The new Canada Science and Technology Museum, one of three museums under Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, is the first national public institution in Canada +to receive the Accessibility Certified Gold rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program.
The RHFAC program works to help improve accessibility of the built environment in Canada. The museum, which integrates accessibility into various aspects of its design, recently underwent a complete renewal and reopened to the public on Nov. 17, 2017. It features leveled floors, a snowmelt system and accessible seating throughout the museum, with spaces designed for mobility devices in the auditorium and demo stage.
Eleven new exhibitions were also developed using accessibility standards. Central elements in the exhibitions include multi-sensory engagement, accessibility of digital offerings, and ensuring that key experiences are welcoming to the maximum number of museum visitors.
Other accessibility features include a family care room, a universal restroom with an adult lift system, neck loops that visitors with hearing aids can use in the auditorium and the demo stage, and Key2Access, a new smartphone wayfinding system for visitors with visual impairments. This museum is the first ever to use the Key2Access app, which was made by Canadian developers.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Canada Science and Technology Museum is the first museum in Canada to receive the Accessibility Certified Gold rating under the RHFAC program,” said Rick Hansen, founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, in a press release. “I want to congratulate Ingenium for this incredible achievement, and I hope it will inspire others in the built environment to work together with our Foundation to incorporate best practices of accessibility in universal design.”