On June 1, our organization moved into a new Ottawa office. We built our office to respect the design priorities reflected in the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) program and are excited to announce we have received our certification.
As the voice of Canadian business, we have a responsibility to lead the way in improving accessibility to the places where we work. We believe in the benefits of accessibility, diversity and inclusion. We are also encouraging organizations across Canada to be early adopters of the RHFAC program.
The RHFAC measures the level of meaningful access beyond building code and is based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing.
Today, nearly four million Canadian adults report living with a disability. Improving access in both communities and workplaces is not just a question of human rights, but is an economic imperative that would result in a dramatic increase in consumer spending and labour force participation.Diverse hiring practices help companies compete and can be a significant competitive advantage. There has never been a more pertinent time for businesses to review access in the spaces and places that Canadians live, work, learn and play in, which is why we took cost-effective actions to upgrade our office.
Some of the new accessible features include:
- Contrasting colours between wall and floor surfaces for people with low vision.
- Lowered counters in the staff lounge and main reception area to allow for easy access to coffee, waste bins, and cupboards.
- Room signage posted on the latch side of the door, using contrasting colours for visibility as well as braille.
- White noise throughout the office to assist people with hearing challenges.
- Adjustable desks at all workstations to accommodate for various heights.
- Light switches and electrical outlets that are mounted at a universal height.
- Entrance doors that have a wall paddle to open and are made of clear glass to allow people to see if anyone is on the other side.
We encourage our members to apply for Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification. Canada prides itself on being a country that champions diversity and cares for its people. Being an accessible business is not only good for the bottom line but for building inclusive communities.
For more information about the having your office or building rated by the Rick Hansen Foundation, click here.