The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which ensures nondiscrimination against individuals with disabilities, can help protect those students in need. All public venues, colleges and schools must follow the guidelines set forth by the ADA, but one student says OCCC is not in compliance.
Sociology major James Hill said he went to Student Support Services to file a complaint about the lack of a sidewalk between the northwest side of the library and parking lot C. He said he was told by a secretary to email Student Support Services Director Pat Stowe.
“[There’s] the little turn in for people to get dropped off and there’s a cutout through the bushes for a walkway and there’s a road there,” Hill said. “After the road there’s that big center island that everybody just walks across to get to the parking lot.
“For me, I have to go all the way down to where the cutout is for the cars to go past and I have to take the sidewalk all the way around just to get to the parking lot.”
Hill said he is able to hop up on some curbs in his wheelchair, but that specific curb is too high. “I feel like I should have a direct path just like everybody else does,” he said.
Hill said he is hoping for a ramp and walkway to be built for easier access to the parking lot.
“I just think it should be accessible to everybody.”
The Pioneer contacted the group of people who handle ADA at OCCC about Hill’s request.
Employment and Employee Relations Director and Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Acting Director Jana Legako responded in an email on behalf of Stowe, Facilities Management Director J.B. Messer and Facilities Management Assistant Chris Snow.
They said OCCC is in full ADA compliance which is determined by a committee that inspects the campus and reviews OCCC’s policies and procedures, according to the email.
“If an individual has a particular need or concern, the process would be for a student to report the concern and/or need to Student Support Services and an employee to report the concern and/or need to Human Resources,” Legako said in the email.
When a student, employee, faculty or staff member goes to Student Support Services with a complaint either in a class, or around campus, each complaint is investigated on a case-by-case basis and reasonable accommodations are made if warranted, she said in the email.
Legako gave the example of a low vision student’s request for a visual delineation between steps on the VPAC Plaza.
The student’s suggestion was investigated and the conclusion was made that the visual delineation between steps was an excellent universal decision and was implemented campuswide.
For more information about Student Support Services or to make a complaint, contact 405-682-1611, ext. 7520.
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