Cerritos College needs better accessibility for students with disabilities

Photo+credit%3A+Sofia+Gallegos
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Cerritos College needs better accessibility for students with disabilities

Photo credit: Sofia Gallegos

Photo credit: Sofia Gallegos

Photo credit: Sofia Gallegos

Photo credit: Sofia Gallegos

Derrick Coleman and Luis Lemus

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With Disability Awareness Month in full swing, it is time to look at the improvements that can be made across Cerritos College to better life for all, but also importantly, focus on improving conditions for students with disabilities, as they deserve the best chance at an education, too.

A friendly reminder, collective help is always appreciated from students and faculty alike. A little gesture of kindness goes a long way.

There’s lots of good going on across campus, but it is all but as non-existent with eyes gazing and prejudging someone with a disability before ever uttering a single word or looking them in the eyes.

It is not what is expected coming back to school, but it has only made one’s chinks in the “armor” harden over time, to protect one’s self. The stares are appreciated at a certain point after being on campus– at least they are looking and not turning away as if people with disabilities are invisible.

Where’s the shame in looking someone in the eyes and having an actual conversation instead of pretending they don’t exist?

On the other unfortunate side of the coin, there are the able-bodied jerks who use the handicap bathroom and who treat it like a personal first-class lounge area, playing on the phone, checking social media or to be more specific, leaving a pizza slice from 7Eleven in the toilet bowl.

Those stalls are close to impossible to open as can be for a person who gets in with some struggle, but it’s the getting out part that is almost impossible for someone with disabilities, unless it’s one of the lucky times that someone is washing their hands and is courteous enough to wait then open the door.

These actions and acts of kindness can be spread more throughout campus.

Sorry, not sorry, but some people need those stalls and the grab bars specifically to position themselves and sit or stand with the support those bars provide.

They’re not a spacious place to just chill out.

It is not a VIP room, so please don’t treat it as such.

Again, please be considerate and keep in mind that being able-bodied comes with excessive privileges, especially when it comes to navigating a community college campus.

Without adequate accessibility for people with disabilities, some may become discouraged and even feel unwelcome on campus.

It would help to bring awareness at Cerritos College if there were events or workshops on educating people and making it a better space for those who do not have the same physical capabilities as others.

It stinks, but what is one going to do. That is one of the things that society doesn’t tell people growing up.

Stop classifying people with disabilities as “the other.”

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