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Reflection Of Handicap Access Experience Essay

1405 words - 6 pages

The access experience was physically exhausting, yet enlightening, while being extremely frustrating all at the same time. It was physically exhausting due to the lack of upper body strength that I had, enlightening because the majority of people offered to help me get where I needed to be, and frustrating because of the amount of ice on the ramps, as well as how many doorways were barely wide enough for the wheelchair. Along with the physical and emotional aspects of this project, I encountered numerous barriers, making the experience that much more challenging.

I was aware of my lack of upper body strength before, but this experience highlighted my weakness.The wheelchair should not ...view middle of the document...

Not only was the door to heavy, the soap dispenser and sinks were too high up. Reaching up for the soap was such an awkward and uncomfortable situation because one's body is not supposed to stretch that way. Once I finally applied the soap I noticed the sink was at eye level with me, which meant my hands were above my chest and I again had to awkwardly stretch to clean them.

The other extremely frustrating experience that I had was how much ice was on the handicap accessible things, but cleared on stairs for able bodied individuals. I was so irked that no one cleared the huge amounts of ice that appeared on all of the ramps I encountered. The ramp connected to Scott Hall was unacceptable. With the thick patches of ice all along the ramp it was truly a strenuous task. Once finally proceeding down the ramp, there was another enormous issue. The snowbanks were too high up for cars to notice me, therefore it took several minutes to cross the street. The most efficient way for me to get across the street securely was to cross with my peers. Both of these issues are completely avoidable, which is why I was so exasperated by it. The person who cleared the stairs should have also cleared the ramp as well as contacting someone to take care of the gigantic snowbanks.

The most common barriers that I can across was the doorways were way too small. Starting with the doorway on the second floor of Scott South Hall. The doorway was only 2 ft. 6 ½ inches wide, so I had to take an extremely wide turn to align with it and then take both hands to push myself through. Scott Hall is the newest residence hall so I thought the doorways would have been wide enough to maneuver through, however I was wrong.

I was also shocked that the South Dining Hall doorway was as small as it was. So many students go in and out of the dining hall I thought it was going to be the most accessible place on campus.The doorway was only 2 feet, 7 inches wide and with people entering and exiting through the same door it was basically impossible to go through.

The other most recurring barriers were the lack of ramps. When I got to Dearborn I realized that there was no ramp upon entering the gym. I had to fold up the wheelchair and carry it inside. Dearborn is where basketball games, dance teams halftime shows and certain ceremonies are held, however due to the lack of a ramp individuals who use a wheelchair will not be able to partake in those activities.

The other locations that happened to have a lack of ramps were all of the residence halls. When it came time for my study group to meet in Mallet Hall, we had to change locations because there were only stairs leading to the building, which are not exactly wheelchair friendly. Since I could not get into Mallet Hall with my wheelchair our group met at the only...

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