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Lake Country council chamber gets new, accessbile podium for all to use

Lake Country residents Nick Garding and Lea Kunz build new podium accessible to all in Lake Country chambers
Members of Lake Country's access and age-friendly committee in front as well as district staff and Lake Country mayor James Baker in front of the new podium.

Members of Lake Country's Access & Age-friendly Committee (AAFC) were introduced to a new accessible podium built by parks staff for the Lake Country Council chambers, making the podium accessible for those who may be in a wheelchair.

Previously the committee noted the presentation podium in the council chambers wasn’t very user-friendly for all citizens and two of the parks' staff took up the challenge to build a podium that was more inclusive and easy to use from a seated position.

“This project is truly heartwarming and inspiring,” said Marie Molloy, AAFC member. “It is a symbol of the best qualities of humankind in action – ingenuity, compassion and intelligence along with the desire to be a better and more inclusive community.”

The AAFC provides insight and advice to council on issues pertaining to enhanced access to district services for people of every age and ability.

The new podium was designed and built by Nick Garding and Lea Kunz. It features a power mechanism to raise or lower the enlarged table top housing a microphone, keyboard and mouse with enough space for speaking notes – all designed on an angle that works well for someone from a seated position.

“We heard the concerns brought forward by the Access & Age-friendly Committee and gave the project to staff to research where to get the appropriate parts and design something that would work well for our community,” said Greg Buchholz, infrastructure services director.

“It’s not the usual task that someone in arena ice maintenance would take on; but we’ve got a very passionate team in Lake Country that is resourceful and solution-oriented. So when two of our Parks and Facilities operators came up with an idea, it took them very little time to make it happen.”

“The new presentation podium is a community example of something truly inspiring,” said Molloy.  “This innovative, practical and functional solution to a tricky challenge instills awe and inspires community pride.”