What’s ADA Anyway?


The average person probably does not know what ADA or “in ADA compliance” is, or even what that has to do with our school. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from facing discrimination in all public areas.  There was a variety of projects done at Arapahoe during the summer construction, and bringing the building up to ADA compliance was one of them. Things like ramps, handicap parking spots, wheelchair accessible bathrooms, and braille on signs are all required by ADA. This act was put in place in 1990. Arapahoe was built in 1964. As one can imagine, handicap accessibility was not as big a deal in 1964 as it is now.

At Arapahoe, warriors always take care of one another, it is the school motto for a reason. It is important for every student to have equal access to every amenity the school has to offer. There were many changes to our school, some very noticeable and others not, to give fellow Warriors accommodations to our building.

The most prominent one, especially for returning students, is the change in room numbers. The room numbers were changed for security measures, but the actual room plates were placed at eye level for people in wheelchairs. Braille numbers are also a new addition to the room number plates.

Along with the complete renovation of the bathrooms, two ADA stalls (as opposed to one) were added. The ADA bathroom stalls were also built with more room in mind for people in wheelchairs, and the doors open north/south and east/west for easier access.

With the change in the announcement system, there were strobes added to the clocks in high traffic areas. The strobes are not only used to get students’ attention during important announcements or bells, but also help students with hearing impairments transition to classes with ease.

The ADA work done here at Arapahoe may not be influential to all of the students, but for some, it is incredibly helpful in day to day activities.