Social Issues Commission adds braille to campus signage

The Braille Project aims to make campus more accessible

Image by: Herbert Wang
Social Issues Commissioner (External) hopes to add braillle to signs in the ARC.

To improve readability of building signs on campus for blind students, AMS Social Issues Commissioner (External) Dreyden George is introducing The Braille Project.

George started by implementing braille on signs during events, for washrooms, emergency exits, and titles. He told The Journal he’s currently working on the LaSalle and Rideau buildings, which should be fully labeled within two weeks.

The process looks like filling out a project document for a paper trail, buying the braille, and promoting the project at Assembly, the Equity Caucus, and on social media.

“The goals of this [project] is to make sure we’re increasing accessibility across campus, specifically for blind people,” George said in an interview with The Journal.

He plans on reaching out to Queen’s Hospitality to implement braille in dining halls and other campus locations, such as Mitchell Hall and the ARC. His main motivation is to extend accessibility across campus for blind students.

Clubs, services, and offices are filling out the form for braille signs in their offices, such as Queen’s Backing Action on the Climate Action (QBACC) and Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS).

“Places that have a lot of coverage on campus are the priority right now as that is where the most traffic and where the most usage is, and of course we will work our way down,” George said.

He will reach out to the University to get approval to label other buildings on campus like Mitchell Hall and the ARC.

George believes the project is an important part of accessibility for Queen’s students. Increasing accessibility on campus is one of the Social Issues Commission (SIC)’s goals.

The project is more than a social or moral obligation, George said.  There’s also new legislation from the federal government regarding accessibility standards, in the multi-year pursuit of a barrier-free country.

“The main motivation for me was increasing accessibility on campus,” George said. “Providing this for free and making sure the program is just as accessible […] is crucial.”

“[I had] a dumbfounding feeling of, ‘Why have we not done this before? This is so easy.’”

The project has been running smoothly, and George said he attributes this to the simplicity of the project.

“Everyone seems pretty excited about it […] The project is a very simple program to launch. It didn’t take much approval.”

He received a lot of positive feedback from other organizations in the Queen’s community thus far; many people came by during the Student Voices Market held this week and voiced their approval.


Accessibility, Accessibility Queen's, braille

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