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.
Between these two elevators, however, there is another elevator for faculty members which only gives access to students on a certain floors or card access is required in order to use it. During this time, I thought that it would be nice if disabled students can have access to this elevator, since there is less traffic than other two elevators.
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.
It was difficult for my sister to come back to BYU as a newly disabled person. It’s a big campus, and she was pretty weak. Most professors understood that it was difficult to attend class and allowed her to participate via Skype when necessary. She didn’t have many friends—by the time she got back to BYU most of her friends had graduated. I was disappointed in her ward for not reaching out or trying to fellowship her. She had some interactions with the BYU accessibility center, but I don’t remember any big adjustments after meeting with them.
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).
When I became disabled, I felt I became worthless to both BYU and church. I have contributed so much to both. Feeling forgotten and cast aside has been the foundation of my faith crisis.
I was refused accommodations when I became wheelchair bound. Which, I know is absolutely illegal, but it’s hard to know which fights to choose.
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.
I did notice that my map of the campus became very different and I became accustomed to remembering where the elevators were instead of stairs. Whenever an elevator would be broken I would have to go out of my way to find another one that would get me to my destination
I believe I was very lucky that I was extra motivated at the start of the semester so I got ahead of all my classes so when I needed to take 2+ weeks off to recover from surgery instead of having to withdraw from classes
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.