Catholic board slated to review accessibility plan

Accessibility will be one of the main concerns at Tuesday night’s regular monthly meeting of the Northwest Catholic District School Board as trustees vote on the second-annual accessibility plan.
In accordance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the board has formed an accessibility working group, comprised of board staff as well as parents and people with disabilities.
The groups have created a plan for making schools more accessible based on recommendations from an accessibility site evaluation.
“The multi-year plan identifies areas in need of replacement or fixing according to availability of resources and items to be addressed with the availability of funding,” Superintendent of Education Al Cesiunas wrote in a report to the board.
The accessibility plan identifies the need for a paved ramp at the southwest entrance of St. Francis School here.
Work in progress at the school includes the installation of long-lever faucet handles and long-neck spouts in classroom sinks, and the installation of automatic or power doors on the south entrance.
Last year, the school was equipped with grab bars in the single-use washroom.
The junior washrooms were renovated to become handicapped accessible while the library was equipped with a divider wall and hand rail.
The plan calls for the replacement of the ramp beside the kindergarten room at St. Michael’s School, as well as the installation of long-lever faucet handles and long-neck spouts in some classroom sinks.
Some classrooms already have been fitted with these fixtures.
The handicapped parking area outside the school needs to be properly identified with colour and signage, and automatic or power doors need to be installed at the front entrance, the plan reads.
The accessibility working group also recommends a small vertical lift to gain access to the stage, as well as safety strips on the front of the stage floor and on stage stairs.
Last year, extensive washroom renovations were made at St. Michael’s.
The meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. at the board office next to St. Francis School.