Thursday, December 14, 2006

Accessibility in Public Schools                                                

I took this photograph in my daughter's
elementary school today.  Next year, her
classroom will be up these stairs.   There
is no elevator in the building and definitely
no money to have one built.  I'm not going
to name names, but when I asked someone
in authority how I would get to her classroom
next year, he flippantly responded, "Oh, we'll
just put you on a forklift and put you through
a window, or something".  No, he was not

Contrary to popular belief, not all public places
need to be wheelchair accessible.  When asking
people if a certain place is wheelchair accessible,
I often receive this response, "Well of course
it is.  It has to be!"  Not true.  In the case of my
daughter's public school, "reasonable accomodations
need to be made".  (And even that is a gray area
since I am only a parent and not a student.)
The only solution to this problem was that her
classroom would be moved to the lower level,
which is wheelchair accessible.  The problem is,
both the teachers of the grade she'll be in next
year have been there for many, many years.
They've been in the same classroom for I don't
even know how long.  Who wants to be a pain
in the ass and make one of these teachers move
their classroom to the main level?  Not me.

I thought the iBOT was going to solve this dilema.
However, I was just looking at this photograph 
and I see that the railing does not extend beyond
the top step.  In order to get up the steps by
myself, the railing needs to extend a bit beyond
the last step.   Surely the school district will add
a railing???  We'll see...

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