The Collegian
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Students map out wheelchair accessability

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University of Richmond students participated in Campus Accessibility Day Wednesday and encouraged others to see the difficulties faced by people who use wheelchairs on campus.

The students, who are in professor Kim Klinker's class on "Introduction to Geographic Information Systems," have been finishing an accessibility map of campus that was started during the fall. The facilities department provided the students with information about accessible places on campus. The map, which shows routes on campus that avoid slopes and stairs, would serve as a tool for those on campus who use wheelchairs.

"This project will become an actual map used by our community and for that reason the students are highly motivated in doing an excellent job," said Lisa Miles, the coordinator of Common Ground, a sponsor of the event.

Klinker's students were in the Forum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. showing other students their accessibility maps and suggesting that they go around campus using only the routes on the map.

"We encouraged students to take the challenge to avoid stairs, curbs without curb cuts, and doors without automatic access throughout the day in order to gain a deeper understanding of the daily challenges facing individuals with mobility challenges," said Cloe Franko, one of Klinker's students.

Jonathan Mayfield, another of Klinker's students, spent the day in a wheelchair to see what it would be like to move around campus. Mayfield cited several difficulties in getting around campus including the non-electronic doors and curb stops.

"Maneuvering around this slope-filled campus was impossible to do by myself in a manual chair," Mayfield said.

Contact staff writer Michelle Guerrere at michelle.guerrere@richmond.edu

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