Keeping up with Ongoing Changes to Ontario’s Accessibility Act

changes to accessibility laws in Ontario

In its ongoing quest to make Ontario a barrier-free place, the Province recently updated its Building Code and Accessibility Act, outlining a number of significant changes for commercial buildings and residences. The changes, currently targeting new construction and renovation projects, are designed to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Among the key amendments is the expanded use of automatic door openers, including for entryways to buildings and for amenity rooms in multi-unit residences. The changes also cover access to barrier-free and universal washrooms, which must now use automatic power door operators when situated in public areas of most kinds of buildings.

This includes not just commercial buildings like shopping centres and department stores, but also places of worship, community centres, long-term care homes and residential and office buildings that exceed three storeys.

Fully Accessible by 2025

It’s all part of a larger goal of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025. In June of this year, 10 years after introducing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Province made the announcement that it would continue pushing for a more inclusive place to live and work.

It’s estimated that approximately 1.85 million Ontarians are currently living with a disability

Making Ontario fully accessible by 2025 will require collaboration on the part of employers, building managers and the public. It’s estimated that approximately 1.85 million Ontarians are currently living with a disability, and that number is expected to grow dramatically as the population ages.

According to the Province, meeting the needs of Ontarians with disabilities will bring wide-ranging benefits. Here’s a look at accessibility in Ontario by the numbers:

  • $25 billion – annual untapped business market represented by people with disabilities and their families
  • $500 – average one-time cost of accommodating a person with a disability at work
  • 40 – percentage of Ontarians with disabilities with post-secondary credentials
  • $9.6 billion – potential new retail spending over the next five years by improving accessibility
  • $1.6 billion – potential new tourism spending through improved accessibility by 2020
  • $7.9 billion – annual increase in Ontario’s GDP by 2025 if accessibility goals are met

Helping You Adapt and Comply

If your business or facility is directly affected by the changes, there are a number of innovative products available to help you comply with accessibility legislation. Automatic door openers are probably the most visible and have the biggest impact on how people with or without disabilities make use of a public space.

At ABC we supply, install and maintain a variety of automatic door openers from trusted manufacturers. Not only do these products facilitate safe and convenient access for everyone, they offer low-energy, near-silent operation to make them a seamless addition to any environment.

Besam SW100 automatic door opener

Besam SW100 automatic door opener, featuring low-energy performance and battery back-up for uninterrupted operation.

Models from Besam are among the most intelligent on the market today, utilizing battery-backup and a monitoring system for secure, cost-effective and reliable performance. These energy-efficient automatic door openers will continue to operate even during a power failure. And their low-noise operation makes them ideal for residences, private offices or wherever quiet is important.

For a subtle aesthetic that still performs optimally in the areas of security, safety and convenience, choose a concealed configuration like the Besam SW200i OHC.

Our large supply of automatic door operators also includes hands-free switches, wireless door control systems, restroom control kits, illuminated push-plate switch kits and BEA sensors, which utilize infrared or microwave technology for automatic activation of single or double doors.

To learn more about our products or how we can help you make your building barrier-free, browse our full lineup of automatic door openers from trusted manufacturers like Besam and Camden Controls.

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