The Town of Antigonish and the Accessibility Committee is working with Upland Planning + Design to develop an Accessibility Plan for our community.

Accessibility is a human right, as well as an important part of diversity and inclusion work. The aim of the Town of Antigonish’s Accessibility Plan is to create a Town that is safe for community members are visitors living with disabilities, prioritizing a dignified and comfortable experience for everyone.

The Accessibility Plan will include recommendations for improvements and enhancements in the following categories:

  • Awareness and education
  • Goods and services
  • Information and communications
  • Transportation
  • Employment
  • The built environment

While most of the recommendations in this plan will be for the broader community, this plan will also include a building-specific accessibility audit of Town Hall.

Image of the front of Town Hall.

Progress Update:

Work on this plan began at the end of November 2020, with a review of relevant local policies and plans, followed by discussions with stakeholders to gather initial input.

Through this stakeholder engagement, community members offered feedback on the work plan which prompted the project team to revise the process, including additional community engagement and communications, resources for engaging individuals with lived experience of disability and a longer project timeline.

The update process was approved by Council at a February 2021 Regular meeting. The project team is now getting back into re-engaging with stakeholders and community organizations.

This project web page will be updated as the draft document is published and more opportunities for involvement and feedback become available. For inquired, please contact Steve Scannell, Director of Community Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Project Timeline:


The next step in this project is to complete additional stakeholder interviews. The project team will be reaching out to people with lived experience of disability as well as relevant community service providers. A What We Heard Report will summarize key themes from these interviews and identify some priority projects which can be included in this year’s budget.

Draft Plan Review

A draft of the Accessibility Plan document is scheduled to be completed in May. It will be available online here in both text and audio formats, and large-print hard copies will be available by request. Following the release of the draft, we will conduct follow-up calls with interested stakeholders, and the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback by submitting comments through email, phone, or print, in addition to a community open house (to be held either in-person or online, depending on public health restrictions).

Final Plan

Following engagement on the draft, the final plan (to be completed this summer) will be updated and adjusted to reflect community feedback, also incorporating an Implementation Plan which will include the following:

  • Phasing for the proposed improvements.
  • A framework for Municipal monitoring and evaluation.
  • A framework for responding to public concerns

Provincial Landscape:

Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act mandates the development of both Accessibility Advisory Committees and Accessibility Plans for Municipalities within the province.

For information on the Town’s Accessibility Committee, click here.

The Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate is responsible for administering his Accessibility Act and advancing disability issues within government, working with persons with disabilities, Municipalities, businesses, post-secondary institutions, and others to achieve the goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030.

The Directorate has published a number of resources for this work, including:

Two Standard Development Committees were established provincially and have recently submitted their first phase of recommendations on accessibility standards relating to education and the built environment.

Although these recommendations have not yet been established as standards, they are a good starting point, and the Town of Antigonish’s Municipal Accessibility Plan will refer to these documents, as well as the guidelines established by the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certification, a nationally recognized resource.

Image of Rick Hansen Foundation logo.

What is Accessibility?


The Rick Hansen Foundation defines accessibility as the “degree to which a product, device, activity, facility, service or environment allows everyone to participate fully and is available to everyone on an equal basis.” They add that “something cannot be considered accessible if there have only been efforts to make it accessible to one group, such as those who are blind or people who are wheelchair users.” Meaningful accessibility meets the real needs of any user and responds to their entire experience, rather than simply completing a checklist of minimum requirements. As examples, an accessible meeting space is not useful if it is only accessed by a flight of stairs, and a ramp does not provide meaningful access if it is located at a separate entrance around the back of a building.


The World Health Organization offers a holistic definition of disability, stating, “In recent years, the understanding of disability has moved away from a physical or medical perspective to one that takes into account a person’s physical, social and political context. Today, disability is understood to arise from the interaction between a person’s health condition or impairment and the multitude of influencing factors in their environment.” 

Defining disability is complex, and may depend on the individual’s identity and environment. Not all disabilities are visible, and some people with long-term health conditions may or may not consider themselves to have a disability. Although not comprehensive, the Canadian Survey on Disability (2017) identified some types of disabilities:

  • Sensory, such as seeing and hearing
  • Mobility
  • Flexibility
  • Dexterity
  • Pain-related
  • LearningDevelopmental
  • Mental-health related
  • Memory

Disabilities may be permanent, temporary (such as a broken bone), or situational (such as a driver unable to see through direct sunlight).

antigonish crest

Get in Touch

Town of Antigonish
274 Main Street
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Canada B2G 2C4

Phone: (902) 863-2351
Fax: (902) 863-0460 / (902) 863-9201

Town Hall hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm