Chief Accessibility Officer, Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer

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Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Position title:
Chief Accessibility Officer
Salary range:
$150,200.00 - $176,600.00/Year
Application Review Date:
June 28, 2021
Opportunity number:

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Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) works to improve the standard of living and quality of life for all Canadians, by promoting a labour force that is highly skilled and promoting an efficient and inclusive labour market. In addition, ESDC is responsible for administering acts and regulations, including the Accessible Canada Act and its regulations. The Accessible Canada Act recognizes the existing human rights framework that supports equality for persons with disabilities in Canada. The Accessible Canada Act builds on the framework through a proactive and systemic approach for identifying removing and preventing barriers to accessibility.

Established under the Accessible Canada Act, the Chief Accessibility Officer is a special advisor to the Minister responsible for the Accessible Canada Act.

The Chief Accessibility Officer advises the Minister on accessibility issues, and is responsible for monitoring and reporting on:

  • the outcomes achieved by the Accessible Canada Act, and

  • systemic or emerging accessibility issues.

  More specifically, the Chief Accessibility Officer:  

  1. Provides direction for the development and implementation of approaches and initiatives for the ongoing comprehensive identification, review and assessment of the outcomes achieved by the Accessible Canada Act and systemic or emerging accessibility issues.

  2. Ensures that the Minister is fully informed of the outcomes achieved by the Act and the activities of the Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer, as well as any systemic or emerging accessibility issues by producing an annual report to be tabled in Parliament by the Minister responsible for the Accessible Canada Act.

  3. Ensures the provision of independent information, advice and special reports to the Minister on systemic or emerging accessibility issues by undertaking research and analysis and by engaging the disability stakeholder community, which may include conducting roundtables or public consultations, among other approaches or initiatives. The disability stakeholder community includes disability stakeholders, experts and persons with disabilities.

  4. Establishes and maintains productive working relationships with Accessibility Standards Canada, the Accessibility Commissioner, the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board and the Accessible Canada Directorate (formerly Accessibility Secretariat) at the Department of Employment and Social Development. These working relationships ensure the Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer is able to fully undertake a monitoring and reporting function, and contribute to the advancement of a cohesive approach to the fulfillment of the purpose of the Accessible Canada Act.

  5. Promotes and advances a positive and productive dialogue between the federal government and the disability stakeholder community as well as with national and international organizations to gain insights into accessibility issues and establish the Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer as a trusted source of information on accessibility. 

  6. Establishes and maintains an active public profile and communications presence to raise awareness of the progress and challenges related to the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act and related accessibility issues.

  7. Provides corporate leadership and executive direction for strategic and operational planning, and governance; contributes to departmental planning and reporting; and ensures the prudent and effective use of resources in discharging his/her responsibilities. 

Diversity and Official Languages

We are committed to providing a healthy and accessible workplace that supports one’s dignity, self-esteem and the ability to work on one’s full potential. With this in mind, all appointees will be expected to take steps to promote and maintain a healthy, respectful, inclusive and harassment-free work environment.

Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group.

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore encouraged to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training and experience;

  • Experience in providing executive leadership and management direction for the development and implementation of approaches and initiatives to identify, review and assess systemic or emerging issues;

  • Experience providing independent information, advice and reports to senior level executives (e.g., CEOs, Ministers, Chairs of the Board) and/or  Minister on systemic or emerging social policy, program or operational issues by undertaking research and analysis, which included managing service contracts and engaging stakeholders (round tables, public consultations or other approaches);

  • Experience establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with other government departments and organizations;

  • Experience providing corporate leadership and executive direction for strategic and operational planning, and governance, contributing to departmental planning and reporting, and ensuring the prudent and effective use of resources;

  • Experience in the disability stakeholder community and/or lived experience is an asset; and

  • Experience with other languages such as ASL/LSQ or alternate formats of communication is an asset.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the Accessible Canada Act, accessibility policy and program frameworks;

  • Knowledge of the Canadian disability stakeholder community and their priorities related to accessibility;

  • Knowledge of research methodologies used to identify systemic and emerging accessibility issues;

  • Superior verbal and written communication skills*;

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with a Minister and his/her office; and

  • Excellent leadership and motivational skills.

* Written and verbal communication includes communication via assistive devices and technologies, as well as other modes of assisted communication; these include  assistive devices, technologies, and communication aids including an assistant or sign language interpretation, that enable persons with disabilities to communicate more effectively, see and hear better, and help increase their participation in various areas of their lives. Therefore, Canadians using assisted communication are encouraged to apply.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • Strategic thinking

  • High ethical standards and sound judgment

  • Adaptability to work effectively with a wide range of groups and individuals from different backgrounds, positions and socio-economic conditions

  • Ability to influence change

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • If you are appointed to this position, you may be required to travel across Canada and internationally.

  • Relocation to the National Capital Region or to a location within reasonable commuting distance may be required.

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.
A list of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Individuals who applied on the previous 2019 selection process for the Chief Accessibility Officer (reference number J0219-1038) must re-apply if they wish to be considered.

Review of applications (more information here) will begin on June 28 2021. Candidates should apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website, by email at or by phone at 613-291-6663. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. After this date, your application will be retained and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made. Your cover letter should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office.

Instructions on how to apply for an appointment opportunity can be found on the Governor in Council Appointments website.

We are committed to ensuring the accessibility of our online Application Tracking System (ATS). However, if you are having difficulty accessing any content on the application site, please e-mail at: or call 613-291-6663.

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