November 20, 2013
While the news out of Canada may be focused on Toronto at the moment, an even stranger story has come out from the West Coast: Vancouver has banned doorknobs.
The news appeared as a brief item last week in the Vancouver Sun, but had actually been decided some time ago. The city, the only one in Canada that is allowed to set its own building codes, decreed the changes in its Accessible Housing Bylaw in September. As of March 2014, all new buildings built in the city will have to include levers rather than doorknobs.
In case you are unfamiliar, this is a doorknob, and this is a door lever. If you are not in the building trade, chances are the difference between the two probably seems cosmetic. But the concept behind Vancouver’s ban is simple, and makes perfect sense: Door levers are easier to open for older people, people with injuries, or people with disabilities.
“The door handle most inaccessible could be the round door knob (which requires tight grasping and twisting to operate),” the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) says on its website, and suggests that doorknobs be replaced with levers.
This article was posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 6:25 am