While Drew makes a good effort to address the different needs of its student body, there is still a long road to travel in order to make sure that, regardless of whether a student has a disability or not, they can thrive and learn at the same level as their counterparts. It has been discussed before that most buildings are not handicap accessible. But the problem goes beyond that, since learning disabilities should also be taken into consideration. After all, what good is it to be able to walk into a classroom if students won’t be able to keep up in the class?
Academic accommodations need to be seriously restructured at Drew. In order for Drew to open its doors to a wider crowd, it is important to create accommodations for all types of disabilities. All the students that come to Drew come with a different perspective, and it is crucial for our education to see diversity, not just in race and gender, but also in abilities. We want to be taught how to think, not told what to think.
It is vital to take into account that there are many people that are not aware they qualify for an academic accommodation. Or, even worse, they might be aware of the fact that they need help, but they lack the resources to be properly diagnosed. For many students, it may be nearly impossible to provide the necessary documentation to receive the accommodations that they desperately need. While we understand that precautions must be taken so that these services are not abused by those who don’t need them, we think that the bureaucratic process often dissuades students from even trying to get the accommodations that they need.
Here at The Acorn we welcome people of all sorts of abilities, and we hope that students would feel that way in the larger Drew community as well. It is definitely not our intention to criticize things that are outside of our knowledge, and for some of us outside our personal experience, but we think it is important to bring awareness to these issues. Hopefully, everyone at Drew can start to take steps to make this a community of learners accommodation for every type of learner.