SRU brought an all-terrain wheelchair to campus on Wednesday as part of the university’s commission for Disability Issues Month.
Matthew Erickson, special education professor, and David Krayesky, biology professor, co-chair the commission.
Krayesky said that they asked local company TracFab to demonstrate some of their products so that students could see what is out there for people with disabilities.
“They have some amazing stuff over there,” Krayesky said.
Erickson said the commission has had numerous events to bring awareness to disability issues, including a movie night and a tapestry conference in October. The commission will also host wheelchair basketball sometime in February.
The commission will also give out awards this year that recognize a faculty member, staff member and student for removing barriers related to the commission.
Krayesky said the commission also holds Q&A sessions with the different colleges, informing them of what services the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) provides. The commission does the same for first seminar classes as well, informing new students about the OSD.
The commission advocates for students as well. Krayesky said one example would be if a student came to them saying they were having trouble accessing all areas of campus then the members on the commission would contact facilities on campus and ask them to be compliant with the standards for access for people with disabilities. Erickson said that if students are struggling in classes the commission can also help students.
Erickson said that he has been contacted by alumni who have disabilities and promote what the commission is doing, so the commission invited them back to different events.
“It’s great to hear that feedback,” Erickson said. “We’re doing very positive things.”
Erickson said the commission has a plan for the next few years and sets goals to see what challenges may arise.
“We’re happy to see what we achieved along the way but we also continue to push forward and make new goals,” Erickson said.