New Accessibility Standards for Public Spaces added to AODA

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On January 1, 2013, the Government of Ontario achieved another milestone in implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Ontario Regulation 191/11) was amended to include accessibility requirements for the Design of Public Spaces (Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment).

Beginning in 2015, public and private sector organizations will have to meet accessibility requirements when constructing and maintaining new or redeveloped elements of public spaces including:

  • Recreational trails and beach access routes
  • Outdoor eating areas for public use
  • Outdoor play spaces (such as playgrounds)
  • Exterior paths of travel (such as walkways across parks or between buildings)
  • Accessible on- and off-street parking
  • Service counters and waiting areas

Organizations are not required to make changes to their public spaces. The standard only applies when organizations build new or make major changes to existing elements of public spaces.
The new requirements can be accessed on e-laws by following this link:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_110191_e.htm

For further information on the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces, please visit ontario.ca/AccessON.

Accessibility Enhancements to the Ontario’s Building Code

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is developing potential enhancements to current accessibility requirements in buildings. Public consultation on potential updates to accessibility requirements in the Ontario’s Building Code is now underway. A consultation paper and details of the potential technical changes are available online. Stakeholders and the public have until March 1, 2013 to submit comments to MMAH.

To review the public consultation document for the Ontario’s Building Code visit: www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page10160.aspx

For further information on the Ontario’s Building Code, contact the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

Email: codeinfo@ontario.ca
Phone: 416-585-6666
Fax: 416-585-7532