The source file is in the Intranet. Any change made to this page will be overwritten by the update from Intranet.
C. BARRIERS TO ACCESSIBILITY
The following are barriers Manitobans may face accessing WSD programs, facilities or services.
barriers are behaviours, perceptions and assumptions that discriminate
against or exclude persons because of their abilities, gender identity,
sexual orientation, age, ethnic origin, ancestry, culture,
socio-economic background or status, religion or spirituality, family
status, mental and physical abilities, physical features including body
size and shape, intelligence or ability, learning references, ancestry
or place of birth, first language or mother tongue.
often emerge from a lack of understanding or education and can lead to
judgment or misconceptions about another person.
Examples of attitudinal barriers include:
- Assuming a person with a disability or mental illness is inferior.
- Assuming that someone with a communication disability cannot understand you.
- Forming ideas about a person because of stereotypes or a lack of knowledge.
- Making a person feel as though they are receiving a “special favour” by providing their accommodations.
Winnipeg School Division staff, volunteers and students can help remove attitudinal barriers in the following ways:
making assumptions about a person’s disability or capabilities; many
persons with disabilities talk about being frustrated with people
assuming what they can or cannot do.
- Teachers can encourage
students to come forward and speak to you about the way they learn and
what may be causing barriers in your course, classroom, or teaching.
that students with disabilities do not have to disclose their
disability to their teachers or to anyone else in the academic
environment in order to receive accommodations.
- Respect the privacy of persons who face barriers.
on professional, civil conduct between and among students to respect
people’s differences and create an inclusive environment.
- Engage in the accommodation process in good faith and implement appropriate accommodations.
Information and Communication
School Division has met the linguistic needs of its communities in a
variety of ways over the years. Interpreter services continues to grow
and provide assistance to newcomers in WSD schools, and prior to online
translation options, WSD translated a large quantity of materials into
multiple languages for students and parents. Despite these efforts, the
largest barrier to information and communication continues to be
language. Nearly one-quarter of WSD students living with their parents
are immigrants and in 37 percent of WSD homes, English is spoken along
with another language. Providing information in multiple languages to
help keep parents informed and engaged in their children’s education is
challenging and costly. While technology permits instant translation for
many documents, not all families have the resources to readily access
online information, or know where to look for it due to the language
information and communication barriers within WSD include a lack of
access to FM signal or hearing aids for students who are hard of hearing
and a lack of technology and software for level 1 and 2 students.
Again, while many resources are available online, that is in itself a
barrier for low-income families.
Oral instruction is a barrier in
some classrooms for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, however,
sound field systems installed in classrooms will ensure that these
students can hear classroom instruction and direction.
WSD has taken a proactive approach to technology in our schools and
classrooms, there continues to be socio economic barriers within many of
the communities we serve.
WSD is currently exploring the cost of
purchasing and implementing assistive technology on its multiple
web-based platforms for people who are blind or vision impaired. The
division is working toward WCAG 2.0 compliance on the Connect Product.
School Division offers many programs to assist all families, especially
those living in poverty. The division values are to ensure equitable
opportunities are available and often support is provided beyond
Poverty, is one of the systemic barriers in
Winnipeg School Division which makes a difference for the learning of
children. Poverty is not simply low income, but a complex, extreme and
diverse set of compounding layers, often generational including:
- Economic pressures
- Impoverished spirit
- Food insecurity
- Lack of adequate housing
- Mental distress/illness/addictions
- Physical ill health
- Social marginalization, isolation, lack of social network
- Little resiliency, lack of alternatives
- Impact of colonization
- Access to education, family history with the education system
- Safe communities
of low income ranged from 3% to 57% among neighbourhoods in the school
division. There were 17 schools with an income below $40,000 (31% of
schools) or/and there were 24 schools with income below $50,000 (44% of
In addition to these layers of poverty, students or staff with disabilities living in poverty may experience:
- Inadequate Funding which may lead to delayed education services.
- Physical Inaccessibility to School/Facilities
- Accommodation Process can be delayed
- Transportation barriers
- Lack of Individualization – need for individualized plans
- Lack of relevant assistive technologies (assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices)
- Negative Attitudes and Stereotypes which may result in bullying, harassment and/or violence
Physical and Architectural
of the schools in WSD were built during the early part of the last
century in areas that are now highly developed. This limits the space
for expansion to accommodate additions such as parking, elevators and
ramps. All construction upgrades in WSD must be approved by The Public
Schools Finance Board. Due to the extensive cost and scope of work of
making all of the 89 existing facilities universally accessible,
implementation is prioritized on a need to need basis or coordinated
with major renovations and new projects.
School Division’s dedication to accessibility can be seen through many
initiatives, including planning for the upcoming AMA standards. The
overall goal of Winnipeg School Division is to ensure diverse,
inclusive, equitable and accessible education for all.
Part 2 Section A