Accessibility limited for handicapped students


Students constantly complain about having to hike the steep staircase of Case Hall to get to class. For the students on campus with injuries and disabilities, the complaints are legitimate. They aren’t just happening because students are sore from practice or tired from staying up late – the hall isn’t handicap accessible and it isn’t the only building on campus not to be.

Baker is good at accommodating students who have disabilities if their classes aren’t on the main level of a building like Case, but the number of buildings on campus that don’t have accessibilities for people with injuries or disabilities is just limited to classrooms. Other places like greek houses and Liston Stadium aren’t designed to easily accommodate a person with a handicap or disability.

Alpha Chi Omega sorority recently had a ramp built at its house and has bedrooms on the ground floor, but most other houses on campus don’t have those conveniences.

Liston Stadium has seating if you’re in a wheelchair, but the fan must sit on the visitors side rather than in the home seats with friends and other Baker University fans.

Even though the university will move classes from halls such as Case or Pulliam so handicapped students can still be in the class, professors’ and department offices are still located in those buildings, making it impossible for students to access without making special plans ahead of time to meet elsewhere. Something as simple as turning in paperwork could turn into asking a friend to do it or making arrangements to meet a department secretary or professor in advance for a task so small.

Unless it directly affects you or someone you know, this isn’t something people might realize. However, it only takes an injury to prevent a student from sitting on the home side of Liston Stadium or going to a professor’s office to ask a question.

Some buildings cannot be rebuilt or changed to accommodate disabilities, but administration should make every effort to fix the ones that can be fixed, greek houses should do what they can to make their shelters accessible, and students should make an effort to be more aware of the difficulties facing a person with a disability.