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Investigating campus accessibility changes
BY BRENT EISENBARTH
Beyond adding physical changes, the Disabilities
Resources Department also restructured its testing policy in
coordination with the Learning Commons.
How high should an elevator button be? Are the doors "We have a very user-friendly testing procedure which
wide enough? How is the lighting? What is needed to we have been perfecting over the past five years," said
create an inclusive, accessible environment for students and Georgie Bodgan, associate disability services coordinator.
accessibility, some are still eager to see more changes,
like senior Paris El-Ali, a member of the Accessibility
"There should be an evaluation of every building here
on campus, specifically residence halls and theme houses,"
said El-Ali in an email interview. "Those are currently not
'Five years ago we probably had 20 students testing (in the inclusive and accessible spaces on campus.'
The Accessibility Subcommittee, a subset of the Diversity Learning Commons) — now we probably have 220.
Committee, seeks to answer these tricky, but critical. The Disability Resources Department also provides
questions. The subcommittee aims to satisfy the needs of students with recording pens, visual aids and an electronic
Guilford College's diverse campus by building thoughtfully note taking system.
and making information accessible. Implementing With around 350 students with documented disabilities,
accessibility is important to support Guilford's core value Guilford has the highest percentage of students with
"Our job is to make
sure that classes and the
curriculum are accessible
across the board so
that everyone has the
opportunity to get a degree
from Guilford College,"
said Melissa Frink, head
of the subcommittee and
director of the Learning
the Accessibility Plan
and universal design into
design attempts to create buildings, courses, products
and information so that the maximum number of people
possible can use them.
"Simple things don't have to cost a lot, but well-thought-
out things can make a really big difference," said Pam
Brown, Guilford County Schools teacher of the visual
impaired. "For example, the height at which you place a
braille sign... would (people) be able to reach it?"
Last summer, the subcommittee coordinated with facility
management to install door openers inside of Hege-Cox
Hall and add a ramp. Over the years, they have installed
other ramps and door openers across campus.
disabilities compared to colleges of similar size and missions.
Senior Michael Delson expressed similar sentiments in an
email interview. "Archdale, Dana and the dormitories are
not accessible," he said.
"I now sit on the physical plans committee, which is
something new this semester," said Bodgan "(This) is a
big step I think, for communicating across campus for all
our students ... Whenever a building is renovated or there
is a large construction
project, I (will now) get
to use my expertise in
"I think it speaks to the spirit of this college. They know they hove o great thing, and they accessibility and universal
wont os many people as possible to take advantage of this place. They don't want to leave dSfronl""'*’
anyone out for any reason."
Pam Brown, Guilford County Schools teacher of the visually impaired
"I think it speaks toihe spirit of this college," said Brown.
"They know they have a great thing, and they want as many
people as possible to take advantage of this place. They
don't want to leave anyone out for any reason."
Sophomore CCE student Avi Dintenfass attributes much
of Guilford's success with accessibility to its faculty.
"There are really amazing people at Guilford College,
like Georgie Bogdan and (Assistant Academic Dean for
Advising and Academic Support) Barb Boyette, who
are truly excellent at what they do here," said Dintenfass
concerning her experience with the Disability Resources
While many praise the College's commitment to
stress that education and
partnership with other
campus organizations are
key in generating more
"There are times
when we're not thinking all the way through ... when we
do something," said Jorge Zeballos, director of diversity
training and development. "When we renovate a building,
when we create a new initiative, are we taking into thought
access all the way around?"
Commuruty members are encouraged to attend the
subcommittee's bimonthly meetings and check out their
guiding plan on the Guilford website.
"Our department follows the values that Guilford College
follows in its core curriculum in its everyday business," said
Bodgan. "My hope is that our department can educate
and be a resource for the Guilford community to have the
core values reach as many people as possible."
this week’s developments
Samir Hazboun (president). Justin Przezdz.ieckt (vice president)Daniel. Veizaga:;.( IGC chair)v
Nick Huckins (secretary) and Josh Strassburger (treasurer) presented,on the committees they
attended during the board .of trustees meeting in October.
Students also voiced questions they wanted to ask President Kent Chabotar when he speaks at
Senate.on Honday, Nov. 18, and trustees Esther. Hall and Lionel Johnson on Dec, .2
next week’s plans
Kent Chabotar will speak about his time at Guilford and will also field questions from the
We need to hear your voice. Have an idea? Concern?
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Compiled by Samir Hazboun, Community Senate president