BCAB #1534 - Clause, Accessibility Requirements

April 23, 2001

BCAB #1534

Re: Clause, Accessibility Requirements

Project Description

The subject building is a 4 storey residential/commercial building with Group D and Group E suites located on the ground storey. The subject ground floor suite is approximately 75 m2 in area and is occupied by a chiropractic practise with one practitioner and one staff person. The suite is considered accessible for the purpose of Section 3.8. Behind the receptionist’s workstation is a 2.75m x 2.75m platform elevated approximately 170 mm above the floor.

Reason for Appeal

Clause requires access be provided to all areas where work functions could reasonably be performed by persons with disabilities.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that for his small chiropractic office the work functions of the Chiropractic Advocate (assistant) could not be reasonably performed by an individual with a physical disability. The raised platform behind the reception work station is an ergonomic feature so the staff person can remain seated while working and be at eye level with the patients on the other side of the desk.

The duties of the Chiropractic Advocate include patient reception, operating equipment requiring the use of both hands and feet, demonstrating stretches and exercises to patients, physically assisting patients within the office and getting into their vehicles, office cleaning, managing office supplies, retrieval of files from storage, etc.

The appellant acknowledges the needs of persons with disabilities (an inherent part of a chiropractic practise) but considers it is unreasonable for a person with physical disabilities to perform the functions required of the position.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official contends there is no compelling evidence that the work functions could not reasonably be expected to be performed by a person with disabilities. The raised platform at the receptionist workstation would preclude a person in a wheelchair from accessing the workstation.

Appeal Board Decision #1534

It is the determination of the Board that a person with disabilities could not reasonably perform the overall duties of this Chiropractic Advocate. Access to the platform is therefore not required.

George Humphrey, Chair