Our Reader: Accessibility meeting should be held in location closer to main campus
Today, various campus stakeholders who are connected to disability access are meeting to form a temporary working group named Promoting Accessible SU. We are a group of disabled students, some of whom were invited to participate in the temporary working group that are refusing to attend. Many of us have been in talks with members of the administration for months on issues of access that affect students with disabilities on our campus.
Though we were pleased at what felt like progress in the formation of this working group, we were disappointed to see the location of the meeting was on South Campus. As students, getting to South Campus is time-consuming and difficult, and for students with disabilities, it can be even more challenging.
We originally asked that either the location be moved to main campus or transportation be provided. Though there was willingness to provide accessible transportation, as we continued in discussion with each other, we found that location was not the only access barrier.
To ensure disabled students’ equal participation in a working group about campus accessibility, we believe the meeting needs to be in an easy to access location; that flexibility be allowed given student class schedules; that there is a wide and diverse range of student representation; that disabled faculty and staff are also widely represented; and most importantly, when we bring up concerns of access, they are quickly heeded.
This is not what has happened in the organization of this working group. We are invested in improving the experiences of students with disabilities on this campus. But it cannot be done in an inaccessible, inflexible location which prevents students with disabilities from participating.
Without a representative group of students with disabilities, this working group is made up of a majority of non-disabled administration. And to echo a cry from the disability rights movement — there should be nothing about us without us. That is not what is happening today.
Citizenship and Civic Engagement/Political Science
Published on February 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm