In order to gain a true understanding of how each building works, Optimal’s auditors will audit of the building(s) when the building(s) is fully operational. Our auditor will visit the external and internal areas of the buildings on a number of occasions & at different times of the day. Our audit process takes us through the building(s) in a logical sequence and using standardized process, tools, data collection methodology. The Audit Tools used are both validated in the literature and reliability tested in the field over the last 23 years. Our auditors will observe & quantify how a building works in a number of ways including:
- observing how customers/tenants/clients/maintenance/facility managers and the public use the building(s);
- analysis of the physical design of the premises which includes external (public spaces) and internal elements of a building;
- consultation with users including customers/tenants/clients/maintenance/facility managers and the public;
- monitoring and data collection on the day to day running of the building such as washroom being free from obstruction, maintenance impeding on accessibility, etc.).
An example of some of the features which Optimal’s Auditors will review include car parking, location, number, dimensions, signage, curb height and angle. Further features such as lighting, surface finish, distance from entrance are all considered in the design of an accessible car park, public transport as well as building signage & wayfinding, lighting etc. Optimal’s accessibility audits do not look at the building in isolation and also consider how compliance with the Ontario Build Codes ABES tie in with an organization’s compliance with the CSS and IASR phases of the AODA.
Feedback & reporting
The final step in Optimal’s accessibility audit process is to provide feedback to our client. We are able to use number of approaches which are often determined by each client and the feedback mechanism they decide upon following discussion with all parties at the briefing stage of the Built Environment Project.
Some clients prefer to receive a draft report of the findings & including a follow up meeting to discuss further as well as to determine the priorities in meeting the Ontario Build Code’s Accessible Built Environment Standards (Dec 27 2013) .
Some clients prefer to receive a final report along with an “Accessible Audit Reference” from Optimal’s auditor(s). The “Accessible Audit Reference” acts as a reference for the client on current best practice and standards including but not limited to the Ontario Build Code, the National Build Code, Best Practice, Universal Design guidelines.
Other clients prefer to be provided with a report followed by a presentation of findings and priorities to all key stakeholders within an organisation or the Accessibility Working committees. This allows for further discussion and feedback as well as the development of priority projects for renovations or new builds and the development of capital budgets for these improvements and enhancements.
optimal Performance is the only firm in Canada with Auditors and experts in the fields of Human Factors Design, Interior Design, Architecture, and engineering (these auditors are specialists in accessible design some of whom also have bona fide disabilities as per the Ontario Human Rights Code).
To learn more about Optimal Performance and our Accessibility Experts from program to built environments contact us at AODA @optimalperformance.ca or 1 888 768-2106.