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New accessible changing station at KPU Surrey gives wheelchair users a lift to toilet, table

‘It’s really significant,’ says Dr. Fiona Whittington-Walsh
A look inside the new gender-neutral accessible changing station at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey campus. (submitted photo)

An advisor with Kwantlen Polytechnic University hails a new gender-neutral accessible changing station as a “really significant” improvement to the Surrey campus.

The new station, located on the first floor of KPU’s Fir building in Newton, is equipped with an overhead electric lift that can transfer wheelchair users to either the toilet or adult-sized adjustable change table.

“It’s really significant because it’s definitely sending the message that KPU cares about accessibility, and making sure that our physical spaces are accessible and welcoming to everyone,” declared Dr. Fiona Whittington-Walsh, lead advisor on disability, accessibility and inclusion at KPU.

In recent years, the university’s accessibility improvements include modernized elevators and washrooms, hands-free doors, additional curb cuts in parking lots and upgraded lighting.

Accessible workstations and desks have also been added to most classrooms at all campuses, and a wheelchair ramp redesign is nearly complete in Richmond. Future plans include additional accessible-height water fountains and a web-based map highlighting accessibility features of KPU’s five campuses.

Whittington-Walsh says such accessibility improvements, from automatic sliding doors to larger washrooms, benefit all users: “Universal design creates spaces that are fully accessible for everyone. This fosters a strong sense of belonging and inclusion.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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