Friday, December 18, 2015

University of Memphis Top Ten Percent Recognition

U of M Event lacks real understanding of access

By Bobbie Fields, MCIL Independent Living Team

Bobbie Fields
The University of Memphis and provost Karen West, held their first Top 10% Recognition Ceremony in which my niece, Kierra Fields, was one of many recipients for the scholars among the Shelby County High Schools graduating classes on December 5th, 2015. Being appreciated for all their hard work, it was a proud day for many parents and guardians of graduating seniors.

The Recognition Ceremony gave the young scholars an opportunity to speak with recruiters of their interest, each college dean, of many schools within University of Memphis, was in attendance at the event. The deans provided an on-site University of Memphis college application for those interested in attending this college.

However, there was one drawback for me personally, the accessible parking wasn't actually accessible. It was more like walk to the sidewalk, walk up the sidewalk, then proceed to your destination.

The parking lot sidewalks didn’t have curb cuts so I was forced to go out to the sidewalk, go down to the driveway and walk across the busy entryway. There was a small inlet in the sidewalk next to the driveway but it had a water grate in the middle with big holes. A wheelchair tires would get stuck in them.

The seating space for wheelchairs wasn’t adequate either. Some family members had to sit in the hallway and lobby. The organizer of this event clearly didn’t understand the meaning of accessibility for a person with a disability.