The biggest challenge in being in a wheelchair/crutches/a cane was how long it took to get around campus. I don't know if the school can change this, but it's worth mentioning how those with impaired movements need to expend an extra amount of energy getting around campus. On the other hand, I found this aspect of University life enjoyable even though I was impaired. One plus to BYU is that unlike most campuses, most of the buildings with classes are fairly close together. Benches and places in between building to sit made things easier on me. I'm so grateful for that.
The absolute worst time to be handicapped on campus is during the winter!! I can’t count the amount of times I’ve slipped and fallen on ice while walking to class. In addition, I often slip when I walk into buildings where there’s no mat or anything and the floors get wet from students walking around with wet shoes. Sometimes on especially snowy days, I can’t get to campus at all and I’m forced to miss class.
I feel like with admissions, there are certain requirements for how many people in each demographic the school has to accept, but they don’t have similar requirements for the accommodations that are made for those students after they are accepted. It’s almost like a false promise in some ways. If you’re going to accept this many students with a disability into your school, you need to be able to accommodate them.
I have been able to go to many campuses across the country and I have to say BYU is probably one of the least accessible campuses I have been on. It is also the one that I have been on the most so I have more time to notice things that would be helpful if available.
I am a student athlete at BYU and I spent 10 weeks on crutches last year. I ultimately stopped going to class for the rest of the semester because of the amount of anxiety it gave me to go up those stairs.
A door closed on me too fast and it broke my foot when I was going through in my powerchair.
Though I was only in a wheelchair for a few months, I truly came to understand what it meant for BYU students to “go forth to serve.” There definitely needs to be some improvement to the accessibility of BYU campus, but as long as the students and faculty continue to show love, all will feel welcome.
I found myself taking twice as long as typical when traveling from the TMCB to the JKB. I had to walk on sleet every day. Fortunately, the sleet would melt relatively quickly as it became later in the day, but that doesn’t mean it’s an acceptable or safe condition for me to adapt to. At 9am there is a rush of kids heading south on campus and that gives me and the others heading toward the JKB a significantly smaller piece of the sidewalk. I should not have to worry about being knocked over, slipping, or being pushed off the sidewalk.
A lot of buildings–especially the older ones–only have one elevator. So if it breaks down you are out of luck. This has only happened to me once, but I thought I would mention it just to acknowledge that the problem exists and it would be cool if BYU tries to make sure this isn’t an issue for the new buildings.
She was kind and explained that they had received previous reports of this employee being a problem, but the UAC had no jurisdiction over the testing center accessibility rooms. She could not do anything because she did not hire the employees at the Testing Center. I felt confused that the UAC sends its clients to the accessible testing rooms in the Testing Center, but has no say in screening the employees there. It is concerning that disabled students must rely on employees who appear biased against us and who treat us with contempt. I should never be subject verbal harassment because of my accommodations, especially after they have already been granted.
I felt like for the most part, it was easy for me to get around thanks to BYU. One of my struggles would be the buttons for sure. I ran into the problem of them not working or having things in front of them so I could not get to them. I think for the most part the snow was pretty cleared, but I did felt like there were days I had problems with getting around with the snow.
I've noticed that many (many) elevator and access buttons are behind trash cans. Find me the logic in that. This is in Heritage especially, a technically accessible building complex.
Sometimes access buttons are broken for long periods of time. (for instance, I haven’t been able to get in the front of the Tanner on my own for a couple of weeks).
I was grateful for portal. But I don’t know a good way to communicate that to someone like a VP of an University. With it getting more and more difficult for me to do things like open doors on my own, I’m always looking for shortcuts and ways to make things easier for me that I used to do for myself more easily.
I wheeled back to Helaman Halls, building 9, and the elevator was out of order, I couldn’t call the elevator car to the 1st floor. This has happened two times just this semester, the second one being at the Brimhall, where the elevator was out for a day. Nine out of ten times, the elevators will work, but that one out of ten time is always a killer for me and the professors.
Most people don’t know I have this hidden disability, and though I make it work, plenty of things slip through the cracks and can be really hard to recover from… I feel like I am unable to take care of my mental health needs without seriously harming my academic record, and as a student fully supporting myself financially, scholarships are pretty important. I wish there were better ways to communicate such things with teachers, that don’t take months to years of medical documentation and jumping through hoops.