Human Space is excited to announce Heritage for All, a new research project aimed at eliminating physical barriers to Canada’s federally-owned heritage buildings. The two-and-a-half-year project will be funded by the Accessibility Standards Canada’s Advancing Accessibility Standards Research Program and will tackle the challenge of addressing accessibility of heritage buildings while preserving historical integrity.
“Our nation’s heritage buildings exist for everyone’s enjoyment, and they provide keys to understanding our history. 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.” – Director of Human Space Jesse Klimitz.
The project will involve examining national and global precedents and guidelines; a series of hybrid on-site workshops with individuals who experience an array of physical barriers – including users of mobility devices, persons hard of hearing or deaf, persons with low vision or blind, neurodiverse individuals, older adults, children and their attendants or caregivers – 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, Canadian Disability Foundation, Phil Goldsmith Architect and National Trust for Canada to seek and better understand the issues, challenges, and opportunities of improving accessibility within various historic contexts.
Further details about participation and input into our work will be announced soon!