Accessible Canada Act (ACA)

Helping your business meet Accessible Canada Act web accessibility requirements and achieve sustainable programs is our focus. Discover what your organization needs to meet ACA compliance requirements in Canada.

What is the ACA?

The ACA was enacted July 11, 2019. The purpose of this ACA is to provide benefits to all persons, especially persons with disabilities, through a Canada without barriers. The realization of this, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, is to come on or before January 1, 2040. The ACA aims to achieve this by identifying and removing barriers, and preventing new barriers, in the following areas: employment, built environment, information and communication technologies, communications beyond information and communication technologies, procurement of goods & services, design and delivery of programs and services, and transportation.

Types of organizations ACA applies to:

  • Federal Government Organizations
  • Canadian Forces
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Parliamentary entities (House of Commons, Senate, etc.)
  • Regulated Business Entities (Broadcasting, Canadian Carriers, Telecommunication Service Providers, Transportation Network, Banks)


Important ACA Guidelines and Requirements

ACA Requirements

The ACA states that the latest approved version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will be the approved standard and that feedback mechanisms must be accessible to WCAG 2.1 Level AA.

Preparing and Publishing Accessibility Plans

Plans must be prepared in consultation with people with disabilities, be updated every 3 years, and must show how organizations plan to find, address, and prevent barriers. 

Providing a mechanism for feedback

Publish how feedback is collected and received from people with disabilities on potential accessibility issues or questions on the accessibility plan.

How to meet ACA web accessibility compliance requirements and deadlines

The Canadian Government and Provincial Governments are explicit in the goal of integrating web and digital accessibility policy considerations into the day-to-day processes and operations of public and private organizations. If your organization is subject to ACA web and digital accessibility requirements, here are some steps you can take to help ensure your compliance:

  1. Speak to your organization’s legal counsel to make sure you understand the scope of the requirements and any deadlines you need to be aware of.
  2. Map out how your organization is currently meeting requirements to provide different materials in an accessible format and note which of those materials are web-based or presented in a digital format.
  3. Discuss future web properties your team is working on and how you plan to ensure those properties are accessible.
  4. Provide digital accessibility training for your teams that generate web content and digital materials and seek consulting help.

Start investigating tools and other ways to support and facilitate your teams to build accessible content.

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Important ACA Accessibility Applicability and Deadlines

Law Parameters/Law Accessible Canada Act (ACA)
# of Canadian-based employees 10 or more employees
Type of Business Government entities, armed forces, police, parliaments, and federally  regulated businesses (including banking, telecommunications, transportation, and broadcasting)
Deadlines and Reporting Requirements Accessibility Plan due: 

  • December 31, 2022 – for government entities 
  • June 1, 2023 – for  large federally regulated private sector businesses  with 100+ employees
  • June 1, 2024 – for small  federally regulated businesses  with 10-99 employees

Benefits of ACA Compliance

Serving a wider audience

Accessible content will widen you available target audience opening new revenue opportunities

Decreased legal risk

Organizations who actively pursue accessibility excellence are better positioned to address claims and avoid costly violations

Increased search presence

Providing transcripts for audio visual files are discoverable by search engines

Better overall user experience

Studies show that optimizations made in UI/UX for accessibility also benefit people without disabilities

How Deque Can Help

As the global leader in digital accessibility with over 20 years of experience helping organizations with meeting compliance requirements, improving internal operations, and reporting on accessibility programs, Deque is your trusted partner in digital accessibility.

Whether you’re responding to an immediate need, or building the foundation for a sustainable and long term digital accessibility practice, we provide the most comprehensive and complete suite of tools, services and training available. Our accessibility library has been downloaded 1 Billion+ times. Our accessibility testing extensions have been downloaded 875,000+ times, and we’ve completed 6,000+ projects.

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Most accessibility projects begin and end with an audit – they assess the current state of your digital accessibility resulting in a clear accessibility report.

Learn More about accessibility audits


Getting help from our team of experts will ensure your accessibility fixes will meet your compliance requirements as quickly and effectively as possible.

Learn More about accessibility remediation

axe Testing Tools

The axe DevTools, axe Auditor and axe Monitor products enable accessibility experts and development to test and maintain accessibility end-to-end.

Learn More about the axe Tools Suite

Are you ready to meet ACA compliance requirements, embrace digital equality and create accessible digital experiences?

Deque helps guide you through the process in choosing the right tools for your organization.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The resulting Accessible Canada Act is landmark federal legislation that aims to realize a barrier-free Canada by 2040. A key principle of the ACA is “Nothing Without Us”, which means that persons with disabilities should be consulted when developing laws, policies and programs that impact them.

The Accessible Canada Act requires federal and provincial businesses in the public and private sectors to make their properties accessible by people with disabilities.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a law that sets out a process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards. Persons with disabilities and industry representatives work together with the government to develop the standards.

The bill gives the Government of Canada the ability to work with stakeholders and with Canadians with disabilities to create new accessibility standards and regulations for sectors under federal jurisdiction. These sectors include banking, telecommunications, transportation, and the Government of Canada.