Making UW-W more accessible for everyone

As a visually impaired student, I take notice of how accessible Whitewater is to handicapped students.

For years UW-Whitewater has been known for its accessibility accommodations for students with disabilities.

With in-class and out-of-class aids, extended time for test-taking, and buttons which open doors for students in wheelchairs, the university has proven to be one of the more accessible universities in the University of Wisconsin System.

However, more could be done to make UW-Whitewater even better for disabled students:

Problem: Microwaves in Starin Hall suites and residence hall kitchens are not accessible to students with visual impairments.
Solution: Obtain microwaves with raised buttons which can be felt, or mark existing microwaves and ovens.

Problem: Dishwashers in Starin Hall suites are not accessible to students with visual impairments.
Solution: Put labeling on dishwashers—this can be as simple as a dot at the point at which students should set dishwashers for a normal wash.

Problem: Purple Points machines in laundry rooms of all dorms are not accessible to students with visual impairments.
Solution: Put Braille labels on the touch-screens of Purple Points machines or make them talk.

Problem: Sidewalks and curb-cuts not sufficiently clear of snow in winter, making it difficult for students in wheelchairs to get to and from campus buildings.
Solution: Get more snowplow teams out on the streets earlier in the day.

Problem: ATM machines in the University Center and Wells Hall not accessible to the blind.
Solution: Obtain the speech output software for ATM machines—then students would simply need to plug a pair of earbuds in and choose their transaction options independently.

I am not suggesting the university should cater to disabled students to the point of hand-holding or program-simplifying.

I am merely stating more could be done to make UW-Whitewater live up to the reputation of being a disability-friendly institution.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email