News release

First Independent Review of Accessibility Act

The Province has appointed Dr. Katie Aubrecht, a disability and seniors care scholar, to conduct an independent review of the Accessibility Act.

The review, required by the Act, will focus on identifying possible changes to the legislation, the standard development processes and Access by Design 2030 – the plan to make Nova Scotia accessible by 2030.

“Accessibility is a human right, one that will benefit all Nova Scotians and make the province a better place. By working together and consulting with persons with disabilities, the business community and municipalities, we will strike the right balance,” said Brad Johns, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “We are confident that by building on the great work that has been done by the Accessibility Advisory Board, the Accessibility Directorate and stakeholders, our province will be accessible by 2030.”

Dr. Aubrecht is an assistant professor in the sociology department at St. Francis Xavier University and director of its intersectional disability studies lab.

Since the Accessibility Act came into force, the government has been working with persons with disabilities and the public and private sectors to begin developing accessibility standards. Standards are currently being developed in the areas of the built environment, education and employment. The other standard areas to be developed are goods and services, information and communication, and transportation.


I am pleased and honoured to conduct the first review of the Accessibility Act. This is an important piece of legislation that, upon full implementation, will acknowledge and advance the human rights of persons with disabilities, with significant positive impact on people and communities. Dr. Katie Aubrecht, Canada Research Chair, health equity and social justice, St. Francis Xavier University

Quick Facts:

  • the Accessibility Act, passed in April 2017, requires an external review of the act within four years of its coming into force and every five years thereafter
  • the act requires the reviewer to consult with persons with disabilities and other stakeholders affected by the legislation
  • it also requires that the justice minister make the reviewer’s report public and table it in the House of Assembly within 30 days of receiving it
  • the review is expected to begin this fall and take approximately eight to 10 months to complete

Additional Resources:

ASL release:

Terms of reference for the review:

More information on Standard Development Committees and Access By Design 2030 can be found at Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Directorate website: