Acadia University Barrier Free Accessibility

As part of their view of accessibility on the Acadia campus, students completed the Checklist for Barrier-Free Accessibility for Students with Disabilities at Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Institutions; this checklist was prepared by the Canadian Paraplegic Association and the Government of Nova Scotia.  The checklist examines a number of areas relevant to campus buildings, including parking areas and entryways, elevators, stairways, washrooms, classrooms and lecture halls, workstations and food areas. Students  used the tool to identify barriers existing in some commonly used buildings on campus: the recently opened Department of Biology Building, the Beveridge Arts Centre (BAC) and the Students’ Union Building (SUB). They selected the SUB and BAC because of the large percentage of the Acadia population that access their services and the fact that they were included in the previous 2006 audit, therefore providing highlights of the progress Acadia has made in creating a barrier-free campus. They also audited the new Biology building to represent the new opportunities that are available when planning new construction, to ensure accessibility is optimized. Through the audit process, the students identified gaps that are preventing accessibility, particularly in terms of students with mobility challenges, but also in terms of visual and auditory impairments. Upon completion of the checklists, the group identified areas for improvement, providing recommendations for short term and long range changes that should be made. Many of the short term changes are simple to implement, with minimal cost.


Towards Sustainable Transportation in Wolfville

Transportation is a key issue facing communities over the next ten to twenty years as costs are expected to spiral upwards and society demands greater accountability over its environmental impacts.  Profound changes in the way we travel may be necessary and this will impact all facets of our lives whether it is for work, play, accessing services, or for socialisation.  Patterns of travel will likely change whether that be the mode of travel, its frequency, the distances traveled, and the transportation provider.  In order to systematically plan for this future we need to better understand how community members presently travel.  The project goal was to develop a baseline profile of travel patterns generated by the Acadia Community for the full spectrum of business conducted by Acadia University.  This information will be used by the Town of Wolfville to develop a sustainable transportation plan for the next ten to twenty years and may also affect university policies and practices.


Sustainable Eco-Tourism in the Protected Areas of Belize

The course goal was to provide a broad exposure to the contrasting provision of protected area management  and park services, the different approaches to eco-tourism and environmental  sustainability and the professional roles and approaches found in Belize. This field course was conducted in the lowlands of the Yucatan peninsula in Belize, Central America and mainly focussed  on activities within the boundaries of Chiquibul Forest Reserve (CFR) and Chiquibul National Park (CNP).  Students worked with the Las Cuevas Trust (LCT), Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD), the Ministry of Natural Resources, Industry & Environment (MNRIE), the Belize Botanic Garden (BBG), University of Belize (UB), Belize Tourist Board (BTB) and other agencies to deliver the course.  The LCT operates a research station in the Chiquibul Forest, situated within the Chiquibul Maya Mountains Key Biodiversity Area (CMMKBA).