Three new accessibility standards “focus on equity”

Accessibility Standards Canada and CSA Group have collaborated to publish three new accessibility standards. The standards are: CSA/ASC B651, Accessible design for the built environment; CSA/ASC B651.2, Accessible design for self-service interactive devices including automated banking machines; and CSA/ASC B652, Accessible dwellings.
“Accessibility Standards Canada develops standards that focus on equity. These updated standards show how effective this approach can be when we put our expertise and resources together with other organizations, like the CSA Group. This collaboration, combined with the Canadian public’s valuable contributions as part of the public reviews, will help to create a more inclusive and barrier-free Canada,” says Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada.

CSA/ASC B651 contains requirements for making buildings and other facilities accessible to individuals with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. It is a new edition of a previous standard. It addresses the design aspects of physical spaces and the elements within them to remove barriers to access, including updated dimensions for platforms, tactile direction indicator positioning, and more, based on current data from anthropometric research.

CSA/ASC B651.2 focuses on technical requirements for accessibility and usability of automated banking machines (ABMs), ABM sites, and other self-service interactive devices intended for public use.

The standard is a revision and combination of two previously existing standards CAN/CSA-B651.1:09 (R2020) and CAN/CSA-B651.2-07 (R2017). It improves the accessibility of self-service interactive devices, a term that refers to any machine where the user may need to enter data, read presented information, respond to prompts or select from a number of choices for a service to be performed.

CSA/ASC B652, Accessible dwellings This new standard contains recommendations for accessible home design, helping to set the standard for affordable, adaptable, and accessible homes. It aims to ensure that individuals who reside within a home have access to the essentials for daily life. The standard uses evidence-informed guidance to outline the best practices to assist those who design, construct, or modify homes to make them more accessible.

“As we move towards establishing a barrier-free Canada, the need for standards has never been more important. We look forward to continuing our conversations with government, industry and accessibility advocates across Canada to help familiarize them with these standards, while also providing the resources and tools required to promote implementation and adoption,” says Mary Cianchetti, President, Standards, CSA Group.