Inaccessibility hinders learning for handicapped students

Jaelyn Reynolds, Page Editor

Handicap students at Perry deal with restrictions due to things such as unreliable machinery and fellow peers.

According to the township website, “Perry Township Schools is committed to ensuring equal access to programs, services and activities.”

Michelle Strain is a township aide for sophomore Daisy Esterline, who is dependent on special accommodations such as accessibility to elevators, ramps and hallway space.

Even with the help given, some things are still made difficult, whether it is due to faulty equipment or inconsiderate people. 

“When the hallways are crowded, it’s very hard for her to get through with her wheelchair,” Strain says. “Some people are less than nice about allowing us through. Some people are very kind, but not everyone.” 

The elevators are another source of concern as they create inconveniences, and are even a hindrance for student learning. 

“They often don’t work and they’re scary,” Strain says.  “They make noises and move when they’re not supposed to, so we don’t like the elevators.” 

For Esterline, as well as others, it is not just a simple inconvenience. It is hindering student learning. These are things that they deal with on a daily basis to get the same education every other student receives.

“It’s really, I feel like, non-accessible,” she says. “A lot of things don’t work at the time. Computers don’t work, elevators don’t work.”

However, not everything is as easy as looking at an issue and deciding to fix it. According to assistant principal Sarah Brewer, despite the access ramp from the first floor to the second would provide, Perry is not structurally capable. 

There was an attempt to install one when the main staircase was put in, but because the incline would be too steep, the idea was scrapped. 

Another recurring problem is navigating the halls. Often times students have to leave early in order to make it to their next class, resulting in a loss of class time.

Perry has a responsibility to its students to address these issues, and to keep the promise it makes on the township website.