|Thursday, October 21, 1999||
Volume 65, Issue 43
Mitchell on whining
Ed De La Garza
Accessibility not 100% ... yet
Earlier this month, UH President Arthur K. Smith signed a Students Association bill requiring campus convenience stores to remain wheelchair accessible.
This, of course, is a good thing. However, it should never have become a problem.
Apparently, store managers were arranging their aisles to where wheelchairs were unable to roll through. Even people who move without the aid of a wheelchair were having trouble walking through the aisles.
Smith can be praised for his efforts to improve the way of life for every student at UH, but it shouldn't stop there.
What about the classrooms with desks bolted to the floor? Non-handicapped people can barely squeeze their way through the desks. There are classrooms in Agnes Arnold Hall that are hard to walk into because the desks are so close to the walls and each other.
Not only the classrooms, but the University Center Underground is tough for handicapped students to wheel through. In order to just get to the door, students on wheelchairs must go through a ramp that rides side to side before finally getting to the entrance.
Apparently, a simple ramp that goes straight to the door is too much to ask for. Also, one can only get to the third floor of the Roy G. Cullen building by using the stairs. Obviously, only those who can walk are able to get to the third floor.
What happens on the third floor? There is a classroom up there and the creative writing department occasionally holds readings in that classroom. Unfortunately, handicapped people cannot attend those readings.
Finally, in the computer labs in the communication building, handicapped students have complained about not being able to reach the keyboard because the desks are too low and too close together.
Many aspects of the university are accessible to each and every student, but some of the simplest of things are causing difficulties for the paying handicapped student.
However, thanks to Smith, the school is moving in the right direction
as far as improving these situations.