Student organization pushes for universal design and disability education

Photo courtesy of KnowledgeOne.

Owen MADRIGAL | CAPART CAPTER omadriga@butler.edu

Bulldogs for versatile designor BUD, is a new student group that advocates for the equality and protection of the rights of students with disabilities through their advocacy, education and membership.

Universal design is defined National Office of Disability as “the design and composition of the environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent by all people, regardless of their age, size, ability or disability”. The definition also includes helping and providing equal resources to those who are able-bodied or atypical.

According to BUD, Butler has done a bad job of creating a universal design that cannot be blamed on old buildings or lack of resources. Becca Mattson, president of BUD and a sophomore majoring in music education, said Butler’s versatile design is lacking even in new places like Fairview, which was built in 2016.

In addition to the lack of universal design, BUD believes that Butler also does not use resources and housing that benefit the visually impaired. Lauren Hertz, co-vice president of BUD and sophomore in primary education, shows how Butler’s lack of universal design can affect their undergraduate students.

“Whether you’re hearing, visually impaired or [using a] wheelchair, BUD just stands for accessibility, ”Herts said. «[BUD is] trying to install more ramps, better elevators and Braille, which is actually right, because a lot of Braille is right now. ”

Butler lacks important aspects of universal design throughout the campus. BUD points to many problems with buildings on campus, including both in the township apartment and in the South Campus Apartments without an elevator. In addition, Ross Hall has only one entrance entrance. The ramps inside the Hinkle Fieldhouse are extremely steep, making it difficult for people with wheelchairs, crutches or wheelchairs to climb. Finally, the elevator at Atherton Union is outdated and prone to breakage, often with people inside.

With all this lack of placement, Butler has only a simple message about digital versatile design website. Neither plans nor specifics could be found. Instead, you can find only a small message about digital inclusion.

This choice of design is a challenge for all students. With the inequality in basic design on campus, no one can take full advantage of all available resources. Sophomore Audrey Erickson, co-president of BUD and majoring in political science, sociology and criminology, points out that this is a problem from Butler’s point of view.

“That’s part of it [of BUD’s goal to educate] teachers because they want to help you, ”Erickson said. “This is such a great support from the teachers and our respective departments and administrators. It was [annoying] that it’s just, “Hey, we just have to raise the issue?”

Problems with universal design exist not only on campus buildings but also in the digital classroom. So far Student Disability Services exists for students, BUD believes more can be done to help students struggling with learning difficulties or with visual or hearing impairments.

«[BUD] he wants everyone to be able to learn to the fullest, ”Herts said. “It could be an explanation of something different or just the presence in the classroom of some technology that helps someone learn. An example is real-time mode [closed] signatures on the board when the professor speaks ”.

These problems, inconspicuous to most able-bodied demographic students, were outrageous problems for Matson. Matson, who uses a wheelchair, last year sought better universal design.

“Last year, I made a video of some inaccessible places on campus,” Mattson said. “My research advisor helped me write this down and send it to President Danko. We met with him and they built some ramps. [Butler University] was receptive in my response. [My hope] is that they continue to be receptive when BUD starts advocating ”.

BUD stands not only for equality but also for justice. BUD emphasizes the importance of universal design extending to all students with all abilities. This includes an emphasis on advocacy, education, meaningful alliance and diversity among students.

«[Universal design] it simply means that the student has access to your education, which, frankly, does not exist now, ”Mattson said.

BUD will focus on finding support and start planning ways to improve campus this semester, and the next semesters will focus on creating larger plans for universal design. Club meetings are open to all. For all updates, check out BUD’s Instagram page, @budatbutler.

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