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Accessibility Standard for Built Environment

The Ministry of Community and Social Services amended the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IASR) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to include new standards governing the design of public spaces in the built environment.

Beginning in 2016, municipalities will have to incorporate accessibility requirements when designing, constructing and maintaining new or redeveloped elements of public spaces including:

  • Recreational trails and beach access routes
  • Outdoor public-use eating areas (e.g. rest stops or picnic areas)
  • Outdoor play spaces (such as playgrounds)
  • Exterior paths of travel (such as sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps)
  • Accessible parking (on and off-street)
  • Service counters and waiting areas

Municipalities are not required to make changes to their existing public spaces. The standard only applies when municipalities build new or make major changes to existing elements of public spaces.

Enhancements to accessibility in buildings will happen at a later date through Ontario's Building Code, which governs new construction and renovations in buildings.

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