Washburn student with disabilities holds rally on campus, pushing for more accessibility & inclusion

Kansas

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The community is rallying around Washburn University student Daija Coleman, who is pushing for more accessibility and inclusion on Washburn’s campus.

It’s an update to a story KSNT first told you about last month.

Coleman is a senior education major at the university and started this petition as part of her Senior Capstone project.

Carnegie Hall is the current home for education majors but isn’t ADA accessible. A major issue for students like Coleman who rely on a wheelchair to get around.

“We’ve had to shift our classes to another place on campus which makes the student feel badly,” Director of Student Experiences Craig Carter said.

On Wednesday she held a march on inclusion on Washburn’s campus surrounded by others in the community to bring more awareness to her cause.

“Accessibility and inclusion is so important for everyone. Not just people with disabilities,” Coleman said.

“It’s more than accessibility than to this building, it’s about inclusion,” Carter said. “And she’s been excluded from the normal experiences that our other education department students have.”

Coleman said the more attention there is on the issue, the better chance there is for change.

“People who are elderly, people who struggle, that kind of thing,” Coleman said. “So it’s not just one specific group of people, it affects us all.”

Before Wednesday’s march, Daija met with university officials to talk about potential solutions, some of which include putting in an elevator or moving the department to a different building. There is no word yet on a timeline for either solution.

You can read more about Daija’s capstone project here.

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