When you think of the College of Charleston, you may not view it as one of the most accessible colleges in the country. It’s set in the heart of downtown Charleston, SC, which is known for its historic charm of cobblestone streets and brick-laiden sidewalks.
The College was founded in 1770. It’s the oldest college south of Virginia and the thirteenth oldest in the country. That goes to show you there’s a lot of history on this beloved campus.
College Choice recently ranked the liberal arts college among the nation’s 50 Best Disability Friendly Colleges and Universities. The full list is available at http://www.collegechoice.net/50-best-disability-friendly-colleges-and-universities/.
From an accessibility standpoint, the College’s Center for Disability Services, also known as SNAP (Students Needing Access Parity), ensures classrooms are accessible and that students have the accommodations needed to foster learning.
I used the peer note taker service and had the option to use an audio recorder when I was a student. I also scheduled my classes early in the registration process to ensure I could get to each class in a timely matter. Faculty and staff were very helpful whenever I needed anything.
Although SNAP primarily focuses on the academic aspect, the staff devotes a lot of time to make sure the rest of the campus is accessible.
In 2007, an elevator was installed at the student media building allowing access to the second floor when I hosted a radio show on CofC Radio. More recently, another elevator was installed at the Blacklock House where Alumni Association events are held. Restrooms were also renovated in Randolph Hall.
These are great renovations for the campus, but I would love to see even more modifications. Improved ease of access throughout the campus would be great. There are some sidewalks that are treacherous, even for able-bodied folks. Think about what it does for people in wheelchairs and those who use other mobility aides.
It’s an honor for my alma mater to be recognized, but I think this is just the beginning. It would be great to see College of Charleston move up on the list!