2.7.4 Design Study — Obtaining Service in Public Spaces

Download a printable version of this section

The study highlights how the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces (the Standard) applies to the design of a customer support centre that provides direct services to the public.


The year is 2014. A customer service centre is being planned, to be located in a leased space within an existing suburban shopping mall. The project is being developed by ServiceOntario, a division of the Government of Ontario.

Classification Considerations within the Standard:

As ServiceOntario is the organization responsible for the development of the site, it is also responsible for ensuring that the project is designed and constructed in compliance with the Standard.

As ServiceOntario is a government department, it is classified by the Regulation as Government of Ontario. Refer to Section 1.2 for further information on how the Regulation classifies organizations.

A leasing contract was signed by the parties in late 2014, with the construction planned to be substantially complete in mid 2015. As the project is being developed by the Government of Ontario, and the substantial completion date of the project is after the January 1, 2015 deadline specified in the Regulation, ServiceOntario must ensure that the project complies with all applicable Standard requirements. Refer to Section 1.7 for further information on compliance deadlines for different types of organizations.

Design Strategy:

Figure illustrates the proposed development.

The proposed service centre will incorporate the three elements of service that are regulated by the Standard: service counters; fixed queuing guides; and fixed seating in a waiting area.

Service Counters:

The development incorporates two types of service counters; a reception counter used to greet all customers and a series of counters used to provide service to the customers. As such, at least one accessible service counter must be provided for each type of service.

The reception counter incorporates two service stations, both of which are accessible. The counter incorporates a twolevel shelf, which is accessible for both standing and seated users.

Four general service counters are provided, all of which are accessible. Each of the counters incorporates a two-level shelf, which is accessible for both standing and seated users.

Fixed Queuing Guides:

Fixed queuing guides are provided for lining up at the reception counter. The queuing guides are tubular metal with the lowest rail 600 mm above floor level, making the guiderail detectable by people who use a white cane for orientation and mobility.

Waiting Area with Fixed Seating:

The waiting area consists of pre-manufactured tandem seating units which are bolted to the floor. The total number of seats provided in the waiting room is 43, 3% of which is required to be provided as accessible spaces, capable of accommodating people who use wheelchair. Two accessible seating spaces are provided. They connect with the circulation routes without obstructing them. The spaces have been located side-by-side to allow companions who both use wheelchairs to sit together.


Illustrated Technical Guide to the Design of Public Spaces