The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Simmons aims to increase accessibility

by Haley Costen
Staff Writer

Director of Disability Services Tim Rogers prefers to look at a space in terms of its “usability” rather than accessibility.

“This office tries to take more of a global approach when creating usable space for everyone,” Rogers said.

The addition of the ramp to the front entrance of North Hall by Buildings and Grounds Services in February was not only for wheelchair users or other mobility issues, but for the entire community, including people with strollers or a cleaning crew, according to Rogers. Another benefit could be for students during move-in day or increased accessibility for moving equipment into the first floor of North for any future theme events or programming.

“With more and more individuals accessing North Hall, we said, ‘Hey, a wider community is going to be accessing this space, let’s increase the accessibility of it as much as we can while still being good stewards with the funds that we have to do those with.’”

There are no current plans to pave a ramp or alter the current ramp. However, Rogers said that if there were any students to complain about any issues with it, for example, if it were slippery in the winter weather, the Disability Services office would address any problems.

“Over the past ten years we’ve made tremendous strides in giving all our buildings universal access, especially on the residence campus,” said Steve Gusmini, director of Buildings and Grounds Services.
Gusmini pointed out the addition of elevators to Arnold, Simmons, and Smith Halls, and the increased access to Quadside, along with the addition of accessible bathrooms.

“Every time we renovate we do it with as much accessibility as possible,” Gusmini said.

Gusmini said that part of the Building and Grounds Service’s ten-year plan at Simmons is a connector to join Morse and Mesick. The connector would have an elevator to make both buildings accessible to upper floors.

“Our office and a lot of offices are really focusing on the next strategic plan for the next ten years,” Rogers said. “With all this new building, we hope to do what we can to think about how accessible or usable we can make a space.”

Buildings and Grounds Services works closely with Disability Services and provides help for students with mobility impairments when needed. For example, during the previous winter, Buildings and Grounds Services would make sure there was an open path for students on Brookline Ave and Emmanuel’s campus so that they could safely get to class.

“Even though some of the areas aren’t technically our responsibility, we would open them up and make sure there’s access,” Gusmini said.

“The nice thing about Simmons being the size it is, is that no matter where a question gets posed typically everyone comes together to address it,” Rogers said.

Any students with questions or concerns for Disability Services can reach out through the office’s website:, stopping by the office in E-108, or calling at 617-521-2474. Students can also reach out to Residence Life, Facilities, or Student Life.

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