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On June 21, 2019, the federal government made history by awarding royal assent to Bill C-81, otherwise known as the Act to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada – or the Accessible Canada Act.
This means that by law, the Government of Canada, and any organizations under federal jurisdiction must now ensure that public spaces, workplaces, employment program services and information are accessible to everyone.
As one of 1.5 million Canadians living with sight loss – and one of 49,500 Nova Scotians living with sight loss – I’m overjoyed by this news as it’s the start of a wave of change that will allow myself and others to live more inclusive daily lives.
With the introduction of the Accessible Canada Act, barriers will slowly begin to disappear – making a huge difference in the lives of individuals living with sight loss. Barriers to employment, technology, transportation and public perception will fade, allowing more freedom and equality than ever before.
The sight loss communities of Canada advocated for months, and I’m happy to say that our voices were heard. For that, I am truly thankful.