Utah State University Setting the Standard for Accessibility in Secondary Education
- Published on Thursday, 01 March 2012 00:03
Quinn Prince became completely blind at the young age of 2, due to a genetic disease that caused his retinas to separate. However, that has not hindered him from setting high goals for himself. The University he is attending is making his quest for higher education easy.
Now, attending Utah State University as a history major and in his fourth year there, he speaks of how considerate students and staff alike have been. With the aid of a cane and an assistant, he makes his way around campus rather easily. Prince said USU is a popular university for blind and visually impaired students to attend because of their supportive attitude to accommodate them. Price is especially pleased with how helpful and friendly the Disability Resource Center has been by ensuring he receives his class work and appropriate materials, in addition to assistance with taking tests. The DRC strives to create USU an accessible place for students with disabilities to be able to further their education.
According to the DRC director, Daine Baum, there are 900 students in attendance that have reported some type of disability. USU does not just focus on aiding the visually impaired, but anyone with a disability. Jacob Johnson, a freshman, commented on how the university is very handicap-accessible. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that he has not had difficulties accessing any building on campus in his motorized wheelchair.
All the buildings across campus have ramps, elevators and handicap doors to provide the best accessibility available to all students. Baum is in charge of making sure the campus is handicap accessible and all ramps, elevators and doors are in good working order. When she finds something not working properly, it is promptly taken care of. Baum even rides around campus in a motorized chair to ensure nothing is overlooked, like small things that a person without a disability would have a hard time finding or realizing is a problem. USU also caters to deaf and hearing-impaired students by hiring adequate interpreters. Among the small deaf community at USU they have the American Sign Language Club that offers classes to learn American Sign Language and also about the deaf culture. The club is enjoyed by many students on campus, hearing-impaired or not.