Ewha was ranked as one of the top universities for disabled students in February according to an evaluation done by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, receiving high scores in the quality of educational support for disabled students. However, the school facilities lack special accommodations for disabled students, making the campus an inconvenient place for disabled students to study in.
According to a physically disabled student of Ewha who wants to remain anonymous, Ewha has problems with the access of many buildings for disabled students. “Unlike the new buildings like the Ewha Campus which prevents the entrance of wheelchairs,” she said. “Also, it is hard to go to toilets in the Student Union Building and the Ewha-Posco Building as there are no suitable toilets for the disabled to use.”
According to an evaluation done by the Human Rights Forum for Persons with Disabilities in Korea, Ewha has received a low score of 8 out of 30 in the category of easy access and convenient facilities for disabled students.
“The evaluation was carried out by a monitoring group comprised of students with disabilities from August to September for two months,” said Hyun Geun-sik, one of the team directors of the forum. Three Ewha students answered the survey of 244 questions according to several criteria: admission type, support center, helper programs, rights and easy access to facilities at Ewha.
“While doing the research, I have found out that the steep hills around school restrict disabled students from moving around the campus,” cited in the report from the forum, Jung Ah-young (Consumer Studies, 3), one of the members of the monitoring group. “The Centennial Library is hard to reach and it restricts the disabled students with wheelchairs to even enter and exit from the building. Although the buildings are built in the past, there still needs to be improvements for the disabled students.”
Meanwhile, the Support Center for Students with Disabilities (SCSD) is putting forth the efforts for the convenience of the disabled students. “As many buildings such as the Alumnae building, the main hall, and more were built in the past as long ago as 1938, it is true that the disabled students find it to access and move in the buildings,” said Hong Yon-ah, a faculty member of the SCSD. “There are improvements being made.” According to Hong, a toilet for the disabled has been installed in the Welch-Ryang Auditorium this January and a transfer ramp has been added in the Jinseonmi-gwan.
“We are putting efforts forth for disabled students to freely move in the campus,” said Hong. “For the buildings that are planned to be rebuilt, facilities for the
The center also provides a doumi (helper), a fellow student volunteer who can assist a disabled student by providing them with lecture notes. Many Ewha students have been participating in the program to help the disabled students.
“The numbers of students who are willing to help the disabled students always exceeds the number limit,” said Hong. “When any disabled students request helpers, we get volunteers at all time to help them to from being caused causing any inconvenience.”