Hayley Ackerson – 1851 Staff
During my freshman year, something happened I will never forget. I saw one of my fellow students try to get his wheelchair through the cafeteria door. The people walking in front of him didn’t look behind to see if he needed help and he was left struggling alone. Having a grandfather who had ALS makes it easy for me to feel for disabled students since I watched him struggle for two years. Lasell needs to become more handicap accessible for disabled students to make maneuvering around campus easier.
Making the campus more handicap accessible will be extremely expensive. It can be argued students with physical handicaps can have classes and live on the first fl oor of buildings. That is easy to say when you are not handicapped. Just because somebody cannot walk does not mean they should be limited to their access of buildings. Spending the money on elevators, ramps, and the troubles of building them will be worthwhile for these students.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, any public and commercial facilities built after July 1992 must comply with certain architectural guidelines that ensure accessibility for all people. The problem on many campuses, including ours, is the buildings were constructed before the 1990 Act. There needs to be an elevator in every building so that these students can get to where they need to go without trouble.
At the town meeting on October 1, President Alexander announced an elevator being built in Wass in the near future, which is a start to this change. Buildings designated as accessible on campus are diffi cult to enter or only accessible on the first floor. Every building needs to be
handicap accessible. Although the planning that goes into this will take time, we need to realize how hard it is for these students to go about their everyday lives.
The campus needs to strive to make disabled students feel more comfortable getting through a school day. Making this change will hopefully motivate other colleges to do the same. These students need all the help they can get and Lasell should be willing to do this.