As stated on the ADA government website, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation. It is important for our community on campus to understand and respect this act. As always we must strive to make our campus community a better place for everyone to ensure the happiness and quality of life for those who are attending Emory & Henry.
This week, we look to Fulton/Miller as our focus of critical examination. As the majority of us know, this building is without an elevator and there is no ground level entrance. This means that you must go up or down stairs in order to reach any floor of the building. Therefore anyone with an injury or is handicapped could not take a class there. A specific example is that a handicapped student could not take the Astronomy class that is offered as they would not be able to access the Creed Fulton observatory.
With the continuing renovations and construction taking place on campus many of us are still questioning why certain buildings were not updated to acquire these standards before the construction of the newer buildings. Miller and Martin-Brock are not the only buildings that do not fulfill these requirements. Though looking at any building outdated as much as Miller/Fulton should be receiving a significant amount of attention.
Fiona Edwards, an exchange student from Exeter University commented on the lack of access. “The issue is that all access points have stairs if you want to get to a room there. It’s completely inaccessible if you are in a wheelchair. Well, if you had a ramp for the door by Shannon’s office, at least people could get to the second floor. But the building is unlikely to get an elevator. It’s too compact,” Edwards said.
Sam Page, a Sophomore also commented on the issue. “I feel like the school … cannot boast about achievements in inclusiveness if the school does not look to better serve the needs of America’s elderly and handicapped population. Better ramp systems or even shuttle systems are needed and should be factored into the school’s plans for revamping the campus,” said Page. This is something that has been noticed by students and is a large issue. Though the remaining question that is hanging in the air is when will the ADA requirements receive the attention they deserve?
– Hailey Ellis