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Volume 72, Issue 47, Wednesday, October 25, 2006

News

Tour explores accessibility 

Awareness Day sheds light on hardships faced by the disabled on campus, poses solutions

by JENNIFER EARLY
THE DAILY COUGAR

Disability Awareness Day, an educational one-day event sponsored by the Justin Dart Jr. Center for Students with Disabilities, will feature a campus tour from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday.

The campus tour, open to everyone, will begin and conclude in the lobby of the Justin Dart, Jr. Center for Students with Disabilities.

Scott Crain, a counselor at the center, expressed the importance of the annual event.

"The purpose of this event is to increase awareness of, and educate our community about, the challenges that people who have all types of visual and mobility impairments face as they navigate the tours," he said.

Led by students with visual and mobile impairments, the tour will allow UH faculty, staff, administrators and students to navigate in a wheelchair and find handicap accessibility problems.

"A large committee of students, faculty and staff identified various locations they believe need accessibility improvements. These areas were then organized into four tour routes," Cheryl Amoruso, director of the Center for Students with Disabilities said.

"As [participants] progress along the routes, they are asked to complete a Campus Accessibility Needs Questionnaire to identify the areas they believe need improvement," Amoruso said. 

"This data is compiled and disseminated to interested persons, including Facilities Planning & Construction.

Examples of accessibility barriers include a lack of automatic door openers, potholes in sidewalks and inaccessible restrooms and water fountains, Amoruso said.

Crain said, "Your input will provide invaluable information to assist us in striving to maintain the University of Houston as one of the nation's most accessible institutions."

Participants in the tour should wear comfortable clothing and bring gloves and an umbrella in case of rain, Crain said.

Food at the lunch following the events will be provided by His Disciples Cooking Ministry, and Houston Coca-Cola will provide drinks.

CSD assists students with temporary or permanent health impairments, physical limitations, psychiatric disorders or learning disabilities.

For more information about the event, call (713) 743-5400.

 Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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