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Accessibility Study


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Accessibility Study- Field Trip Location of the Spectrum. After completing the checklist for existing facilities version 2.1, The American with Disabilities Act Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal, Aug 1995 wrote a letter to the company observed.

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Accessibility Study

  1. 1. February 1, 2010 3601 South Broad St, Phila, PA, 19145 Dear Sir or Madam: My name is Blair Thallmayer and I am a Professional Development Schools (PDS) student at East Stroudsburg University. PDS is a teaching program wherein students learn about working as a classroom teacher, before taking the next step to become a student teacher. I work with the students and do everything a paid teacher does with the difference that I am also getting graded. The classroom in which I teach is inclusionary, meaning that students with special needs are mixed in with regular-needs students. The reason I bring this up has to do with your venue. I recently attended a Dane Cook comedy show at the Spectrum and enjoyed it thoroughly. While there, I noticed a listing of upcoming events and realized that some of these events might prove to be beneficial for the students, in terms of taking field trips. That being said, I want to bring to your attention some aspects of the Spectrum that would potentially lessen the enjoyment of special-needs students. These aspects deal with the accessibility, ease, and modifications that special-needs students generally need in order to learn, enjoy, and understand. The Spectrum is still a beautiful venue, even if it was essentially replaced for the major sporting events with the Wachovia Center. The parking lots have ample space and the spots designated for the handicapped are located in wonderful positions, allowing quick and easy access to the nearby sidewalks and curbs. The curb ramps are sloped very nicely, which allows students in wheelchairs or with walking disabilities a very easy route to the entrance doors. At the entrance, though, a lot of force must be applied when opening the doors. The extra force (which most young students do not possess) combined with the height of the door handles (higher than the students’ heights) leads to some difficulty in actually entering the venue. The doors also do not pass the closed-fist tests, meaning that students with strength or arm and hand disabilities will have a hard time using them even if they required less force to open. I am not necessarily suggesting the installation of lighter doors or lower door handles, but perhaps an employee can act as a doorman and open them so every 200 PROSPECT ST, LINDEN HALL, ROOM 316-B • EAST STROUDSBURG, PA • 18301 PHONE: 570-422-4436
  2. 2. –2– February 1, 2010 student can enter without any problem. It would be a shame if a student has to start a potentially fun field trip by realizing that he has a problem and cannot even open the door. Inside the building, most of the features and amenities are designed in ways that are beneficial to those with special needs. There are, however, a number of areas that could be slightly altered to make the experience of someone with special needs that much greater. When it comes to accessing the goods and services provided in your venue, the sheer amount of concessions stand makes it very easy to locate one, and the elevators are placed nearby to allow someone with a walking disability an alternate route of travel. There is also enough room for somebody in a wheelchair to make a U-turn or turn around. The problem with the goods and services areas ties into the problem with the wideness of the hallways. When the Spectrum is empty or hosting a low attended venue, the hallways are fine and the crowded nature does not serve as so much of a bother. When the Spectrum hosts a large event, like a Dane Cook comedy show, attendance is at sell-out capacity, and when you enter the hallways to concessions stands, maneuvering your way through the massive crowd can prove to be a very annoying and angering experience for anyone. Wider hallways would accommodate and fix this problem, as would a specially designated concessions stand for those with disabilities. This alternate concessions stand would be located near the seating areas but off to the back, so as to avoid being right in the middle of the human traffic. At that concessions stand, the ledge desk would be shorter so smaller students would not have to reach and those in wheelchairs could receive their own items instead of having them handed over. Doors in your venue, though not all over the place, are very hard to open without applying maximum force. Luckily, there are no doors to enter the bathrooms or the concessions stands. The only doors are at the entrance and exits and, as I suggested, having a doorman would fix this problem. The signs for all of the doors and concessions stand are vibrant, written with large letters, and placed high enough to avoid being an obstruction to those in wheelchairs or who cannot see. These signs are not in Braille but they really cannot be without being much lower and being much lower would serve as an obstruction to the blind, who would utilize the Braille. 200 PROSPECT ST, LINDEN HALL, ROOM 316-B • EAST STROUDSBURG, PA • 18301 PHONE: 215-837-4707 • 570-422-4436
  3. 3. –3– February 1, 2010 The routes to each level of the venue come in the form of escalators or elevators. The only time anybody would have to use stairs is if the escalators stop working. The elevator buttons are of the right height for anybody, but they are not in Braille, which could be a problem for someone with a sight handicap. A quick fix would be to inscribe the Braille symbols. This would be a very easy solution and would go a long way towards making the elevators easy to use for those who should be utilizing them the most. Your restrooms are located all over the place, near the concessions stands, and near the seating areas. The entrances of each restroom is without a door, so no extra force needs to be applied. Everyone can simply walk right in. The doors to the stalls inside pass the closed fist test and can be opened by anybody, even if they have a disability with their strength or hands. Signs in the form of male and female symbols delineate which restroom it is, but again, no Braille to inform the blind. A sign with Braille lettering on the lower wall would go a long way to helping those with sight disabilities who cannot see the male or female symbols. The telephones are located at the bottom floor of the Spectrum and there are not a whole lot of them anymore, however the ones still there are without a text-telephone system. Those who have trouble speaking or hearing would not be able to use these to get in touch with a parent if an emergency arises and would need to depend on someone else. The installation of a few text-telephone systems next to the payphones would fix this problem. Overall, I feel your venue would be a tremendous one to take my students on a field trip to, but some slight changes and alterations would make it that much better for them. As I mentioned throughout this letter, everything in the Spectrum works but could be better for students with special needs or handicaps. I hope you strongly consider instituting these changes. It would be a shame if a young child has to miss out on the circus, a hockey game, or any other wonderful event you host because of a slight, fixable problem such as a text-telephone system being installed or Braille letters. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. 200 PROSPECT ST, LINDEN HALL, ROOM 316-B • EAST STROUDSBURG, PA • 18301 PHONE: 215-837-4707 • 570-422-4436
  4. 4. –4– February 1, 2010 Sincerely, Blair Thallmayer PDS Student, East Stroudsburg University 200 PROSPECT ST, LINDEN HALL, ROOM 316-B • EAST STROUDSBURG, PA • 18301 PHONE: 215-837-4707 • 570-422-4436