#investininclusion - 7 min

Towards a barrier-free NorQuest

NorQuest College is proud to provide our learners and employees with a diverse and accepting environment. As a part of preparation for the International Week of the Deaf (September 23-17), let’s take a look at the Accessible Canada Act, which will strengthen inclusion across the country.

Towards a barrier-free NorQuest"

The new Accessible Canada Act went into force on July 11, 2019. The purpose of the Act is to give the realization of a Canada without barriers (defined as anything physical, architectural, technological, or attitudinal that hinders the full and equal participation in society by a person with a disability) on or before January 1, 2040.

The federal Act looks to remove barriers for employment, built environments, information and communication technologies, the procurement of goods and services, the design of programs and services, and transportation.

“This Act is going to have a very positive impact on a lot of people’s lives,” said Alan Jeans, Manager of Disability Services. “The focus on removing employment barriers connects strongly with NorQuest College’s priority of being workforce relevant.”

Here's NorQuest's Barb Burdick, talking about the Accessible Canada Act:

In addition to the removal of barriers, this Act is the first Act in Canada to recognize American Sign Language (ASL), Langue des signes Québécoise (LSQ), and Indigenous sign language (ISL) as the primary languages for communication by Deaf persons in Canada. This recognition of ASL, LSQ, and ISL is an important step for many Deaf Canadians.

While the legislative scope of this Act currently sits at a federal level, the principles of this Act – including that all persons must be treated with dignity regardless of their disabilities – match with the NorQuest vision and mission of inclusive and diverse learning environment offering accessible education. We look forward to what the Accessible Canada Act will mean for NorQuest in the future.

For more information about International Week of the Deaf, visit norquest.ca/deaf

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