Ontario code changes boost accessibility for people with disabilities

Applies to new projects and substantial renovations

The new amended Ontario building code includes several provisions that improve accessibility for those with disabilities.

The changes include power door operators at entrances to more buildings and at barrier-free washrooms and common rooms in multi-unit residential buildings. The code also requires more accessible and adaptable seating spaces in public buildings such as theatres, lecture halls, and churches. New public pools and spas also must be barrier-free.

The amendments were spurred from the 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act that set a target date of 2025 for “an accessible province.” The leader of an advocacy group warned that the pace of change is so slow the government is unlikely to meet its 2025 target, though.

The revamped Ontario building code also helps communities prepare for an aging population, a provincial government spokesman said.

(http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2015/01/20150101-132413.html)

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