Accessibility at Rice
We are a diverse team of students working to implement a radical solution to the problem of accessibility on Rice's campus.
Coby Kaskel - team lead and all-around chill dude
Beril Uzmen -
Angelo Ragan -
Connor Rothschild - enjoys petting dogs
Irene Kwon - lover of canned peaches and corgis
Shane DiGiovanna -
Our project has officially begun! This week, we have started broad research regarding problem spaces around disability and accessibility on college campuses. We have asked questions such as, "what is disability? What is accessibility? What does living with a disability look like on a college campus? What does living with a disability look like at Rice? What resources are available for these students?" While seemingly broad, these questions will provide us with a broader understanding of the problem space and allows us to ask more focused, educated questions. We will use insights gained from this research to define more specific problem spaces and create a list of interview questions for experts and potential users.
We met today to discuss potential interviewees, our research, and important insights. Here are a few:
- Sixteen percent of students with disabilities earned a bachelor's degree, compared to 27% of students without disabilities... (Horn & Berktold, 1999)
- Quality of disability support services at Universities is highly variable despite how crucial its services are to the quality of life of these students.
- According to this ranking, rice does not rank in the top 50 most disability friendly schools in the United States.
- In many cases, ignorance of faculty and staff has made it difficult for students to get the help they need, which in some cases makes students less willing to disclose their conditions or ask for help.
- While many universities work hard to provide accommodations in the classroom, there is little work being done to help students accommodate to have successful social lives.
We discussed these insights and have a long list of narrower problem spaces. Here are a few:
- Faculty/student communication
- Classrooms and teaching styles
- Student awareness
- Parties/social events
- Handicap accessible doors
- Orientation Week
- Buildings with no elevators
- Service animals
Tomorrow, we will be focusing on both expanding this list but narrowing down the number of topics. Ultimately, our goal is to settle on a problem space that is small enough for us to deliver a solution within a semester while being ambitious enough to make a meaningful impact on the Rice community.