Roosevelt aims to be accessible to all
By Tom Cicero
Roosevelt University attempts to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act closely.
The Schaumburg Campus, Wabash Building and Gage Building adhere to the act’s guidelines. However, the Auditorium Building has a landmark status, which exempts it from some of the ADA requirements.
The ADA provides regulations which “prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
It is not ensured that every inch of the Auditorium Building is 100 percent accessible, said Nancy Litke, senior director of the Academic Success Center, where the Office of Disability Services is housed.
Litke works with issues affecting students with disabilities and with their concerns at the university.
“For any student communicating to us that they are finding something difficult, the university works with them in finding a quick solution,” she said.
One of the improvements the Physical Resources Department is working on is an Auditorium Theatre ADA ramp.
According to Paul Matthews, assistant vice president of Campus Planning and Operations, who works with Physical Resources at the university, the ramp is in the process of being approved.
“The Auditorium Theatre does not currently have a convenient way of access at or near the ticket office on Congress,” Matthews said. “Currently, patrons need to go to the Wabash Building and enter near the stairs at the former Auditorium Building Wabash entrance.”
Matthews said the university is working with an architect, and the ramp is being priced by general contractors.
In addition to Disability Services, the university also has an Accessibility Committee, which “meets each semester to discuss accessible issues for students with disabilities, both physical access and programmatic access,” according to Litke, who is a part of the committee.
The committee’s purpose is to “foster and preserve equality of academic and professional opportunity and equality of access to university resources and programs for all members of the community,” according to its official mission.
Disability Services’ main goal is to ensure that every student has easy access to all facilities in the university.
“The university makes every attempt to assist students with disabilities,” Litke said. “For students who have made themselves known to the Disability Services Office, we send out a notice prior to the start of class to ensure that they are in accessible classrooms.”