Accessibility Assessments and Reports

Background: About the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

In June 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) became law. As part of the AODA, the Government of Ontario, in consultation with individuals and representatives from various associations and societies, has developed provincial accessibility standards. The AODA mandates that Ontario be fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025 and it is through the accessibility standards that this goal will be achieved. Each standard deals with a specific element of how, as a society, we interact on a daily basis. The five distinct pieces of legislation focus on: customer service, employment, communication, transportation and the built environment. For more information on the AODA and Ontario's accessibility standards, please visit the Government of Ontario Accessibility website at: www.AccessON.ca.

Background: Built Environment Standards

Albert Schepers, president of GS Engineering Consultants Inc., was a member of the Accessible Built Environment Standards Development Committee on behalf of the Ontario Home Builders Association. As such, he possesses first-hand knowledge of the built environment standards and is well-versed on what they require of businesses, public sector organizations, municipalities and the provincial government.

The proposed built environment standards are currently available for public review. After the public consultation period, the Development Committee will reconvene, review the input received and submit a final proposed standard to the government for consideration as law. Information on the built environment standards public review period is available on the Built Environment section of the AccessON website.

Accessibility Assessment Services at GS Engineering Consultants Inc.

GS Engineering Consultants Inc. provides accessibility assessments and written reports to determine our clients conformance with legislation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). We make it our top priority to stay informed and base each assessment on the most recent accessibility legislation. At GS Engineering Consultants Inc., we provide thorough reviews of buildings, rooms and public spaces (collectively known as the built environment) and advise our clients of any potential obstacles to people with disabilities.

The built environment standards affect renovations to existing facilities and the construction of new buildings and outdoor facilities (parks and playgrounds). In addition, the standards require the mandatory retrofitting of existing facilities that do not meet current standards. Taking this into consideration, GS Engineering Consultants Inc. offers an array of accessibility assessment services to meet the needs of our clients. We review new building plans and advise on how accessibility issues can be properly addressed and we also offer design and layout services to bring older buildings up to standard.

Our staff is well-versed on the provincial accessibility standards and, when conducting assessments of the built environment, we include aspects of the other standards (customer service, employment, communication and transportation) as they relate to the built environment. To ensure a safe and proper assessment, we consider all persons using the building, facilities, or specific element under review. In this way, we provide comprehensive accessibility assessments and written reports from which corporate decisions can be made regarding the removal of barriers to accessibility.