CAN-ASC-2.7: Heritage Buildings and Sites-Accessibility for Federally Regulated Entities as defined by the Accessible Canada Act
This notice is to announce that Accessibility Standards Canada intends to develop a new accessibility standard. The purpose of this notice is to avoid duplication in standards development.
This notice is aimed at other standards development organizations and the public. It does the following:
- It defines the scope of the standard that we propose.
- It defines the need for the project.
- It states the time period during which the public can send us comments about the standard.
Name of standards development organization
Accessibility Standards Canada
320 boulevard Saint-Joseph
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
The work program lists all of Accessibility Standards Canada’s in-progress and completed standards.
National Standard of Canada – Domestic
Standard development activity
- 91.020 – Physical planning. Town planning
- 91.040 – Buildings
- 91.060 – Elements of buildings
- 91.120 – Protection of and in buildings
- 91.140 – Installation in buildings
- 91.160 – Lighting
SDO Comment period start date
September 26, 2023
SDO Comment period end date
October 19, 2023
The purpose of standard CAN-ASC-2.7 is to ensure the technical requirements for heritage buildings and sites are equity-based. This requires going beyond minimum technical specifications.
There are common areas where people with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in heritage buildings and sites. These areas include, but are not limited to:
- Inaccessible areas within the built environment, including, but not limited to:
- interior and exterior paths of travel
- washrooms and sanitary facilities
- wayfinding and signage
- means of emergency egress (exit)
- A lack of accessible communications related to, for example:
- heritage site descriptions and tours
- communication documents
- information products available to the public at heritage sites.
- Inaccessible information and communication technologies, such as websites, that do not align with existing accessibility standards (where relevant).
To address these barriers, this standard will first have to define what a heritage building or site is. The standard will then establish technical requirements related to the accessibility of heritage buildings and sites, including but not limited to:
- exterior and interior paths of travel
- doors and doorways
- lifts and elevating devices
- wayfinding and signage
- sanitary facilities
- interpretation to enhance the visitor experience
- staff training
- emergency egress (exit).
There are several issues that the technical committee will be required to address and acknowledge in the development of the standard.
Federally regulated heritage and cultural sites are an integral part of Canada’s history and legacy. The committee will need to consider the importance of maintaining the history and legacy of heritage sites when developing the standard.
For some buildings and sites, the committee may need to find alternative solutions for removing barriers to ensure the site’s heritage value is preserved. However, the goal should be to find best-practice solutions that embrace the spirit of equity.
This standard will align with relevant technical requirements found in 6 other Accessibility Standards Canada standards:
- CAN-ASC-2.1: Outdoor Spaces
- CAN-ASC-2.2: Emergency Egress
- CAN-ASC-2.3: Model Standard for the Built Environment – Accessibility for Federally Regulated Entities as Defined in the Accessible Canada Act
- CAN-ASC-2.4: Wayfinding and Signage
- CAN-ASC-5.1: Emergency Measures
- CAN-ASC-6.1: Information and Communication Technology Products and Services
Accessibility Standards Canada was created under the Accessible Canada Act. Its mandate is to prevent, identify, and remove barriers to accessibility in Canada for people with disabilities. To do this, it develops standards. These are based on the needs of people with disabilities. These needs are identified by consulting Canadians with disabilities. This includes the members of the Accessibility Standards Canada Board of Directors. Most Board members are people with disabilities. The Board has approved the development of this standard.
The standards developed by Accessibility Standards Canada apply to federally regulated entities, including those in the private sector. These entities are defined in the Accessible Canada Act. We also work with provincial and territorial partners. We do this to identify the needs of other stakeholders and help harmonize standards across Canada.
Accessibility Standards Canada standards are developed following the principle of “nothing without us.” This means that people with disabilities are involved in the development process:
- Its standards are developed using research that is led by people with disabilities or with lived experience.
- People with disabilities are members of the organization’s technical committees. These committees produce equity-based requirements for standards. These take into account the needs and perspectives of people with disabilities.
- The public review process for this standard will be accessible. This will allow even more people with disabilities to be part of the development process.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023