The Accessibility for Manitobans Act: Ambitions and Achievements in Antidiscrimination and Citizen Participation

 by Laverne Jacobs*, Victoria Cino** and Britney DeCosta***    (Forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies)

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act [1] (AMA) came into force in December 2013. Manitoba is the second Canadian province to enact accessibility standards legislation. The first province was Ontario which enacted the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) in 2001, and later the more fortified and enforceable Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). In this article, we provide an overview of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, highlighting its purpose, philosophical and social goals; the process for developing the standards; and enforcement and  compliance. Throughout, we provide commentary on the statute from the perspective of its effectiveness as a means for protecting persons with disabilities from discrimination, and the statute’s efficacy as a consultation tool for citizen participation. We argue that the AMA’s structure illustrates some of the fault lines in the theoretical literature regarding the social model of disability. Increased attention to the experience of impairment coupled with a more robust understanding of disability discrimination would assist the legislation to achieve its overall goal of removing accessibility barriers. These findings may be useful for the implementation of he AMA and for the design of future accessibility legislation in Canada or elsewhere.

[1] Accessibility for Manitobans Act, SM 2013 c 40, CCSM c A1.7 [AMA].

More:  Read the full article…

Overview of Accessibility for Manitobans Act (Jacobs Cino and DeCosta) (docx)

 Overview of Accessibility for Manitobans Act (Jacobs Cino and DeCosta) (pdf)

* Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor (ljacobs@uwindsor.ca). The authors thank Chandima Karunanayaka for her invaluable research assistance.

** Victoria Cino (JD ’16), 2015-16 Disability Legal Studies Fellow at Windsor Law.

*** Britney De Costa (JD/MSW ’16), 2015-16 Disability Legal Studies Fellow at Windsor Law.

[1] CCSM c A1.7.

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