Building signs are intended to make campus safer and more visitor-friendly
In an effort to make buildings more identifiable and therefore more accessible, new signs have been installed in front of all Mount Allison’s on-campus academic buildings.. The budget for these signs came out of the University’s alterations and renovations budget and cost just under $23,000.
“The main reason we installed the signs,” said Rob MacCormack, Mt. A director of facilities management, “was to identify the buildings in the academic quad which will make our campus more easily navigable for visitors and emergency vehicles.” MacCormack said these signs were a continuation of the emergency signage used for the north side of campus.
“We had a lot of complaints over the years that visitors and new students and their families had trouble finding some of our buildings,” said MacCormack. “These signs will make our campus more visitor-friendly.”
The signs are also a step in making the Mt. A campus more accessible, particularly for emergency response vehicles. Emergency vehicles are dispatched to the civic address of the campus building, and with the installation of these new signs the vehicles will be able to read the civic address when entering campus, said MacCormack. This will ideally make campus more navigable in cases of emergencies.
Olivia Auriat, president of the Association of Chronically Ill and Disabled Students (ACID) and the Mount Allison Students’ Union’s accessibility affairs coordinator, said the signs were a good start to making the campus more accessible. “Anything that surrounds safety is a good step […] we can’t expect emergency services to know the entire campus. If this makes it easier, I think that’s great,” said Auriat.
MacCormack said the university is continually looking for opportunities to solve accessibility issues on campus. “Each year the campus becomes more accessible but we have a way to go,” he said.
The majority of Auriat’s hopes in tackling the accessibility issues on campus primarily surrounds major renovations. “We would like the major residence renovations which will happen three years from now to see accessibility being considered in the planning. That’s already started and I think that’s major step,” said Auriat. Within these major renovations, Auriat said that roll-in showers, especially in Windsor, was a major goal.
Auriat said there is also a need for more handrails in faculty buildings, not just for students but also for faculty who may be disabled.
Auriat said the accessibility issues on campus are about people not considering disability in design and renovations. “It’s no one being anti-accessibility, it’s more that if you’re not disabled, you’re not thinking about it,” she said.