Planning for the New OBC Accessibility Requirements in Healthcare Projects
Thea Kurdi, Accessiblity Specialist with DesignABLE Environments, recently oriented our Agnew Peckham team to the implications of the 2012 Ontario Building Code (OBC) accessiblity provisions that come into effect in 2015. The fundamental requirement is for barrier-free path of travel from arrival at a facility through to departure. There is also a broadened definition of what constitutes full accessibility within rooms/spaces. Impacts will include washroom sizes and distribution, waiting capacities, service counters/areas and within rooms, the need for clear floor space to assure unobstructed access. Thea reminded us that 15.5 per cent of Ontarians self-identify as disabled today; and greater needs are anticipated in future populations.
To date, CSA Z8000, the key planning standards for Ontario health care planning projects, have not yet fully addressed the broad area of accessibility. Agnew Peckham is refining our space guidelines and will continue to look to the DesignABLE team for expertise in this evolving field. For additional information, please contact Stephen Bagworth, Managing Partner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our associate Thea Kurdi, DesignABLE Environments (email@example.com)