Catholic board to look at accessibility plan

The Northwest Catholic District School Board will review and vote on approval of its fifth-annual accessibility plan at tonight’s regular meeting at the board office here.
As part of the mandate of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, and the Standards for School Board’s Education Plan, the local board formed an accessibility working group to work together to create a plan for facilities.
This multi-year work in progress identifies areas in need of replacement or upgrading according to availability of resources and funding.
The plan “describes the measures that the Northwest Catholic District School Board has taken in the past and measures that will be taken during the 2007-2008 school year, and in the future identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities who work in, use, or attend school board facilities and services.”
This year, at the Fort Frances board office, the accessibility plan indicates one-two parking spaces there will be designated as disabled parking spaces, and clearly identify them with reflectorized signage, paint, and the international symbol of accessibility.
The board also plans to replace the current kick plate on the main door, to replace the push handle on the interior of the main door to ensure it can be opened with minimal force, and to place signage at the back entrance to identify it as a fire exit.
Signage also will be provided to indicate where an accessible entry can be found.
Meanwhile, at St. Francis School, the board plans to install automatic or power doors on the south entrance in 2008.
At St. Michael’s School, it also would look to install automatic or power doors on a designated entrance, as well as to replace the ramp beside the kindergarten room with a concrete one.
The multi-year plan also addresses items at the other schools within the board, as well as lists projects for following years pending available funding.
Also at tonight’s meeting, which gets underway at 6:30 p.m., the local Catholic board will:
•receive audited financial statements;
•hear a presentation on school effectiveness from Joanne Querel;
•vote on a bylaw to authorize a loan from the Ontario Financing Authority;
•look at business travel accident insurance; and
•hear a variety of committee reports.