Did you know that May 30 to June 5, 2021, is National AccessAbility Week in Canada? It is celebrated every year to honour the valuable contributions and accomplishments of Canadians with disabilities. It also recognizes the efforts of individuals, communities, schools, and workplaces actively working towards accessibility and inclusion.
This week-long celebration was the result of The Accessible Canada Act introduced in June 2018. The Government of Canada consulted with Canadians to find out what an accessible Canada means to them. The report, “Creating new national accessibility legislation: What we learned from Canadians,” released in May 2017, shares the key findings of these consultations. On June 20, 2018, the Government introduced Bill C-81 to ensure a barrier-free Canada in Parliament, which came into force on July 11, 2019.
This legislation benefits all Canadians, especially persons with disabilities, by helping to create a barrier-free Canada through the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers to accessibility wherever Canadians interact with areas under federal jurisdiction.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability that impacts the brain and body of people exposed to alcohol in the womb. Each person with FASD has both strengths and challenges and will need special supports to help them succeed with many different parts of their daily lives.
Approximately 4% of Canadians, or more than 1.5 million people, have FASD. Each one of these individuals has the right to supports and services that make health care, education, employment, housing, community initiatives, and social connection accessible.
This year’s theme “Disability Inclusion 2021: Leaving No One Behind” is part of the Government of Canada’s plan to expand on the disability-inclusive approach, initiatives and measures taken throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebrations will take place virtually and, along with other services and information, can be viewed on the National AccessAbility Week website.
Join CanFASD and the rest of Canada as we work towards an inclusive and accessible country for everyone this week and beyond!