News release

Improving Accessibility for the Built Environment

The Province has reached another milestone in developing the accessibility standard for the built environment to prevent and remove barriers in the spaces where Nova Scotians live, work, learn and play.

The built environment includes human-made spaces, such as buildings, rights-of-way and outdoor areas. The Accessibility Advisory Board has submitted its second phase of recommendations to the Minister of Justice.

“On behalf of our disabilities communities and all Nova Scotians, we thank the Accessibility Advisory Board and the Built Environment Standard Development Committee for their exceptional work,” said Justice Minister Brad Johns, the Minister responsible for the Accessibility Act. “We will continue to engage Nova Scotians as work on this accessibility standard proceeds.”

The Built Environment Standard Development Committee assisted the board with making recommendations on the content and implementation of an accessibility standard. There were a total of 141 in the two phases of work, covering interiors, washrooms, site selection, emergency systems, pedestrian facilities, accessible parking, exteriors, parks and recreation, wayfinding and signage, housing, schools and public libraries.

Among the Phase 2 recommendations from the Accessibility Advisory Board:

  • adaptable units should be included in new and renovated multi-unit residential buildings that have four or more units, three or more storeys and ground floor or elevator access
  • new and renovated campgrounds should include at least 10 per cent accessible camping sites and washrooms.

The board’s recommendations are under review and regulations are being drafted based on this work.

Quick Facts:

  • recommendations for an accessibility standard in the built environment were developed in two phases due to complexity and scope
  • Phase 1 was released to the public in January 2021
  • the Province’s accessibility strategy, Access by Design 2030, outlines how the government achieves an accessible province by providing persons with disabilities with equitable access to programs, services, information and infrastructure

Additional Resources:

More information about the recommendations and the Built Environment Standard Development Committee is available at:

Access by Design 2030: