On-Site Magazine

New accessibility standards released

By Adam Freill   

Construction Health & Safety

Accessibility Standards Canada and CSA Group publish three new accessibility standards, including two impacting the building sector.

Newly published standard are aiming to make buildings and other facilities accessible to individuals with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. Accessibility Standards Canada and CSA Group recently worked together to publish three new accessibility standards: 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.

The CSA/ASC B651 standard contains requirements for making buildings and other facilities accessible to individuals with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities, and 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;
  • A detailed explanation of luminance (colour) contrast and its application;
  • Updated guidance on addressing functional and cognitive barriers;
  • Revised guidance for the controls and sizes of power-assisted doors; and,
  • Updated recommendations for water bottle filling stations and controls.

The standard is referenced in the National Building Code and other legislation across Canada.

The accessible dwellings standard, CSA/ASC B652, 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. It includes guidelines for operating controls within the home environment; recommendations regarding flooring and ground surfaces; and other key accessibility recommendations for a residence.


“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,” stated Philip Rizcallah, chief executive officer of Accessibility Standards Canada. “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.”

The full standards are available to download for free on the CSA Group site.





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