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February 10, 1984 - Image 15

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-02-10
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Barrier
from Page 1
Cooley is one of the 52 handicapped
students registered with the Univer-
sity's Disabled Student Services (DSS)
office. But DSS director Jim Kubaiko
said the number could be much higher
because registering with the office is
voluntary.
With disabilities ranging from deaf-
ness or blindness to quadripeligia, not
only do handicapped University studen-
ts face physical obstacles on campus,
but sometimes a hardened, insensitive
attitude from professors and other
students.
M ARJORIE MINOR, another
handicapped student, says she
never walks across the Diag. Minor is
blind and says walking along pathways
that aren't straight can be confusing.
"If there are diagonal sidewalks -
and this campus is full of them - you
can very easily get off in the wrong
way. If I try the Diag, who knows where
I'll end up," she says with a giggle.
Minor lost her sight after a six-month
battle with glaucoma when she was 11.
Today, the LSA senior uses a guide dog
to find her way from home to campus
and from class to class.
Although Minor has learned to accept
her disability, some of her professors
have not.
"Some instructors are nervous about
having students who are disabled in
class," says Minor. One professor was
reluctant to let Minor tape-record his
lectures because he feared she might
sell the recordings.
Making a profit from a professor's
lecture would probably be a lot easier
than the lengths blind students must
take to understand the material. Blind
students spend several hours each day
transcribing lectures on Braille
typewriters. They also must hire people
to read their textbooks aloud to them.
Most disabled students also don't
take full classloads. Minor, for exam-
ple, says she usually registers for only
two courses a term.
Hearing impaired students, like
Cooley, who has only 9 credit hours,
hurry to find front row seats in lectures

shoulders down and bound to a
wheelchair. And for him, accessibility
to buildings has become a major con-
cern.
Today, whether he can get to his
classes on North Campus in the School
of Architecture and Urban Planning
depends on a building's accessibility.
If there isn't a ramp, Komar is in
trouble.
And he says-too many buildings on
campus are not adequately equipped
for handicapped students. Compared to
facilities at other universities such as
Michigan State and the University of
California at Berkeley, the University
is lagging behind.
"Compared to the way (the Univer-
sity) excells in other areas, it is lacking
terribly (in accessibility)," Komar
says.
In the past five years handicapped
students have filed complaints against
the University for not being accessible
enough. One complaint filed with the
Department of Education several years
ago charged that the University denied
handicapped students the same oppor-
tunities in academic programs because
disabled students could not get to cer-
tain buildings.
The individual wanted a separate bus
system for handicapped students
because standard University buses are
not equipped for wheelchairs.
And last September the University
initiated a special bus system for
disabled students which will cost about
$30,000 a year according to Kubaiko, the
DSS director.
But the University was one of the last
schools to get a special bus system.
Both MSU and Berkeley have had
long-established handicapped bus ser-
vices.
The University isn't light years
behind its peers, said Kubaiko, but it
certainly hasn't taken a leadership
role. "(The University) hasn't
aggressively recruited students with
disabilities or gone out of its way to
make the campus accessible."
Though University administrators
say the high cost of renovations is a
deterrent, handicapped students say
their reluctance is partly an attitude
problem.
Insensitivity among both students
and professors is commonplace, accor-
ding to Jim Luckey, a blind graduate

r

COVER STORY

Handicapped students

Page 1

From walking across the Diag to finding a
professor's office, disabled students face problems
far more basic than those who face only next week's
midterm. Their battle against barriers is compoun-
ded by a University that often treats them more as a
nagging irritation than a priority. Cover photo by
Doug McMahon.
FILM
Thriller flick Pages 4 & 5
Before Michael Jackson, thriller meant the kind of
movie where you sat on the edge of your seat, not sure
if you wanted to see the next scene and scream or just
cover your eyes. Alfred Hitchcock, the master of the
suspense film, is featured this week, along with one of
his best films, Vertigo. Also, Bob Dylan's Don't Look
Back, which shows his 1965 England tour, hits the
screen.
DISCS
Reincarnated rock Page 6
The music comes alive although the artist is long

gone - John Lennon's voice still rings out over the
radio and stereos, better than ever. Catch the review
on the husband-wife album (John and Yoko, that is)
also, Milk and Honey.
THE LIST
Happenings Pages 7-10
Your personal guide to fun times for the coming
week in Ann Arbor. Film Capsules, music previews,
theater notes, and bar dates, all listed for you in a
handy-dandy, day-by-day schedule. And this week
there's more information about food around town.
THEATER

MUSIC
First class
Ann Arbor will be one o
experience the combinatic
the Vienna Philharmori
this week why this combinr
FEATURES
What's so curiou
George?
And what were the se
spoken on T.V.? George C
'60s and '70s, will give Ai
routines this weekend. A
Carlin plans to be as funny
BOOKS
A Greek odyssey
A quest for revenge that
civil war in Greece reache
when a former New York '
one of his mother's executo

Not quite Shakespeare

Page 11

Tom Stoppard directs his two one act plays, Dogg's
Hamlet and Cahoot's Macbeth. Dogg's Hamlet takes
place in "Dogg" and in Dogg language and Cahoot's
Macbeth is just as different. Find out what these two
upcoming plays are really all about with this week's
preview.

C
0
O
V
O
I-Y
^C

Weekend
Friday Februarv 10, 1984
Votime I Issue 16
Magazine Editor ................Mare Hodges
Sales Manager ..............Debbie Dioguardai
Assistant Sales Manager ............ Laurie Truske

Accessible: A symbol of hope

Weekend is edited and managed by students on the
staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar-
bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition
of the Daily every week during the University year
and is available for free at many locations around the
campus and city.

Weekend, (313) 763-0379
Daily, 764-0552; Circulatior
tising, 764-0554.
Copyright 1984, The Michig

'Some instructors are nervous about having
students who are disabled in class.'
- Marjorie Minor
blind student

two detached retinas and almost totally
blind.
"At that time in my life, the only
thing I was into was athletics," he said.
But Luckey's handicap has shifted his in-
terests - and created new problems.
"The attitude that I picked up from
(professors) is that they were too busy
(to be bothered)."
At least Luckey has no problem fin-
ding his professors-for Minor, even a
trip to a professor's office poses a
major problem. Finding the floor is
relatively easy because there are
Braille elevator buttons. But once off
the elevator, things become more com-
plicated.
There are no Braille door numbers.
"I've only been able to find two in-
structors offices in all the years I've
been here," Minor says. "It's a little
touchy sometimes to ask a prof, 'Will
you look for me out in the hallway?' "
And somedays, even having a guide
dog can be embarrassing, Minor says.
Because the dog sheds a lot, Minor says
people are always telling her she has
dog hair all over her clothes.
For students in wheelchairs, getting a
flat tire can be a crisis. Engineering
Senior Bob Hooper had to call his rom-
mmate when his wheelchair had a flat.
Hooper was injured in a diving ac-.
cident shortly after the end of his
freshman year. He nearly drowned.
But Hooper says he isn't bitter abouthis
paralysis, instead he sees it "as sort of
challenging."
The support of Hooper's fraternity
brothers in Phi Delta Theta helped him
adjust to his paralysis. "I have 70
fraternity brothers and they've made
life a lot easier," says Hooper.
"They've really been a great asset for
the last three or four years."
But right after the accident, Hooper
said he felt self-conscious in a
wheelchair.
"You get to the point where you're
always conscious of how people think of
you. But that wears off pretty fast. I
figure if I have a good attitude, people
ought to have a good attitude towards
me."
Cooley's adjustment to his disability

was not as, smooth as Hooper's. During
high school and his first year at the
University, Cooley said he lived in a
fantasy world. Withdrawn and feeling
little interest in making friends, he says
he would often pretend he didn't see
acquaintances on campus or between
classes to avoid speaking to people.
Living in West Quad during his fresh-
man year was a disaster
He simply didn't have the same social
skills as his other peers. "I had a dif-
ficult time enjoying myself."
After that difficult first year, a
traumatic incident in which Cooleyrwas
hit by a car while crossing the street at
the corner of South Forest and South
University, brought him out of his shell.
"I made a somersault and my
hearing aids started flying," Cooley
remembers. Although he wasn't
seriously hurt, he says the accident
made him aware of just how out of
touch he was~with reality.
"The impact of the car hitting me
made me realize (there was a real
world)," he says.
But even today, in the real world,
Cooley has problems - especially in
social situations.
Some of the most difficult and lonely
times for Cooley are at parties when
music is blaring and people are
giggling and talking at once. Cooley
says those situations are still
frustrating and seem impossible to
handle.
"It's especially difficult at parties.
It's almost impossible at parties. I'm
quite limited at a party. Sometimes I'll
go up to an individual and say 'hey,
great weather we're having and they
don't understand me," he says.
Concentrating so hard to understand
others and make himself underitood
takes up most of his intellectual effort,
Cooley says. "You put your creativity
and imagination on the back burner.
"I think being hearing impaired has
more of an impact on social life than
being blind."
Cooley's barriers are primarily
social ones, but for other handicapped
students, social difficulties are only the

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so they can see their professors' lips as
they talk. But even with that extra ef-
fort, deaf students still miss words.
And students bound to wheelchairs
like University graduate student
Tom Komar have to arrange their
schedules around their personal
assistants who help them dress, bathe,
and eat before classes.
When Komar was an undergraduate
student at Kent State University, he
didn't pay much'att'ention to handicap-
ped facilities on campus. He didn't need
to.
But today, after a severe car ac
cident, Komar is paralyzed from the

student.
"I guess the major problem that I've
encountered is just trying to com-
municate to an individual professor
that I am a visually impaired student
and they say: 'Fine, what do you want
me to do about it?" Luckey says.
When Luckey asked one of his
professors to allow him extra reading
time di-r.ng tests. the orofessor asked
Lucky for medical proof that he was
senior Bob Hooper had to call his roo-
Luckey was disabled while he was
playing a football game as a high school
freshman, and he was knocked against
a goal post. The accident left him with

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14 Weekend/February 10, 19843W

3 Week

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