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.
One form of help I asked for was from the University Accessibility Center. I requested a notetaker for my classes, as I was unable to type or hold a pencil. I explained that I needed the help starting ASAP but would only need it for six weeks while my wrists healed. I was under the impression that they would be fully able to meet this need.
BYU also does not have enough handicapped parking. When I had a torn ACL and when my friend was in a wheelchair, we learned that we had to be at campus bright and early if we wanted to get a handicapped spot. There simply are not enough spots to accommodate the students that need them. While a handicapped pass at BYU qualifies students to park in any parking spot, parking on the far end of a parking lot is completely disheartening when you know you have 8 minutes to make it to class, and a whole lot of ice and snow to crutch over.
Then I got to the point where I could drive but I still couldn't walk very well and so if I had classes in the JKB I could park in the parking lot right next to it but if I had my classes and in the Joseph Smith building I'd have to walk all the way across campus, and that was really hard.
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.
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.
The RB stairs!! How does anyone hurt or disabled navigate those? I hurt my back snowboarding before one of my semesters there and was trying to use crutches to get around. It was SO hard to get where I needed to go on time! I was trying to rush to my class at the RB and got to the top of the stairs and sighed thinking about having to get down them (I knew I would be late to my class too!).
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