New accessibility tools are coming to some schools in the Hanover School Division.
Superintendent Shelley Amos says the division received a $30,000 grant from the Manitoba Accessibility Fund to cover the purchase of special equipment.
“They are communication boards for those who might have challenges speaking verbally,” she says. “There are pictures, and the pictures are icons that identify things and help young students, especially, speak to us in a language that makes sense to them.”
Amos says these communication boards will be installed on playgrounds in all early years schools in Hanover.
"So, in addition to what we do in classrooms and hallways in schools, now we have that accessibility right outside.”
The communication boards are expected to be installed next year.
She tells us about a few other things they are doing to make the school division more accessible.
“We are in the midst of changing all of our door handles, for instance, so that anyone can easily open the door,” Amos says. “So, rather than having the knobs, we’re moving to levers. That would be one thing.”
Hanover is also making improvements to accessibility on stages in their schools.
“So, if we have a staff or parent or student in a wheelchair, there’s a lift that’s provided. We are making sure washrooms have a wide radius for turning in a wheelchair.”
Amos says they are also looking at their website to make sure they have the ability to translate into multiple languages. She notes this is all part of Hanover’s accessibility plan.