/University is working on campus issues of accessibility

University is working on campus issues of accessibility

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Jacob Barber

Staff Writer

A past article published in the Tropolitan encouraged University officials to improve the campus quality for students who have issues with accessibility, especially for those students who are wheelchair-bound.

A list of issues—including the need for more curb cuts, repaired sidewalks, added elevators and improved stairways—were compiled by Dean of Students, Herbert Reeves, on a tour around campus with several students.

In the intervening months, the university has made progress toward addressing these problems and ensuring the campus can provide all students with adequate access and convenience.

The first steps have already been made.

“The only thing that has been done at this point, as there was an exhaustive list made of things, is that there have been some curb cuts that have been done,” Reeves said.

Reeves also stated that various sidewalks have been redone, in order to provide both walking and wheelchair-bound students with a safer path, as they travel throughout the campus.

SCADA (Students Concerned About Disability Awareness) president, Elizabeth Chisholm, was quick to praise these developments.

“The first thing that we had a problem with was the sidewalks, that they were so cracked and if you’re riding a wheelchair over those things you’re going to fall out constantly,” Chisholm said.

“So this year, like Dean Reeves said he would do, he got those fixed and then if you look around on the heavy-travel sidewalks, you’ll see they’re shaved down to where they’re even. That’s a huge thing right there, something so little but so important.”

Chisholm also said that the buttons on the building are in much better condition, as far as the handicap buttons go for the doors.

“I’ve only found one or two that haven’t worked this year, which is a huge improvement from last year,” she said.

Chisholm specifically commended Dean Reeves’ efforts, saying, “He’s really done a lot. I mean, he had a long list of things to do but he’s already beginning to do stuff, so we’re very thankful for that.”

However, there is still work to be done.

“It’ll be an ongoing project,” Reeves said.

He cited the plans to add additional curb cuts and electronic doors, as well as add colored strips to steps to assist visually-impaired students who may have trouble with depth perception.

Chisholm also stressed the importance of curb cut additions, saying it was “the main thing” she could think of concerning further improvements.

Students who wish to get involved in the process of ensuring that the campus is disability-friendly have several options.

SCADA is planning several wheelchair days and a fundraiser is in the near future.

The group’s next meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. in room 119 of the Trojan Center.

“If there’s anything students see, they can call here or email me and see if it’s on the list. If it’s not on the list, we’ll add it to the list and continue to work toward completing this list,” Reeves said.