Buildings on campus lack access for disabled students

Hogg Hall, home to Campus Life and Title IX offices.

Hogg Hall, home to Campus Life and Title IX offices.

Photos by Austin Drucker ‘17| The Lafayette

Recent construction around campus has made handicap access difficult, but improvements are being made.

”The College continues to work on, and invest in, improvements to physical accessibility wherever it can despite some of the obvious limitations due to the age and configuration of some buildings,” Mary-Wilford Hunt, director of facilities planning and construction, said. “Of course, all new construction and major renovations are designed to be in full compliance with [American Disabilities Act] requirements.”

Modifications have already been made on campus.

“One recent example of an improved physical accessibility modification is evidenced in the renovation of the outdoor terrace at Gilbert’s,” Wilford-Hunt said. “The grades leading up to the front door were modified this summer to allow greater accessibility to the building.”

Also, Grossman House, the international house on campus, was recently renovated to improve accessibility.

Handicapped and injured students still find difficulty navigating campus.

A recently injured female athlete, who wished to remain anonymous, described her daily struggle with her physical limitations and getting around campus, specifically to the athletic fields.

“Getting to the fields is definitely the worst, because it’s all either up or downhill and there are a lot of stairs, which were difficult for me since I had limited mobility,” she said. “It’s helpful that there are a lot of elevators around, but it has definitely been a challenge.”

“I need a car just to go to my off-campus doctor appointments and there aren’t enough handicapped parking spots on campus,” the female athlete said when asked what accommodations Lafayette could provide for handicapped students. “If someone who is handicapped needs to get to class or get around campus, it’s pretty difficult with driving and finding enough parking spots to do so. “

Another female athlete, who was put on crutches after injuring her foot, also felt the school could improve its accessibility.

“There are enough elevators and such, but Public Safety wasn’t much of a help with transportation. They were often late picking me up, or they would take forever. Getting to the fields wasn’t a big deal for me because my roommate…has a car, but I can tell you that if she didn’t, that would have been horrible.”

Buildings with front door handicap access include Farinon, Ramer History House, and Pardee. Buildings such as Markle and several residence halls lack front door accessibility.