Inclusion & Dialogue Center Lacks Wheelchair Accessibility

The Inclusion and Dialogue Center, also known as the I.D. Center or the Scarbrough House, is a historical building located in the center of campus.

The opening of the I.D. Center took place on September 22, 2016 with a ribbon cutting attended by President Schrum, Director of Student Activities Josh Von Castle, SGA President Chase Crickenberger, and SGA Senator Safa Farhoumand.

The mission statement for the center is as follows: “The Inclusion & Dialogue Center (I.D. Center) at Emory & Henry is a welcoming home for dialogue about topics surrounding diversity and inclusion. The I.D. center seeks to create engage, encourage, and empower a community that strives to be inclusive of all. Through social and educational programming, advocacy for social change, and by providing resources and support, the I.D. Center seeks to serve as a model for inclusive excellence and to be a safe place for all people to share their perspectives and experiences.”

As it is a historical building, there are reasons for attempting to alter the building as little as possible. However, some students at Emory & Henry have been concerned with the lack of inclusivity that the Center’s stairs-only entrance creates.

The building currently does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 , which prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation.

Mass Communications Sophomore Andrew McClung shared his thoughts on the matter. “There are many buildings on this campus without ramps. But if it is meant to be a center of inclusion then why isn’t there a ramp?”

Josh Von Castle, whose office is located in the I.D. Center, stated that they are working on the issue and intend on installing a ramp as soon as possible. Von Castle is the Area Coordinator and Director of Student Activities at E&H.

“The moment we decided that this building would be the Inclusion & Dialogue Center, we began conversations about that. I know that facilities has met with CFO Richard Gaumer as well as John Holloway about how we are going to build the ramp. So it is not about if we are going to build the ramp but when and how. We are having conversations about how we would alter a historic building and what is the best way to enter the building.”

– Hailey Ellis

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