This past week I got to follow JCCC Student and motivational speaker, Anna Sarol, around campus.
(Sarol) “My purpose and aim for building social media was to bring awareness to people with disabilities while also talking about accessibility and physical barriers I feel like a lot of my purpose in this world is to address that question of how can we be at service to other people.”
(Sarol) “I’ve been doing it for about a year ever since Covid started I started taking it seriously and being more consistent and it’s grown a lot I probably I think I’m at 14,000 followers which I don’t think the number is necessarily the successful mark but it does help that I’m reaching out to a lot of people.”
As we followed Anna around campus we began to see all of the obstacles she has to deal with just to get to class.
(Sarol) “People use the handicap stall so often that I have to wait on them because that’s the only store that I can enter in and is because I can’t fit through the normal stall.”
(Sarol) “Since JUCO has it’s an older community college their tables are attached to their chairs which makes it so difficult so access which is the program that Jouko has developed for students with disabilities have made it to where a desk it’s going to be in every classroom.”
(Sarol) “So, the thing about this teacher that I had in this classroom he took the one table that we’re supposed to have for your students who have disabilities have in the back for them to use and he took it and used it in his own little desk and stuff. He was like well you need to ask someone blah blah blah, but you can stand right there for right now and I was literally just right here in front of the class taking notes in my chair on my lap it was the worst thing ever.”
(Sarol) “I have to consider I’m going to push up ramps I’m going to be pushing around from one class to another conserving my energy with each push so that my muscles don’t build up muscle not at the end of the day or I build so much fatigue that I can’t get to my next classroom.”
Anna plans to attend Kansas University this year and expressed concerns with the large and typically inaccessible lecture halls.
(Sarol) “I feel like they would just set me right here.”
(Sidney Henkensiefken) “That would suck because you don’t have like a desk there.”
(Sarol) “Yeah and I think that’s going to be the difficult thing about transitioning to KU with all of the lecture halls. So, I think in this case I’d probably just back into this desk and just awkwardly slide myself in and take notes and then no one can sit next to me and I’m secluded I’m more social than this.”
What I learned from talking to Anna was that one way to create a more accessible world is talking about these issues and educating those who don’t recognize them.
(Sarol) “There’s little things that we can improve on for sure feel like there’s a lot of things that wherever we go through in the world no matter how accessible it may seem until you get into the chair.”
(Sarol) “By me posting all of these photos and videos addressing those I feel like the world can be built a different way the second people start to acknowledge the things that they didn’t know beforehand we can build a more accessible world.”
Reporting from The Campus Ledger, this has been Paige Winters.
Check out our other story with Anna Sarol here.