The history of Colorado State University goes back to the late 19th century when it was constituted as Colorado Agricultural College, the land-grant institution for the state. From that time through the present, campus buildings have been constructed under a variety of guiding principles and design characteristics. It was not until the late 1970's, however, that physical access was taken into account. As a result, the physical accessibility of campus may vary from building to building.
Due to the regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, CSU continues to improve the physical access of all its buildings as well as the surrounding landscape. This improvement plan includes exterior as well as interior spaces.
Classroom and administrative buildings in general provide physical access at least to the first floor. Most will provide access to other levels through elevators. While not all locations may be physically accessible to someone using a wheelchair, all programs and services will be made accessible to a person either through temporary relocation (e.g., changing the assigned classroom) or by providing a service in an alternative location (e.g, meeting an advisor on the first floor).
The interior access may also vary from building to building. The major buildings on campus such as the library and student center may provide a different level of physical access than perhaps a building that is primary used for research. Retrofitting existing buildings usually results in modifications that might only minimally provide usability. This includes accessible restrooms, water fountains, automatic doors and ramps. At least one restroom in each academic classroom building will be accessible to those using wheelchairs and at least one entrance will be level for entry/exit purposes.
Access to the electronic environment is also improving but this a more of a challenge for CSU. Programs used for registration and other web-based applications are purchased from outside vendors. Unfortunately, those who are designing the programs to run in the electronic environment have not yet adopted universal design principles. As a result, some students may find it more difficult to gain access to information.
If a student finds it difficult to access the electronic environment, CSU is committed to solving the problem for that student. The Assistive Technology Resource Center is available to help in finding a solution for that student as well as in helping the university to minimize the inherent barriers that come with designing an electronic environment for all users.
Other information regarding accessibility for the electronic environment can be found at the website Accessibility by Design.
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