The provincial government is currently consulting the public and stakeholders on an Accessibility Framework focusing on developing new laws, standards, and policies to better support people with disabilities to live with dignity and to meaningfully participate in their communities. The public consultation period was from September 16, 2019, to November 29, 2019. As of Sept 2021, applications were accepted to sit on a provincial body to determine changes in the accessibilities act for BC. It is expected that the 12 individuals will be named early in 2022.
Accessibility legislation for B.C. would complement federal efforts to promote inclusion and accessibility and follow the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The Convention protects and promotes the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. Federal accessibility legislation cannot address barriers to accessibility within areas of provincial jurisdiction, however, it is expected that the new Accessible Canada Act will inform the B.C. legislation.
Considering an ageing population with an impending surge in Canadian seniors, in addition to an already established accessibility community, accessibility issues will increase in importance within the hospitality sector in the coming years.
The BCHA is committed to the principles that guide the development and implementation of accessibility legislation in British Columbia. The BCHA is currently working with various accessibility organizations to learn and initiate ideas that can work towards making communities more inclusive and valuable for all.
The BCHA will be providing feedback on the framework to ensure that any timelines considered for implementation are reasonable to come into compliance with accessibility standards.