A lot of fuss has been made about accessibility issues at Ryerson over the last few years. With the Master Plan under way, we’ve learned just how old, decrepit and impossible to access pretty much all of our buildings are.
One of the biggest victims is Ryerson’s underground gym, with a daunting flight of stairs leading to the Recreation and Athletics Centre. Although elevators exist, finding a student who knows they do isn’t easy.
It’s a problem the school plans on changing when our gym moves two blocks north to Maple Leaf Gardens.
But although we might be starting to see physical changes, the biggest change that is necessary for this school to move forward is an attitude change.
This week sports editor Erin Valois launches Minority Report, a three-part series dealing with minorities in the athletics communities, starting with a look at how Ryerson athletics caters to athletes with disabilities.
One of the best points in the story is made by University of Illinois coach Mike Frogley. He explains that student athletes don’t get a lot of attention in Canada anyways, making it that much tougher for wheelchair sports.
That attitude, that there is a priority on varsity sports, is systemic. It’s why we don’t get nearly the same coverage of the Paralympics only a few weeks after being gripped by the Olympics.
But although it might be easy to come up with an easy reason for this dilemma, it doesn’t mean that it’s excusable. The choice between what is right and what is easy is never simple.