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Obtaining Services

The standard includes requirements for making service counters, fixed queuing guides and waiting areas accessible to people with disabilities. These elements can be located both inside and outside of buildings. It is important to note that these elements are not covered by Ontario’s Building Code.

Requirements of this section apply to all organizations.

Service counters

When building new or replacing existing service counters, at least one service counter must be made accessible to people who use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs. You can make the counter accessible by making sure it:

  • Is useable by someone sitting in a mobility aid, and
  • Has enough clear space in front for a person using a mobility aid to approach the counter.

A queuing area is a place where people line up for services.

If your organization has one queuing line for several service counters, such as a coffee shop, each service counter must be accessible.

If your organization offers different types of service counters, each with its own queuing line, such as a large grocery store with regular, express and self-serve checkouts, you must make sure at least one of each type of service counter is accessible.

Where there are multiple queuing lines and service counters you must clearly identify all your accessible service counters with signage.

Fixed queuing guides

Fixed queuing guides are permanent or built-in fixtures that require people to line up and follow a set path. For example, an amusement park may use fixed queuing guides to help people line up at booths where they can purchase tickets for rides.

When installing new fixed queuing guides, you must make sure:

  • The queuing area is wide enough for people using mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, and mobility assistive devices, such as canes, crutches and walkers, to move through the line, including when the line changes direction.
  • People who are blind or have low vision can find the queuing guides with a cane.

Waiting areas

When building new or making planned significant alterations to your organization’s existing waiting areas that have seating fixed to the floor, you must make sure that at least three per cent of the new seating space is accessible (but there must be at least one accessible seating space).

Accessible seating means a space in the waiting area where someone using a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, can wait to receive service in the same area as other customers or patrons.