Crutches create campus calisthenics

Rachel Hettrick, IVLeader Columnist

Well I never expected to be exploring the issues in this column, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Due to a run in with an SUV, I’ve been on crutches for a week and have been trying to navigate the handicapped facilities at IVCC. My first impression was, they need a little work. Elevators are located in odd places, the routes to avoid steps are long and hard to find and the campus is HUGE. I asked faculty member Betsy Klopcic and she talked through a few of the issues for me. One thing I had not considered was the different types of disabilities the campus had to be made safe for. I was on crutches, but there are others in wheelchairs and such that have to be accommodated to.  Also, the accessibility of the campus has to be checked in ways I never even imagined. For example, even locks on bathroom doors have to be made according to the ADA laws. Klopcic told me that the administration, in her experience, does a good job at hearing out and trying to help everyone find something that works for them, according to their disability. The one area she expressed concern on was the handicapped parking. When the new tech center is going to be built, what will happen to all the handicapped parking by the Cultural Centre? I think this issue is definitely one that should be studied, as most of the other handicapped parking is nowhere near the school. The main issue I have faced in my days on crutches is simply the school doors. A few of the handicapped buttons do not work and some doors don’t have them. However, I propose a very easy solution to this problem. If you see someone struggling to open a door, help them! Most people I have encountered are very nice about this. We may not be able to magically move the elevators or find new parking, but we can all help IVCC be more handicapped friendly through our actions. Happy holidays and to quote the famous crutched kid, “God bless us, every one.”