Amy Hornby Uribe: Vote yes to accessibility in Winona schools on Nov. 6

October 10, 2018

Join me in voting YES for better accessibility to our public schools. Accessibility to public education is a human right; this includes access to entering and using school buildings in a dignified and safe manner.

Outdated construction in many buildings denies dignified access to students, staff and community members. For example, there are 18 stairs at the front entrance of Jefferson Elementary. A student or faculty member with a mobility disability cannot proudly enter the main entrance of their school. The stairs inhibit a grandparent from watching their grandchild sing in a concert. A parent with a mobility disability has to use their own cell phone to call the front office from the back of the building to gain access to the school. A wheelchair user who wants to use the current ramp has to enter the building through the kitchen! Neither “accessible” entrance has automatic doors, which means people with limited use of their hands or arms could not enter the building independently.

Another reason to vote yes that will benefit the entire community is the bond money that will be used to update all elementary school playgrounds. The updates include providing accessible paths to the playgrounds as well as accessible equipment, so all children can enjoy playing outdoors. This not only benefits the children who attend each of the schools, but also community children who use the playgrounds during non-school hours. This is a bond that benefits children with disabilities regardless of where they attend school.

Replacing the parking lot at the senior high is also on the bond referendum. While this improvement is listed as building maintenance and repair in the bond project description, I guarantee that everyone from elderly community members attending sports and music events, to students on crutches and those who use mobility devices will all appreciate a parking surface that allows for safe movement between their vehicle and the school.

Together we can improve accessibility for all who use our public school buildings.

Amy Hornby Uribe, Winona

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