The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) offers training and auditing primarily based on building accessibility. They offer unique programs, professional training, and in British Columbia, a grants program that provides funding to improve the accessibility of spaces that have received the RHF certification.
- 1 in 5 Canadians, more than 6.2 million, currently live with a disability. They encounter barriers completing everyday tasks because buildings and spaces are inaccessible.
- RHF provides accessibility resources that are part of the Rick Hansen Accessibility Certification program to ensure that your buildings and spaces are accessible. The tips include:
- Ensure accessible Parking Spaces and pedestrian paths are easily identified and do not have any barriers.
- Designate and identify Passenger Drop-Off and Pick-Up Zones close to the entrance of your building. Provide an area for seating and shelter in these areas.
- Make your Building Entrance prominent for arriving patrons. This can include using colour (but not only colour), architectural design elements, and signage.
- Ensure that the Doors in your library building and spaces are easily opened. You can do this by adjusting the weight of the opening mechanics, using lever knobs instead of round doorknobs, or installing automatic doors.
- Adapt your Lobby and Open Spaces by ensuring a clear and well-defined path through the area and installing sound dampening materials so that no one is overwhelmed by possible noise.
- Design your Reception Areas and Counters to be easily located at the front of your building. There is an accessible-height counter available with space below it, and prominent signage is available in a sans serif font.
- Ensure that there are accessible Washrooms in your building, which is essential for library patrons and staff. Washrooms should have tactile signages (like braille), toilets with back support, easily reachable toilet paper holders, a grab bar adjacent to the toilet, and easily operated bathroom accessories (soap machine, hand dryers, etc.).
- Position the Fire Alarm at an accessible-height without any barriers (furniture, boxes, etc.) positioned in front of it.
- Provide Evacuation and Fire Plans for people with disabilities and place them at an accessible height on the wall with sufficient colour contrast.
- The Signs in your library should have large font and high colour contrast and be used to identify essential amenities and features in your library (washrooms, elevators, etc.).
- Provide Sitting Areas with different seats (with backrests, without arms, etc.). Even during a pandemic, you should have some seating available for people with limited mobility.
Rick Hansen Foundation (2021). Homepage. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.rickhansen.com/
Rick Hansen Foundation (2021). Become Accessible. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.rickhansen.com/become-accessible
Rick Hansen Foundation (2021). RFH Tip Sheet. PDF. Retrieved from: https://www.rickhansen.com/sites/default/files/downloads/rhfac-tip-sheet.pdf