Removing barriers to improve user experience

By Susan Hayya, coordinator, Adaptive Technology and Services

ats locker

Lockers in ATS are popular with students

After the lockers were installed in Adaptive Technology and Services, it didn’t take long for our students to discover them. They were excited to have a place to store their books in the same area where they studied.

One of our blind students wanted to know how the lockers worked. I directed him to the eight lockers, explaining that four lockers are stacked directly on top of another set of four lockers. Using his hand and starting at the top left locker and ending at the bottom right locker, he touched each locker, and assigned a number for each one.

He then asked how to lock and unlock them. By directing his finger on the keypad and reading the numbers out loud, I explained that he could enter a number combination of his own to use a locker. I removed my hand from his finger and he proceeded to retrace the rows and columns on the keypad. He then exclaimed that he understood it; it would be no problem, it was like cells in a spreadsheet. Now he was ready to lock and unlock it on his own. By keeping track of the cells he was able to input his code to open and close a locker. He was thrilled.

Access to the locker meant more to him than a place to put his personal items. It meant success, independence, and equal opportunity. He joyfully opened, closed, and locked each locker five times. Now that he and other students know how to use them, the lockers are in constant use.