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Bill C-81: An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada

    Creator: Parliament of Canada

    Date Updated: October 21, 2022


    This is a digital version of Canadian legislation that applies to accessibility in public spaces. It is relatively dense and technical but should be a document any Library Director or manager has on hand. It is one of the few pieces of Canadian legislation that is a reference for accessibility in Canada.

    The information is summarized from the Bill C-81: An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada document and the Summary of the Accessible Canada Act.

    Quick Facts

    • The purpose of this act is to create a barrier-free Canada by 2040 by ensuring all of the following areas are accessible (and more):
      • Physical spaces and buildings
      • Digital spaces (websites, communications, etc.)
      • In the workforce
      • Creating and delivering programs and services
      • All transportation (trains, planes, and automobiles)
    • These principles must be followed when implementing this act:
      • Treat all people with dignity.
      • Make sure all people have equal and fair opportunities.
      • Ensure that everyone contributes to society.
      • Everyone should be free to make their own choices.
      • All services, laws, and policies must consider how barriers and discrimination intersect.
      • Persons with disabilities need to be involved with the design of services, laws and policies.
      • The goal of standards and regulations should always be to create a completely accessible environment.
    • The act applies to federal government agencies and select private sectors (those that the Canadian Government regulates).
    • This act requires organizations to:
      • Plan and report the accessibility requirements for their organization.
      • Create accessibility standards for their organizations.
      • Enforce accessibility standards.

    Visit Bill C-81

    Visit a Summary of the Accessible Canada Act


    Statutes of Canada Bill C-18 (2019). An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. Bill. Retrieved from:

    Government of Canada (2020). Summary of the Accessible Canada Act. Web page. Retrieved from: