Access Rice: IMMERSE

Pedagogical Insights:

  • Rice DSS appears to be reactive as opposed to proactive in accommodating the needs of students at Rice
  • There are too few existing resources for individuals at Rice with disabilities
  • Sometimes there is a lack of understanding between faculty/staff and students with disabilities due to lack of training/exposure/forethought

Social Insights:

  • Students with disabilities are often unable to participate in the same activities and events as their able-bodied peers
  • Students who miss out on the social experiences of their university don’t get the “full college experience”

Structural Insights:

To gain more insights into the structural problem space, members of the team ventured across campus and went inside notoriously inaccessible buildings in wheelchairs and scooters (thanks, Shane, for letting us borrow yours!). This video (thanks, Beril!) shows our team’s struggles in navigating our way around some of the least accessible placing on campus.

This video, and the experiences which it captured, revealed many important insights to our team:

  • Many buildings on campus are not accessible at all
    • Sid Richardson College, Herzstein, Lovett Hall, etc.
  • Nominally accessible buildings can often be archaic in reality, meaning “accessible entrances” could be the opposite
    • This distinction can be made with the classification of buildings as “technically accessible” and “universally accessible”
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