The University of Manitoba strives to be a leader in creating an inclusive experience for its students, staff and the visiting public. The University’s academic, research, administrative, residential and special purpose buildings are no exception to that pursuit and reflect the care and dedication of staff and management to the University of Manitoba’s core values. It is with this in mind that Adaptability Canada was contracted by the University and undertook an Audit of interior and exterior spaces at all three campuses: Fort Garry, Bannatyne, and the William Norrie Centre. This audit set out to accomplish two things:
Since July of 2017, a team of four Audit professionals, assisted by three University of Manitoba students employed by Adaptability Canada, collected data on 111 buildings with more than 15,000+ images taken and catalogued and over 500+ pages of auditor notes. The data has and is being analyzed by a 7 person team in Adaptability Canada’s Toronto offices, and will result in the completion and submission this Summer of individual building reports, dedicated portfolio reports on Winter Maintenance, Washrooms and Signage/Wayfinding. Also in preparation is an Executive Summary of the overall Audit, and the various building categories.
The Audit Methodology examined how people use the environment that has been created as well as identifying code variances and life/safety issues that create barriers to access. The built world is very different for someone with visual, hearing, physical or intellectual disabilities. It is the power of this perspective that gives new insight into risk and how it can impact the customer experience. The top 3 areas for improvement have been identified as:
We believe that the University of Manitoba can minimize or even eliminate risk by relentlessly pursuing service excellence. It is why we believe that the University of Manitoba will benefit in numerous ways by setting a standard based on Inclusive Design that serves all people equally within an environment.