Disability initiatives we can all get behind

Though the vast majority of us get along just fine in the concrete campus that we call Georgia State, there are many around us everyday with disabilities – both visible and not – that may not find things as accommodating as we might.

Indeed, according to reports from the Office of Disability Services, there are quite a few initiatives that Georgia State could adopt fairly quickly to make life easier not just for the handicapped but also for non-burdened students as well, such as the placement of additional automatic doors around campus, among others.

Another place to look are the elevators on campus. For many, the elevators just don’t work. And if they do, they’re subject to frequent break downs and delays.

Indeed, despite a recent investigation by The Signal that revealed more than 60 elevators on campus were months past their expiration date – though many were subsequently re-certified last month – elevators around campus continue to fail.

For example, just last week one of the elevators in Patton Hall failed, forcing the more than 300 residents of the six-floor building to use just one elevator.

Not only is this an inconvenience for students without disabilities, who pay thousands of dollars each semester to live on campus, but it literally leaves the wheelchair-bound and others stranded.

Navigating Georgia State is difficult enough as it is. It doesn’t need to be any harder.

That said, progress has been made in regards to the Panther Express shuttles, which will see an upgrade for disabled students with additional funds redirected from the former Library Fee to pay for new busses that are more assessable.

Additional events like BlazeDay, held last week at the Student Recreation Center in partnership with BlazeSports America, have helped spread awareness about the difficulties those living with physical disabilities face while providing a fun and friendly competition for participants.

For its part, Student Government and the Office of Disability Services are well positioned to host additional events like BlazeDay to continue raising awareness about this issue.

Both offices have signaled that this is something they’re interested in doing, and as we’ve seen last month, this is something that we all can benefit from.