Access complaints Double

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By Joshua Dvorkin

I have a physical disability. I do not let it define me, but it often makes me stand out from others.

On Feb. 24, my broadcast journalism class went to television studio C. We all took turns on camera and read from the teleprompter. I was the first one to volunteer to scroll the teleprompter in the control room.

But when I went to go into the control room I encountered a steop.

Faculty interrupted class and began to search for a ramp. It embarrasses me to feel singled out but it’s great to be able to do what everyone else is doing.

Lesley Salvadori, broadcast technician co-ordinator, said that the control room was not booked for that day because she was told that students were only going to use the studio floor, hence the lack of ramp. The ramp was there on Monday.

Situations such as out of service elevators can be a hassle for anyone with a mobility related issue, just as a traffic detour would upset any driver. Things break down, and people can only fix them as fast as they break.

Accessibility complainants more than doubled last year, said Nora Farrell, Ryerson’s Ombudsperson. There were 11 complaints raised during the 2007-2008 school year, with only five in the previous year.

It surprised me to find out that accessibility concerns have elevated last year, because I find the university to be fast and with good intent at creating an accessible environment

Stephanie Marinich-Lee, Access Centre co-ordinator, is also in a wheel-chair. Marinich-Lee is happy to “have personally found Ryerson to be very accessible and most recently I find the switch to vertical accessible door buttons have made it easier to use the entrances independently.”

I have personally seen Ryerson make many positive changes. The International Living and Learning Centre replaced their front driveway to make the entrance accessible. An individual accessible washroom was retrofitted and built on the first floor of the Rogers Communications Centre.

In my eyes, Ryerson makes a conscious effort to be both proactive and reactive when it comes to accessibility.


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