Accessibility Resource Centre

Welcome to the Accessibility Resource Centre. Each of the following six tabs will lead you to federal resources and tools to help improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Many of these materials also raise awareness of the importance of being inclusive of people with disabilities.

Housing

Bathrooms

  • Accessible Housing by Design – Bathrooms
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the way bathrooms should be designed in order to adhere to the concept of universal design, which accommodates the needs of all individuals regardless of age or disability. The article states that providing flexibility in the selection of design features and incorporating adaptability into the design will extend the life of the bathroom, and will promote the concept of aging in place (i.e. allowing an individual to remain in one's home safely). The article identifies design elements to consider, such as efficient design, minimal effort, adaptability, ease of cleaning, manoeuvring space and safety.

  • Evaluation of Optimal Bath Grab Bar Placement for Seniors
  • How Effective Are Bathtub Grab Bars for Stopping a Fall When You Lose Your Balance?
    • [Summary …]

      This article is based on a study of the effectiveness of grab bars in preventing a fall when losing your balance. Falls are among the leading causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries, hospitalizations and functional disabilities among seniors. The study found that the presence of bathtub grab bars does necessarily mean it will be used by a senior when getting in or out of the bathtub. However, most participants preferred a grab bar configuration to no grab bar.

FlexHousing™

  • Designing Flexible Housing
  • Building Adaptable Housing
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the merits of FlexHousing and how it allows individuals to never have to move as they go through life's changes. FlexHousing features are practical, common-sense elements that appeal to a wide range of consumer needs and budgets while being energy efficient, healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. FlexHousing features that are discussed include doors, stairs, windows, walls and floors, electrical, as well as heating and cooling components. There is also a room by room look at kitchens, living and dining areas, bathrooms, bedrooms, and attics, balconies and patios in the article.

  • Pocket Planner
  • The Cost Of FlexHousing™
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the cost of FlexHousing. FlexHousing is considered affordable, adaptable and accessible. The article discusses the elements and costs necessary to renovate a house into a basic FlexHouse and then what is necessary to turn the basic FlexHouse into a full FlexHouse.

Home Modifications

House Designs

  • House Designs and Floor Plans - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses accessible house designs, strategies to achieve accessible design and case studies are outlined. Each case study provides details on the type of house, the profile of its residents and the design features that make the house "visitable," "adaptable," "accessible" or "universal." The article also showcases features that contribute to universal accessibility.

  • Housing for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the need for housing for adults with intellectual disabilities. The article found that, too often, individuals are housed where space is available, rather than in residences suited to their specific needs. The article provides information on different housing strategies for adults with intellectual disabilities that were considered best practices.

  • Living Spaces - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses designing living spaces that take into account universal accessibility. Aspects to consider when designing living spaces include: open concept planning, location of rooms, general space planning, and evacuation. Design elements discussed include doors, windows, hallways and foyers, cabinets and storage, furniture choices, lighting and electrical considerations, acoustics, color and much more.

Financial Assistance

  • Housing programs and financial assistance
    • [Summary …]

      Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s funding programs and financial assistance can help create new affordable housing; upgrade existing housing that may be in need of renovations or accessibility modifications; address the housing needs of victims of family violence; and provide rent subsidies for individuals and families in need.

Kitchens

  • Appliances - Accessible Housing by Design
  • Kitchens - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the ways kitchens should be designed in order to accommodate the needs of individuals of all abilities. A universally-designed kitchen considers design elements such as: location in the house, location of appliances and workspaces, counter surfaces, types of lighting, ways to reduce noise and overall use of colour and space.

Ramps and Hoists

  • Lifts and Residential Elevators - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the use of lifts and residential elevators in homes. The article outlines three main types of lifts: the vertical platform lift, the inclined platform lift, and the stair-chair lift. The different types of residential elevators are also discussed along with safety considerations to keep in mind. The article also contains frequently asked questions covering topics including building permits, standards, licenses, maintenance and costs relating to elevators.

  • Ramps - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the use of ramps in a residential home. The article outlines the two strategies used in ramp design: a landscape approach and a structural approach. The article also discusses the three types of materials for constructed ramps: poured concrete, interlocking brick, and wood framing. The article concludes by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

  • Residential Hoists and Ceiling Lifts - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the use of residential hoists and ceiling lifts in a residential home. The advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. The article also includes a list of frequently asked questions regarding building permits, standards and licences, maintenance and cost.

Safety

  • Fire Safety for You and Your Home - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses fire safety for individuals and their homes. The article states that people with disabilities and seniors are more likely to be injured in a fire than others. This is often because they are unable to exit their home quickly, cannot hear the alarm or are not prepared with a fire safety plan. The article suggests that planning evacuation routes and practicing them are important ways to keep safe. Strategies are provided for evacuating homes and high rises including the "buddy system," guiding, using a wheelchair for stair evacuation, and transferring and carrying techniques for individuals who need assistance. Information on assistive devices for those with mobility and hearing impairments is also provided.

Technology at Home

  • Home Automation - Accessible Housing by Design
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the use of technology and automation in the home. Home automation can be used to improve safety, expand usability and make life easier for people of all abilities. It can have benefits such as reducing heating and cooling costs and increasing the home's energy efficiency. Automation can control lighting, home entertainment, security, heating and cooling, doors, windows, blinds, telephones, and more. The article also provides tips to consider when installing various home automation devices. Lastly, the article provides a list of assistive technologies that have been specifically developed to assist people with disabilities.

Research

  • Examining the Housing Choices of Individuals with Disabilities
    • [Summary …]

      This study examines the living arrangements and housing preferences of individuals with mobility and/or agility disabilities living in Regina, Saskatchewan. The objectives of the study were to describe the current living arrangements of individuals with disabilities, determine if there are individuals living in Regina that could benefit from more accessible housing, and develop a profile of people that could benefit from more accessible housing.

  • Housing for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Housing Persons With an Intellectual Disability in Intentional Communities: Identifying Relevant Physical and Governance Structures
    • [Summary …]

      This article discusses the housing needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities and explores the possibility of meeting those needs in an "intentional community" setting. As intentional communities are committed to social inclusion, researchers of this article were curious to see if these communities could offer a suitable environment for people with disabilities.

  • Quantifying Universal Design: A Program for Implementation
    • [Summary …]

      This is a study on universal design, which is defined as "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." The purpose of the study was to develop a method for collecting and organizing information to implement and promote universal design. The article includes a summary of the findings and conclusion of the study as well as the seven principles of universal design.

  • Research Reports Relating to Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  • Research Highlights: Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2001
    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 Years and Older with a Mobility and/or an Agility Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 1
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a mobility and/or agility disability based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 17.6 percent of Canadians 15 or older with a mobility/agility disability live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile provides other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with a mobility/agility disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 years and Older with a Seeing Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 2
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a visual impairment based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 20 percent of Canadians 15 or older with a visual impairment live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile provides other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with a vision disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 years and Older with a Hearing Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 3
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a hearing disability based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 14.5 percent of Canadians 15 or older with a hearing disability live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile contains other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with a hearing disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 years and Older with an Emotional/Psychological Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 4
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with an emotional or psychological disability based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 23 percent of Canadians 15 or older with an emotional or psychological disability live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile contains other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with an emotional or psychological disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 years and Older with a Learning Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 5
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a learning disability based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 22 percent of Canadians 15 or older with a learning disability live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile contains other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with a learning disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 years and Older with a Speaking/Communicating Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 6
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a speaking or communication disability based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 22 percent of Canadians 15 or older with a learning disability live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile contains other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with a speaking or communication disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadians Aged 15 years and Older with a Developmental Disability, PALS 2001, Issue 7
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a developmental disability based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 19 percent of Canadians 15 or older with a developmental disability live in core housing need, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. The profile contains other important statistics and findings related to Canadians with a developmental disability.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Seniors with Disabilities, PALS 2001, Issue 8
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of seniors with disabilities based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need" and outlines ten specific types of disabilities. A key finding is that seniors with disabilities are 1.5 times more likely to be living in core housing need than the average senior. The profile contains other important statistics and findings related to seniors, ranging from living arrangements to socio-economics characteristics.

    • Profile of the Housing Conditions of Canadian Children with Disabilities, PALS 2001, Issue 9
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of Canadian children with disabilities based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need" and describes the different classifications of disabilities. A key finding is that 19.2 percent of children with disabilities live in core housing need compared to 13.8 percent of children without disabilities. The profile contains other important statistics related to children with disabilities, ranging from living arrangements to a parent's ability to work outside the home.

    • Summary of the Housing Conditions of Canadians with Disabilities Aged 15 years and Older who are Living in a Household in Core Housing Need, PALS 2001, Issue 10
      • [Summary …]

        This profile discusses the housing conditions of adult Canadians with disabilities who are living in a household in core housing need based on data from the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The profile begins with an explanation of "core housing need." A key finding is that 16.8 percent of Canadians who reported a disability in 2001 live in core housing need, in comparison to the national average of 9.1 percent. The article contains other important statistics related to Canadians with disabilities, ranging from gender and age to income and years of education.

Service Providers

Workplace

Ramps and Hoists

Work Culture

  • A Place for All: A Guide to Creating an Inclusive Workplace
  • A Way With Words and Images
  • Disability Reference Guide
    • [Summary …]

      The Guide provides information on removing barriers to accessibility in an easy to use checklist format. The checklist questions are designed to raise awareness of the diverse needs of people with disabilities and assist in the development of policies, programs and services that are inclusive of people with disabilities from the outset. Topics include research and policy design, implementation, communication, evaluation and monitoring. Service design and delivery strategies are also discussed.

  • Guide to Planning Inclusive Meetings
    • [Summary …]

      This guide helps people plan and hold meetings that are inclusive for people with a wide range of disabilities, so everyone can contribute and participate.

  • Manager's Guide to Multiple Format Production
  • Report from the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
    • [Summary …]

      In July 2012, the Government of Canada appointed a panel to consult with private sector employers, as well as other organizations and individuals, on the labour market participation of people with disabilities. The panel members were asked to identify successes and best practices in the employment of people with disabilities, as well as the barriers faced by employers, and to report on their findings. This report is directed at Canadian private sector employers and offers the following findings: Many companies are doing great things, but more education and training are needed (see "Employers speak"); hiring people with disabilities is good for business (see "Understanding the business case"); the keys to success are leadership and effective community partnerships (see "Making it work for you").

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