Reavis chair lift installed

By Caryn Rosenberg

The inaccessibility gap has been bridged once again with the installation of a chair lift in Reavis Hall.

One of the key reasons for the lift is to increase accessibility for assistant professor in journalism John Clogston, a wheelchair user.

“I teach in Reavis and my office is in Reavis,” Clogston said. “In order to get to my classes, I had to go outside, up the hill and in another entrance on the second floor.”

Clogston was told a lift would be installed when he accepted the position at NIU.

“A ramp was installed in August,” he said. “The lift completes the process up to the second floor.”

When the lift is utilized, it takes up one full half of the stair length, Clogston said.

“People are going to be annoyed every once in awhile, but everyone gets annoyed every once in awhile,” he said.

“The chair lift, as well as some other remodeling, was done because of the need to provide accessibility for Professor Clogston and other individuals with disabilities,” said Gary Gresholdt, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.

Gresholdt said the university began making accommodations as a result of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which addressed the provision for access for people with disabilities for institutions receiving federal funds.

“The university has done projects and has also developed a policy that supports accessibility,” Gresholdt said.

For example, Gresholdt said the university needed to make student programs, such as academic classes, accessible for persons with disabilities.

“This is done by providing physical access, by removing barriers or by moving programs or activities to places that are accessible,” Gresholdt said.

Journalism Chairman Donald Brod said he is happy the lift finally has been installed.

“We have been pushing for this and we’re glad that it is here now,” Brod said.