Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The unenlightened attitude of higher education

Lest you still harbor the illusion that colleges and universities in the U.S. provide a place where students with disabilities will find the greatest minds working toward inclusion, here's a story for you.

Joshua Jackson, a quadriplegic student at East Central University, has been notified that he cannot remain in the dorms after the fall semester unless he provides an aide or a lift for himself since he can't transfer by himself from his wheelchair to his bed. The institution of higher learning is calling this a safety violation, although Jackson notes his concern with the university's policy that elevators are turned off in the event of an emergency.

Here's Jackson's dilemma: money. The cost of providing an aide, he estimates, would be $11,000. Lifts are also expensive and many cannot use them without assistance.

So, in effect, Jackson is being evicted from his dorm, which could end his education.

The university, apparently, has not made any attempt to find a volunteer student to assist or offer any other solution, simply relying on a liability argument.


sanabituranima said...

Wow. That's despicable.

How is that not an IDEA violation?

Wheelie Catholic said...

IDEA doesn't apply after grade 12.