Craig Reid was looking for one detail when the provincial government released more information about the long-term care facility that crews in Corner Brook are preparing to build.
And when he didn’t see it, the accessibility advocate from Mount Pearl spoke up.
Reid wanted to know why he didn’t find a requirement that the builders of the facility fully adopt universal design principles.
Universal design is about inclusion, about buildings that everyone can use whether or not they have disabilities.
“We’ve got to have support for universal design. Otherwise we’re going to continue to make mistakes so that we have to retrofit all these buildings yet again, costing ourselves more money down the road,” said Reid.
Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker downplayed those concerns on CBC Radio’s Corner Brook Morning Show.
“The principles of universal design are included in the standards that we use,” Crocker said, referring to his government’s move to align its accessibility requirements with the National Building Code of Canada and the Canadian Standards Association.
“It’s very important to us to make sure that, from the parking lot, to the bed … that these buildings are as accessible as possible.”
Reid said it’s “brilliant” that provincial regulations are about to sync up with the CSA.
But he warns that there is a significant difference between using some of the principles of universal design and fully adopting it.