Millersville University ADA Committee

For the last 15 years, often behind the scenes, Millersville University has had an active Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) committee. The committee is composed of a diverse group of faculty, staff and students who work together and help to guide the University through compliance with the ADA law. The committee is also a place for members of the campus community to bring ideas, suggestions or concerns about ADA issues on campus.

The University's new ADA accessible, seven-passenger mini-van.

Chaired by Lou DeSol, associate vice president for human resources, the ADA committee meets every month to discuss current ADA topics, discuss requests for accommodation and strategize on ways to make Millersville University a more ADA-friendly campus. The ADA committee is also involved in training and education to increase awareness of the importance of compliance with the requirements of the ADA law as well as taking steps to go beyond what the law requires.

Like most organizations with buildings and grounds that pre-date the ADA law (1990), Millersville University has many older facilities that need to be modified to comply with the ADA law and the many changes to the law since it was originally adopted. Typically, when older buildings are fully renovated (such as Osburn Hall, the Student Memorial Center, McComsey Hall, etc.), they are brought up to full ADA compliance for the law at that time.  However, the ADA law continues to evolve and so the process of keeping buildings and grounds compliance is an ongoing effort.

In addition to facilities, there are many other adaptive and accessibility technologies and equipment that are purchased and installed that are less noticeable, but just as important. The following is a short list of some of the projects the ADA committee has completed, over the years, to make Millersville University a more ADA-friendly place to live, learn, teach and work.

Wheelchair Lift

In order to quickly and safely lift someone who uses a wheelchair from floor level up and onto a stage or platform, the University purchased a wheelchair lift. This is used primarily for commencement and special events.  The lift is easy to operate, strong, durable and ideal for such applications.  Should a lift be required for a special event, please contact housekeeping at 872-3200.

Power Door Operators

One of the ways you can see the work of the ADA committee is through the installation of power door operators.  Though they are not required by ADA law, the University does, where appropriate, add power door operators to specific buildings.  Power door operators allow those with mobility issues to more easily enter and exit buildings.

Training and Education

Just this year, the ADA committee organized a day-long teaching and training seminar with an expert consultant, Cindy Brown. Brown met with groups of faculty, students and employees to discuss how the University can go beyond the basics of the ADA law and expand the potential of those with special needs.

Assistive Technology

All over campus, new assistive technology is being introduced.  Accessible software has been provided for student computer labs to improve accessibility for students with visual impairments and print disabilities. JAWS, Zoom Text and Kurzweil are available in many labs across campus and also in the Office of Learning Services’ Assistive Technology Lab in Lyle Hall. A high-speed scanner to make digital copies of books, MyReader magnification system and Braille software and printer are also available in the Office of Learning Services.

The ADA committee championed the remodeling of a classroom at Hash Building/Bassler Hall as a hearing-impaired teaching laboratory. The committee has also provided accessible seating and test tables for students with physical disabilities. The Office of Learning Services has provided accessible testing tables suitable for wheelchair access as well as accessible seating for students with physical limitations who require specialized chairs.

Access Ramps

The ADA committee has been involved in making buildings and grounds accessible through the design and construction of ADA-compliant ramps.  A few examples are the ramps at Biemesderfer Stadium, Brooks Hall and Huntingdon House.

Handicap-Accessible Bathrooms

The ADA committee has been involved in several building renovation and remodeling projects to bring older bathrooms into compliance with the ADA law.  A few examples are Witmer, Brooks and Dilworth buildings.

Curb Cuts and Sidewalks

The committee has actively championed the addition of several new curb cuts on campus and borough sidewalks to better allow those with mobility issues to move around campus. In addition, some sidewalks have been remodeled to improve mobility.

Assistive Crossing Devices

Millersville University received an award from the Lancaster County Association of the Blind for installing state-of-the-art assistive crossing devices at the Frederick and George Street intersection.

Handicapped Parking

Parking at Millersville University is a finite resource and adding a new handicapped parking space in one of the parking lots means the taking away of a faculty, staff or student parking space. However, the committee tries to balance the needs of those with legitimate handicapped parking needs and others who need to use the parking lots.

University Vehicles

The University recently purchased several new seven-passenger mini-vans, one of which will be ADA (wheelchair) accessible.

For more information, visit the ADA committee website.

Employee Wellness “Drop 10 in 10”

Millersville University’s Employee Wellness Committee presents Highmark’s “Drop 10 in 10,” a 10-week program available to all employees to help you lose 10 pounds (or 10 percent) of your body weight through nutrition, exercise and behavioral changes. This program is confidential and may be done individually, or you can participate in group meetings.  Participants will receive a toolkit which includes a guide book, food and fitness journal, tape measure, and resistance band.  The cost of the kit is $20 per person. If you need a “Drop 10 in 10” kit, please send a check for $20 payable to Millersville University to the Office of Human Resources no later than September 2. If you have a kit, you do not need to order another one.

The program will begin on September 20 and end on November 29.  Weekly meetings will be held on Thursdays at noon (doors open at 11:45 a.m.) beginning September 20 in Room 128, Caputo Hall. Please participate for the length of your lunch break. This program will count toward part of the next phase of “Healthy U” requirements for Highmark members only. This program does notcount toward any requirement of the PEBTF’s “Get Healthy” program for AFSCME and SCUPA employees.

To register, email or contact the Office of Human Resources at 717-872-3017 if you have any questions.

This article has 1 comment

  1. I’m curious how the home side of the stadium by-passes ADA regs. The section you have reserved for disabled is non-functional. The ramp from the parking lot is wonderful and a great addition. It seems rather inexpensive to build a platform between the two stair cases and add a wheel chair lift. This would accommodate a significant number of physically challenged individuals and be comparable to other stadiums.

    I realize budgets are tight and I’m not really complaining although it is almost impossible for me to go up those stairs. I would hope you might be able to rectify this situation in future budgets.

    By the way, the ramp to the visitors side is great. The problem is the distance from the gate to the other side of the field.

    Thanks for the privilege to comment.
    Bob Cooper ’60

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