A topic most people don’t think about is the accessibility of public places. That topic, however, is extremely important to those who have a disability. Whether the student has been dealing with a disability their whole life or has recently been injured, they have to find a way to get to and from class. Scott Scroggins, an Auburn alumnus who has been wheelchair bound since a young age, explained why he chose to attend Auburn University.
“I’ve been an Auburn fan my whole life. I never had any doubt where I was going to go. I only applied to one school. I love the sports teams and the family atmosphere everyone talks about. When you think of Auburn, that’s what you think of.”
While the Selma, Ala., native had no trouble deciding which school to attend, Scroggins still dealt with average college student issues. Despite that, he also had some help along the way.
“I took advantage of the public transit. I did that when I first got to campus so I could get used to things. I wouldn’t say it’s been that hard. As far as being in a wheelchair, I would say there was a lot of adjusting.”
The category that separates many students from those that are injured or have a disability is accessibility. That whole new aspect can go unnoticed by many, but it is very important to those who need it. Scroggins referenced his experience as a student.
“Most buildings have the push buttons to open doors. I’d say it’s pretty accessible. I really haven’t had that many problems.”
Scroggins was pleased with how the university as a whole handled the matter, but he was particularly impressed with Auburn’s Office of Accessibility.
“If you have a problem, you can always go to the Office of Accessibility. They were always great to work with and willing to go above and beyond to help me with any issues that I had.”
As Scroggins was fine with how the university handles accessibility, most students seem to be as well. He believes the responsibility to improve accessibility on campus lies on Auburn students with disabilities.
“With anything to do with accessibility, I think it’s in part up to people with disabilities to communicate the issues. We have issues that you’re not even going to notice if you’re not in our position. I think getting feedback from people with disabilities is a good thing. They can ask what we need or what would help us on a daily basis. I think Auburn does a good job with that.”
Despite Auburn’s efforts, life is more difficult for people with disabilities. That’s the simple reality. Scroggins gave his advice on how to handle that adversity.
“There are going to be issues. It’s not a perfect situation, but I would assume if you’re college aged and have had a disability your whole life, you’ve learned to adjust. I don’t think Auburn is any different. There are other adjustments because most college students are living on their own for the first time. You don’t have people around to help you all the time with stuff, so you have to figure it out.”
Scroggins earned three degrees during his time as a student at Auburn. He has two bachelor’s degrees. One of them is in Radio, Television and Film, while the other is in Accounting. Scroggins also has a master’s degree in Communication. Scroggins has been on the communications staff in the athletic department for 14 years. If that’s any indication, accessibility here at Auburn should not hinder students from completing their degrees and achieving success.