Removing Barriers: A Case Study on Classroom Access

DO-IT Factsheet #193
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/articles?193

Background

My name is Sue and I have low back problems. I attend college on a large urban campus and use a motorized scooter for mobility.

Access Issue

Because of the size and design of my scooter, I cannot reach the door handle of my geology classroom door without assistance.

Solution

My geology instructor contacted staff in the physical plant department and requested a modification to the door. They lowered the pressure on the door hinge, making the door easier to open; purchased an extension grabber, so I could reach the door; and placed a magnet on the door and wall to hold it open, so I could maneuver through the doorway.

Conclusions

This case study illustrates the following:

  1. Students, instructors, and campus support staff who work together can create effective solutions to building-related access barriers.
  2. Universal design [1] of facilities can maximize access for all students and reduce the need for special accommodations.

References