GATINEAU, QC, May 16, 2019 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, today issued the following statement:
"Today marks the 8th Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which aims to recognize the importance of digital access and inclusion for persons with disabilities. Technology and the Internet play such a crucial role in everyone's day-to-day life. For persons with disabilities, these tools play an even bigger role as they help build bridges with friends, family, workplaces and communities. Working with persons with disabilities to ensure full participation in the online world is paramount.
One of the Government of Canada's priorities is to create a truly inclusive and accessible Canada—where everyone in Canada has an equal opportunity to succeed, has the same rights and obligations, and is equal participants in their communities and workplaces. That is why the Government of Canada developed Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act. This proposed legislation will proactively identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility in a number of priority areas, including information and communication technologies. Digital content and technologies that are accessible to all play an important role in the full inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Through new investments included in Budget 2019, the Government has reiterated its commitment to make Canada more accessible. Funding was recently announced to make reading material accessible for persons with print disabilities; to improve the accessibility of point-of-sale payment machines; and to help the Government identify, remove and prevent technological barriers in federal workplaces.
These investments are in addition to existing initiatives such as the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Disability component of the Social Development Partnerships Program. These programs all contribute to increasing accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
So much progress has been made on our journey towards a barrier-free Canada. I am confident that if we continue to work together, we can make sure everyone has access to the tools they need to fully participate in Canadian society.
I invite everyone, whether you are a designer, a developer, a usability professional, or someone who wants to participate, to join the conversation on social media by using #GAAD, or visiting the Global Accessibility Awareness Day web page."
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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