Accessibility Legislation

Accessibility Legislation for Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s government

is moving forward with its promise to help make Nova Scotia a more accessible and inclusive place to live and work.

The goal of the Minister of Community Services’ Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation was to provide Minister Joanne Bernard with a set of recommendations to guide the drafting of accessibility legislation. Access and Fairness for All Nova Scotians: The Minister’s Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation meets this important goal. This report focuses on feedback about what should be contained in the legislation.

Yes, this legislation is about access, but it is equally about fairness. The recommendations in this report encourage accessibility as a means of ensuring that all Nova Scotians have the ability to participate fully in their communities.

The panel hopes to indicate how we can progress to being a province where every Nova Scotian can live, work, learn and play in an environment that is inclusive, welcoming and fulfilling.

Community Services is committed to introducing the province’s first Accessibility Legislation in 2016.
Between now and then, we’ll be using the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of Nova Scotians to draft the new law.
A Task Team will guide the legislative drafting process by developing a full working plan.
‘Nothing about us without us’ is still first in our minds and we will continue to include persons with disabilities in what we are doing.

Report and Recommendations

Human Rights Act (amended) – The Nova Scotia Legislature

Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.pdf

The Human Rights Act is the law in Nova Scotia that defines discrimination, and creates the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act applies to private businesses as well as to the provincial government, and all of its departments and agencies.

However, when Nova Scotians do business with the Government of Canada, or with a business regulated by the federal government, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act does not apply. Instead, there is a Canadian law called the Canadian Human Rights Act applies.

Appendix A
The following are the sections of the
Nova Scotia Human Rights Act
that outline the definition for disability,
the protected grounds, and prohibition of discrimination.

The Canadian Human Rights Act is a statute originally passed by the Government of Canada in 1977 with the express goal of extending the law to ensure equal opportunity to individuals who may be victims of discriminatory practices based on a set prohibited grounds such as gender, disability, or religion.

How do I make a claim under the Canadian Human Rights Act?

Canadian Human Rights Act | Freedom Documents

Chapter 5: Protecting Human Rights in Canada

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Boards of Inquiry Regulations

This link has many more documents on N.S. Acts.

CASHRA – The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights …

Established in 1967, it is an independent government agency charged with administering the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.

Minister’s Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation

Published on Jun 10, 2015

The Minister’s Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation Report and Recommendations

Ministers Announcement

Update on Accessibility Legislation

Published on Jun 3, 2015

Accessibility Legislation Home

English | Français

Government Releases Report on Accessibility Legislation

Department of Community Services

June 3, 2015 11:38 AM

Government released a panel report today, June 3, on accessibility legislation for Nova Scotia. The report provides government with direction and recommendations on what the legislation should contain to make Nova Scotia accessible to all.

A panel of 22 people from community and government organizations, assisted by volunteer subcommittees, developed the report. Nova Scotians also had the opportunity to provide ideas and feedback through 11 consultation sessions that were held across the province last year.

“Being a part of this panel has been the highlight of my 36 years of advocacy work,” said panel member Marcie Shwery-Stanley. “As a person with a disability, I look forward to my dream of living in an inclusive and barrier-free Nova Scotia.”

“Accessibility is the right of all Nova Scotians,” said Joanne Bernard, Minister of Community Services. “This report will lead us to a place where barriers in all facets of life are torn down, and opportunities are built.”

In response to the report, Ms. Bernard is creating a team to guide the legislative drafting process. Some of the team’s key priorities include identifying a detailed timeline for the legislative process, and key milestones and checkpoints to ensure the work progresses.

The team is also tasked with laying out an education and awareness plan so Nova Scotians and businesses understand the new legislation.

Following United Nations conventions, the province will phase in accessibility standards over time to make it easier for people, organizations and governments to implement them.

“Some time will be afforded for organizations to be compliant, but not indefinitely. We need to continue to make progress, because we all gain when every Nova Scotian has access and is treated fairly,” said Ms. Bernard.

Once in place, the accessibility legislation will ensure:

— every Nova Scotian has the right to live and work to their potential
— persons with disabilities are able to participate fully in our society
— barriers are eliminated in employment, public spaces and buildings, service delivery and public transportation
— better communication between government and businesses
— a focus on creating better awareness of the need for accessibility in Nova Scotia

Government is expected to introduce the new accessibility legislation in the fall of 2016.

The report is available online and in various accessible formats at .


The province released a panel report today (June 3rd) on

Accessibility Legislation for Nova Scotia.

The report provides government with direction and

recommendations on what the legislation should contain to make

Nova Scotia accessible to all.

Government is expected to introduce the new accessibility

legislation in the fall of 2016.

The report is available online and in various accessible

formats at Nova Scotia dot C-A slash C-O-M-S slash accessibility.


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