4 Th Daily Tar Heel Thursday, September i, 1977
Grad interns aid handicapped students in UNC orientation
By BEVERLY MILLS
For approximately 50 handicapped students, the rambling
UNC campus, with its hills, century-old buildings, and brick
sidewalks, is an intimidating obstacle course.
But because of special programs and architectural changes,
disabled students are finding the campus more accessible than
Graduate students Duane Anderson and Deborah Cherry,
intern coordinators for disabled UNC students, have been
working overtime since Aug. 19 to help orient handicapped
"Our major goal in helping handicapped students adjust is
to discover individual problems and combat those," Anderson
said. "We offer wheelchair and braille maps and information
on accessible buildings. If a blind student needs a reader, or a
Ruffin, Crimes and Craige dormitories have been altered to
house handicapped students with mobility problems. Two
women now live in Ruffin, and one man lives in Grimes.
Russell Perry, associate director of housing In charge of
maintenance, said the rooms are tailor-made for the
individual student. Closet rods and mirrors are lowered and
the study desk is raised.
"The cost of alterations can range from $8,000 to $62,000.
depending on what has to be done to a particular building,"
Peloquin said. "Each building is specific and unique."
One problem Anderson and Cherry have confronted is
getting classes moved to the buildings that are accessible to
students with disabilities. So far, a solution for every problem
has been found.
Anderson sees his role as an intern coordinator as three
fold. "My job is to be a resource person for the University
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Al Peloquin, architect and planner in the facilities planning
office, said the University is making progress in a program to
remove architectural barriers. At least 75 buildings, including
Kenan Stadium, Wilson Library, classrooms and three
dorms, are accessible to handicapped students.
"So far, we have spent $330,000 in four years to make
alterations in those buildings most easy to change," Peloquin
said. "I would estimate there is a million dollars worth of work
to be done."
The architectural changes started in January 1975 and
include building ramps, widening doorways, installing
elevators and modifying rcstrooms.
Peloquin followed guidelines in the section of the N.C.
State Building Code dealing with correcting architectural
barriers for the handicapped. His job is mainly concerned with
renovating many of the University's older buildings.
New buildings on campus will be completely accessible.
administration in solving problems for these students.
"We have identified about 50 handicapped students so far.
There are many more students with handicaps that either
don't need our assistance because they are already adjusted,
don't know about our services or are just used to ironing out
their own problems.
"We stress that any disabled students who need our
assistance with any problems should let us know."
The University is required under the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 to provide equal educational opportunities to
handicapped students, but Anderson said heightened
awareness of the needs of handicapped students actually
started in 1972.
"The University is cooperating and doing what it can,"
Anderson said. "The program is still in infancy stages, though.
1 would say that the University will be completely accessible
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Many University classrooms have ramps for use by handicapped students.
slow, expensive process."
staff photo by I. C. Barbour
Since 1973, the handicapped enrollment at UNC has
increased substantially. When handicapped students are
deciding whether to attend U NC,' they usually come to Chapel
Hill and travel around the campus.
. "Then these students decide for themselves if they can
handle it," Anderson said. "This is a difficult campus because
of its hills and the age of its buildings.
"1 think handicapped students have a positive attitude
toward the University," Anderson said. "These students are
not unrealistic enough to expect mammoth changes. It is a
"Handicapped students are just like people with blond hair.
They're different, but they're still individuals, still people.
Handicapped students are normal people with a problem, and
all of us have problems."
Students needing assistance with disability problems,
regardless of how small, should contact Anderson at 933
6787, Cherry at 967-3784, Peloquin at 966-1 57 1 or the student
affairs office in Steele Building.
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Continued from page 1.
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