Helping students with disabilities

Helping students with disabilities

I am a MATC student and the president of A.L.S.O. that receives accommodation services at MATC. I have spoken to several students with different disabilities about the doors in testing, financial aid, and counseling.  WE cannot maneuver these doors independently; WE rely on the kindness of others to assist us. WE want to maintain our independence and would like to open doors and maneuver all areas of MATC independently. 

It’s not that we asked for this type of life. We have to live our lives the best way we can.  WE can’t open doors to these areas or maneuver our wheelchairs in the small bathroom stalls.   Is it asking too much for MATC to provide us, with what should be common sense, accessibility to these areas?

The student accommodation office provides easy access to all areas in the department, including the testing booths and cubicles.  Most academic support labs are easily accessible too.  Why can’t all areas be accessible to us?  Is this TOO much to ask for? 

As I went around to see which offices were easily accessible, I was pleasantly surprised that quite a few are easily accessible.  Then it struck me as being weird, the main offices students use on a regular basis were recently remodeled and present a barrier for us to access.

When I inquired about why they (Financial aid, Testing and Counseling) were not handicap accessible, I was told they were. If so, why can’t we maneuver these doors without the assistance of others, or with them having to be propped open?

I have been complaining for two years about this issue.  I was told this was a facilities issue so I spoke to someone in that area; still no results.  Then I was directed to the Vice President of Student Services office – still waiting on results.  As of the writing of this letter, no one has come to help MATC’s handicapped students. So, as a last resort inside of MATC, I am reaching out to the Times to help us fight this fight.

Yes, we are mad as HELL and we are fighting for our rights.  We only want to maintain our lives as independent handicapped students of MATC. I hope that someone hears our voice. I hope this gets out to the right person that will come and help MATC’s handicapped students.

Thank you,

Sandra Gibson

President of ALSO