Change SHSU's Position on it's Students with Disabilities.
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After spending about 2 and a half full years at Sam Houston State University, I have slowly become more aware of the problems that I, as a student with a disability, have come to face over the years. Since being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it has become increasingly difficult for me to get around campus without the use of my car. In order to prevent injuring myself any further, I have been issued a disability placard for my vehicle. Today, I was issued a ticket for parking in a disabled parking space with my placard visible because my "disability permit" on campus (unbeknownst to me) expired over the weekend at the beginning of the month. After paying the top price for "exclusive zone one parking", no one informed me that after renewing my state issued placard, I had to obtain yet another disability e-permit. People with disabilities SHOULD NOT have to pay an exclusive fee for special parking on campus, we should just have to pay a lower fee (i.e. zone 3 remote parking fee) and park where ever an available handicap parking spot is located. Handicap parking should not be treated as a luxury, this singles out those with disabilities as if we chose to have the disabilities.
Unfortunately, this does not even exceed the tip of the iceberg with the amount of problems I have found on campus. The pavement on some of the walkways crumbles, making it more dangerous for those with disabilities to walk through. I have had a severely sprained ankle for over a year now, because the walkways throughout campus are so hard to walk on. A lot of the buildings also do not have automatic opening doors, making it hard for those that use wheelchairs or other mobility aids to get inside academic buildings. Although there are "accessible" walkways and entrances throughout campus, a lot of them take the person completely out of the way in order to get into a building safely, making it a less feasible option for those who have trouble walking. We need a more accessible campus to make it more friendly for people with disabilities. SHSU Administration, I call on you to make these changes and be more open to supporting those with disabilities. Please consider making these changes in order to create a safer more diverse community on this wonderful campus.
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