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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Initiative to accommodate students with visual impairments moves forward

Allison+Bradshaw+%26%238212%3B+THE+BATTALION%0ADomed+bricks+have+been+placed+at+the+north+end+of+Military+Walk+to+signal+the+end+of+the+walkway+to+students+with+visual+impairments.
Allison Bradshaw — THE BATTALION Domed bricks have been placed at the north end of Military Walk to signal the end of the walkway to students with visual impairments.

With some financial backing and infrastructure in place, the initiative to place wind chimes around campus to better accommodate students with visual impairments is expected to be completed by the end of the semester.
Domed bricks were installed on Military Walk over winter break to signal the end of the walkway, and braille plates, which will be placed outside certain buildings including the Liberal Arts and Humanities Building, Wehner, Koldus and other buildings across campus, have been ordered and are slated to be implemented in the near future.
So far nine of the 10 chimes have been sponsored, with the Aggie Honor System Office sponsoring eight chimes and Cengage, a textbook provider, sponsoring the other.
Kaitlyn Kellermeyer, the international studies junior who came up with the idea, said student organizations will be able to adopt a wind chime for a flat fee in the near future through an Adopt-A-Wind-Chime program, involving the opportunity to decorate the chimes as well as the responsibility to maintain them in the future.
“That fee will go toward the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living,” Kellermeyer said. “We’ll donate it there because they do a lot of work around the community for people with disabilities.”
Kellermeyer and other students behind the project met with Merna Jacobson, University Risk and Compliance vice president, on Friday to talk about the implementation and maintenance of the wind chimes.
Kellermeyer said issues such as the height of the windchime placement as well as Silver Taps considerations were discussed.
“We’re planning to put a wind chime in Academic Plaza, and we actually came up with this idea to get some sort of fabric cover for the chimes during Silver Taps so that we’re respecting that tradition,” Kellermeyer said.
Collin Kruger, accounting junior and SGA vice president of student services, created a detailed memorandum to give to the Council for the Built Environment, which is in charge of campus changes. Joseph Hood, student senator and political science junior said they expect the council to approve the project.
“And then when that goes through they’re going to want more plans from us as far as maintenance, who’s going to be in charge of that within SGA, all that kind of stuff,” Hood said.
Kruger said a portion of the visual impairment bill, which was passed by Student Senate last semester, has already been implemented.
“The visual impairment bill consists of two parts: The wind chimes, and the places of truncated domes and braille plates on campus,” Kruger said. “The domes have been installed on the north end of Military Walk, and the work orders for the braille plates has been submitted.”
Hood said the Americans with Disabilities Act and administration has been helpful in facilitating the eventual implementation of the wind chimes.
“They listened to what we had to say and they had legitimate concerns that they brought forward that we really appreciate,” Hood said. “They were making sure that our project was going to work. They weren’t blocking it in any way, they were there to make sure that what we had to put forward was the best project possible.”

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