Grant Awarded for Accessible Doors at SEA Discovery Center

WWU's SEA Discovery Center, located in Poulsbo was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment for new ADA compliant front doors.

SEA was invited to apply for this funding through The Kitsap County Accessible Communities Advisory Committee. Kitsap County ACAC is committed to creating and supporting an inclusive community where all people have equal access.

The grant opportunity came about after Kitsap County's ACAC chairperson, Kris Colcock, visited SEA Discovery Center. Colcock lives on Bainbridge Island and is an advocate for individuals who are blind and disabled. She connected with SEA's Director of Outreach and Operations Bridget Anderson and volunteered to assist SEA in becoming a more accessible facility for the 20,000+ annual visitors.

“The Kitsap County Accessible Community Advisory Committee is an important part of my life. This committee does its best to bring awareness that individuals with disabilities have much to contribute to our world. By ensuring that places, like SEA Discovery Center, are accessible through universal design or through modification, means that our communities are richer for all,” said Colcock.

"The first project I mentioned to Kris was replacing our old, non-ADA compliant doors," said Anderson. "Our goal at SEA is to remove as many barriers as possible for our visitors. Some of the barriers are physical, like our doors, and some barriers we have already removed, such as no admission fee for visitors. We want everyone to feel welcome and have access to the aquarium so they can fully experience the Salish Sea animals and habitats."

As a self-supporting entity of WWU, SEA Discovery Center is responsible for raising 70% of its operating budget, and new doors did not fit into that budget, according to Anderson.

This funding also supports WWU's commitment to fostering an accessible, diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where all members of our community can thrive and succeed. SEA Discovery Center is part of WWU’s Outreach and Continuing Education Department. Located on the shores of Liberty Bay, in Poulsbo, WA, SEA inspires stewardship of the Salish Sea through engaging and informative marine aquarium exhibits. The aquarium is a self-sustaining program of Western Washington University and welcomes 20,000+ visitors annually and 600 local school children.