New emergency system more accessible to disabled

Daily Sundial

A new emergency system that can be used by disabled students will be replacing the current blue light phones across campus, said Anne Glavin, chief of campus police.

The new system will be the first of its kind in the nation, allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing students to be able to communicate through the emergency system, said Lt. Scott VanScoy of campus police.

“It’s something that no other university has,” VanScoy said. “It’s pretty high tech.”

As part of the plan, the campus emergency blue light phones are being replaced by call boxes.

“(A) new program (is) being installed,” Glavin said. “(There) are three brand new boxes for disabled students.”

According to the campus police the emergency blue light phones can be used by the whole community in case of any emergency on campus, whether it is a medical emergency or fire. Also, the emergency phones can be used to alert officials of criminal activity, since they connect the caller to a police dispatcher.

Counselors at the Center on Disabilities said some of the current blue light phones have the emergency button placed too high for students who are in wheelchairs to reach.

“People who don’t have mobility from the waist down are not able to access the emergency button,” said Jennifer Zvi, learning disability specialist at the Center on Disabilities.

Currently, there are three blue light emergency systems that are not in service, Glavin said.

Campus police will be making an official announcement regarding the new emergency communication system in the near future, Glavin said. However, she said she could not go into detail before the announcement.