The Quebec government has just adopted regulations setting minimal accessibility requirements for the inside of certain new apartments. With some exceptions, these requirements will apply to apartments located on the ground floor or on a floor accessible by elevator in buildings with more than 2 floors and more than 8 units.
Designers will get to choose between two levels of accessibility:
These units will allow people with limited mobility to access and move around in a few rooms (living room, dining room and washroom).
These standards are stricter. Adaptable units will allow people with limited mobility to access and move around in several rooms (living room, dining room, washroom, kitchen, at least one bedroom, and the balcony, if there is one).
These units will be easier to adapt to the needs of people with disabilities later on because they include the necessary equipment and surfaces. For example, the height of the plumbing equipment in these units can be adjusted.
On June 20, the federal government presented Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act. Canada’s disability community has been waiting for this bill for decades. The bill aims to eliminate and prevent barriers facing people with disabilities in areas within the power of the federal government (ex: employment, the physical environment, information technologies). If passed, the bill would help ensure the full inclusion and social participation of more than 600 000 Quebecers with disabilities.
Quebec Accessible denounces this oversight in the French media. Like all other citizens, the voices and experiences of people with disabilities deserve to be heard. How can we critically examine the issues that affect us and ensure that our rights and freedoms are respected if our issues are ignored by the media?
We urge the French media to give equal attention to disability issues. Let’s unite our voices and take the space we deserve in Quebec society! Please share this message with your networks.
On May 10, Melanie Benard, co-founder of Quebec Accessible, was interviewed on CBC radio’s Daybreak show about the lack of accessibility in Montreal. Listen to the interview here. Read more about this story here.