Handicapped at UVM

After recently being temporarily handicapped due to a sports related injury, I have been both shocked and appalled by the lack of handicap accessibility on this campus. The University of Vermont campus is very spread out which is beautiful for those who can walk. But, for everyone else it poses restrictions. The recent construction only adds to this problem. It seems as if these new routes weren’t made with any consideration for those with disabilities. There are buses, of course, but they are almost always packed full of people capable of walking, and when the bus is too full, it bypasses stops. Signs are posted saying that people with disabilities have the priority seating, but not if the bus doesn’t even stop for you.Another issue is the lack of handicapped parking. There is a clear lack of well-placed parking spots on campus. For example, the two handicapped spots between Williams and Lafayette are almost always occupied by 8 a.m.. The new spots by the library are another issue. Recently, all of the signs had been knocked down and none of the spots were left for those who actually needed them.Even getting through the entrances of many buildings on campus poses difficulty. Very few doors are handicap accessible such as Angel, Cook, Patrick Gym and even the entrance to the Student Health Center. These are only the exterior doors, once inside the buildings there are many other doors with small frames and small steps. In addition, almost all of the bathroom doors on campus have the blue sticker indicating that there is a larger stall for handicapped people. But, the entrance door to the bathroom is not automatic. There may be a larger stall, but there is no way to get into the bathroom to use it.I am only temporarily handicapped, but I have already been faced with too many injustices to count. If I were handicapped for the rest of my life, I would not be able to stay enrolled here. This University is losing prospective students and possibly currently enrolled students, as well as diversity on this campus. If this University wishes to continue to compete with the big-name schools, something needs to be done. The goals for this University and the actions taken to reach these goals need to be reconsidered to include those who are handicapped or have other physical disabilities.Respectfully, Erin PichiotinoClass of 2009