Reduced mobility and inclusion at UdeS: “everything is in the appearance”
Félix Dion, a student at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, wishes to denounce the lack of proactivity of the UdeS concerning the accessibility of people with reduced mobility on the main campus.
Share November 7, 2020 11:00 am Share Reduced mobility and inclusion at UdeS: “everything is in the appearance”
Sabrina Lavoie La Tribune The work areas on the main campus of the University of Sherbrooke (UdeS) represent a real headache for some students with reduced mobility. Distraught, Félix Dion wanted to share his cry from the heart.
Faced with the impossibility of going to the premises of the Student Federation (FEUS) to obtain a mask and after having taken numerous detours on campus to get to class, Félix Dion, a student in literary and cultural studies, did not was able to refrain from publicly denouncing his situation.
” I do not understand. An environment that claims to be so accessible, where the administration, the humanities and the university in general say they are on the lookout for different social issues and ready to make a change ”, he wrote on the networks social.
“Change, a nice portmanteau word that we say to ourselves from time to time to make ourselves believe that we are proactive in the inclusion of minorities. Inclusion. Hey, another word that we often hear when it's time to look good, ”denounces Félix Dion, who is not making his first claims to the institution.
“Concretely, there are no changes,” he adds in a telephone interview.
The young man mentions having already pointed out in the past problems of lowering sidewalks on campus. He also adds that he is frequently confronted with snowy paths and non-functional automatic doors, for example.
“I shouldn't have this fight in 2020. I understand that there is work, but temporary solutions should not rest on my shoulders. And even if UdeS calls me to tell me that it was not aware of the situation, I believe that its main mission should be that all students can move properly and at all times. “
In addition, the FEUS and the General Student Association of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences (AGEFLESH) indicate that they support Félix Dion in these demands. The FEUS also affirms that other files related to accessibility for people with reduced mobility are on the table at the moment.
“The slope in front of the old convent of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, which is currently used as premises, represents a major challenge for students with reduced mobility. The slowness of the response process, which is unsatisfactory for the moment, reflects the lack of proactivity of the UdeS in this matter, ”says Yaomie Dupuis, vice-president of the student condition of the FEUS.
A struggle that continues
Kéven Breton admits to find himself in the offers of Félix Dion. Ten years ago, he also called for several changes surrounding accessibility for people with reduced mobility on campus.
“During my most recent visit, I noticed a lot of improvements,” he says. At the time, it took an open letter and an article in La Tribune for someone to listen to me. It had taken a while, but all my requests were taken into consideration … after my departure in 2013, ”explains Kéven Breton.
“I do not want to discourage Felix, but it is possible that the fight he is doing at the moment will mainly serve the students who will come after him. I believe the university has good intentions. You just need to be patient because the process is often long. “
Regarding inclusion, Kéven Breton admits that people living with a disability are often in the blind spot of diversity. “However, the institution should not be taken away from the efforts it is making with regard to sexual and gender diversity,” he admits.
For its part, the UdeS says it has the situation of Félix Dion “at heart” in addition to wishing “to become exemplary in matters of equity, diversity and inclusion”. Corrective measures will be quickly put in place from Monday, in particular at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, we are assured.
“A manager responsible for the work contacted Mr. Dion in order to talk to him in person. She explained to him the situation and the delays caused by COVID-19. She acknowledged that there had been a breach in the signaling, ”the UdeS informed by email.
Félix Dion says he is not satisfied with the answers obtained for the moment. However, a meeting is scheduled for later this week to correct the situation.
“It's just a shame that a university, a“ pool of knowledge ”, did not think about the consequences that the work would generate. I shouldn't have to speak out publicly. It should have been thought of from the start, ”he says.