Accessibility Standards Canada adopts the globally recognized accessibility standard for ICT products and services

Press Release

From: Accessibility Standards Canada

May 31, 2024

Accessibility Standard Canada (ASC) announced today that it has officially adopted the European standard EN 301 549:2021 Accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ASC is also releasing it as a National Standard of Canada under the code CAN/ASC – EN 301 549:2024.

Adopting and releasing this standard is beneficial for Canada, as it promotes accessibility in ICT products and services nationwide. The standard also incorporates best practices that are already being used by over 30 countries.

ASC is making the standard available free of charge, demonstrating Canada’s commitment to removing barriers and providing accessible ICT for everyone. The standard features accessibility requirements on hardware and every digital technology. It includes software, mobile applications, websites, and biometrics.

Some federally regulated organizations and provinces and territories in Canada are already using the European standard. Making it a National Standard of Canada aims to encourage broader adoption of this voluntary standard. As a result, it advances accessibility in ICT throughout the country.

This significant milestone reinforces ASC’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in Canada’s ICT landscape.

Quotes

“As a National Standard of Canada, the ICT standard reflects our commitment to accessibility. It also highlights our proactive approach in promoting inclusivity in this important field. This standard will facilitate the use and implementation of ICT best practices. It will ensure a more accessible and equitable digital environment for all Canadians. By recognizing the barriers faced by people with disabilities and acknowledging the importance of inclusive design, we aim to raise awareness and promote action. We also encourage collaboration among all levels of government. It’s just the right thing to do.”

– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada

Quick facts

  • The CAN/ASC – EN 301 549:2024 Accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) standard is available in English and French free of charge.
  • ASC is also making available free of charge to Canadians 3 standards from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). These standards are referenced in the standard CAN/ASC – EN 301 549:2024 Accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
  • Providing these standards for free to all Canadians, in both official languages, offers everyone the opportunity to incorporate best practices into their organizations. This will allow organizations to join ASC in their goal of achieving a barrier-free Canada by 2024.
  • To create the most inclusive standards possible, ASC ensures diverse representation on its technical committees. The technical committee responsible for the ICT standard was composed of 50% of members living with a disability. Additionally, it included 70% members of equity-deserving groups (such as women, visible minorities, 2SLGBTQI+, and Indigenous Peoples).
  • ASC is an accredited standards development organization with the Standards Council of Canada. ASC is dedicated to making Canada barrier-free for people with disabilities.
  • ASC develops and promotes accessibility standards for federally regulated entities and federal organizations. Additionally, the organization works with stakeholders to advance accessibility in federal jurisdiction of Canadian society.

Associated links

Contacts
Stefany Chénier
Manager, Communications
Accessibility Standards Canada
Email: stefany.chenier@asc-nac.gc.ca
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