Gender-inclusive signs coming to washrooms

Single-stall washrooms will soon be identified with gender-inclusive universal signing as part of the university’s continuing commitment to meet the needs of a diverse campus community.

More than 75 washrooms across campus are being posted with new signs to indicate what facilities are located inside – toilets, urinals, change tables, showers, and whether they are wheelchair accessible. The signing project is expected to be finished by the end of October.

The university has undertaken the sign modernization towards a long-term strategy for accessibility and gender inclusivity of more campus facilities, says Ron Proulx, executive director of facilities management.

“We are adapting the same universal standards and symbols that are used for public washrooms in many buildings and communities,” says Proulx. Many single-stall washrooms are currently designated with traditional male-and-female stick figures, while others have been marked for wheelchair access.  

The universal designation is particularly significant for the transgender and LBGTQ communities, those with disabilities, and those requiring privacy due to religious and cultural beliefs, says Grace Wong Sneddon, advisor for the provost on equity and diversity. Some single-stall washrooms are currently identified with dual stick-figure signs as gender-inclusive. Adopting universal symbols for these and many more washrooms across campus broadens support for the wellbeing of UVic’s diverse community, says Wong Sneddon.

“The gender-inclusive signs are a visible gesture that everyone is welcome to use these washrooms and indicate that these public facilities are accessible across our campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” says Wong Sneddon.

UVic values inclusivity and diversity on campus and is working on a number of initiatives specifically developed to support the transgender community. These include:

  • Identifying and creating scholarships and bursaries that are non-gender specific
  • Developing protocols across faculties and units to educate faculty members and staff about creating safe spaces and including gender-neutral language and name preferences
  • Professional and front-line staff in both Counselling and Health Services have been participating in specific professional development opportunities to improve and enhance their practices in support of LGBTQ and transgender students

In this story

Keywords: gender, health, administrative, student life

Related stories