What is the Design of Public Spaces Standard?


The design of public spaces standard of the AODA outlines the need for newly constructed or redeveloped public spaces to be accessible for people with disabilities. This requirement may leave people asking: What is the Design of Public Spaces Standard?

What is the Design of Public Spaces Standard?

The Design of Public Spaces Standard describes ways to make communal spaces more accessible. Most of the spaces it covers are outdoors. For instance, there are requirements for accessible:

  • Recreational trails and beach access routes
  • Outdoor public eating areas like rest stops or picnic areas
  • Outdoor play spaces, like playgrounds in provincial parks and local communities
  • Accessible parking (on and off street)
  • Outdoor paths of travel, like sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, rest areas and accessible pedestrian signals

In contrast, the Ontario Building Code covers rules for the accessibility of most indoor spaces. However, the Design of Public Spaces Standard includes guidelines for service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines, and waiting areas with fixed seating. Finally, the Standard also covers the maintenance and restoration of public spaces.

Who does the Standard Apply To?

The standard applies to new spaces and buildings. It also applies to existing spaces undergoing major renovations. However, existing spaces that do not need major reconstruction do not need to comply.

Furthermore, public sector organizations, and private organizations with fifty or more workers, need to make all of these types of space accessible. In contrast, private organizations with fewer than fifty workers are only required to obey guidelines for accessible:

  • Recreational trails and beach access routes
  • Accessible parking
  • Service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines,¬†and waiting areas
  • Maintenance and restoration of public spaces

Why do we need the Design of Public Spaces Standard?

Public spaces are everywhere. We enter public space the moment we step out of our front doors to go anywhere, whether it is down the sidewalk to visit a neighbour, to the beach for a day of fun with friends, to the parking lot of the grocery store, or to the playground with our children. The Design of Public Spaces Standard brings us closer to a province where every person can take all these journeys.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *