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Timeline: disability initiatives at the college since formation o f Beloit Cross Disability Coalition in Fall 2014

The following is a timeline of disability initiatives that took place in the past four years from the time our current seniors entered the college to the semester where many of us will graduate. The last four years have also coincided with the emergence of the Beloit Cross-Disability Coalition, (BC-DC), the only student organization by students with disabilities for students with disabilities in campus history. It is important to acknowledge the work of this historic group in bringing accessibility and inclusion of students with disabilities to the attention of the college community. I wish the best to BC-DC and all other students with disabilities who have persisted at this college despite so many barriers to access. Keep fighting for your right to thrive at this institution! 

Fall 2014

  • Beloit Cross Disability Coalition (BC-DC) was created.

Spring 2015

  • Beloit Cross-Disability Coalition officially established as a campus club.
  • BC-DC wins Club Nouveau award at the Beloit Leadership Awards.

Summer 2015

  • Braille Signage is installed in Morse-Ingersoll, which was funded by BC-DC through Turtle Tank.
  • Restroom in Eaton Chapel renovated to be gender neutral and accessible, also funded by BC-DC through Turtle Tank.

Fall 2015

  • AST receives Turtle Tank funds to install an access ramp for their house. This project has yet to be completed as of Spring 2018.
  • BC-DC uses Turtle Tank funds to purchase canes available for students to check out from the Health and Wellness Center, neck loops for hearing impaired students to use with loop hearing systems and a portable access ramp. The access ramp was never purchased due to an inability to coordinate with physplant and the funds were donated toward the renovation of Campbell Hall’s access ramp.

Spring 2016

  • #MakeEquityRealatBC included a Disability Awareness 101 presentation and a Disability Open Mic Night organized and presented by BC-DC.
  • BC-DC brought concerns about the inclusion of students with disabilities to Dr. Benjamin Reese.

Fall 2016

  • Self-Study of Disability Services Task Force initiated with the hiring of a new position to oversee this project, the Senior Associate Dean of Students.
  • Campbell Hall access ramp, entry and accessible gender neutral first floor bathroom remodel completed.
  • Learning Enrichment and Disability Services (LEADS) and Office of International Education (OIE) collaborate to make study abroad more inclusive for students with disabilities.
  • LEADS hires a Temporary Accessibility Assistant.
  • Automatic door openers in the ‘64 Halls were turned back on (they were turned off due to supposed security concerns prior to this).

Spring 2017

  • Self-Study of Disability Services completed.
  • External Review of Disability Services completed.
  • Off-campus study disability disclosure form created by LEADS and OIE, spreadsheet of information about bringing prescription medication abroad created by LEADS.
  • Temporary Accessibility Assistant leaves to take a permanent position elsewhere.

Fall 2017

  • Physical Accessibility Improvements to Campus
    • Center for Entrepreneurship full renovation includes an elevator.
    • An accessible path to the Wright Museum of Art’s accessible entrance is created and key card access is enabled so that students can use the accessible entrance and access the elevator.
  • Fall Faculty Conference focused on accommodating students with disabilities.
  • Mellon Grant secured for faculty development around Universal Design for Learning.
  • Disability services abroad web page added to OIE website.
  • BC-DC funds Loud Bodies project, which makes stim toys available for students in designated areas on campus and aims to reduce stigma around stimming behaviors.

Spring 2018

  • www.beloit.edu/accessabroad page is made available on the OIE website.
  • Room Lottery for 2018-19 school year includes a process for students with approved housing accommodations to be given priority in selecting rooms.
  • Disability in American Literature course offered by ENGL/CRIS.
  • Loud Bodies project continues.

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