Accessible Built Environment Standard

Many of our readers are focused on achieving compliance with the Accessible Customer Service Standard before its deadline of January 1st, 2012.

The Public Sector, however, had to comply with the Accessible Customer Service Standard by January 1, 2010. For their sake, and for anyone contemplating the design of new facilities or about to renovate their existing premises, we focus this post on the still in-draft form of the proposed Accessible Built Environment Standard (ABES).

The term, Built Environment is an architectural one encompassing all of the changes we humans make to our environment and includes all buildings of any size or purposes, playing fields and yes, even parks and conservation areas.

ABES is all about ensuring that structures, buildings and pathways constituting your “facilities” are accessible to people with disabilities. You may, if you would like details, download your own copy of the draft legislation here.

The draft legislation contains 14 sections:

  1. Introduction (The issue, background and the Committee’s approach)
  2. Proposed Scope (scope, application and timelines)
  3. Common Access Areas (Entrances, pathways, doorways, ramps, etc.)
  4. Interior Access Routes (internal passages, etc.)
  5. Exterior Spaces (curb ramps, parking lots, street furniture, etc.)
  6. Communication Elements and Facilities (Signage, wayfinding, PA systems, etc.)
  7. Plumbing Elements and Facilities (washrooms and lavatories, etc.)
  8. Building Performance and Maintenance (Air Quality, Lighting systems, Acoustics, Controls and operating mechanisms…)
  9. Special Rooms, Spaces and Elements (Courtrooms, Team Dressing Rooms, Meeting Rooms, Offices, etc.)
  10. Transient Residential (Guest Lodgings)
  11. Recreational Elements (Trails and paths, Amusement Parks, play areas, swimming pools, etc.)
  12. Transportation Elements
  13. Multi-Unit Housing
  14. Glossary and Units

It’s a bold initiative, impacting the design and construction of your facilities – the reason we’re bringing it to your attention now.

Given the draft nature of this Standard, the deadline for compliance has not yet been established. But it’s safe to say that the implementation deadline for all of the above will be no later than 2025, because that’s the stated goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.. For more on the 5 standards, please see our Resource Section.

If you feel overwhelmed by it all, you are not alone. But People Access is here to help. Our experts and our resources are at your disposal – why not take us up on our offer of a Free Consultation to help you decide your next steps?

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