About Universal Accessibility

Providing barrier-free access

How do we make St. Albert’s City facilities accessible for all ages and abilities? Buildings that are simple and safe to use whether you are young or old, use mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers, are visually or hearing impaired, or are pregnant or have your leg in a cast?

The City has released its Universal Access Plan, which will help prioritize the actions needed to provide universal and barrier-free access in municipally-owned buildings and public spaces. It’s about creating a world that’s comfortable for all.

Universal access refers to creating environments, programs and services that respond to the needs of the widest population range possible, enabling persons with varying abilities and ages to access the physical environment on an equitable basis. 

Many civic buildings were built in previous decades and do not reflect current standards for universal and barrier-free access.

Areas of Focus

The Plan details recommended actions for the City to implement and prioritizes them through a phased improvement program approval. The areas of focus are:

  • Exterior Pedestrian Routes (sidewalks, crossings and trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, rest areas, signage, and benches)
  • City facilities such as St. Albert Place and recreational centres, as well as associated parking facilities
  • Transportation – transit service and transit infrastructure such as transit shelters, bus stops and other transportation facilities
  • Policy and Process Improvements

The Universal Access Plan also recommends adopting the City of Burlington Accessibility Design Standards together with the 2017 Alberta Barrier-Free Design Guide Requirements, as the City’s benchmark for accessibility. The use of existing standards is a fiscally-responsible approach and provides the City with immediate resources to implement change.

Next Steps

The City will begin the process of implementation starting with a universal accessibility facility audit of St. Albert Place, Fountain Park Pool, Servus Place, and associated parking lots. The audit is taking place within existing approved budgets.

Other implementation initiatives identified in the Universal Access Plan will be dependent upon future budget requests.

Open House Presentations

Video 1: What is the Universal Accessibility Project? (11:25 min)

Video 2: Universal Accessibility Examples (9:22 min)

Project Outcomes & Objectives

The Universal Access Plan identifies the steps needed to adapt City buildings and public spaces to allow for equitable use, participation, and inclusion of people of varying abilities and ages in community life.

Related Pages

Last edited: November 12, 2019