Chet Greason email@example.com
Stratford Northwestern secondary school received an award from the city’s Accessibility Advisory Committee for Disabled Persons (AAC) at a council meeting last Monday.
The AAC’s Sara Ropp handed city councillor and Northwestern’s principal Martin Ritsma a plaque commemorating the distinction. She said the school was being recognized for going above and beyond the need to make the institution accessible to those with disabilities.
Ropp specifically cited the school’s wide open and free flowing hallways, it’s outdoor grading, push-button doors, accessible washroom stalls, ramps, and elevator. She also noted how spots have been made at the tables in the cafeteria for students in wheelchairs, and how communication devices are available for students who need them.
Students with disabilities are integrated into classroom settings instead of being made to stand out in a segregated environment, noted Ropp, and she gave Ritsma’s passion and pride regarding the subject special distinction.
“Accessibility is about barriers,” said Ritsma upon receiving the award on behalf of the school.
He added barriers can take any number of forms, from physical to communicative, and their removal is necessary for any institution to become truly accessible.
“I want to thank the Avon Maitland District School Board for investing the time and money,” he said. “Although it will never be complete, and we still have work to do.”
The AAC advises and makes recommendations to council on matters of improving opportunities for people with disabilities in Stratford. The group identifies and works at removing barriers to full participation in the community.