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Deadline: July 31, 2024 at 4 pm Pacific Time

Or find more ways to give feedback here.

Right now, BC is in the early stages of developing new regulations (laws) around accessibility. They have recommendations drafted for two topics: service delivery, and employment.

They’re seeking feedback on these drafts, which means we have a chance to get pandemic safety priorities written into BC law. We can also make it harder for anti-safety laws and policies (like mask bans) to pass in the future!

The more people raise similar points, the more likely BC is to pay attention.

How to complete the survey:

  • If you can, read the proposed Accessibility Standards. We have also included a summary of the recommendations below, if that’s easier.
  • Go to https://engage.gov.bc.ca/accessiblebcactstandards to do the survey.
  • Answers must be submitted by 4 pm Pacific Time on July 31, 2024.
  • Doing the full survey may take 15-20 minutes – but you can skip questions, and it’s faster with template answers!
  • The survey is anonymous, and you do not need to provide contact info.
  • Going forward and backward in the survey to change answers is possible. However, there is no way to save your survey progress to finish it later.

Here’s what to expect from the survey: 

  • Section 1 asks questions about the the draft recommendations for accessible service delivery.
  • Section 2 asks questions about the draft recommendations for accessible employment.
  • Section 3 asks questions about implementing these accessibility standards.
  • Section 4 asks for demographic information .

Below, you can find a brief summary of these proposed Accessibility Standards, and some example answers related to pandemic priorities!

Summary of standards

The draft guidelines for Service Delivery include a total of 20 accessibility recommendations, across three categories.

These recommendations apply to “organizations”, which could include businesses, non profits/charities, and government. In the end, some recommendations might apply to certain types of organizations but not others.

According to these recommendations, organizations should do the following:

Create accessible organizations:

  1. Offer the same types of services to disabled people as to everyone else, and treat disabled people with respect.
  2. Document things to keep them accountable (such as creating a record if the organization refuses to change/adapt something for a disabled person, which is known as an “accommodation”). Documentation needs to be shared with the person involved, and stored securely.
  3. Have least one person who’s responsible for improving accessibility, including making sure other employees get training about it. This person’s contact info needs to be shared, so people can ask them accessibility questions.
  4. Not ask people to prove they have a disability unless accommodations require lots of time/money; there’s a question of conflicting access needs; or there’s a reasonable safety concern.
  5. Provide a minimum amount of accessibility training for all staff, and more for managers.
  6. Document that training.
  7. Ensure accessibility features/services are free and can be used independently if possible (or else make sure people don’t have to wait a long time for staff assistance).
  8. Check accessibility services and features are working properly.
  9. Let people know ASAP if there are service disruptions and suggest accessible alternatives if possible.
  10. Offer different ways of communicating, and where possible, communicate in the ways that individual disabled people prefer.
  11. Make sure disabled people can get the same discounts as others, and aren’t charged extra.

Empower disabled people / recognize their expertise:

  1. Actively offer people alternatives in order to reduce barriers.
  2. Remove barriers in physical environments if it can be done for free or little money, and share information about the physical environment (such as store layouts and accessibility features).
  3. Tell people what type of technology they need to access virtual services, and if possible, offer alternatives if virtual options are not accessible.
  4. Offer alternatives to self-service machines; ensure these machines are well-maintained; and consider accessibility when buying new machines.
  5. Improve emergency alerts and disaster planning for people with disabilities.

Remove barriers:

  1. Make sure disabled people are included in events, including offering different types of participation, and sharing contact info for someone who can answer questions about accessibility.
  2. Let people use their assistive devices, and make sure they get the same service as anyone else.
  3. Let people attend with a support person, and stay with that person.
  4. Make an exception to “no dogs” or “no pets” rules for guide dogs and service dogs.

Find full info about the proposed Accessible Service Delivery standard here:

The draft guidelines for Employment include a total of 19 accessibility recommendations, across three categories.

These recommendations apply to “organizations”, which could include businesses, non profits/charities, and government bodies. In the end, some recommendations might apply to certain types of organizations, but not others.

According to these recommendations, organizations should do the following:

Recruitment and hiring:

  1. Ensure job opportunity listings have info about accessibility, and are shared in different ways.
  2. Offer accommodations (adaptations) during the recruiting process, and make it clear it won’t count against someone to use these.

Accessibility at work:

  1. Make sure onboarding is accessible – and if alternative materials have been created to accommodate one employee, make those resources available to everyone else too.
  2. Make sure communications come in different formats, and as much as possible, provide other accessible formats upon employee request.
  3. Ensure necessary training is inclusive (e.g. adjustable, and available in various formats)
  4. Ensure all required tools (physical and digital) are accessible, to the point of undue hardship.
  5. Improve workplace emergency planning for people with disabilities.
  6. Have a detailed policy around stay-at-work plans (where adjustments are used to help an ill/injured/newly disabled worker keep working), and return-to-work plans (where people return to work after an absence).
  7. Ensure that policies around moving someone to a new location/role include things like transferring personal accommodations plans too.
  8. Actively offer people accommodations (including a list of possible options), every year and at key points (like when hiring them or planning work-related events).
  9. Have a detailed written policy (available to all employees) that shares info about individual accommodation plans for disabled people.
  10. Follow best practices around disclosure, like keeping an employee’s disability private, and asking questions that focus on workplace needs rather than someone’s specific diagnosis.
  11. Ensure that procedures to monitor productivity/progress take workplace barriers into account (for example: wait to assess someone’s performance until they’ve had new accommodations in place for awhile)
  12. Ensure disciplinary processes have accessible materials, consider employee’s access needs, and include consultation with the employee’s representative upon request.

Inclusive organizations:

  1. Ensure the organization’s policies are inclusive of disabled people, provide a way to give feedback, and don’t punish people who report accessibility issues.
  2. Work with unions to improve accessibility, and remove any barriers related to the collective agreement.
  3. Make sure leaves/benefits/compensation packages work for people with disabilities, including regularly asking employees about it, and not asking for extra documentation from disabled people (unless required by the benefits provider)
  4. Provide any necessary accommodations for an employee to be a member of an “occupational organization” (like the College of Physicians and Surgeons), if membership is a requirement for doing their job.
  5. Keep records of key processes (such as accommodations plans, or refusing an accommodation), including letting the person involved have access to these records.

Find full info about the proposed Employment Accessibility standard here:

Example answers:

We encourage you to customize these to make them more personal. You may get slightly different questions, based on whether you’re filling out the survey as an individual or an organization.

Section 1:

4. Are there any other specific actions not included in these accessible service delivery recommendations that you would like the Provincial Accessibility Committee to consider including in the final Standard?  


4b. Please tell us about the specific actions you would like the Provincial Accessibility Committee to consider including in the final Accessible Service Delivery Standard

  • The recommendation not to stop people from using “assistive devices” must explicitly include health or medical items beyond mobility aids (e.g. hearing aids, health monitors, splints, face masks and respiratory equipment, personal air purifiers, medication delivery systems like inhalers or insulin pumps). It must also include caregivers and support persons, as well as disabled people themselves.
  • Specify that for “Physical environment” and “events”, barriers can be environmental (like poor air quality or allergens), sensory (like strobing lights), or procedural (like lack of virtual options, long hours with no breaks) as well as physical – and organizations should address those types of barriers too.
  • Make it clear these requirements are a minimum, and organizations can do more. Where possible, ongoing accessibility improvements should involve actively-solicited feedback from clients, employees, and paid consultants with disabilities

Section 2:

8. Are there any other specific actions not included in the proposed accessible employment recommendations that you would like the Provincial Accessibility Committee to consider including in the final Employment Accessibility Standard? 

  • Organizations must ensure necessary work environments or activities are safe for disabled employees (including contractors), to the point of undue hardship. This must include creating an environment where employees are encouraged and supported to raise safety issues related to their disabilities, including those that may not seem like safety concerns for non-disabled people
  • Virtual / remote / work-from-home options should be supported where possible and practical, and those working virtually should have equal rights to other employees.

Last updated: June 26, 2024

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