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Dal building receives first Rick Hansen Accessibility certification in Eastern Canada

Director of Campus Planning Mary Jane Adams says learning is not just for one group, it's for everybody
Dalhousie University. (Meghan Groff/

A Dalhousie University building is being recognized with the first Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification in Eastern Canada for providing meaningful access to those with disabilities.

The Dal property receiving the recognition is the Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) - which brings Medicine, Dentistry, and Health faculty and students together in an integrated learning experience.

Director of Campus Planning Mary Jane Adams telling NEWS 95.7 for Dalhousie University, ensuring all buildings are fully, and easily accessible is a priority to allow all students to come together and learn.

She calls the CHEB building's certification a good first step, saying features like extra wide hallways, fully accessible and barrier free washrooms, and hospital sized elevators helped achieve this result.

"We're an educational institution, we are open not only for faculty staff, and students for learning, but we want to make learning inclusive, it's not just for one group of people, it's for everybody," explains Adams. "So you have to have facilities, and you have to be able to maneuver around in buildings, and outside so they can get to places that they need to get to, whether they're in health education, they're in management."

Adams continues, saying "learning's not just for one group, it's for everybody."

Adams says teams of students are auditing Dal's 162 buildings to determine accessibility priorities - they are using an audit tool created by a recent graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, that measures everything from doors, to washrooms, to corridors and signage over 17 categories.

It considers not just physical accessibility for those in wheelchairs, but also those impacted by hearing issues, learning and developmental disabilities, mental and psychological challenges, memory problems, blindness, and low vision.

About the Author: Dave Heintzman

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