By: Emma Kapp – Staff Writer
Best Buddies held one of its first events at an on-campus house Monday, thanks to the efforts of the UD engineering club. The group of engineers designed and built portable ramps to cover stairs allowing everyone access.
“We usually have to do events in KU or the Science Center,” said junior intervention specialist major Sierra Desiderio. “The buddies really appreciate being treated like college students and experiencing this aspect of UD culture.”
Best Buddies is an organization that focuses on building one-on-one relationships between UD students and people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Ramps make houses much more accessible for participants and allows Best Buddies to serve the needs of all their participants better.
“We have three buddies who use wheelchairs,” said Alejandro Pineto, president of Best Buddies. “With the creation of the ramps, we are able to be more inclusive of varying abilities.”
The construction of the ramps is the first step in a bigger movement to make campus a more accessible place. Since UD is a private school, it does not receive funding from the federal government. This means that it does not get any money to build structures that make buildings on campus more accessible to people with a disability.
Several human rights majors are working on creating a grant that would fund more projects, like that of the UD engineering club. The purpose of the grant would be to encourage the creation of more structures that more campus a welcoming and accessible place.
“We need to take more measures on campus to make this an inclusive place,” Pineto said. “This grant could really help with that.”
Look out for a further investigation of UD’s accessibility on campus in future Flyer News publications.
Photos Courtesy of Emma Kapp