TORONTO — Human Space is creating Heritage for All, a project that will research, propose and test new ideas aimed at developing accessible strategies for federally-owned heritage properties with the goal to inform and advance future national accessibility standards.
The two-and-a-half-year project will be funded by Accessibility Standards Canada’s Advancing Accessibility Standards Research Program.
According to a release, the project will involve examining national and global precedents and guidelines; a series of hybrid onsite workshops with individuals who experience an array of physical barriers, including users of mobility devices, people hard of hearing or deaf, people with low vision or who are blind, neurodiverse individuals, older adults, children and their attendants or caregivers. The intent is to develop a deep understanding of a broad spectrum of experiences. Human Space will test the solutions with user groups and develop a publicly available report of the research and findings showing how the conversions can be a practical reality.
Participating organizations will include the KITE Research Institute, Easter Seals Canada, The Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, the Canadian Disability Foundation, Phil Goldsmith Architect and National Trust for Canada.
“Our nation’s heritage buildings exist for everyone’s enjoyment, and they provide keys to understanding our history,” said Human Space director and architect Jesse Klimitz in a statement. “Therefore, it is essential that we work together to make them accessible to all people, regardless of their disability. Modifying heritage buildings while preserving their historical integrity is difficult work. However, with collective discussion and thought, we will find solutions that will enable access, while also responsibly caring for these important places.”