Student shares hardships navigating campus with temporary disability

Olivia McWain Reporter

In the aftermath of Winter Storms Izzy and Landon, Kent campus was quite difficult for students to navigate. Parking spots were taken by mounds of snow, walkways were icy and staircases were yet to be shoveled as students trekked their way to class. 

For junior early childhood education major Sarah Pallutch, there was an additional obstacle – a broken foot. With snow-covered sidewalks came the possibility of falling and the risk of re-injuring herself. 

“[When] I was in the hospital I was just like ‘There is no way I can physically stay on campus because it’s just not accessible enough,’” she said. “There’s no accessible bathrooms in Johnson at all. I had to go home for the last two months last semester.”

Student Accessibility Services has provided Pallutch with transportation to and from her classes, but even this presented a problem. 

“Even getting from the door to the side of the road where they pick me up has been difficult,” Pallutch said. It was a little bit of a transition, but now that I’ve got it down it’s not bad. Inside is a different story, though.”

Pallutch cannot bear weight on her foot without a walking boot and is unable to step into the standard shower in her room. So, Pallutch has had to go as far as visiting her sister’s dorm across campus in order to shower. 

SAS can work with University Housing to identify accessible housing options based on a student’s disability, said director of Student Accessibility Services Amanda Feaster. SAS offered Pallutch the option to move into an open room in the Centennial Courts. However, without assistance, she could not move her belongings to her new dorm.

Despite the challenges, Pallutch is grateful for the accommodations SAS has provided her.

“For people who do need more, I feel bad for them because I don’t know if they could do everything that they need. I don’t need that much,” Pallutch said. “I’m one of the lucky ones.”

Olivia McWain is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]