Quiz: How could Danforth Campus be more accessible?

Ali Gold | Director of Online Content

Even small changes to buildings, doors, windows and pathways could dramatically alter how students of various abilities are able to navigate getting to class, dining facilities, extracurriculars and living spaces. Here are eight places on campus that exemplify how campus can be difficult to navigate. Can you spot the improvements that could be made to each photo? Scroll down to view the answers below the images.

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1. This ramp in the basement of Simon Hall is narrow and very steep.

2. Stones in pavement certainly add to Washington University’s charm. However, for students who use wheeled devices, such as walkers and wheelchairs, the uneven ground can cause difficulty walking, or even toppling.

3. These stairs lead from Danforth Campus to Snow Way Drive. The nearest elevators are all the way across the Snow Way parking garage or in the Law School, which is often closed.

4. The Ann W. Olin Women’s Building has stairs like these going up three flights to sorority and other organizational spaces. There is no elevator in the building, making it essentially impossible for someone unable to ascend stairs to visit access these spaces.

5. These bathrooms in the basement of Mallinckrodt Center only have door handles. People who have difficulty grasping handles or are in wheelchairs would have difficulty entering the restroom.

6. This door outside of the Danforth University Center could be improved in two ways. First, the window is too high for someone in a wheelchair to see out of. This is problematic because it means an individual trying to use it from a wheelchair would be unable to see if there are people on the other side of the door, potentially causing a collision. Additionally, the handicap button opens the further door. It would be difficult to hit the button and maneuver in a wheelchair over to the open door. Ideally, both doors would open, or the one closer to the button would open.

7. and 8. This is the same issue as number 6, except worse. The button on the left side of the photo opens the right door. The button on the right side of the photo opens the same door. However, it is obscured behind a door that is almost always propped open to Cafe Bergson. If this door was kept open, the problem would be resolved.

Even the slightest changes, from a propped door, to larger ones, such as missing elevators, could make campus much easier to travel for all students. Look around campus, and you are likely to spot many more of these accessibility challenges.

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