July 13, 2021

Mr. Stephen Adams

Executive Director, IJDINS

Bix 521 , Halifax Central

Halifax, NS, B3J 2R7

Dear Mr. Adams,

I am pleased to respond on behalf of Minister Delorey to your letter of June 9, 2021, regarding the Built Environment Accessibility Standards Development Committee and the proposed recommendations.

Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act, enacted in 2017, recognizes accessibility as a human right and sets a goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030. It enables Government to develop accessibility standards in 6 areas, including the Built Environment. The scope of this standard is to prevent and remove barriers to accessibility within the built environment.

As you may be aware, the Built Environment Standard Development work is being done in two phases. The first phase of recommendations was submitted to Minister by the Accessibility Advisory Board in August 2020 and is now being reviewed by a Government of Nova Scotia

Interdepartmental Working Group and drafting the proposed standard. Part of the Working Group’s role is to assess the economic impact of recommendations and any implementation considerations. They are working with the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness to identify the impact on business and supports that may be required. They are also working with the Office of the Fire Marshall to determine where the data suggests that evacuation measures are required.

The second phase of work will be submitted by the Standards Development Committee to and reviewed by the Accessibility Advisory Board this summer and made public thereafter. Having seen these recommendations, I believe Mr. Polley’s concerns have been addressed.

There will be opportunity for feedback before any proposed built environment standard is finalized. The Accessibility Directorate will ensure you are notified of the request for comments. I encourage you to participate and make us aware if you do not feel the concerns of the UDINS have been addressed in the final language.

The Built Environment Standard Development Committee, including Mr. Polley, have worked very hard and their work will go a long way towards our goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030.

Kind regards,

Dawn Stegen

Interim Executive Director, Accessibility Directorate