Home Homepage Latest Stories There’s A Lack Of Accessibility At Montclair State University

There’s A Lack Of Accessibility At Montclair State University

by Madison Boyce

The lack of accessibility in 2022 is downright insane. Disabled students should not have to fight to feel seen, but here at Montclair State University, that’s exactly what is happening.

A huge issue is the lack of ramps for students with physical disabilities around campus. Where there is a staircase, I believe there should also be a ramp, no questions asked. Going along with this, having elevators constantly breaking down in dorms and other buildings is a slap in the face to those unable to use the stairs.

For example, the sole elevator in Freeman Hall breaking down is detrimental to disabled students. Where there are stairs, there needs to be another accessible way to get to your destination.

In a joint effort between the Office of Residence Life and the Disability Resource Center, disabled students can complete a lengthy Housing Accommodation Form that allows them to present their case and possibly get room accommodations. However, the form clearly states that a student with a disability can still be denied if their condition is not deemed significant enough for accommodations.

Mental health is also a prominent struggle among students. College is a scary place for everyone. Students with pre-existing mental health issues should be made to feel comfortable at this university. The same should apply to those who have mental health issues developing while attending school.

Mental health issues are critical despite many people not believing so. Though society itself has made quite some progress in terms of mental health awareness, it is most certainly not the best it can be.

The graded attendance policy some professors have at Montclair State is what had me thinking about the topic of accessibility at this university. Being a disabled student, there are days when I simply do not have the strength to leave my bed.

In one of my classes, the syllabus states that if we miss more than two classes, we fail the class. When a chronically ill person hits a low health point, there is no telling when they will get out of it. When I am dealing with the debilitating parts of my illness, I can’t miss two classes, or else I will automatically fail.

As a way to help compensate for all of these disadvantages, Montclair State should have hybrid classes available. Starting a Zoom video call would realistically take very little of a professor’s time and wouldn’t disrupt the in-person students.

To call the graded attendance policy unfair is an understatement. Bringing back the Disability Resource Center’s “seven to 10 business days” makes everything so much harder to function as a disabled student.

Going through the Disability Resource Center should not be required to get these accommodations. Giving students a seven to 10 business day time frame to get back to them in an instance that can determine their academic fate is something that I am dealing with and it’s absurd.

If Montclair State claims to be accessible to disabled students who are inherently disadvantaged, why do we have to fight so hard to feel like normal individuals here?

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