Grooming rooms are to be installed in every school in the Portage la Prairie School Division
Becoming accessible to all students
A lot of work has to go into the new grooming rooms being built throughout the division. This is the progress at the grooming room at Crescentview School. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
Just another step in a large accessibility project.
The Portage la Prairie School Division is continuing its work to make every school in Portage la Prairie accessible for all students, including those that may need a little more attention, by adding grooming rooms in schools across the division.
“A regular bathroom doesn’t provide what special students need,” says PLPSD superintendent, Todd Cuddington. “A lot of schools around the province aren’t even set up for wheelchair bathrooms yet so we’re introducing grooming rooms into all of our schools so there are no accessibility issues at all.”
Typically special students don’t have a place where they can be changed, have a catheter changed, or cleaned if necessary. That would happen in regular bathrooms across Manitoba and the province noticed, while students were being mainstreamed into classrooms, that the standard bathroom just wasn’t going to cut it.
Grooming rooms have a standard design set by the province and must be a certain number of square feet and must be centrally located or near other student washrooms because you want to treat the child the same way you would a regular classroom student who doesn’t have those types of special needs. The rooms are to have a mechanical lift so the child doesn’t have to be physically lifted in and include a specific turning radius so multiple people can assist if needed. There will also be a tub and shower, an accessible sink and toilet, as well as a table for the student to be dressed on if necessary.
“Across the division, we’ve been approved for a grooming room in North Memorial in the HUB, however that project is on hold pending the province’s decision to finance it because there are multiple partners,” adds Cuddington. “We do have grooming rooms in most of our other schools and Yellowquill is approved for a new one. We did a tour at Oakville School as well, and our five-year capital plan has grooming rooms as priority items.”
Construction at Crescentview School began earlier this month on their new grooming room.