Universally Designed PHYSICAL Workplace Features

  • All controls within the comfortable reach zone of between 24 inches (610 mm) and 48 inches (1220 mm) above the floor
  • Ample and secure storage for employee’s personal possessions within the comfort range of 24 inches (610 mm) and 48 inches (1220 mm) above the floor
  • At least one automated door to the building, preferably one closest to employee parking or public transportation
  • Counter heights for workstations should be adjustable to fit a work force with a wide range of statures and visual abilities
  • Cubicles and other devices to give individual workers some control over noise
  • Designated break areas that are quiet and comfortable, to allow workers a place to recover from work demands and socialize with others
  • Height adjustable work surface between 28 inches (715 mm) and 32 inches (815 mm), with frequently used items stored within 24 inches (610) and 48 inches (1220 mm) and within a 24 inch (710 mm) maximum of reach arch from the elbow
  • Sound absorbent materials on walls and floors to keep ambient noise levels as low as possible where background noise cannot be eliminated
  • Storage containers that provide the option of carrying, pushing, pulling, or rolling
  • Systems for employees to adjust light levels at their workspaces to best fit the requirements for their specific tasks, individual abilities, and preferences
  • Wheeled chair with adjustable height seat, reclining tilt function, lumbar support, adjustable arm rests, and a high back to support neck and head
  • Workstations situated so employees can communicate effectively with visual and/or verbal modes of communication
  • Workstations that accommodate both standing and seated positions, also referred to as “sit-stand” workstations used wherever possible

Source: WBDG Accessible Committee; Jordana L. Maisel, PhD and Molly Ranahan, PhD

The following features are examples of what was included in the design and construction of our new office space.

  • Clearances:
    • 1200 millimeters for secondary corridors
    • 2100 millimeters for primary corridors
    • 2100 millimeters of turning radius as a minimum in all office spaces (cubicles, focus rooms, meeting rooms, washrooms, kitchenette)
    • 850 millimeters as a minimum for doorways
  • Automatic doors with push columns for main entrance, two major meeting rooms, washrooms and emergency exit
  • Sliding door with a maximum of 22.2 newton for enclosed offices 
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting system, colour tuning, intensity diming, and individual control at each workstation
  • Automatic blinds
  • Added multiple ventilation zones and controls throughout the general space, and separate thermostats in all enclosed offices
  • Visual and audible alarm system
  • Gender neutral washrooms and adult change table
  • Accessible specifications for washroom and kitchenette (counters, grab bars, automatic faucets, etc.)
  • Wi-Fi throughout the space to allow for flexibility of network and internet access everywhere
  • Sit-stand work surfaces throughout
  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) floor throughout the space to ease travel for wheelchair users
  • Identification/signage:
    • Different colors of LVT in enclosed rooms for visual identification purposes
    • Colored window films for enclosed rooms to allow visual identification and contrast
    • All signage include large font, tactile signs, pictogram and braille


CAN-ASC-1.1 Standard on employment: Public Review Draft

"This Standard envisions a work environment that is accessible, inclusive, barrier-free, and discrimination-free to all workers, regardless of their lived experience with disabilities. To achieve this vision, this Standard shows value in a combination of both systemic and person-centred approaches. During their employment journey, persons with disabilities encounter numerous barriers to accessibility and inclusion in the work environment. These include, but are not limited to: transitional barriers (barriers accessing the work environment); attitudinal barriers (differential treatment and - discrimination in the work environment); environmental barriers (barriers found within - the work environment); and, ensuring work environment safety for all workers.

Universal Design in the Workplace Information

Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and is part of the ADA National Network in the United States.

Accessibility Standards Canada offices: a model of accessibility

This video showcases Accessibility Standards Canada accessible features in their office.