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Canada’s accessibility minister says the government will be acting on the Senate’s proposed recommendations to strengthen the country’s first piece of accessibility legislation for people with disabilities.

Carla Qualtrough sent a letter to disabled advocates saying the government planned to accept all the amendments senators had proposed for Bill C-81, also known as the Accessible Canada Act.

Earlier this month, the Senate committee on social affairs, science and technology adopted several amendments that nearly a hundred disability organizations said were necessary to make the law effective.

Chief among them was a call to set a timeline requiring the act to be fully implemented in all areas under federal jurisdiction by 2040, as well as recognition of sign language as an official language among deaf Canadians.

The federal government had resisted some of those measures as the bill worked its way through the House of Commons, but Qualtrough says all proposed Senate amendments will now be included.

The amended bill is expected to come back before Parliament for final consideration next week.

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