What is a Barrier Buster project?

Barrier Buster project has two parts:

  1. An infrastructure improvement to the built environment in a public place or space to remove physical barriers and improve accessibility (e.g., a school, community centre, park, library, church hall or theatre.) AND
  2. An associated awareness building event designed to showcase and celebrate the project.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada, the Rick Hansen Foundation will provide grants of up to $30,000 to eligible Barrier Buster projects and associated awareness building events across the country.

Barrier Buster projects range from adding an entrance ramp to a building to making a playground accessible for kids of all abilities. Below are a few sample projects. For a more detailed list of sample projects, including costs and resources, see our Barrier Buster project list.

Accessibility Challenge: Exterior Access

Can individuals with a disability get to and from a building?

Sample Solutions:
  • Designate and label parking spaces with appropriate dimensions and design, located near the building entrance.
  • Construct an accessible route that provides access to the main entrance, incorporating ramps and sloped walkways.
  • Construct a drop-off/pick-up zone with appropriate markings and level, flat, no-slip surface; add a covered shelter to offer protection from weather.

Accessibility Challenge: Interior Accessibility

Can individuals with disabilities freely and easily access all rooms and floors in a building?

Sample Solutions:
  • Install power-operated doors on entrance door(s) and other high-traffic doorways.
  • Develop an accessible washroom with adjustable height counters, automated faucets & no-touch hand dryers/towel dispensers.
  • Install a platform lift or elevator to move between floors, including Braille signage and audio floor announcements.

Accessibility Challenge: Accessible Play Areas

Can children with disabilities access play area and use play equipment?

Sample Solutions:
  • Install accessible play equipment, with features incorporating texture, contrasting colours, and sounds.
  • Add a sheltered, accessible rest area.
  • Construct an accessible pathway to play spaces with a level, flat, no-slip surface.

Accessibility Challenge: Emergency Response

Are there visual and audio emergency warning systems are critical to ensure the safety of all individuals?

Sample Solutions:
  • Add visual fire/emergency alarms throughout the building.
  • Install an emergency evacuation chair in all emergency exit areas.
  • Post emergency evacuation instructions with diagrams, clear text and in Braille at an accessible height.
  • Ensure emergency equipment, fire pulls, extinguishers, etc. are at accessible operating height.

Accessibility Challenge: Parks, Trails, Marine Accesss

Can individuals with mobility challenges actively participate in these public spaces?

Sample Solutions:
  • Add tapping rails along paths to allow visually impaired users with canes navigate safely around and towards signs.
  • Install tactile landscaping/wayfinding, including using landmarks such as water features, sculptures and sound.
  • Add smooth-surface pathways to make amenities such as docks, beaches, and trails more accessible.