By Memi Lorico Iriye
By Memi Lorico Iriye
In January, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 came into effect.
The Riverside Community College District held public meetings as part of its ADA compliance process.
The dean of Disabled Student Programs & Services, Paula McCroskey, was pleased that the district would go above and beyond compliance efforts.
“We want diversity on our campuses,” McCroskey said. “We want to include Title II of the ADA on top of all requirements that are already mandated.”
Under Title II of the ADA of 1990, disabled students are protected from discrimination in their admission procedures.And they have the right to askfor reasonable accommodations.But, the new ADA intended toimprove public accommodationsand commercial facilities.To help the effort, the districthired Chani Beeman, districtdirector of Diversity, Equity andCompliance. She is the ADA/504district coordinator.”This is a civil right” Beemansaid. “We have an obligation…Wehave to be as inclusive and effectiveas possible. It is our plan.”Both McCroskey and Beemanhost the meetings.The purpose of the new ADATransition Plan is to ensure thatRCC D complies with its BoardPolicy 7100 by identifying accessdeficiencies and barriers, designingthe most feasible and cost effectivesolutions for barrier removal,prioritizing the design solutions,developing an implementationphasing plan and developinga parking master plan for eachfacility.A team of consultants fromPSO MAS Engineering andgovernment architecture servicesf rom Bl a ck, O’Dowd andAssociates, Inc., were appointedfor this project.The priorities of the plan arepaths of travel, parking, access toprograms and services, restroomsand other public accommodationsof the three campuses includingthe district office.The project is currently at 40percent completion.Field inves tigation andassessment will be completed bythe end of June. A report is to bedelivered to RCCD in July.In attendance at the May 7meeting in the Digital LibraryAuditorium was Jan Muto,president of the Riverside campusto support the plan and answerpublic questions.She emphasized the importanceof accessibility at this college.One attendee in a wheelchair did express how hard it was just to get to the meeting.
First, she had difficulty with parking.
Second, she found no sign on how to get to the meeting.
Then, she asked for help from a campus employee who was not even aware of the ADA Transition Plan meeting.