The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Disabled students deserve more assistance

Sometimes we can take simple human capabilities, such as being able to walk long distances, for granted.

Getting around has become something I personally treasure more as I’ve recently found myself to be “disabled” due to a rare underlying illness called Cushing’s syndrome and subsequent surgery.

Aside from the expected post-surgery soreness, my condition has caused severe weakness in my muscles, weight gain and general fatigue which has reduced my mobility. I’ve also developed high blood pressure, and my asthma has gotten worse.

Story continues below advertisement

I am writing this because I believe Services for Students with Disabilities and the Parking & Transportation department could offer more to its disabled students.

Since I don’t live in the dorms, I don’t qualify for rides to and from my place of residence. Considering my apartment is through University Housing, and not far from campus along Water Street, I find this to be a terrible technicality.

I don’t have any other way to get around besides the bus. If anyone has ever ridden the college route on a busy morning, they know how jam packed those rides can get.

The hardest part is it may not be clear to others that someone like me is struggling. One day I leaned up against the heater in front for support when there was only standing room left. I wasn’t even near the seated passengers, nor could I get over to them to ask to sit down.

On another day, I decided the floor wasn’t so dirty and sat on the aisle stairs. Sometimes the bus jostles a lot, jostling my sore side and legs. Taking the bus isn’t the end of the world for me, but it’s definitely difficult.

Also, consider the fact that I could probably get a handicap parking permit more easily.

I was asked if I owned a car during a conversation with Services for Students with Disabilities. I don’t, but even if I did, I’m not supposed to be driving on my medications. I’ve tried to ask friends with vehicles for help, but they have their own schedules to maintain.

I’ve considered taking taxis, too. However, paying for one of those every day isn’t really in a college student’s budget. Obviously, I can’t earn money with a job right now unless it involves very little movement or strain on the body.

It’s been suggested a few times that maybe I should withdraw from school for the semester. Yet if I lived on campus, I wouldn’t even have this problem, because Parking & Transportation would then provide me with the help I need the most.

I’m mentally and emotionally capable of succeeding in my classes right now.

My doctors said it’s the best way to get better: engaging myself in the things that I care about and exercising my mind. It’s not as sufficiently documented, but my memory and concentration have been alternately affected by my illness as well.

It’s disheartening to be told I should just give up and sit around twiddling my fingers. A pang of isolation dually surfaces.

I wonder how many students who’ve become injured or sick have found themselves in a similar predicament?

I believe the university could be providing more to its off-campus students. I don’t think someone should have to live in the dorms just to get this type of assistance.

I hope this will at least raise some awareness of services that are lacking at our university.

The potential to help more students who truly need it is there, and I’d like to see future students benefit from those possibilities.

I’ll survive, but other disabled students who want to stay in college may not find themselves as lucky.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Disabled students deserve more assistance