Rife with accessibility issues

The District of Summerland has plenty of work to do to make their facilities more accessible to the disabled, according to an audit by the Rick Hansen Foundation.

An inspection of municipal hall, the aquatic centre and arts and cultural centre in August found that both the pool and arts centre fall short of being certified accessible by the foundation.

Auditors found the aquatic centre lacked large-enough disabled parking stalls and had accessibility issues in the washrooms. The foundation also recommended the installation of visual fire alarms, fitness machines for the disabled and a coloured strip around the pool for the visually impaired.

The aquatic centre achieved a score of 52 per cent, short of the 60 per cent required to be certified accessible. An 80-per-cent score receives a “gold” certification.

The arts and cultural centre also received a 52-per-cent score, losing points due to the building entrance lacking graspable railings and featuring too steep of a ramp. Inside, traditional door knobs should be replaced by lever-style doors.

“None of the washrooms were large enough to be considered accessible,” the report says. “Consider a renovation that would combine the two gendered washrooms into one larger universal washroom that would be accessible to all.”

Municipal hall was the only facility to be certified as accessible, achieving a 60-per-cent score. It still had areas for improvement, including the need for more handrails, lower reception desks, tweaks to the washrooms and visual fire alarms.

District council will receive the full report during Monday’s meeting and will consider a staff recommendation to apply for a $20,000 grant to carry out renovations on the arts centre washrooms

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