Canadian Disability Act Communication and Information Round Table Carla Qualtrough Response

Round Table Feedback Response

Canadian Disability Act Communication and Information Round Table Feedback by David Best
Mandate letter for Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
Survey for Consulting with Canadians on federal disability legislation
Bringing Canadians With Disabilities Into the Mainstream of Canadian Society, January 2017, By John Rae
Accessible Canada submission – Blinding Grinding Poverty In 2016, By Chris Stark
Honourable Carla Qualtrough, released a report on May 29 entitled, Creating new national accessibility legislation: What we learned from Canadians.

CDA Round Table Response From Minister Qualtrough

Sent: January 6, 2017
Subject: Re: the Moncton Roundtable on Information Communications Technologies

Dear Mr. Best:

I am replying to your email of November 14, 2016, in which you shared your experiences from the Moncton Roundtable on Information Communications Technologies. I am pleased to hear that you found it to be an opportunity to engage with other voices and to discuss ideas on how to improve the social and economic inclusion of Canadians with disabilities.

As Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, one of my key priorities is to lead the development of new legislation that will transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility and delivers on its commitment to achieve greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. We began this process with the goal of doing things differently: to involve Canadians from the beginning in matters that affect them. I am proud of the effort to date, and I am confident that it will impart real change.

While accessibility legislation is an important step, experience shows that no matter how well legal measures may be designed, legislation on its own is only part of the answer. Lasting change can be achieved when accessibility becomes part of our everyday thinking. Our approach was designed with that in mind: to build a foundation of networking, partnering and collaboration that will not only help shape the new legislation but also drive the desired cultural change.

At this juncture, we are more than halfway through our consultations, which will conclude in February 2017. As I reflect on the progress to date, I am intrigued by what I am learning from the broad spectrum of Canadian stakeholders: individuals, organizations, industry and academia. Key themes are emerging, and these are coalescing on many fronts around the next steps that you identified in your email: advisory council, accountability and responsibility as well as enforcement. Clearly, these matters are weighing on the minds of many Canadians in varying degrees and are shaped by many experiences.

I can assure you that we are listening to your concerns. Effective legislation cannot be developed in isolation. Consistent with where the process began, we are committed to considering all inputs in order to create and construct effective federal accessibility legislation for Canadians. To that point, I have already shared your feedback with my team responsible for developing the planned legislation. We are actively compiling all inputs from the consultation and have plans to publish the consultative conversation in a What was said report. We consistently reach out to participants, subject-matter experts and our intergovernmental partners as necessary.

Thank you not only for your interest, but also for your commitment and engagement.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities