Accessibility or lack there of

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When one thinks of accessibility on campus it is hard to negate the elaborate tunnel system that links Oland, Hazen, Ganong and Irving. There are many elevators in the buildings and adjacent ramps which portray a very accessible campus for individuals with special needs.

“Generally, our campus is one of the most accessible in the region,” says director of student services, Kevin Bonner. “The interior tunnel system is a great help and the university has been following an accessibility plan created in 2008 to improve campus accessibility.”

Of course, after investigating, it became clear that there is room for improvement concerning special-needs based convenience. Oland Hall,has a very strange combination of positive and negative features. The entrance on the quad has a ramp but no automatic door buttons which leaves a mixed message.

“For those [… needing] handicap access it conveys that the university is oblivious to them, although the thought is there. It seems like a recurring theme that maintenance is being disregarded at UNB[SJ]” says arts student, Jenna Albert.

Neither the G. Forbes Elliot Centre nor the Thomas J. Condon Student Centre have handicap-friendly doors. The K.C. Irving Hall is another example; for over two weeks their handicap doors have been out of service and upon closer inspection, it is only the outer set of doors that have an accessibility button for an automatic door, the inner doors do not have this function. Lastly, in the tunnel between Hazen hall and the Ward Chipman Library there is another automatic door which has returned to its manual state.

If there are delays in work being done it’s due to priorities, the lack of report, or parts on order according to assistant vice-president, Chris Callbeck. Priorities are based on health and safety first and foremost. If a door is broken at the same time that lighting is out in a stairwell, the stairwell issue would be addressed first.

Callbeck says that they are always appreciative to have people report issues on campus and apathy in students is never an issue. When there is something to be fixed, someone notices and the process for repair begins almost immediately.

If something isn’t working there are two ways in which it gets fixed, either it is reported by someone (students, teachers etc.) or it is discovered by maintenance staffers who, apart from everyday work around campus, do walkabouts at minimum once per month to inspect the university as a whole.

An inspection by maintenance workers follows where details are compiled for a formal report. After a report has been made, a work order is produced by building operations manager, John Furlong. The formal document is then sent to contractors of the appropriate trade.

The contractors then step in to do the work. If the issue is more serious than originally thought or if parts are on order, work delays may result. In general, work is not delayed and the issue is resolved fairly quickly. After the work is completed, the work order is filed and attention is then turned to the next issue.

After speaking with Callbeck, his administrative assistant, Sue Allen, sent an e-mail on Sept. 20 stating, “Facilities Management reported to me that there is no current work order for the accessibility access doors. So work orders have now been generated and they will be checked out and repaired.”

Although the Irving Hall door remains broken, the handicap accessible door in the tunnel between Hazen Hall and the Ward Chipman Library have been fixed.

To make a report call (506) 648-5666 or email operations@unb.ca

 

Accessibility or lack there of

Kyle Roberts

 

When one thinks of accessibility on campus it is hard to negate the elaborate tunnel system that links Oland, Hazen, Ganong and Irving. There are many elevators in the buildings and adjacent ramps which portray a very accessible campus for individuals with special needs.

“Generally, our campus is one of the most accessible in the region,” says director of student services, Kevin Bonner. “The interior tunnel system is a great help and the university has been following an accessibility plan created in 2008 to improve campus accessibility.”

Of course, after investigating, it became clear that there is room for improvement concerning special-needs based convenience. Oland Hall,has a very strange combination of positive and negative features. The entrance on the quad has a ramp but no automatic door buttons which leaves a mixed message.

“For those [… needing] handicap access it conveys that the university is oblivious to them, although the thought is there. It seems like a recurring theme that maintenance is being disregarded at UNB[SJ]” says arts student, Jenna Albert.

Neither the G. Forbes Elliot Centre nor the Thomas J. Condon Student Centre have handicap-friendly doors. The K.C. Irving Hall is another example; for over two weeks their handicap doors have been out of service and upon closer inspection, it is only the outer set of doors that have an accessibility button for an automatic door, the inner doors do not have this function. Lastly, in the tunnel between Hazen hall and the Ward Chipman Library there is another automatic door which has returned to its manual state.

If there are delays in work being done it’s due to priorities, the lack of report, or parts on order according to assistant vice-president, Chris Callbeck. Priorities are based on health and safety first and foremost. If a door is broken at the same time that lighting is out in a stairwell, the stairwell issue would be addressed first.

Callbeck says that they are always appreciative to have people report issues on campus and apathy in students is never an issue. When there is something to be fixed, someone notices and the process for repair begins almost immediately.

If something isn’t working there are two ways in which it gets fixed, either it is reported by someone (students, teachers etc.) or it is discovered by maintenance staffers who, apart from everyday work around campus, do walkabouts at minimum once per month to inspect the university as a whole.

An inspection by maintenance workers follows where details are compiled for a formal report. After a report has been made, a work order is produced by building operations manager, John Furlong. The formal document is then sent to contractors of the appropriate trade.

The contractors then step in to do the work. If the issue is more serious than originally thought or if parts are on order, work delays may result. In general, work is not delayed and the issue is resolved fairly quickly. After the work is completed, the work order is filed and attention is then turned to the next issue.

After speaking with Callbeck, his administrative assistant, Sue Allen, sent an e-mail on Sept. 20 stating, “Facilities Management reported to me that there is no current work order for the accessibility access doors. So work orders have now been generated and they will be checked out and repaired.”

Although the Irving Hall door remains broken, the handicap accessible door in the tunnel between Hazen Hall and the Ward Chipman Library have been fixed.

To make a report call (506) 648-5666 or email operations@unb.ca