The inaugural flight of a wheelchair lift at CCS’s Secondary Campus created quite a stir the Friday before school started. Filling the stairwell around the new device that day was a crowd of curious staff, invested contractors, and hopeful educational assistants. At the centre was Joel DeBruyn, an incoming grade 10 student who relies on a wheelchair for his mobility. Like a seasoned professional, Joel followed the instructions he had just received from a technician: he inserted his own key into the controls, pressed a call button and the lift hummed into action. Within minutes, he was operating it cooly and effortlessly between floors. His sparkling eyes and slightly hidden smile betrayed his pleasure in knowing he could now be a part of Calgary Christian High School.
CCS is deeply grateful for the $45,000 private grant, and more than $11,000 in other personal contributions received into the new Accessibility Fund supporting the lift’s purchase and installation.
The CSCE (Calgary Society for Christian Education) invested additional capital to install a ramp in the basement and add accessible washrooms. Together, these improvements remove long-standing barriers and provide access throughout the building. Not only will Joel enjoy the experience of CCS, but so too will other parents, grandparents, future students and community members who just needed a way to navigate the building’s multiple floors. We are also thankful for the dedication of the team that ensured the lift was operable by September. This includes our contractors, vendors, architects, inspectors, and summer workforce who – in spite of obstacles and setbacks – made it happen.
submitted by: Ken DeWyn, Executive Director