Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

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Ohio University makes accessibility planning a priority in design of newest residential complex

With the newest addition to South Green, Ohio University is going above and beyond the regulations outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure those with disabilities can take part in the various aspects of residential life on the Athens Campus.

The Tanaka-Luchs and Sowle-Carr complexes, as well as the new Living Learning Center, have incorporated ADA-directed design elements into every aspect of the buildings. From the wide sidewalks and wheelchair access control buttons, the new dorms accommodate those with disabilities on the outside.

Inside the buildings, there are many more small details that have gone into the ADA planning. Varied counter top heights and restroom facility additions have added to the accessibility of the new buildings. 

“This is a university perspective in terms of how we’ve been committed to doing this,” explained Executive Director of Housing Pete Trentacoste. “To me, it’s something that Ohio University has done really well in recent years to really focus on not just doing the bare essentials, but actually going beyond that.”

In a presentation as part of OHIO’s ADA25 Celebration Series, Trentacoste spoke about how Ohio University has gone above and beyond basic regulation in terms of bringing buildings up to ADA code. OHIO’s ADA-regulated areas are nearly seamlessly built into the rest of the building, specifically in the newest dorms, he said. 

“Overall, the University’s goal has not only been to incorporate individuals with disabilities into the University buildings but also into University life,” Trentacoste said.