Summary: Campus for Differently Abled People | March 5, 2017

This is an incomplete archive of the discussions around how the campus pans out for differently-abled students. The outcome of this was supposed to be sent to the Cell for People with Disabilities on campus.

The current status of Institute level work planning as informed by DOIP:

  1. Our goal is to make the ground floor of all buildings freely accessible to all.

  2. Access to Lecture Hall and Tutorial block has been provided. Provision of Access to tutorial block upper floor will be executed in 2-3 months.

  3. Access to Library and Environmental Science Building has been provided.

  4. Provision of Access to Faculty Building second floor is under execution.

  5. Provision of Access to Drawing Hall using lift is under planning.

  6. Full width ramps form Faculty Building to drawing hall are under planning.

  7. One elevator in Visitor’s hostel is under planning. This will also help VH residents in carrying their luggage upstairs.

  8. Entry to Lecture Hall 7 will be made barrier free. The work will start in May 2017.

Further proposals:

  • Academic Issues:

    1. Tutors (faculty or student tutors) for PwD students to be provided in courses when a sufficient number (3-4) of students are taking the course. This needs to be done urgently.

    2. 2-3 chairs close to the dais (in all lecture halls) need to be demarcated for the exclusive use of the PwD students.

    3. To help the visually impaired, the demarcated chairs in lecture halls should be provided with additional collapsible flats for writing.

    4. Some student members wanted the lecture notes available before the classes. They were told that sharing the notes before the class is not always possible.

    5. The issue of lab help was discussed. The student members informed that while they were in school, the school used to provide special chairs during the experiments. This can be explored in IIT Kanpur.

    6. To help the PwD students, the ways in which labs and lab exams are conducted has to be revisited. This requires learning on our part.

    7. We can find how technology intervention helps in western countries and how it can help in IITK.

    8. In chemistry experiments, bright light will help.

    9. In big lecture halls where the instructor uses a microphone, the hearing aids can be coupled with Wi-Fi. This will help the hearing impaired and can be explored.

    10. In compulsory TA courses, TA 201A and TA 202A, physically disabled students should be allowed to avail the course credits (here 3 credits) for the theory part and exempted from the laboratory part of the course.

    11. Assistants should be assigned to physically disabled students in laboratory courses like PHY 101 and CHM 101.

    12. In PK Kelkar Library, the racks of books should be made easily accessible.

    13. For the people who are orthopedically challenged there has to be an alternative to carry the books in the library, In the discussion, some suggestions were:

      • Institute may provide separate identifiable bags in order to avoid security issues.

      • There may be a tag on their bags so that staff of library can easily recognize and allow the person to go along with the bag.

  • Accessibility in Academic area:

    1. Street lighting near core labs is poor. It is difficult for the visually impaired students to walk here at night. Similarly the area in front of the tutorial block is dark at night. Adequate lighting should be provided in these areas.

    2. A patch of yellow (step marker) should be provided before the steps everywhere in academic area for the benefit of the visually impaired students.

    3. Tactile tiles should be provided in corridors in path between buildings which are frequently used by a large number of students. A predefined route needs to be defined in conjunction with students for fixing the tactile tiles.

    4. To help visually impaired members, some expert is to be consulted for providing light/sensor in front of the steps.

    5. Since the gap between the railings is large, there may be a chance that a visually impaired person may fall. The gap should be minimized.

    6. The lecture hall complex has a parapet. A hand-rail should be provided at the side.

    7. There is a need to revisit signage practice in the Institute.

    8. Entry to Lecture Hall 7 should be made barrier free.

    9. Computer keyboards in computer center and all labs should be equipped with Braille script.

  • Halls of Residence:

    1. There should be a general room allotment policy across all halls where persons with disabilities should be given priority and allotted ground floor rooms. In allotments of rooms in halls close to academic area, like Hall-1, and far from academic area, like Hall-9, disabled persons should be preferably allotted halls closer to the academic area, here Hall-1.

    2. The entire ground floor should be made accessible, at least, with ramps accompanying stairs at all places.

    3. Accessible toilets should be constructed in halls for persons with disabilities.

    4. Floor tiles should be equipped with tactile strips for visually impaired.

    5. There should be a provision of serving food for disabled persons at their tables in messes.

    6. Computer keyboards in Hall computer centers should be equipped with Braille script.

    7. Braille script usage workshops should be organised so that people may learn its use.

    8. To allow hassle free movement in halls, the full map of a hall should be displayed at a convenient position.

    9. In all new constructions of halls and other buildings alike, there should be wide door lifts for wheelchairs to fit in.

  • Physical Education (PE) / Compulsory Physical Activities (CPA):

    1. There should be an institute level policy for physically disabled students where they can choose to get their morning/evening exercise substitute by a CPA of their choice.

    2. There could be an exemption policy for physically disabled persons from PE/CPA based on their disability.

  • New Students Activities Centre (SAC):

    1. For access to upper floors, the possibility for elevators or ramps can be explored:

      • The Students’ Senate room should be made accessible to persons with disabilities. It being on the second floor of New SAC is difficult to reach through stairs.

      • The rooms and offices of different clubs and councils housed here are difficult to reach through stairs. These activities are essential for all round development of all students, including differently-abled students.

    2. Stairs in the sports complex and Open Air Theatre stage should have an adjoining ramp.

    3. All pathways should be equipped with reflecting strips for visually impaired people to walk safely.

    4. New SAC complex should be equipped with proper signage to its facilities at a level where visually impaired persons can see properly.

  • Transport:

    1. Buses should be fitted with ramps so that physically disabled persons may enter with their aiding equipments and adjustable seats should be provided for them.

    2. Special cab service for disabled persons can be started to and from the station.

    3. Tactile strips should be employed across all pathways in the campus.

  • Festivals:

    1. During festivals like Antaragini and Techkriti, persons with disabilities may be allowed to use the lesser crowded faculty queues and they should be provided seating with them during music concerts, etc.

  • Shopping Complex (Shop C):

    1. Barricade width and wall barricade in front of A1 Copy Centre should be removed for people with wheelchairs to enter without problems.

    2. Security guards should be sensitised to make relevant relaxation in rules for physically disabled persons without being arrogant or pitiful.

    3. Banks and shops should have ramps and tactile strips accompanying stairs.

  • Sports:

    1. We need to revisit the facilities on grounds.

    2. We need to revisit the accessibility of grounds.

    3. There are various sports that can be played by physically challenged people such as blind cricket, wheelchair dancing sport, wheelchair basketball and many more. So there should be separate facilities for playing such games in the campus. See this link.

  • Other Areas:

    1. Pipes surrounding the shops in MT (market) hinder movement of physically disabled persons. They should be so adjusted to provide a proper opening.

    2. Accessibility to ATMs should be ensured with proper ramps leading to them and alternatives to self closing doors for people with crutches.

    3. Auditorium entry level stairs should have ramps.

    4. There is no queue system for PwD, for instance in the Health Centre.

Author: Ayush

I love writing, and this blog serves as a slow growing collection of all my writing endeavours.

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