Accessibility at SCCC: My Point of View


I don’t know if I can do this anymore! I started at SCCC part-time in 2016. I took two classes so I could “get the feel” for college and what it’s like. At the time I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My plan was to work at Stop & Shop for the rest of my life. 

When I started at the college, I was using forearm crutches. As a consequence, I was getting to class five to ten minutes late. So, my mother, grandma, and I went to Gem Wheelchair and Scooter Service, located in Queens, New York. At first I did not want to use a wheelchair, because I did not want to become dependent on it. However, in 2019, I fell and broke my right foot. I soon became accustomed to using a wheelchair.

When I was using crutches, the accessibility of the college wasn’t a huge issue for me. It was tolerable. However, as time goes on, I find that SCCC is not exactly handicap accessible. I find myself falling more frequently and I am not able to get myself up on my own.

I am not the only one who has issues with the accessibility. Harry Lewis, an SCCC alumnus, has worked at the college for years. He works in the counseling office. Like me, he is in a wheelchair and has almost fallen off the toilet because of the degree to which the bathrooms are accessible.

Personally, I find the only bathroom I can safely use is the one in the campus library (the Montaukett Learning Resource Center), because that building has grab bars that come out on both sides of the toilet. This is the bathroom I tend to use most of the time.

I doubt most people think twice about something as simple as going to the bathroom. This is something other disabled students and I must think about constantly. No student should have to go into a separate building just to use a bathroom. Along with more grab bars being installed on campus, I believe that more emergency pull cords should be implemented, in addition to the one in the Health and Wellness Center.

I am now just one semester away from graduating SCCC, with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation, my plan is to transfer to Farmingdale State College and study Criminal Justice. However, before transferring, I will have to visit the campus to make sure it is fully accessible. My reality is that, if Farmingdale is not accessible, I will not be able to attend the college. 

I have spoken with many people on campus, including faculty, students, and staff, and services such as Campus Activities, Public Safety, and the Student Government Association. Considering the amount of people who are aware of these safety hazards, as well as the severity of the same, these issues should be taken care of immediately. I urge SCCC to consider these concerns, to raise the standards with regard to accessibility. As I see it, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets severely hurt.