In-Depth Post #6

Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening. 

Wherever you are, welcome to my sixth and final In-Depth post! My In-Depth Project is about how we can design buildings so that they are fully accessible to anyone with a disability. 


Project Progress Report 

In my last meeting with Annerieke, we talked about the different types of building materials that buildings are made out of. I brought up that Gleneagle is made out of concreate, and it is two stories’ high, but the apartments that are being built near me are built using wood, and they are six stories’ high. The reason that residential buildings can be built out of wood is that the people who live in the building know where the exits are, but at a school, you can have visitors who don’t know where the exit is. That means that any building where there will be large groups of people present must be built out of concrete as concrete doesn’t burn. The reason that buildings that are made out of concrete catch fire is because of the interior walls (which are made from drywall), furniture, and linens that are in the buildings. 


Preparations for In-Depth Night 

I also put in some more time to practice using SketchUp so now that I am starting to build my final project, I have experience with the program. I have started by writing down ideas that I have on sticky notes, I will then organize them and make sure to include accessibility features that I have explained in previous In-Depth posts. 

For my final project, I am going to make a full-sized model in SketchUp that I will be presenting on my computer. I will base the model on Gleneagle Secondary School, but will update it to make it more accessible, as well as designing it the way I would want a school to be. People will be able to pivot around the model, as well as zoom in and out to see the full detail of the model.  


See you on In-Depth night! 



In-Depth Post #5

Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening.  

Wherever you are, welcome to my fifth In-Depth Post! My In-Depth Project is about how we can design buildings so that they are fully accessible to anyone with a disability. 


Project Progress Report 

This week I continued working on the final project for In-Depth. I am going to be making a scale model of the school and design it so that every room is accessible to anyone with a disability.  

In the last In-Depth Post, I talked about what options I had to build my model of the school out of. My options were using Foam Core, which is a lightweight board that Annerieke uses for her models of buildings, making it out of cardboard, as I have made models out of cardboard before, and my final option is to use a modeling software called SketchUp. 

I have decided to use SketchUp as I can make the building to scale, I can insert desks to fill the room, and I have no size limitation. If I build the model out of Foam Core or cardboard, it would have to be built to a certain scale, I would have to measure out the rooms and then scale them down, I would also have to make sure that I would have a way to transport the model to school for the final Presentation. 

I did a bit of practice work on SketchUp and am learning the different functions and tools that SketchUp has to offer. It is a bit complicated, but once I got going it was smooth sailing. One of the functions of SketchUp that I really like is being able to change the size of any of the walls, doors, and floors. 

One of the big ideas that we talked about was to make the process fun. Annerieke said that I should make the school the way I would want a school to be. When I was younger and I had a Pro-D Day, I spent it with Annerieke and designed a school that had a ski lift attached to it. She told me that I should design the building the way that I want it to be, it doesn’t have to be anything like anyone has ever seen before. That is why I am going to have fun during the design process. 


Report on Mentorship Experience 


  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?  

Annerieke has given me lots of resources that I have used to learn more about building buildings so that they are accessible to anyone with a disability. An example of this is the Building Accessibility Handbook which details the size that doorways, hallways, bathrooms, etc. have to be. 

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?  

Some learning opportunities that exist to reinforce new learning are taking measurements at different schools in SD43 to see how all of the doorways line up against each other. Would all of the doorway sizes be the same? Why might some doorways be bigger or smaller? 

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?  

I could get the Rick Hansen Foundation’s accessibility rating scale and rate different schools in SD43. If some of the schools come up on the lower end of the accessibility scale, then I could investigate why the score is so low and what could be done to give the school a better rating. 

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?  

When Annerieke and I have our meetings, we talk about whatever part of the design process we are in. In our first meeting we talked about how buildings are designed to help people with disabilities. In our second meeting we talked about how Gleneagle Secondary is compared to the Building Accessibility Handbook. In our third meeting we started getting ready for the final project by talking about what options I had to build my final project. In our most recent meeting, we talked about how I am going to make the final project in SketchUp and the different ways I can show an accessible building. 

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?  

One thing that is going very well in my mentoring relationship right now is Annerieke is available if I need to ask her some questions about a certain part of the building. I am able to send her an email and when she has time, she sends me an email back with the information I am looking for. 

  1. What are you learning about one another? 

I have learned that Annerieke is a very helpful, compassionate, and fun person to work with as I will suggest an idea that I have, and she will tell me what needs to be done in order for that idea to work. 


Until next time,  



In-Depth Post #4

Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening. 

Wherever you are, welcome to my fourth In-Depth Post! My In-Depth Project is about how we can design buildings so that they are fully accessible to anyone with a disability. 


Project Progress Report 

This week I started moving towards the final project for In-Depth. I started planning the final project which is to build a scale model of the school and make it so that every room is accessible. Annerieke and I talked about the different materials I could use to build the model. 

We talked about the different options that I had as to how I build my model. I originally thought of making it out of cardboard as I had made models out of cardboard for other projects.  

Annerieke suggested making the model out of Foam Core, which is a lightweight board that she uses for her models. It would be easier than using cardboard because I could make interlocking boards to use as the walls and so I wouldn’t have to glue anything. 

Another option that Annerieke suggested was to do make the model in a modeling software called SketchUp. By using SketchUp I could make the building to full size as there wouldn’t be any physical materials used. SketchUp is a bit complicated, but I had an introduction to using it a few years ago so I think it might be a viable option. 

No matter which option I pick I am going to have to make a list of all the unique rooms at Gleneagle so that I don’t have to make the whole school. I will just make one room that is the classroom because the classrooms are all the same. But I will make one music room, one home ec room, and one science room as there is only one of those rooms in the school. 


Annerieke and I also talked about talking to some of the Education Assistants who work at Gleneagle and seeing what they think about our school from an accessibility standpoint. 

We also talked about talking to Ebba about her experience in high school. It would be better if I talk to someone with a disability who goes to Gleneagle, but if I am unable to, I will talk to Ebba. 


Report on Mentorship Experience 

  1. What has been your most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why? 

The most difficult mentoring challenge so far is trying to find a time to meet that works for both Annerieke and I because we both have so many things happening during the week. I have T.A.L.O.N.S after school some days and other days I have soccer. Annerieke has lots of meetings about designing new buildings so that makes specific times that work for both of us. 

  1. What is working well? Why? 

One thing that is working well is having good quality conversations about accessibility. We have conversations about what could be built better, what I can show in my In-Depth posts, and how to be economical in building buildings. 

  1. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens? 

Something that could be working better is my communication about setting up our next meetings as Annerieke has a busy schedule and sometimes it is too late to schedule a meeting. I will make sure that I work on this by sending my emails with times for meetings earlier in the week. 


Until next time, 


In-Depth Post #3

Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening. 

Where ever you are, welcome to my third In-Depth Post! My In-Depth Project is about how we can design buildings so that they are fully accessible to anyone with a disability. 


Project Progress Report  

Today I will be sharing with you the results of my comparison of specific parts of the Building Code to areas at Gleneagle Secondary to see how our school complied. 

*All of my pictures have a meter stick that is 100cm long so that you can get an idea of the size of objects.

The water fountain pictured here is a good example of an accessible water fountain. It has space on the sides, the water bottle filler is triggered by a sensor, and to turn on the water fountain there is a button located on the front of the water fountain. 

Our library surprised me when I laid out the meter stick to measure how wide the area between the bookshelves was and I discovered that it ended up being less than a meter at one end of the row of shelves. That means that it is not in line with the building code. But the other end was in line with the building code. I noticed that there was another pathway through the library area that looked a bit small; when I measured it, it was under one meter. 

Seeing that some parts of our school library were not in line with the building code really surprised me because when I had looked at other parts of our school, they were all accessible. 

As part of this In-Depth Post, I measured doorways and other areas at school. I noticed that the door to the washroom that was marked as accessible was smaller than the classroom doors. This surprised me as I would think that the bathroom that was built with people with a disability in mind would have a bigger door than the regular classroom door. 

I was even more surprised when I looked at the building code and saw that the minimum clear width of a doorway only has to be 81cm. I thought that it would be bigger to accommodate people with powered wheelchairs. 

One thing that I was impressed with was the passing areas in the hallways. The building code requires the building to have a 180cm by 180cm passing area at 30-meter intervals. Our school has that, and they are closer than 30 meters to each other. 

When I first started this project, one thing that I was drawn to was the accessible parking spaces. They lined up perfectly with the front door, and there are no ramps to access the door. When you come up to the door, there is a door open button right there for you to use.  

The parking spaces were even bigger than the minimum size laid out in the building code, which made me happy because some people have powered wheelchairs that need more space to get out of cars. 

* In both of theses pictures there are two meter sticks lined up so it looks like one meter stick but it is actually two meter sticks.

When I was talking with Annerieke, the professional architect mentoring me, a big topic that we talked about was how making a person with a disability have to use another door to get into school would make them feel left out. But if the front door was accessible to everyone, then they wouldn’t feel left out. 


Report on Mentorship Experience  

  1. Some logistical challenges that affected our conversation were trying to find a time that worked for both Annerieke and I. I have T.A.L.O.N.S after school on some days, but not others, and Annerieke works and then has a long commute home. 
  1. Some factors that affected our ability to interact effectively was the Wi-Fi. It would lag and then one of us would miss part of the conversation and then we would have to go over the topic again. 
  1. Some things that went particularly well during our mentoring sessions were keeping our meetings on time. This is especially important because my mentor has a job that they are doing while mentoring me. Another thing that went well was keeping our conversation moving forward, this is important because if we get stuck on a topic, then we will run out of time without getting to all of the topics that were on the agenda. 
  1. Some learning challenges that emerged for me when we started going through the building code was trying to completely understand the building code. The people who reference it all are architects and they all know exactly what they are looking for, whereas I am trying to understand what all of the symbols and references mean. 


Thanks for reading to the end of this In-Depth Post, it’s been a long one and I appreciate your attention. 


Until next time, 


In-Depth Post #2

Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening. 

Wherever you are, welcome to my second In-Depth Post! My In-Depth project is about how we can design buildings so that they are fully accessible to anyone with a disability.  

I will first be covering the different types of disabilities that people can have and how buildings are designed to help these people access them. 

  • Blindness 

People who are blind can be partially blind or completely blind. A person who is partially blind may have some form of vision but may have difficulties in distinguishing between different colours. Therefore, at the top and bottom of stairs there are tactile warnings in the form of little raised bumps. They let a person with limited vision feel that they are coming to the edge of a stair or platform. On the stairs themselves there will usually be a nose that is raised and a different colour to help people who are partially blind see where the edge of the step is.  

For example, here are the stairs in the foyer.

  • Paralyzed 

If a person has some form of paralysation, they will probably use a wheelchair. Therefore, doorways should be wide enough for the person’s wheelchair to fit through. If there are multiple levels to a building, then there should be an elevator for the person to travel between the floors. However, if there is a fire, then the elevators will stop working. That means that the person in a wheelchair would be stuck on their current floor. That is why Areas of Refuge are built into taller buildings like high rises. They are generally off to the side of fire escapes and are rated to stop a fire for one hour. This means that there is one hour for firefighters to go and get the people waiting in an area of refuge to safety.  

Another feature used to help people who use a wheelchair is door openers. These simple buttons are very important for buildings to have. Door openers allow people in a wheelchair to open the door without having to prop the door open. 

Here is the front door to Gleneagle Secondary. You can see the door open button in the right side of the picture.


If the entrance to the building is on a different level, then ramps have to be built for people in a wheelchair, or people with mobility problems to get to the door. 

One thing that I noticed at Gleneagle Secondary was the front desk. Our school has a tall front desk that people in a wheelchair wouldn’t be able to look over. I think that this is an example of not thinking about people with disabilities when the front desk was designed. 


  • Deaf 

For people who are deaf, hearing loops can be built into the building. Sound proofing can also be installed to reduce the amount of noise that bounces around the building. This is important because if a person is using hearing aids, the background noise can be too loud and prevent them from hearing what the person right next to them just said. 


I had one meeting with my mentor on Friday, February 11th, and another meeting on Thursday, February 17th. Annerieke and I talked about different methods that are used to help people with disabilities access buildings. The methods we talked about got are shown above. 


I have three goals that I want to accomplish between now and the next In-Depth post. 

  1. My first goal is to take measurements of different doorways at Gleneagle Secondary and see if they are different sizes based on location or the room that they open into. 
  1. My second goal is to get an accessibility rating scale from the Rick Hanson Foundation and see where Gleneagle Secondary is on the scale to get a better understanding of how accessible it is. 
  1. My third goal is comparing my findings about how wide the doors at Gleneagle Secondary to how wide Ebba’s wheelchair is. For those who do not know who Ebba is, Ebba is a Paralympic rower from Sweden who is currently taking Kinesiology at the University of British Colombia and training at Inlet Rowing Club in Port Moody. 

Thanks for reading this In-Depth Post. 


Until next time, 


In-Depth Post #1 2022

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening.

Where ever you are, welcome to my In-Depth introductory post! My In-Depth project is how we can design buildings that they are fully accessible to anyone with a disability.

When my family hosted a Paralympic rower from Sweden for two months, it really opened my eyes to how difficult it was for her to get around because she is in a wheelchair. I really started to notice that some trails around my house are accessible and others aren’t. This was when I really started to want to learn more and try to make a difference in the world so that people with disabilities can get around easier.

After doing my Eminent Person Project on Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who was a pioneer of Para-sports, I felt that doing something that would tie into paraplegics would keep the theme of Para-Sports running throughout the year.

I was able to find a mentor in early January. My mentor’s name is Annerieke Van Hoek, Architect AIBC, MRAIC, LEED AP, MScA, and BScA. So far, I have only been doing research because I haven’t been able to find a meeting time with my Annerieke. Some of the questions I was planning on asking in our first meeting are, “Why are cities built without people with disabilities in mind?” “Does price affect how many curb cuts, elevators, ramps, etc. are build?”

Hopefully, between now and the next blog post, I am able to set up a meeting time. If not, by backup plan will be to send my questions in an email and communicate like that.

Until next time,


John Maxwell Blog Post Assignment

I found the John Maxwell videos very interesting as I could make connections between the Leadership traits that I saw in the videos and the traits that I experience during T.A.L.O.N.S. trip planning and other events. 

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.” -M. Scott Peck, Page 18 

I chose this quote because in T.A.L.O.N.S. we often have lots of different projects that we have to work on at the same time. To me this quote describes that unless you value yourself, you won’t value the time that you have. I find it quite relevant to myself because sometimes I don’t do my work until the day before it is due. I do not understand the value in myself because I don’t value the time that I am given to work on projects. It will help me further my leadership skills because it helps me to make better use of my time so that I can get more work done in the same amount of time. This will be extremely relevant to the rest of my time in the T.A.L.O.N.S. program, especially after winter break, because of all the event planning we will be doing. If I am not taking the time to value myself and my own time, the time that I have to work on the projects will be wasted on other things. Therefore, I am going to embody this quote and not faff around until the day before the project is due, I will get started as soon as I get the project. I think that it will not only help me get my work done, but I will also have time to support my classmates in their work if they need help. 

“The Vision Challenge” -Page 14 

I found the vision challenge very interesting because during trip planning someone often comes up with a vision but sometimes, I find it hard to work with or accept the vision they came up with. That is why this is one challenge that I am going to refer to often because before I would experience it, but I didn’t know what it was and didn’t know how to work with it. One way I can learn to work with the vision is by placing the group’s needs first. This means that even if I think about doing something else, I should instead ask why we chose that option and learn to be understanding and accepting so I can be more involved with the group. Another way I can work with the vision is by understanding the role that I have to play. That means that if I am supposed to be making the route plan, I shouldn’t be trying find the best campsite; instead, I should focus on the role that I have to play and collaborate with the people who are planning the campsites so that the route is close to the campsites. I think that the vision challenge will be very useful when the trip planning starts because of all the different tasks that will have to be done for the trip planning to go ahead. 

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership” -Dwight Eisenhower, Page 27 

I find this quote funny and useful at the same time because it says that if you are hitting people over the head (or telling them what to do) it’s not leadership. You are just forcing them to do what you want them to do. I find that this can be applied to T.A.L.O.N.S because if I am planning a trip and someone isn’t doing something right, and I go and tell them what they have to do, that is not leadership. Leadership is helping the person understand what they have to do in a positive way. You don’t get people doing what you would like them to do by forcing them to do it or telling them everything they are doing wrong and how they have to fix it. It will further advance my leadership skills because it reminds me that to get people to do something I would like them to do, I can’t force them to do it. It also tells me that leadership isn’t telling them what to do every minute they are doing a task, leadership is helping people to achieve their potential and assisting them when they get stuck on a task. I think that this idea is of the most relevancy to myself because I will have to do a lot of leadership work when the trip planning starts. 


To sum up my considerations of these three quotes, I think that a person who wants to display good leadership qualities has to have all of the above skills in order to be an effective leader in any situation. 

Learning Center: Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann

By Matthias

Dear visitor,

Welcome to the Night of the Notables! My chosen eminent person is Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann.

I suggest watching the videos in numerical order as things will make more sense, but you do not have to.

For a better experience, I suggest watching the videos in fullscreen mode.

Please feel free to ask a question or leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

1. Here is my video about his lifetime:

2. Here is my video about some of his major accomplishments:


3. Here is my video about my interview with Elisabeth Walker-Young:

4. Here is my video about his Noteworthiness

Thank you for taking the time to view my learning center, please feel free to ask a question or leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

A very informative documentary that I came across while doing my research is called “Rising Phoenix” and I highly recommend watching it. You can find “Rising Phoenix” on Netflix or clicking on this hyperlink:


PowerPoint Bing Images

Practice Interview Reflection

Eminent Person Practice Interview Reflection 

I think that doing the practice interview was important because it helped me to realize what parts of my interview skills I needed to work on. I was also able to learn from other’s interviews and improve my own interview skills. For example, one of my classmates had really good questions, spoke in a really clear and calm voice, and all the different parts in her interview flowed together and made the interview go smoothly without pauses. I could work on my skills by building off of some of the skills that they used in their interview. When I did my interview, the conversation didn’t flow very well, and I didn’t have good transitions from one of my questions to the next. This made my interview sound very jerky because the first questions that I asked had simple answers and then the next question I asked had a very detailed answer. If I were to do my interview again, I would make sure that I had a good transition between my closed questions and my open questions so that it would be like a piece of music where it grows in intensity instead of going from a piano to a fortissimo in one quarter note. If I tried to go from a piano to a fortissimo in one quarter note it would be super soft and then would be so strong it wouldn’t fit together. That is why I need to make sure that the transitions between questions in my interview make sense and don’t jump around otherwise it will sound like I don’t know what I am doing.  

Another thing that I need to work on is speaking in a clear and calm voice because I ended up speeding up my words and then it is really hard to have a proper conversation. I also start talking with more intensity in my voice, so it makes it seem that I am stressed or rushed and then it makes me seem unprofessional. 

To conclude, I need to work on making my questions fit together and speaking in a clear and calm voice so that I am easy to understand, and my interviewee doesn’t have trouble understanding any of my questions.