HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia has introduced new enabling legislation intended to make the province more accessible to people with disabilities.

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard says the Act Respecting Accessibility in Nova Scotia will provide a framework for the eventual setting of accessibility standards for communities and businesses.

Bernard says the province is the third to introduce legislation after Ontario and Manitoba.

She says the act will also establish an accessibility advisory board consisting of 12 voting members.

Bernard says at least half of the board's members will have to be made up of people with disabilities.

She says the development of provincial standards will be carried out in phases over a number of years, and through consultation with communities, businesses and people with disabilities.