Disabled strive for open doors to accessibility


McGill University urban planning professor Ahmed El-Geneidy supervised a master's student's project that evaluated the accessibility of the underground city. The findings? "It's very hard for someone with a disability to manoeuvre through it, if not impossible," El-Geneidy said. He added that wheelchair users must leave one building and enter another from outside, negating the convenience of the underground tunnels. "Montreal is going to be facing a big problem soon," El-Geneidy said, referring to residents entering their senior years and their eventual specialized transportation and accessibility needs.  

Also at McGill, a course offered by the school of occupational therapy places students in a wheelchair for an assignment that challenges them to get from Cours Mont-Royal to Promenades de la Cathédrale using the underground city. The goal is to "learn about architectural accessibility," said Cynthia Perlman, who teaches the course. There are usually three students to a wheelchair, with one being from occupational therapy and two from architecture.

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August 26, 2013