Renovations for Disabled Ready for Use Next Week

In compliance with a federal regulation put into effect last June, which stipulates that recipients of federal financial aid make all their programs accessible to the handicapped, ramps for the disabled at Robinson and Boylston Halls and a porch lift in Emerson Hall will be ready for use next week, the assistant director for facilities said yesterday.

Harvard is planning to renovate more buildings, although no definite schedule has been set, John Cady, assistant director for facilities said, Internal alterations in Lamont Library will be completed shortly, Cady added.

The present renovations will cost the University $30,000, Donald Burke, coowner of Harry Burke and Sons, Inc. said yesterday.

Accommodations for the handicapped at Harvard have progressed steadily, Mark Fielder '78, president of Advocating a Better Learning Environment (ABLE), said yesterday.

"Three or four years ago, people had to be carried into dining rooms. As a quadriplegic, I feel that this year all of Harvard's programs are accessible to me," Fielder added.


Stephanie Thomas '80, secretary of ABLE, who is a paraplegic, said yesterday the main improvement she has noticed at Harvard is a "definite change of attitude in that the University is now really trying to help the handicapped."

The attempted development of a special van to serve as a shuttle bus and the institution of a 24-hour call service at the Buildings and Grounds committee to help students with emergency mobility problems are recent improvements, Fielder said.

John McCann, a first-year law student who is blind, said yesterday he is greatly encouraged by the progress being made through student efforts.

Besides providing student readers for the blind through the Bureau of Study Counsel, the University has also installed a recorder at Langdell, the Law School Library. The elevator buttons and campus maps should also be modified, McCann said.

Mr. Thomas Crooks, special assistant to the dean of the Faculty, is organizing a Faculty committee to alleviate some academic problems of the handicapped. The committee will mediate between the students and the administration whenever problems arise, Crooks, said.

The city of Cambridge contributed to the handicapped cause last year by making 30 sidewalk alterations on the University's request, Fielder said.

"Harvard has always responded to the needs of handicapped students, but they used to do it more on a one-to-one basis by making temporary revisions," Dr. Eleanor Shore, assistant to the President and coordinator for the University program for the handicapped, said yesterday.

Shore added that Harvard is now striving for long-range improvements to provide students with organized and effective outlets for their problems.

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