Mr. Philip Rizcallah
CEO, Accessibility Standards Canada
February 11, 2021
Dear Mr. Philip Rizcallah:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Barrier Free Canada, I want to congratulate you on your appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Accessibility Standards Canada. The work of the organization is an important component to the Government of Canada’s objective of creating a barrier free Canada.
As you are likely aware, Barrier Free Canada has been a strong supporter of the Accessible Canada Act. It is the goal of our organization to achieve a barrier-free Canada for all persons with disabilities, and the Act was a positive step forward in that regard. Our Board of Directors consists of individuals who are parents of children with a disability, along with members who are part of the blind, vision impaired and deaf-blind community and those representing the voices of those with other physical and intellectual disabilities. Our mission continues to be that of promoting and encouraging individuals to speak up, speak out, and reach out and we look forward to working with you to support that goal.
I want to recognize you and your team on your results to date, including the beginning of your research grants and contributions program. We look forward to hearing more about your consultation process to identify research topics related to removing barriers. On behalf of Barrier Free Canada, as the Chair of the Board, I would also appreciate being included in the consultations that you undertake as an organization moving forward.
I am writing to inquire how Barrier Free Canada can work more closely with Accessibility Standards Canada to inform the development of the priorities and content for accessibility standards. I would note that the current work program has only identified two standards (Plain Language and outdoor spaces) that are targeted for publication in February 2022. I recognize that the work is underway but can members of the disability community receive an update on the status of the work to develop the standards?
To that end, we have approached the office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough to discuss hosting a webinar in Spring 2021 to raise awareness of the status of the standards with persons with disabilities. This is consistent to your mandate to spread information about accessibility and to work closely with the disability community. I would appreciate if we could find a time to speak at your earliest convenience to discuss this proposal, and/or how Barrier Free Canada can support your work moving forward.
Donna J. Jodhan
President Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières
cc. Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla.Qualtrough@parl.gc.ca
Mr. Paul Claude Bérubé, Chairperson, Accessibility Standards Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org