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ADAA works on equal opportunities at UTEP

The+ADA+Advisory+Commitee+holds+meetings+monthly%2C+with+this+one+taking+place+on+Feb.+8.++
Joel Molina
The ADA Advisory Commitee holds meetings monthly, with this one taking place on Feb. 8.

On Wednesday Feb. 8, the ADA Advisory Committee (ADAAA) held a public meeting where members discussed and talked through different issues and worries around campus related to accessibility. The assembly took place in the campus Union East building, Andesite Conference Room 102B via zoom. The ADAA is all about inclusivity, therefore they assigned a sign language interpreter for the occasion. 

The ADAAA is in charge of the development and maintenance of a campus with equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The committee consists of faculty, staff and students that acknowledge accessibility and disability matters. UTEP’s Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) and the Director for Equal Opportunity are chairs of the committee. The committee provides guidance through review of policies and procedures relative to the University’s compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its Amendments.The committee is constantly working on improvements and upgrades of UTEP facilities and they hold meetings open to the public every once in a while. 

During the meeting, each member brought up various projects that must be done around UTEP for the benefit of its community. Some of those projects are at work in the LART building for better ADA access as well as the Old Main building and Quinn Hall, updates in PT1 parking lot, upgrade the ramp in the Physical Sciences building, modernization in some of the elevators around campus and meeting with graphic designers to improve some restrooms. 

The discussion then progressed to creating awareness about the committee. Not many people know about the ADAAA or its purpose, thus members will be working on this matter by handing flyers around campus. This will also bring the opportunity to provide better services to ADA community. 

A student stated blind people have issues going around UTEP. The campus online map is not available for screen readers which is a struggle for those who need it. The ADAAA listened and will work on the development of a map accessible for everybody.  

The topic soon changed to a more hectic subject, parking. The ADAA is currently in the process of providing more parking spaces for individuals with disabilities. The discourse did not stop there, some present stated that parking is expensive, and students tend to buy parking permits on the outskirts of the university because they are more affordable. It is difficult to go from the outskirts to the main campus, for that matter the community is asking for approachable ADA parking for those who are in desperate need.  

Students, faculty and staff can help build a better campus for people with disabilities by contacting the ADAAA when they see something that needs to be addressed, including physical and digital issues.  

To submit a report to facilities, visit https://www.utep.edu/ada-advisorycommittee and select the icon “Submit Report to Facilities Services”.  

You may email the ADA Advisory Committee at [email protected] 

Angelica Gutierrez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

 

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About the Contributors
Angelica Gutierrez
Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor/Reporter
Angelica Gutierrez is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is a contributor for The Prospector. She wants to integrate into the film industry as a writer and director.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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ADAA works on equal opportunities at UTEP