Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum Accessibility Study


Ottawa, ON

hcma is conducting an accessibility audit and assessment for the Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum to achieve the milestones and targets set out within the Accessibility Act in reducing barriers to people with disabilities. The Canadian Museum of History is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a respected centre of museum excellence committed to improving accessibility and setting a positive example for other civic spaces.

The first phase of our accessibility diagnosis included an audit of both museums and exterior areas using best practice accessibility standards such as CSA “Accessible design for the built environment.” We also incorporated RHFAC best practices and gender inclusivity considerations from hcma’s specialized experience in this area.

We conducted four days of site visits and collaborated with the working group and museum staff to identify accessibility barriers for both visitors and employees of the museums. In listening to the lived experiences of individuals in these groups, our audit and assessment moved beyond basic accessibility to incorporate inclusivity considerations for gender diversity and neurodiversity. Through our analysis, we’ve developed an extensive database to document and categorize over 2,200 accessibility barriers with detailed reporting on recommended upgrades and renovations.

In future phases of the project, our team will present our findings and design solutions to Museum decision-makers, and work with their team to develop scoring criteria for rating upgrades. All approved upgrades will be costed and analyzed based on previous compliance level findings to create a workplan that will ensure greater levels of access for future visitors.

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