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Campus Check Up
UMD’s Commission on Disabilities is making sure campus is accessible.
On Thursday, July 12 from 1 - 2 p.m., participants are joining the Commission on its semi annual Accessibility Walk. They're meeting in the Kirby Bus Hub, 1208 Kirby Drive, and will tour UMD’s outdoor spaces.
“We’re making campus more inclusive to all– students, staff, faculty, visitors, and community members,” explains Tim Walters, co-chairperson of UMD’s Commission on Disabilities. He says, in addition to meeting regulations outlined by the Americans’ With Disabilities Act (ADA), they’re using a more general lens to assess UMD. “We’re viewing accessibility as how it can benefit everyone. For example, we’ll put one big ramp in places instead of a small ramp and small stairs. The ramp benefits not only wheelchair users, but also delivery people, the elderly, strollers, and people using crutches.”
Commission member and Kirby Student Center Operations Manager Gina Pudlick says they’re also checking for things like curb cuts, power assist doors, sidewalk slopes, and unevenness. “If something seems challenging to access, we bring it to the attention of Facilities Management, so they can determine if it meets ADA codes.”
Facilities Management has designated funds to fix any issues. A past example is updating campus signage to include braille throughout UMD.
The Commission on Disabilities has been organizing accessibility walks for at least a decade.