Accessibility Standards Canada and the International Code Council sign agreement to increase accessibility in Canadian and American public buildings

News release

Accessibility Standards Canada and the International Code Council signed an agreement today that will facilitate the sharing of best practices and information related to building accessibility. This collaboration aims to improve and coordinate accessibility requirements in building codes and standards between Canada and the United States.

This is the first international agreement for Accessibility Standards Canada. It is the beginning of harmonizing accessibility standards across North America and the world. Accessibility Standards Canada will ensure that the standards it develops better address the barriers faced by all Canadians by:

  • reviewing existing international standards; and
  • developing new Canadian accessibility standards.

The International Code Council is a global organization. It facilitates an open, transparent and democratic process for developing building safety codes and standards. These help ensure that buildings in communities around the world are:

  • safe;
  • resilient;
  • affordable;
  • accessible; and
  • sustainable.

The agreement between the Code Council and Accessibility Standards Canada will do two things:

  • Allow Accessibility Standards Canada to reference the Code Council’s standard for accessible and usable buildings and facilities; and,
  • Provide the Code Council with access to Accessibility Standards Canada’s model standard for the built environment, when available.



“I am proud of our collaboration with the Code Council. I look forward to what we will achieve together to benefit our respective countries. Our hope is that the standards we create will become regulation in Canada. By collaborating with a proven standard organization, we are developing world-class standards and increasing the odds that they are adopted nationally and internationally. It also shows Canadians that the processes we follow to create standards align with the best practices around the world. Collaborative approaches to accessible solutions like this one help us make progress towards an accessible and inclusive Canada.”

– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada

“Building international relationships and connections is a high priority for the Code Council and it is essential that the global building community continues to find innovative ways to work together to improve building safety and accessibility. It is encouraging to see the passion that Accessibility Standards Canada has dedicated to creating an accessibility standard that will improve the lives of Canadians and we look forward to the ideas and innovations our collaboration will add to the building community.”

– Dominic Sims, CBO, Chief Executive Officer, International Code Council

Quick facts

  • The agreement officially took effect on February 21, 2022.

  • This collaboration will allow for a more consistent accessibility experience between Canada and the United States.

  • The agreement refers to ICC A117.1-2017 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.

  • This agreement supports more consistent experiences of accessibility across the world. Many international jurisdictions already use this Code Council standard.

  • The material and information Accessibility Standards Canada uses will inform work toward a model standard for the built environment. This committee is already working on a standard.

Associated links


Martine Bareil
Manager, Communications
Accessibility Standards Canada
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Donna Campbell
Director of Communications
International Code Council
Phone: 734-660-6518

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