ADDRESSING INACCESSIBILITY WITHIN CAMPUS CULTURE
Privatized college campuses around the United States are becoming increasingly inaccessible for handicapped students, and continue to discourage many young adults from pursuing opportunities for secondary education. To promote awareness for the Hobart and William Smith community, I used guerrilla activism to respond to current campus landscapes and blind perpetuation of disadvantage enacted on disabled bodies.
The Hobart Quad is an iconic view within campus and an apex for academics, public resources, and residence halls. The space’s wide array of services is precisely why I chose to analyze its degree of accessibility. My intention for installing a “handicap prohibitted” graphic primarily serves to promote awareness to able bodies occupying campus resources. My hope for the installation was to to provoke conversations about the consequences of living within an inaccessible landscape, and how our community is affected by the exclusion of certain demographics.
The specified site consisted of seven buildings, each with more than one external doorway. To survey each building I looked for the following: presence of stairs, ground-level entryways, ramps, and automatic door buttons. After a preliminary examination of accessible stairs , five buildings remained under review. Next, I looked at the campus’ terrain (brown markings), and excluded buildings with obstacles.
The two remaining buildings were deemed accessible because they were equiped with automatic door buttons. However, one building grants access by wheelchair only if entered from the street side of the building (plot marked by hatching), not within the quad. In conclusion, the most utilized space on campus offers access into 1 out of 7 buildings (represented by solid black mass) for individuals with mobile limitations.