Disabled Student Speaks Out Against Faulty Elevators, Inconsiderate Parking

Jorge Acevedo’s life was turned upside-down on Christmas Day 1999. His luxury Lincoln town car with expensive rims made him an attractive target for an ambush. Acevedo was carjacked; three gunmen shot 10 rounds at him, hitting him twice in the leg and once in the base of the skull. The injury has left Acevedo a partial paraplegic and impaired his speech, but it has not deterred him from his quest for justice. In 2003, Acevedo was named the Glendale Police Department’s Volunteer of the Year. He is an administration of justice major.

April 6, 2006

It seems that disabled students with special needs are always forgotten about. It seems we are the last to have any input.
First of all, I am a disabled student, in case you’re wondering. Since the beginning of the school year, the elevator in the cafeteria building has been chronically in need of repair. It really should be replaced, along with the elevator in the San Gabriel building.

Also, the elevator in the San Rafael Building has not worked since the start of the semester, the Auditorium building wheelchair accessibility switch has not worked since last semester and there is no access to the rooms off of San Gabriel 139 since it does not have a electric push button.

Even before the current wave of construction started, it was not easy for disabled students to get around on campus, but access has been compromised even further with the construction of the new Allied Health building. Imagine what it is like for blind or wheelchair-bound students. Elevators that function properly are an important accessibility feature for students who cannot climb stairs.

It is even harder to get to class when it is raining like last week. The elevator in the cafeteria building wasn’t working, and it was impossible to stay dry, or even keep your notebook from getting wet, with the dash through the rain along the side of the library building. It is great that the schools is getting a makeover, but why not fix existing problems first?

As a separate but related issue, many disabled students are picked up by their vans at stand No. 1 to the left of the Art/Aviation building. Parking structure construction has led to chaos in the faculty/police lot, and there are vehicles obstructing the whole pathway, a stop sign and effectively blocking the entire pick up/ drop off area.

March 26 was the day that all the safeguards that are in place for disabled students broke down. The elevators were malfunctioning, the trams that pick disabled students up and take them to the pick up area were only running at about 50 percent capacity, stand #1 was blocked by cars and it was raining. Hard. It was a nightmare.

I wondered “Where are the police cadets and school police? Why aren’t they monitoring the situation?” As I was waiting for my vehicle to pick me up I observed an officer in his patrol car. I stopped him and told him about the situation of the car blocking the pathway so that our vehicle could not pick us up. No officer was ever observed within this area directing or even issuing citations. Nothing came of my complaint. There are too many cars are in this area, are they all authorized before entering?
I hope these things get fixed. The elevators are in need of repair and blocking the pathway to the disabled student’s stand No. 1 is just unacceptable.

— Jorge Acevedo

Jorge Acevedo is the founder of Delta Sigma Omicron, a fraternal organization which addresses the needs of disabled students. Delta Sigma Omicron meets Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m. in SF 119. All GCC students are welcome without regard to disability. Visit www.deltasigmaomicron.org.