Campus calls for further ADA accessibility efforts, initiatives

By Olivia Montes
News Co-Editor

As the 2022 spring semester continues, many members of the Washington College community are requesting the administration to prioritize providing further American Disabilities Act accessibility infrastructure and accommodations for students with disabilities.

According to Student Government Association minutes from March 1, when asked what ADA accessibility efforts and/or initiatives are being made, President of the College Dr. Mike Sosulski said that further ADA accessibility will be included in the campus-wide strategic plan to make “long-term changes in this area with a coordinated fundraising plan.”

According to Dr. Sosulski in the SGA minutes, Director of Facilities Stan Yeakel is currently “looking at opportunities for immediate improvement in ways that will make the campus more functional and accessible.” This includes formulating plans to install a new elevator at the Clifton M. Miller Library, according to previous Elm coverage.

“We want current and prospective students with different levels of mobility to have an equitable campus experience,” Dr. Sosulski said.

Additionally, according to previous Elm coverage, after many students expressed concern over the condition of on-campus spaces and facilities deemed unsafe or inaccessible to individuals with disabilities, several sidewalks came under review in hopes that further improvements would follow suit.

However, several WC students, staff, and faculty members continue to call for active efforts.

According to Chair of the Environmental Committee junior Kevin Denice, while beginning to rebuild many on-campus sidewalks is an “excellent” start, there needs to be further acknowledgment of all forms of ADA accessibility and collaboration between all different pillars of the campus community.

“I think more important is just a general willingness to work with students,” Denice said. “I would also highly encourage people that do not think they ought to speak up to do so regardless [because] I do think it is possible as an agent of change.”

According to Denice, students can continue to help further the movement through initiating “constructive conversations” between themselves and other fellow members of the College community, as well as to verbally advocate for projects to make the campus more physically accessible, including installing further entrance ramps to buildings such as Daly Hall and the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, similar to the one outside Minta Martin.

On the academic side, the Office of Academic Skills and Disability Services will continue to “provide disability access information, support, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities on campus,” as well as “to ensure that all students, employees, and visitors have equal access to programs and services available at the College,” according to the WC website.

According to OAS Disability Access Specialist and Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee Alex Crabtree, in addition to providing students with a wide range of academic accommodations — including extended timing and reduced distractions during tests and note-taking assistance — OAS also has two available types of assistive technology: LiveScribe pen and Glean for Education. These technologies allow students to record audio from class lectures, while the office continues to offer traditional peer note taker services.

Crabtree also said that one physical measure OAS has taken is installing lockers outside the office for students to “securely store their backpacks and belongings whenever they come to take a quiz or exam…to utilize their accommodations.” 

“It is important for the College to understand that providing accessibility and accommodations for students across campus creates a more equitable environment and experience for all,” Crabtree said. “The goal with promoting, implementing, and even improving accessibility and providing accommodations, is to create a place on campus where all students can partake in the same learning experiences without barriers.”

Incoming SGA Parliamentarian junior Maegan White echoed this sentiment.

“The biggest obstacle we have regarding ADA accessibility is resources,” White said. “The administration supports our initiatives, but they lack funding and resources to complete the projects students and faculty desire.”

White said that she, alongside Crabtree, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Sarah Feyerherm, and SGA Secretary of Student Life junior Kamden Richardson, among others, are currently working to bring forth several ADA accessibility and accommodation concerns. These include, according to Crabtree, noting the unevenness of bricks and walkways; the noticeable lack of entrance ramps; inoperable; or lacking access buttons on campus building doors; and emphasizing the need to expand time for card-carrying students to enter doorways.

“We have committed to plan, fundraise, and collaborate to have these projects completed, making our school better and more accessible for all,” White said.

As these plans continue to develop, the WC community is encouraged to keep the conversation going.

According to Crabtree, “by being unafraid to ask questions and spark healthy, civil discourse about these important issues; engaging in collaboration with each other between different offices and departments to meet students’ needs on a daily basis; and reporting accessibility issues and concerns,” the College community can further spread the importance of providing efficient accessibility and accommodations for all students across campus — and inspire further changes to be made.

“It is important that everyone works together if we are to truly have a more accessible campus for our entire community,” Crabtree said.

WC students, staff, and faculty members who have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding available accessibility or accommodations on campus can reach out to Crabtree at

Photo by Kayla Thornton

Featured Photo Caption: Several Washington College community members are asking administration to provide further accessibility for students with disabilities, such as a ramps (above).

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