Universal Design Day, held last Friday at the Henry Madden Library, was organized to bring universal design and availability awareness to the Fresno State campus.
Janice Brown, the director of the Services for Students with Disabilities department, said universal design is about bringing ease and accessibility to building designs and programs for students. Everyone benefits from universal design, not just people with disabilities, she added.
“They were made for people with wheelchairs, but someone with a baby stroller can use the cutout, or a person that can’t step down from the curb,” Brown said. “If a student has their hands full, they could use an elbow or a hip to open the door with a lever handle.”
The event attendees had the opportunity to register and win a Microsoft Surface Pro donated by Fresno State President Joseph Castro.
Members from the Services for Student with Disabilities department and groups like the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) and the President’s Council on Disabilities and Access (PCDA) came together to coordinate the event.
Brown said the event had speakers and workshops from Apple, the DISCOVERe Hub, Technology Innovations for Learning and Teaching (TILT), Education Technology and apps to learn with and more.
Kathy Ross, a volunteer at the event for the Learning Center, was there to explain to event attendees how students can take advantage of the tutoring and other help that the Learning Center provides.
“It’s emphasizing that its resources help not just the students that are struggling,” Ross said. “We use quantitative studies to make sure that we’re tutoring to the best of our ability.”
The “Read&Write” computer program that is specifically available for Fresno State students allows any digital text, including essays, to be imported and read aloud, Ross said.
“It’s giving student the resources to help promote their success in the way that’s most cost efficient and time saving for them,” Ross said. “It puts the tools of success in the student’s hands.”