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Disability and Accessibility at GMHS

Avery Unbehagen, Staff Reporter

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As of 2016, about 12% of U.S. Citizens were reported to be disabled in some way (Disability Statistics.) Yet many schools and companies just barely scrape by when it comes to accessibility. Elevators are difficult to find or access, ramps are too steep, and subtitles are rarely available. At Green Mountain High School, there is a ramp on a hill leading to the front door, but it is narrow and has no railing. If icy, windy, or the user simply loses control, someone in a wheelchair or on crutches could easily fall off of it.

Some students as well can be inconsiderate, not moving out of the way for wheelchairs, crutches, or canes. More than a few students at our school require an as-needed knee brace and are regularly ignored when asking for help. Some students even go as far as hitting or kicking the braces. “[He] kicked me in the knee, knowing that it hurt really bad that day.” Says a GM sophomore. It goes without saying, however, that many students are quite accommodating and are quick to help a disabled person.

Many buildings have the same issues, ramps being too steep, or elevators being placed in strange, out-of-the-way places. Society as a whole has spent all of existence pretending that disabled people don’t exist, it’s time to change that. It’s time to normalize disabilities, whether it be visible or invisible. It’s time for a change.

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