New Buildings Accessibility Regulations Effective Next Month

Amendments to the Buildings Accessibility Regulations under the Buildings Accessibility Act have been published in the Newfoundland and Labrador Gazette, and come into force on April 23, 2018.

The Provincial Government announced amendments to the Buildings Accessibility Regulations and the Designated Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations in October to improve accessibility and inclusion for all persons in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The amendments to the regulations include:

  • Requirement for all new buildings to have automated door operators;

  • Requirement for van-sized accessible parking spaces;

  • Increased percentage of parking spaces required to be accessible;

  • Increased number of accessible units in an apartment complex with more than four units;

  • Requirement for improved accessibility in public washrooms; and

  • Clarification of counter height requirements to ensure counters in public buildings are accessible.

The amendments were the result of recommendations brought forward by the Buildings Accessibility Advisory Board, Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, disability community organizations, Engineering and Inspection Services Division of Service NL, and individual advocates. The outcome of decisions of the Buildings Accessibility Appeals Tribunal also informed some of the changes.

The amendments to the Designated Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations under the Highway Traffic Act related to illegally parking in a ‘blue zone’ came into force on January 3, 2018.