Ted Talk on Wheelchair Accessibility for Students at Monmouth University

Ted Talk on Wheelchair Accessibility for Students at Monmouth University

The Ted Talk titled “Increasing Wheelchair Accessibility at Monmouth University” Young goes into detail about some of the experiences and challenges students with physical challenges have faced in school. I discuss some of the ways that Monmouth University can use to increase wheel chair accessibility to students with disabilities and how these changes can impact their educational achievement. Through the talk, I create a positive, funny environment to draw in the audience and help them better understand how strategies such as widening doorways, using ramps, and separate bathroom facilities can make students feel more comfortable and access many areas in school using their wheel chairs.

Key Takeaways

There are several important take aways from the TED Talk. At Monmouth University, the majority of academic buildings have wheelchair-accessible furniture, and just a small number of classrooms lack it. Even though classrooms are generally accessible, certain learners still need extra support in order to fully engage in their courses. In addition, some rooms provide access challenges for kids with additional needs. To ensure that every student participates in their courses, there is need to make the school wheel chair accessible by widening doorways, using ramps, and separate bathroom facilities as well as other room changes.

Transcript

00:15

If you look around? Many students at Monmouth University have physical disabilities. Their disability is very visible and obvious, but that is not the case for most disabilities. I have a cousin who started college when he was completely able-bodied. Unfortunately, he was involved in a car accident and had to use a wheel chair each day. Even though he had a wheel chair, there are several challenges that he encountered when it comes to accessibility.  Based on research from the National Center for Education Statistics, 14% of learners in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade have a physical disability. That’s one out of every seven students require academic accommodations. I knew more than seven students, so statistically, yes. Yes, I did know other people. I was just not aware of that. Fast forward a couple years, and my cousin was not the one now who needs physical accommodations in school. He needed extra time to reach school. He needed some assistance when going up the stairs or going to the washroom, whether it be from teachers or other students. And other students would say the exact same thing to him, that he was so lucky, “I can’t believe you get this.” Well, my cousin didn’t feel lucky. You know, he would much rather not need academic accommodations. This is what most student with physical challenges at Monmouth University also need.  I’m talking about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Academic modifications must be requested by a healthcare provider, an instructor, an educator, the parents, and learners themselves. All of these students need to agree on what academic accommodations are necessary in order for the student to be successful in school.  Recently, I joined a group that advocates for the needs of students with disabilities.  While listening to the opinions of other members, I just had to ask, “What about students with physical disabilities?” and “How can we increase wheel chair accessibility at Monmouth University” And they told me, “Yeah, that’s a good question.” Why is wheelchair accessibility a critical idea idea? (Applause) What are the different strategies that can be used to increase wheel chair accessibility? I believe that one of the most important things that ought to be done is to make entrances wider so that wheelchairs and scooters for mobility can easily pass through. This will open up classrooms to more kids and give them access to the services they require, allowing persons with disabilities to live their lives as normally as possible. Additionally, ramps are required. Again, ramps will make it possible for people using wheelchairs to easily navigate a building or enter a facility. Handles and switches are also useful. By means of turning switches for lights, turning doorknobs and other significant components that are visible on the surfaces of doorways and walls. Students who have trouble reaching up will now be able to have equal accessibility to switches and other items. I will not forget to mention the importance of separate bathroom facilities. Now, all of this, again, is in the context of school. School is a place for learning, so I think the biggest thing that can be done is to ensure student using wheel chairs have separate bathroom facilities.  It is the responsibility of every school official at Monmouth University to make the appropriate adjustments so that students with physical disabilities are not subjected to any kind of discrimination. The tiniest actions, like providing a designated area where mobility scooter batteries can be charged or helping learners who have physical limitations get from one place to another, can go a long way toward improving their quality of life. At Monmouth University, a growing number of learners with physical challenges will be acknowledged, appreciated and have their needs better met throughout time. Ensuring there is an active reduction of barriers to wheel chair accessibility to students with physical should be a primary focus. People should stand up and raise awareness on wheel chair accessibility. For me, I’m right in there, and I am contributing to physical disability awareness kind of by default, but I’m doing it intentionally as well. And so I guess my question for all of you then is: “What are you going to do?” Thank you! (Applause)

 

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