A group of students have created a petition asking Ithaca College to move the Office of Student Disability Services to a central location on campus. The petition is a smart move toward making the office more accessible.
SDS is in the Towers Concourse, making it difficult for students with physical disabilities to access the office. A wheelchair user would need to go through the James J. Whalen Center for Music and the West Tower Residence Hall to reach SDS.
The location is not very visible, either. With only the Towers Dining Hall and Sub Connection in the building, it’s unlikely that many students with physical limitations would enter the concourse. For students who already have difficulty getting around campus, placing this resource in an inaccessible building sends them an unwelcoming message.
SDS is developing a focus group to study concerns about its current location. While it’s a good idea for SDS to listen to student input, if it decides to relocate its office, it should look for accessible space in a high-traffic area, such as Campus Center or Job Hall. This will better open the office’s services to people with physical disabilities and help students connect with the office.