A Second Look
I decided to use this blog as a way of showcasing improvements made related to the ADA and accessibility. I see now, eight months into my position, that access is not exclusive to persons with disabilities. Also, that access and inclusion doesn’t come only from the law, but from an idea. As a proud member of The President’s Council on Diversity, I learned that an idea of a couple students was heard and turned into an approved proposal. That idea was gender-nuetral/family restrooms. I know this isn’t breaking news, but it’s new this year. I felt is was worth repeating. These restrooms are ADA compliant for those with a disability who may require assistance and extra privacy. They offer convenience for those with kids whose gender is different from mom or dad and comfort/safety for those not wishing to use gender-specific restrooms. You see the divergence of different areas coming together to promote inclusion and access. A great example of the University of Toledo’s commitment to diversity, equal access and providing a welcoming environment. You can find these restrooms listed on the campus map web site as well as the Office of Academic Access website. A story I felt worth repeating along with another look at the word “access”. What does it mean to you? Make your voice heard. Be the change.
Wendy Wiitala is the ADA/504 Compliance Officer. She joined the university in August, 2012. She works to uphold the laws of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to better the experience of students, employees and the public with disabilities on this campus. She is a Toledo alum of both undergraduate and graduate studies. Her work background is as an accessibility specialist at the Ability Center of Greater Toledo and an instructor at UT in Disability Studies. She is married with two sons and resides in Michigan.
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