A Practical Guide to Barrier Free Design

There is a greater awareness in society that our buildings and spaces must be more accessible to all.  In Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is ensuring that all businesses are accessible by 2025 in many ways, including design of public spaces.

Today we focus on the physical environment.  This is where barrier free design comes into focus.  What is barrier free design? It involves designing spaces, both public and private, to allow access for the greatest majority of people.

Some common barriers include:

  •  Curbs
  •  Uneven sidewalks
  •  Stairs
  •  Heavy doors
  •  Absence of handrails

In the following video from our OT-V series we discuss these obstacles and how occupational therapists promote accessibility, and assist individuals and businesses with creating a barrier free environment.