It’s no secret that accessibility is limited on campus in the winter, with ramps closed because of iciness, but if one were to walk on campus right now, it is just as limited . In my first year on residence I lived in Lady Eaton College and my classes were always on East Bank. This meant I walked across two bridges every day, multiple times a day.
I can’t imagine living on residence with the bridge to LEC still closed from summer construction. Yes, there are signs directing to an accessible route to Lady Eaton, but that shouldn’t be necessary at this point. Not only that, but the east end of Faryon bridge has been closed this past week for some kind of repairs. Wasn’t the bridge access limited for long enough when they transformed it two years ago?
This isn’t just an issue of laziness or time management – it is an accessibility issue. How is a wheelchair supposed to fit through the three-foot gap in the gate while hordes of students are squeezing their way through it coming from or going to class? It is difficult enough at peak class times to get across the bridge as an able-bodied person.
That being said, as an able-bodied person, I don’t have an immediate need for the ramps that are situated near main entrances to building around campus. However, it did upset me to see that the ramp to the entrance closest to Wenjack is blocked off at this time of year. There is actually quite a large crack in that ramp, but then the question becomes why don’t they fill it? Instead of ignoring the issue and making the area inaccessible they could fix it.
There are still other issues that need to be considered and addressed in terms of accessibility at Trent, like why they don’t salt and clear the ramps instead of blocking them off in the winter.
For now I encourage everyone, regardless of ability, to consider how Trent can be more accessible and question if what they are doing is enough.