This week, quite a few members of The Scout ran into some misfortune. One broken foot, one broken toe and a car accident later, The Scout staff is left wondering where (and how) we stand.
We don’t know what it’s like to have a physical disability, but some of us experienced a taste of what people with disabilities have to handle on a college campus. Their daily routine is just one step more complicated than the routines of those without physical restrictions.
Campus accessibility, or lack thereof, makes this frustrating.
Bradley’s campus does have accessibility measures in place, and they are most likely to code. However, it doesn’t make it any easier to get around.
Campus is accessible in the most roundabout way. Students can get into Bradley Hall without using stairs, but they have to circle around to the back of the building for the elevator. Many of the accessibility features are incomplete, opening one door but not the next.
Further, there is no easy-to-find location on the website that lists which buildings are accessible to people with disabilities or if elevators are available. Off-campus housing is limited. Main Street Commons or the first floor apartments of St. James are an option, but students would have a hard time getting to the basement to do laundry if they’re using a wheelchair.
But, we’re not here to comment on campus issues.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into effect July 26, 1990. This act is meant to ensure people with disabilities equal rights to the same opportunities for employment, to purchase goods and services and to participate in state and local government programs as people without disabilities have.
People with physical disabilities should be able to go to classes, meet with professors and administrators and enjoy recreations just as easily as someone who doesn’t have a disability. Laws, such as the ADA, were created to ensure these rights.
However, many of us take this for granted.
Unless we have a family member or friend with a disability or have a disability ourselves, we don’t understand the issues or seemingly don’t care. In a parking lot, people might hear comments of, “Why can’t I park in the handicap spot?” or, “They don’t look like they have a disability.”
This kind of attitude is shameful, but many of us.
As students push through the busy week of midterms to get to fall break, we should take the time to think about different people’s struggles.