Wednesday, February 24, 2021

grebel washroomSince 1964, Conrad Grebel University College has implemented numerous upgrades and additions into campus. Although the washrooms are among the improved facilities, their accessibility was lacking. More specifically, power-operated doors and washrooms that are easy-to-access are welcome improvements to those with mobility issues. The 2020 “Welcoming Washrooms” project aimed to make this happen.

This project was funded by a $100,000 Enabling Accessability Fund (EAF) grant from Employment and Social Services Canada, and $113,000 from Grebel’s budget. The goal was to add power doors to washrooms on every level and to ensure accessible, barrier-free paths leading to these facilities, providing proper access to persons with physical challenges.

“Accessible washrooms at Grebel, especially near the chapel, were long overdue,” said Paul Penner, Director of Operations. “We host an array of services, concerts, and events in the chapel, which prior to this upgrade, had no accessible washrooms nearby. To have our main event space lacking such an amenity was awkward to say the least!”

In addition, the funding was used to create the new barrier-free washrooms in Grebel’s residence. “Not only are the barrier-free washrooms a benefit for students with mobility issues,” said Mary Brubaker-Zehr, Director of Student Services, “but they also function as ‘gender-neutral’ facilities. Having single washrooms makes us more welcoming and inclusive to students who prefer these private spaces.” 

Grebel resident, Anya Fieguth added, “The new barrier-free washrooms are a valuable addition to Grebel. Although I am considered an ‘able-bodied’ person, I found the washrooms to be very spacious and accessible. Myself, and many other students are very grateful for this wonderful contribution to the building.”

“Welcoming Washrooms” makes Grebel a more inclusive environment for all.

Written by Jace Jaeden Ellis

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