Volume 93, Issue 36

Wednesday, November 3, 1999


NEWS

OUSA forum harps on students' tuition

No Return of the Blob for the city

Access cause for concern in market

Tadpoles may hold key

Brain drain continues to cause campus concern

Briefs

bass ackwards

Caught on campus

Access cause for concern in market



By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Covent Garden Market officials are defending their open door policy despite concerns London's newest downtown attraction is inaccessible.

London resident Avril Rinn, who is legally blind, said she was appalled by the lack of thought put into the building's design concerning accessibility. "It's an accessibility disaster," she said. "If you're in a wheelchair, you actually have to get close to the door and hit it before you get it open.

"Last week, I was with my girlfriend who had her baby in a stroller and simply holding the door open for it was just a major nightmare," Rinn said.

Michelle Quintan, general manager of the market, said Rinn's concerns were not falling on deaf ears and the market's management was looking into improving access. "What people don't understand is there is a five foot drop from the North end of the building to the South end of the building. That creates a lot of challenges," she said. "It's essentially built on a hill."

Although she said there was room for improvement, Quintan said the Market's accessibility met building code standards set up by London's city council.

"[The market] meets building codes, but obviously minimum standards aren't satisfactory and we're thinking about improving our facilities," she said, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to make the market accessible.

"Access to that facility is extremely important," said Marilyn Neufeld, manager of the London Association for Disabled Adults. "We, in the spring, will be introducing a new program located in the Middlesex Health unit building downtown," she said, adding the Market would eventually be frequented by LADA members.

Ward 2 councillor Joe Swan said despite concerns, the building would eventually meet expectations. "People have to respect the market is new and design problems are part of anything new," he said. "If there are problems, we'll fix them."


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Copyright The Gazette 1999