SGA calls on Quinnipiac to audit Office of Student Accessibility over accessibility concerns

Cat Murphy, Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac University Student Government Association issued a resolution on Oct. 26, calling upon university administration to audit the Office of Student Accessibility’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by the end of the spring 2023 semester.

Press release contributed by Student Government Association. Click here to view the full release.

“SGA voted to accept this resolution in response to the issues regarding lack of accessibility for students on campus,” SGA stated in an Instagram post. “We hope action will come about from this resolution so that all QU students can have a comfortable and accessible college experience.”

The organization issued the resolution after “multiple attempts” to address accessibility concerns with OSA failed, according to the resolution.

I contacted the Office of Student Accessibility multiple times over the span of a month to create solutions and attempt to resolve these issues, but my phone calls and emails were largely ignored,” wrote sophomore class president Thomas Peters, a political science major who drafted the resolution, in a statement to the Chronicle Oct. 27. 

The resolution states that student reports of “experiences of deficient services and communication from the Office of Student Accessibility” prompted the SGA to take formal action.

Students with academic testing accommodations have characterized OSA’s alternative test spaces as “distracting” and have reported experiencing “difficulty establishing alternative test setting arrangements in a timely manner” with OSA, according to the resolution.

“The Student Government Association requests an improvement in communication with students regarding accommodations from the Office of Student Accessibility pertaining to alternative test settings and other provided services,” the resolution states. 

The resolution also addressed the lack of accessible Braille signage and called on the university “to ensure all needed signs are compliant with ADA standards.”

“Intentional signage across Quinnipiac University campuses may not completely abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act code §703.4. 1,” the resolution states. “The replacement of temporary braille signs across campus are overdue pursuant to ADA guidelines (§216.1).”

John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, did not immediately respond to the Chronicle’s request for comment.

Sal Filardi, vice president for capital planning and facilities, told the Chronicle on Oct. 21 that new Braille signs had been ordered to replace the two non-tactile restroom signs located outside the OneStop office in the Arnold Bernhard Library.

However, Filardi said at the time that Quinnipiac is not prioritizing the replacement of damaged and inaccessible Braille signs on campus because “there are no students on any of our campuses that require Braille.”

“We’ll replace all the signs because they’ve been damaged and they’re no longer appropriate,” Filardi said. “It’s not a number one priority, because there’s technically no need for the signs right now.”