Clarissa Smith was late for class again. Unbeknownst to her, the university’s budget committee had unanimously voted to declare the accessible elevator in the lobby unnecessary, leaving it permanently out of service.
“This is the second time it’s happened to me this week!” said Smith, who uses a wheelchair. “I had to take the convoluted way to class and use the elevators in the back, which added an extra 30 minutes to my commute time.”
“These matters are never taken lightly,” said John Hitch, director of building services. “The committee met over several months to weigh the pros and cons of our decisions. Each situation is analyzed extensively and, well, it was either make an entire football team happy with new uniforms — they win games for us and we look cool — or make two disabled people who enter the building once a week happy, and no one really cares about it. Go do the math!”
Hitch proudly explained that they were resourceful when it came to raising funds. “I really don’t understand the fuss these disabled people are making; it’s not as if we asked people for money. We essentially sold the elevator parts for scrap metal to cover the costs of the uniforms,” he said, patting himself on the back and missing the point. “That’s ingenuity if you ask me! And they’re in a wheelchair for god’s sake, so they can just easily wheel themselves to the back of the building. I’m not asking them to walk! Geez!”
As Smith was on her way to the back elevators, she made a quick restroom stop before her next class, only to realize that accessible stalls were not available.
“Oops, about that! I forgot to mention the cheerleaders petitioned for new uniforms ’cause red is apparently just sooo yesterday!” said Hitch, rolling his eyes. “Anyhoo, we scrapped plans on any more accessible restrooms, ’cause they’re costlier to make since they use a lot more space and material than regular stalls. And, well, by saving money we redirect funds. And I must say, our cheerleaders look gorgeous in this season’s neon yellow!”