Humber affirms accessibility following Greyhound incident

by | Feb 28, 2014 | News

Sonya Kahlon
News Reporter

After the accessibility of Greyhound buses made Toronto Star headlines late January when a Wilfred Laurier University student was stuck on a bus wheelchair lift, Humber College has again affirmed it offers many accommodations for the disabled.

“Students who have disabilities, whether it’s related to a learning disability, or ADHD, or mental disability or physical, we help accommodate them to give them a leveled playing field,” said Lauren Longo, disability services officer at the Student Success and Engagement office.

“Accommodations may include things like extra time for tests and exams, or the use of the tech centre, or use of a computer,” said Longo. “It really depends on the student and the disability, as well as the program they are in.”

Because there are students with different disabilities, different methods to provide the help and support they need are called for.

“I used the disability services to create a letter to hand to my professors to explain to them what my disability was and what special services I can use at school,” said Melissa Carter, a Criminal Justice student at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Some accommodations that Humber provides are note takers and American Sign Language interpreters.

The Disability Services Office provides accommodations for students within the classroom setting and in test situations. Meanwhile, Humber students with physical disabilities have to cope with shortfalls in accessibility outside the campus.

Greyhound said it has taken measures to make sure their buses are accessible in the wake of the recent incident in which social work student Chantal Huinink was trapped for hours in a coach out of the Toronto terminal and finally had to be freed by firefighters.

“All wheelchair lift-equipped coaches in Canada have recently undergone inspection to ensure all facets of the equipment meets Greyhound’s high standards,” says Alexandra Pedrini, a spokesperson for Greyhound Lines, adding that all Greyhound buses since 2009 have wheel chair lifts.

Greyhound partnered with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to help customers with disabilities by creating the Greyhound Disability Channel.

“This is a custom gateway to educate consumers about how the company accommodates customers with disabilities,” said Pedrini. Some of the accommodations include “wheelchair-accessible buses, boarding and rest stop assistance, and other pertinent information for customers and employees,” said Pedrini.