Project funding totalling $734,000 will be available this year from the Coca-Cola Disability Access Fund to make the University of British Columbia campus more accessible to people with disabilities.
New ramps, lifts and other equipment will help to improve access to campus locations including classrooms, gardens, a library and the Frederic Wood Theatre.
Coca-Cola and UBC formed a multi-year strategic partnership in 1995 that designated Coca-Cola as the official supplier of cold beverages to the university campus. Funds gained by the university through this partnership support programs, equipment and campus access for people with disabilities.
Each of these projects moves UBC closer to its goal, as stated in the university's mission statement, of removing non-academic barriers that limit the participation of persons with disabilities in campus life.
The seven projects funded this year were selected from among 28 proposals submitted for consideration by faculties, departments, museums, gardens, organizations and student groups across campus.
The projects propose to:
Construct a ramp, in a co-operative partnership between the Alma Mater Society and the university, to improve wheelchair access on the north side of the Student Union Building.
Enhance wheelchair access to Frederic Wood Theatre lobby, improve seating for persons in wheelchairs and provide an accessible washroom in the lobby.
Improve access between Lower Mall and West Mall with a ramp. A ramped connector at the foot of Agricultural Road would provide improved access to Place Vanier, the Ponderosa annexes and the First Nations Longhouse.
Upgrade paths and ramp to expand accessible areas in the Botanical Garden.
Provide a power-assist door opener at the north side of the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre and Library.
Provide for each of two feasibility studies examining increased access to the Museum of Anthropology and the Neville Scarfe Activity Centre in the Faculty of Education.
Previously, the Coca-Cola Disability Access Fund had allocated funding for each of three projects: an elevator in the Old Administration Building, an elevator in the Koerner Library and, through the Rick Hansen Institute, support for Hansen's 10th anniversary of the Man in Motion tour.
The projects were identified through a process of broad consultation with the university community and the involvement of interested bodies such as the Rick Hansen Institute and the Disability Resource Centre.
The applications were evaluated by the Disability Access Fund Advisory Committee and approved by the Committee of Vice-Presidents.
Members of the Disability Access Fund Advisory Committee are: Kathleen Beaumont, Campus Planning; Bill Crook, Rick Hansen Institute; Steve Estey, Disability Resource Centre and Rick Hansen Institute; John Lane, Campus Planning; Jim Leggott, Plant Operations; Janet Mee, Disability Resource Centre; and Suzanne Poohkay, Campus Planning.