Enhancing accessibility in Public Services and Procurement Canada buildings
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), is conducting technical accessibility assessments on its nationwide Crown-owned and lease purchase portfolio (this work should take 5 years). As a result of these assessments, PSPC will identify accessibility improvements to bring base buildings elements in compliance with the 2018 Accessibility Standard and address new legislative requirements under the Accessible Canada Act. PSPC will also identify incremental improvements to go above and beyond requirements.
- The government is committed to enhancing accessibility in federal buildings
- Work is underway to conduct accessibility assessments in 24 buildings to identify and address accessibility barriers
- PSPC is also consulting with persons with disabilities, other government departments and the private sector to advance accessibility improvements
With the Accessible Government of Canada Agenda, PSPC is confirming funding to perform assessments on its nationwide portfolio, with a focus on citizen-facing buildings. The priority list will take into consideration age of building, building’s use as well as consideration for heritage properties in consultation with persons with disabilities.
Based on the information gathered to date through research and pilot projects, technical accessibility assessments must address not only mobility or visual impairment but also a broader spectrum of disabilities. PSPC has reached out to third party accessibility experts such as Rick Hansen Foundation, Business Disability International and Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) to run pilot projects in federal buildings as well as to develop design guidelines for federal office spaces.
A proposed list of buildings to be assessed over the next five fiscal years, from 2019-20 to 2023-24, will be drafted and shared with key stakeholders. Twenty-four technical accessibility assessments were launched late Summer 2019 to test the above and beyond framework enabling PSPC to identify challenges, consolidate knowledge and develop best practices on accessibility for the built environment. By 2024, PSPC will have expanded these assessments to three hundred and seventy one (371) buildings (Crown-owned and lease purchase).
PSPC has established a team to lead the Accessible Government Built Environment Initiative and will engage a community of practice at the national and regional levels, other government departments and the private sector.
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