Accessible British Columbia Act

Last updated: 2021-05-26 — Accessibility

Accessibility in British Columbia and the Accessibility 2024 Plan

In 2014, the Government of British Columbia announced its Accessibility 2024 plan. The goal is to make British Columbia (B.C.) the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities by 2024. Included in the plan is the objective to make internet access in B.C. the most accessible in Canada.

The Government of British Columbia has committed to ensuring its website and online content meet the international web standards, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA).

What is the Accessible British Columbia Act?

In 2021, British Columbia proposed the accessible British Columbia Act, otherwise known as Bill 6. The act facilitates the implementation of accessibility standards which Nicholas Simons, minister of social development and poverty reduction, hopes to have in place by the end of 2022.

If passed, the legislation will allow the government to establish accessibility standards and regulations in a range of areas, helping ensure people with disabilities can fully participate in their communities. Public engagement will remain a priority as the government develops regulations and standards to address the barriers people with disabilities face.

The purpose of the act is to achieve accessibility by preventing and removing barriers in:

  • The delivery and receipt of goods and services
  • Information and communication
  • Public transportation and transportation infrastructure
  • Employment
  • The built environment
  • Education
  • A prescribed activity or undertaking

The act will also facilitate the implementation of accessibility standards with the goal of achieving an accessible British Columbia by 2024. This legislation is intended to complement Canada's Accessible Canada Act, which passed in June 2019.

Website Accessibility and the Accessible British Columbia Act

Website accessibility falls under the purpose of removing barriers in information and communication. Since the Government of British Columbia is adhering to internationally accepted web standards (WCAG 2.0 AA), it is expected that the act will include the same requirements.

Current Status

The Accessible British Columbia Act had its first reading in 2021.