will celebrate the contributions of persons with disabilities and promote accessibility and inclusion in communities and workplaces across the country. This week is also an opportunity to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of those who are actively removing barriers so that everyone has an equal chance to participate in all aspects of Canadian society.

This year, the federal government will focus on five themes that reflect key priorities identified during consultations with Canadians to inform the development of Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act. These themes are: Federal government leading by example, Employment, Youth, Communications and Technology, and the Built Environment.

To help create wider organizational and cultural change on accessibility in Canada, the Government of Canada, through the Social Development Partnership Program’s Disability Component, is providing support to not-for-profit organizations that remove barriers to social inclusion faced by persons with disabilities in each province and territory.

Funded projects encourage and recognize leadership, highlight community and regional innovation in accessibility, challenge attitudinal barriers to accessibility, and bring awareness to the importance of accessibility and inclusion. They also encourage Canadians to engage in new ways of thinking and speaking about accessibility, inclusion, and barriers to participation.

For more information on the various projects taking place across the country during National AccessAbility Week and throughout the year, please visit the National AccessAbility Week web page.


“As Canada’s first minister dedicated to accessibility, I am pleased to launch the third annual National AccessAbility Week. Our government is working hard to switch the conversation on disability from a focus on needs and impairments, to a conversation on removing barriers, enhancing inclusion and recognizing the contributions of persons with disabilities. Join us in celebrating Canada’s achievements, and strengthening the collaborative effort we need to make Canada a country that is fully accessible and inclusive for all.”
– Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada first launched National AccessAbility Week in 2017. During National AccessAbility Week and throughout the year, a number of activities and events planned by accessibility and disability stakeholders, as well as provincial and territorial partners take place to celebrate the contributions of persons with disabilities.
  • More national disability organizations will receive funding this year than in the twenty-year history of the Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component. The Government of Canada is supporting over one-third more organizations in increasing their capacity to serve persons with disabilities.
  • The Enabling Accessibility Fund and the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities are also providing support to hundreds of organizations across Canada.
  • Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act, was recently adopted by the Senate. Once it receives Royal Assent, this Bill will promote broad organizational and cultural change across Canada, while proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers for the realization of a truly accessible Canada.
  • Budget 2019 introduced a number of new initiatives for persons with disabilities, including: better access to student loans for vulnerable students; improving the employment outcomes for persons with intellectual disabilities and autism; identification, removal and prevention of technological barriers in federal government workplaces; and support in the production of accessible materials for persons with print disabilities.

Associated links


Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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