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Blog #2 – Are We Taking Care of Our Students With Disabilities?

I thought it would be appropriate to blog about accessibility and disability awareness issues, since today I spent 7 hours in a wheelchair for an outside experience. This experience has definitely given me a lot to think about in terms of what life is like for those in wheelchairs, which I will write about in more detail for that assignment. For this blog I would like to focus on the issues of accessibility and accommodation. I found an article from the BG News from October of 2007 talking about programs that the university has to help students with physical or mental disability.


At the time that the article was written, there were more than 600 students with disabities, including hearing, visual, mobility and learning impairments. Robert Cunningham, the head of disability services at BGSU stated, “They have the same opportunity to hopefully succeed, or fail. There’s no guarantee, just because you have a disability,” Cunningham said. “But what we don’t want to see happen is that the disability is the determining factor as to whether they fail, should they fail.”

The article does go on to point out that the entire campus is not handicap accessible, specifically Hanna and Mosley Halls. However, it also points out that University policy is that, if a person who is unable to get to these buildings wants a class offered in them, the University will move the class to an accessible location. This is good, though obviously not the most ideal scenaio, which would be an entirely accessible campus.

Still, there are a few other things which I have realized after my wheelchair experience can be minor inconveniences, such as extensive sidewalk cracking and the high of printers in the computer labs. However, I don’t think that the negatives necessarily overweighed the positives. As the article states, and the many helpful people I encountered reinforced, there are a great many things done to help people who find themselves in unfortunate situations. That said, however, we should always look to improve to make things better for everyone in the university community, no matter their physical abilities.

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