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Opinion

In a perfect world: accessibility on campus

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By Talia Perrea
Visionary Editor

While St. Michael’s College is a pretty accessible campus, there are things that can still be done to help improve the accessibility. Antonia Messuri, the Director of Academic Support Services here at the college, believes in taking it “one door at a time.”

This is a good place to start said Joel Ribout, associate director of Facilities,Planning and Construction. This year alone his team has already added in an automatic door opener to the mailroom, and are about to add one into the front doors of McCarthy Arts Center in the upcoming weeks.

In a perfect world Ribout would love to be able to buy more snow removal equipment, replace the walkways, and have two elevators in every building, so if one breaks they still have a working one.

Currently the school doesn’t have the budget, to help Ribout’s perfect world come to life. He said he’s doing what he can with the budget he has.

Renovations around campus aren’t the only things that can be done to help students with disabilities. Leslie Turner, Testing Center Coordinator, says it’s nice to give people the option to ask for help, such as asking if someone wants you to carry their bag or push their wheelchair. She recommended reaching out to students who you see that are struggling, to see if they need any help, and to make eye contact when addressing other students.

Patrick Standen, an instructor of philosophy, also had a message to share about accessibility. “If you remove the attitudinal barriers, you will remove the architectural barriers,” Standen said. He explained that if you change how you see the world and think about it, everything else follows. “If you believe people with disabilities have an equal right to be and have access to education and all those resources, then suddenly you will find the way to make it happen,” Standen said.

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