New Accessibility Resource Centre a welcoming place
WINNIPEG, MB –Between 300 and 400 students at The University of Winnipeg who require accommodations ranging from quiet study and exam space to an accessible photocopier now have a new and improved resource centre on campus, possible because of $230,000 in assistance from the Province of Manitoba. UWinnipeg has invested an additional $25,000 in accessibility equipment and hardware such as washroom lifts and accessible doors in the areas surrounding the new space.
The Accessibility Resource Centre officially opened today on the main floor of Manitoba Hall with Minister of Education and Training, Ian Wishart, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Annette Trimbee, UWinnipeg Executive Director Wellness and Student Life, Jan Byrd and student Jade Ruchkall cutting the ribbon.
UWinnipeg’s Accessibility Services department promotes the ongoing development of an accessible learning environment which provides students with disabilities or medical conditions the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of campus life. This includes students with physical or learning disabilities, mental health issues, visual disabilities, those with a chronic illness, those who have both temporary and/or recurring medical conditions, and students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“The Accessibility Resource Centre is providing a safe, welcoming meeting place for students and ensures that no student, regardless of ability, has to face barriers to success,” said Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. “Manitoba’s new government is pleased to support this project, which aligns with our belief that all Manitobans should be able to participate fully in their communities and workplaces.”
The new resource centre has an accessible computer lab with a variety of adaptive software, an accessible photocopier, ergonomic furniture, a textbook lending library and Wi-Fi access. Other new features include dimmable lighting in all offices and communal areas as well as exam areas; automatic door openers on both entrances to the centre; privacy glass on the exam rooms allows students not to be distracted; staff have private offices to ensure confidentiality when meeting with students; enhanced security door entrances and video surveillance inside and outside of the centre; and proximity to a Handi Transit drop off. Most importantly, it provides a welcoming meeting place for students.
“One of UWinnipeg’s greatest strengths is our deep commitment to diversity and accessibility, and removing barriers so that all students can reach their full potential,” said Trimbee. “We are proud to offer this new space on campus and thank the government of Manitoba for its support in helping us realize this project.”
Student Jade Ruchkall describes the new space on campus this way. “The definition of a home on campus is transferrable to describe Accessibility Services in the grand space of the entire University of Winnipeg campus,” said student Ruchkall . “Although the physical space may be small compared to the rest of the campus, it is grand in its familiarity, and social and emotional connection to the students who feel they belong to it. No student is ever alone here. Accessibility Services is a safe space that enables students to have an overall sense of well-being as we work towards our academic goals, and leaves a lasting and positive impression on us as students.”
“Wellness and Student Life is committed to offering ALL students an exceptional experience that supports and enhances their learning and academic journeys,” said Byrd. “Accessibility Services provides leadership on issues of accessibility, working in partnership with all faculties to cultivate inclusive learning environments so all students can thrive.”
For information or to register for Accessibility Services:
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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: email@example.com